The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.
The Wine Advocate - Antonio Galloni - January 2009
97 Points "The 1990 Cristal is a dramatic, sweeping wine endowed with masses of apricots, peaches, flowers and minerals. A large-scaled Cristal, the 1990 combines size with clarity and focus in a remarkably complete style that recalls the 1982. The wine remains generous on the palate, with stunning length and a finish that lasts forever."
The Wine Advocate - Robert Parker - August 2008
96 Points "From magnum, the Louis Roederer 1990 Cristal is still a youngster. Gorgeous brioche, orange rind, and citrus notes are offered in a full-bodied, unbelievably pure style that could have been 5-6 years old rather than 18. It is always remarkable how well great Champagne can age."
Decanter - August 2005
5 Stars "Lavender honey nose with great nuttiness. A sublime balance of fruit, richness and acidity awe-inspiring. Occasionally methuselahs appear at auction."
Wine Spectator - December 15, 1998
94 Points "You won't soon forget this vivid and expressive Champagne. It packs in compound layers of citrus, vanilla, pear and nutmeg that harmonize and linger on the finish. Bright acidity makes it extra refreshing and layered. It has really opened up since last year. Best from 2000 through 2010. Tasted twice, with consistent notes."
In 1876 when Tsar Alexander II requested that a special cuvée be created for his court Roederer duly obliged, creating what many regard to be the first prestige cuvée.
As the political situation in Russia was somewhat unstable, Tsar Alexander feared assassination. He ordered that Champagne bottles be made of clear glass, so that he could see the bubbles and to prevent anyone from hiding a bomb within, as could easily happen with a typical dark green bottle. Roederer commissioned a Flemish glassmaker to create clear lead crystal Champagne bottles with a flat bottom.
Originally a sweet blend, the Champagne was named “Cristal” after these distinctive clear lead crystal glass bottles.
In 1909, the House of Louis Roederer was regarded as the “Official Purveyor of Champagne to the Imperial Court of Russia” – a business coup that was later reversed following the deposition of the Tsar during the 1917 Revolution. Prohibition in the US caused additional financial difficulties during the early 20th century. However, the house survived these setbacks and today Louis Roederer remains an independent, family-owned business, managed by Roederer’s descendant, Frédéric Rouzaud.
The composition of Cristal is approximately 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay. The grapes used in the wine come from only the finest vineyards in Grand Cru villages. Lecaillon talks about the crucial role that vineyards play in quality:
“A majority of our most recent development has been in vineyard operations. We have strict limits set for crop yields and we're using vines that are 25 years old on average. We evaluate the grapes coming from our own vineyards very critically. We try to improve the vineyards that aren't performing well and keep the ones that are at the highest level of quality.
The grapes from our own vineyards produce wines with an alcohol content that’s an average of 1% higher than those produced with purchased grapes. There’s less tart malic acid in our own grapes. Even though we strive for the highest possible acidity, it’s absolutely necessary that this is accompanied by a ripe fruitiness. We belong to the five-percent minority of Champagne's producers who do not use malolactic fermentation to reduce wine acidity. The range of aromas is accentuated by the high-acid structure, much in the same way a salad dressing brings out the aromas in the food.
“And we stopped using cloned vines - we're only using the vine offspring from our own vineyards to ensure natural diversity. In the 1950s, -60s and -70s cloning was far too simple a solution for such a complex thing." Chef de Cave Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon explained
Founded in 1776 in Reims, Louis Roederer is one of the most prestigious and admired Champagnes. In the mid-19th century the Russian Czar Alexander II was such a fan of Roederer that he ordered a special cuvee for his court and Louis Roederer was later designated by the Russian ruling family as the official Champagne supplier to the Imperial Court. Today the estate is owned and operated by the Rouzaud family, making it one of the few historic Champagne estates that remain entirely independent. The estate makes a number of Champagnes, from a non-vintage Brut to its justly famous Cristal Rose Millesime and Cristal Millesime. There are 506 acres of vines planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Louis Roederer is known for its relatively high percentage of Chardonnay, usually at least 40%. Vines are on average 25 years old and there is a total annual production of some 2.7 million bottles. Of the total some 500,000 are Cristal Millesime and 20,000 are Cristal Rose Millesime.
After a particularly rapid spurt in vegetation growth, the Champagne region is hit hard by spring frosts in April. Blossoming is therefore difficult in the cold and rainy conditions. Blossom drop and uneven grape development are only compensated by the large number of bunches and the wide branches. A heat wave summer then sets in and remains until the generous downpours in the days leading up to the harvest, (on 11 September). The musts boast an exceptional composition and homogenous quality; throughout the Champagne region.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
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