x
  • Weather

    12° C Clear sky
  • Time

    00:46 AM
  • Wine average?

    93.6 Tb
  • Country Ranking?

    52
  • Region Ranking?

    5
  • Popularity ranking?

    3

History

In 1876, a Roederer champagne made for Russia’s Tsar Alexander II became the world’s first luxury cuvée.

But with the sudden collapse of the Russian market, the champagne house endured a long struggle on the verge of bankruptcy. Eventually, the family’s shrewd patriarchs managed to turn things around, and today, Roederer is the most solvent of Champagne’s houses; indeed, its future looks Cristal clear. Roederer is one of the few top champagne houses to remain family-owned. Although the house’s history actually begins in 1776, the company was not called Roederer until 1833, when Louis Roederer inherited the business from his uncle. It was Louis Roederer himself who increased the house’s production volume to its present level, 2.5 million bottles a year. He laid the foundation for exports and, particularly in Russia, enjoyed great success. Louis Roederer II, his son, receives the credit for developing Cristal.

 

The Russian Tsar was absolutely taken with Roederer champagne: in 1873, some 666,386 bottles, which amounted to approximately 27% of its entire production, were delivered to the court of Alexander II. In order to formalise Roederer’s status as official purveyor to the Imperial Court of Russia, Alexander II commissioned Louis Roederer to produce a very sweet, prestige blend packaged in a real crystal glass bottle. Roederer’s Martine Charlotte Lorson told us: ”The first luxury cuvée was born. From the very beginning, the bottle was clear and flat-bottomed. We later patented the bottle’s design. We have tried to change from the flat-bottomed bottle, but we can’t. Because of and thanks to the patent, Cristal’s label and appearance have stayed the same since 1928!” And how fortunate that is, because, at least in our opinion, it is quite possibly the most beautiful wine bottle in the world, especially when wrapped in its trademark amber cellophane.

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Vineyards

Chef de Cave Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon explained the practicalities: ”We started using cellophane in the late 1970s, and there were still bottles with and without cellophane available in the early 1980s. Champagne is a light-sensitive product, so even though the cellophane is beautiful, it also plays a key role in protecting the Cristal from ultraviolet radiation. The amber cellophane also makes the bottle instantly recognisable, thus serving as a brand-building tool.” The story of Cristal’s genuine crystal bottle is well-known.

 

This is why we were surprised to discover that there is not one true crystal bottle in existence or even a photograph of one. ”Unfortunately, that’s true”, says Lorson, and continues: ”We’ve been searching high and low without any luck. But then again, Cristal was only packaged in crystal bottles for one or two years. The bottle was too weak to withstand the pressure and, because the Tsar’s champagne was so sweet, there was some post-fermentation, and the resulting losses were too much even for the extravagant Tsar.” The 1970s were a turning point of sorts for Roederer and Cristal

 

Our vineyards have a pronounced northern character and the estate’s land is the source of our quality wines. All our parcels—the estate, which originally comprised 100 hectares acquired in 1850, now extends over 240 hectares—were carefully chosen and acquired in the best terroirs of Champagne, in the Grands and Premiers Crus of the Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs, and the Vallée de la Marne. The men and women of Louis Roederer have a profound attachment to the vineyards—this is what distinguishes our House from all the others. All the wine growers are perfectly acquainted with their parcels and even each vine, which they tend year after year. This creates a unique link between the vines and the men and women who devote all their time and energy to them.

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Winemaking

Camille Olry-Roederer’s grandson Jean-Claude Rouzaud joined the house and gradually took the helm. It was a rough start, as TCA, a chemical compound that causes cork taint, infested the Roederer cellars. The young man faced an enormous undertaking. A huge volume of wine had to be taken off the market and disposed of, and the entire production facility had to be sterilised and rebuilt. This is also the period of Cristal’s emerging popularity, when Roederer worked with an American importer to make Cristal the world’s most in-demand champagne.

 

A key detail of this plan was to double the price. When Rouzaud was named Decanter Man of the Year in 2001, he said in an interview that one of the most significant things he had done at Roederer was to decrease the production of Cristal from one third to under a fifth of Roederer’s overall production. High price and low availability - alongside uncompromised quality - have made Cristal the most coveted champagne in the world.

 

Winemaking

 

The wines need to be blended to create the Louis Roederer champagnes: the unique blends are the fruit of the intuition and talent of a team of women and men led and guided by the Cellar Master, who guarantees the integrity of the House’s style. The diverse sensibilities and different talents are the key to Louis Roederer’s uniqueness. With an extraordinary palette of wines at their disposal, the Cellar Master and the oenologists create their wines—the cuvées—, which are bottled when they have attained a perfect equilibrium. They then undergo a new phase of fermentation for 3 to 6 weeks…

 

The magical process continues in the quiet dark cellars, where the compositions of the oenologists are finally transformed into champagnes. Louis Roederer’s team has worked hard to bring the wine to this point—now time is the key factor. The only intervention required on the bottles is daily riddling, a process that ensures that any suspended deposits settle in the bottlenecks. The deposits are then removed, leaving a perfectly clear and luminous champagne that only requires the final touch: the champagne will only be complete after adding the liqueur d’expédition, which distinguishes the House’s unique style. The wine is ‘the fruit of the input of everyone involved in its creation’, and each of our champagnes perpetuates the traditions of the House, its quest for perfection, and its spirit of innovation and experimentation; this paves the way for future heirs to ‘do even better’ than their predecessors…

 

Today’s masterpieces are setting ever higher standards
for tomorrow’s wines— Louis Roederer’s quest for perfection

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12 different wines with 162 vintages

Winemaking since 1776

  • Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon

    Cellar Master
    A wine of pure pleasure and a sophisticated gastronomic wine, Cristal is both powerful and delicate, combining subtlety and precision. A wine of pure pleasure and a sophisticated gastronomic wine, Cristal is both powerful and delicate, combining subtlety and precision.

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Essi Avellan MW / Editor of the Champagne magazine, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Louis Roederer . In a tasting of  37 wines 

Champagne Magazine's The 100 Best Champagnes 2017 - tasting started with Rosé Champages.

24d 8h ago

 Richard Juhlin / The number One champagne expert in the world, Pro (Sweden)  tasted  3 wines  from  Louis Roederer . In a tasting of  28 wines 

The weather gods were in their best mood in 2008 vintage, and the vines remained unusually fresh from the attack and gave a very good harvest- ing. An absolutely gorgeous vintage that has it all!


Best vintage since 1996, and unlike the tart 1990s, there are wonderful wines directly with their delicious fruit intensity and match- less balance. All the ones I tasted from the vats are magical, and I have a hard time imagining nothing other than buying everything you see of this vintage. So far the leaders are Diebolt- Vallois eur de Passion ahead of Vouette & Sorbée and Michel Turgy, but many giants will surely win over them.

26d 8h ago

 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  3 wines  from  Louis Roederer . In a tasting of  31 wines 

What can I say about the 1989 Haut Brion that I haven’t already said over and over again.  It, along with the 1989 Petrus, are the two greatest “young” wines I have ever had, and the youngest wines I would include in my ‘Top Ten’ lifetime category (I would let them share a spot lol).  This wine has been great every time I tasted it and has never shut down.  ‘Humdinger’ summed it up nicely (98+).

28d 4h ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Louis Roederer . In a tasting of  40 wines 

The 100 Best Champagnes 2017 -tasting, Day I - Rosé Champagnes. This was a beautifull start - and amazingly not a single one corked wine, only very drinkable Rosés.


No more than 600 Champagnes more to taste until we will have the complete 2017 100-list.

1m 8d ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Louis Roederer . In a tasting of  31 wines 

The Finnish summer has not started yet - the sea is still cold (+14c) and it's raining every second day - but the colder the weather is, the better is the taste:)


Here are some summer wines I have tried between the showers.

2m 10d ago

 Tuula Hällström, Wine Collector (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Louis Roederer . In a tasting of  7 wines 

Champagnes, four sopranos and friends - perfect combination!

2m 24d ago

 Essi Avellan MW / Editor of the Champagne magazine, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Louis Roederer . In a tasting of  17 wines 

1995 Signature Rosé Jacquesson.  Delicate and pale orange-hued colour. Vinous and attractively spicy nose with red berry aromas and light autolytic influence. The mouthfeel is exterely round and velvety, packed with elegant fruitiness and layers of aromas. The rich body is refreshed by a firm acidic backbone that contius equalyyt long with the wine’s persistent aftertaste. Elegant, harmonius and ripely fruity rosé champagne that is very enjoyable today but will develop harmoniously for another decade.

4m 8d ago

 Philip Tuck / Master of Wine, MW (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Louis Roederer . In a tasting of  6 wines 

Louis Roederer Cristal 1996 (Magnum) Absolutely stunning nose of great complexity, enticement and elegance which evolved beautifully in the glass.  Still lean and elegant as you would expect from the vintage. Immensely satisfying with plenty of time to go although it is difficult to imagine how it can continue to improve.  For once a Cristal that exceeds expectations!. Impressive.  The bottles tasted were also excellent.  19.5

4m 9d ago

 Richard Juhlin / The number One champagne expert in the world, Pro (Sweden)  tasted  1 wines  from  Louis Roederer . In a tasting of  29 wines 

Many prestige champagnes debuted in 1959 vintage, for example, Dom Ruinart and Pol Roger Blanc de Chardonnay. A large harvest of champagnes, that often ended up above 13 percent alcohol because of the extremely hot summer. The wines have proven to be very sustainable, despite the low acid. Power and concentration are great regardless if the wines are dominated by Chardonnay or pinot noir. A wonderful champagne year in its style!

5m 12d ago

 Mark Beaven , Pro (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Louis Roederer . In a tasting of  17 wines 

Sunday dinner with Krug 1973, Lafite and Latour 1959, La Tache 1969 etc

5m 14d ago

 Paulius Gruodis, Pro (Lithuania)  tasted  7 wines  from  Louis Roederer . In a tasting of  7 wines 

Cristal vertical 1988-2009.


Quite surprising to me 2004 was champagne of the night, highly concentrated, deep and powerful. This particular bottle performed even better than 1990 or 1988. What a great potential ahead of it given its young age. Today I am confident to give it 97+ pts. Absolutely delicious.

6m 3d ago

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