x
  • Country ranking ?

    550
  • Producer ranking ?

    31
  • Decanting time

    20min
  • When to drink

    from 2018
  • Food Pairing

    Sashimi and sushi

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 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.

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Cristal 2009 is the most recent release at £549 per 6×75 (£1,098 per 12×75). Antonio Galloni awarded it 96+ points in August, praising its “remarkable depth and striking purity” and noting that it “is a superb Cristal in the making”. The 2009 is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. Galloni said that the percentage of wine aged in oak is 15%, which is down slightly from previous vintages.

Market trends

Cristal 2009 has been pitched at a similar level to the 2006 and 2007 vintages. Both were awarded 97 points by Galloni. The similarly scored, 97-point 2004 last traded at £1,350 per 12×75, while the 96-point 2002 last traded at £1,850 per 12×75, perhaps reflecting the markets appreciation of the acclaimed 2002 vintage. Most of the older vintages from 2002 or earlier have increased since release as supply has diminished. The 1999 vintage, for example, traded at £920 per 12×75 in May 2005 and last traded at £1,940 per 12×75, up 111%.

Out of the last ten vintages, only the 2006 is currently trading at a lower price than it was when released. The 2006 vintage only started to rise one year ago after bottoming out in 2015. It last traded at £1,030 per 12×75, up 12% from its lowest trade of £920 per 12×75 in July 2015. James Suckling awarded the 2006 vintage 97 points, Jancis Robinson gave it 18/20 and David Schildknecht of the Wine Advocate scored it 93 points.

Wine Advocate-Parker :
The 2009 Cristal is a blend of Grands Crus from the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs (a total of 33-34 parcels of which 40% were farmed biodynamically). Like the 2008 Cristal, the 2009 also blends 60% Pinot Noir with 40% Chardonnay, and 16% of the wine was vinified in oak casks. No malolactic fermentation was done. The 2009 was aged for six years in the cellars and was disgorged in March 2016 with a dosage of eight grams per liter. Released two years ago, the 2009 is just starting another, more Burgundian life. Tasted in May 2018, the bouquet was pretty reductive, with flinty and toasty/nutty notes and some potted ginger flavors. Full-bodied, round and rich on the palate, this is a stunningly pure, fresh and salty 2009 that is driven by its chalky terroir and the lingering salinity. Is it really 2009? It is ripe, yes, but driven by the strength of chalk. The finish is pure, clean, fresh, very complex and long yet delicate and endlessly salty. However, two years after disgorgement, the 2009 Cristal is closing down and in a pretty reductive stage right now. Tasted May 2018.

 

 

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The Story

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

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Wine Information

A continental, sunny year with a real winter that was very cold and dry followed by a glorious sun-filled summer and almost no rain in August and September. All this meant traditional vine growth, excellent health and remarkable grape ripeness for the production of dense, fruity and delicious wines. 2009 is an obvious addition to the select group of brilliant and accomplished Champagne vintages with a light, sunny character.

60 % Pinot noir, 40% Chardonnay, 16% of the wine vinified in oak casks, no malolactic fermentation.

Cristal is a blend of Grands Crus from the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs. The wine is aged for 6 years in the cellars and left for a minimum of 8 months after disgorging to attain the perfect maturity. The dosage is 8 g/l.

The most emblematic cuvée of the prestigious Louis Roederer Champagne House, Cristal is only produced in vintages that deserve to be immortsalised. The 2009 vintage is the product of a sunny year with a very cold and dry winter, followed by a sunny and dry summer. The grapes reached perfect maturity before the harvest and were picked under excellent health conditions. 2009 joins the ranks of brilliant Champagne vintages, which will remembered for its light and sunny character. The Cristal 2009 blends 60% Pinot Noir with 40% Chardonnay. The winemaking is carried out without malolactic fermentation, with 16% vinified in oak casks. The wine is aged for 6 years in the cellars and 8 months after disgorging. 

At tasting, the Louis Roederer Cristal 2009 offers a golden yellow colour with matte and amber reflections. The bubbles offer a beautiful persistence, brilliance, finesse and tension. The nose is subtle, offering concentrated aromas. There are citrus, candied apricot and honeysucklearomas, and with aeration, cocoa bean and toasted hazelnut fragrances follow with light hints of liquorice and cinnamon. On the palate, this prestige champagne is well-structured and energetic. There are dense, ripe, silky flavours and mineral freshness. The champagne is light, airyand enveloped with a great personality.

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Vintage 2009

This warm year started with a cold winter and mild spring temperatures. Early summer was variable but August and September provided ample sunshine and warmth contributing to fine grape health. Pinot Noir especially excelled. Grape harvest, of generally high sugar content yet soft acidity, started on September 8th. 2009 is a year of generous wines that showed well early. An apt example of a vintage of the recent era, in which retaining freshness poses more problems than attaining ripeness. Good grape health contributed to the overall quality, and despite the richness of the wines, heaviness did not end up being an issue. There is quite some heterogenity amongst the year's produce but the best seem truly age-worthy. The vintage's finest include Louis Roederer Cristal and Cristal Rosé, Dom Pérignon and Philipponnat Clos des Goisses.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

41 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Light, Green-Yellow and Healthy

ending

Medium, Pure and Lingering

flavors

Citrus, Vanilla, Apricot, Voluptuous, Honey and Mineral

nose

Youthful, Pure, Fresh and Complex

taste

High in Acidity, Balanced, Concentrated, Well-structured, Youthful, Medium-bodied, One-dimensional, Round, Elegant, Fresh and Dry

Verdict

Fine and Transparent

Written Notes

Good looking normal size bottle, in an perfect condition and has by the neck level. Colour is green-yellow, and looking bright, healthy and medium. On the nose it is wide, youthful, fresh, tempting and pure. The taste is elegant, round, fresh, medium-bodied, with balanced structure and the palate is one-dimensional. On the palate it is layered and has vanilla, floral, perfumed, tropical fruits, violet, citrus and honey flavours. The finish is medium long and pure. This wine is an easy-drinking, transparent and fine. I paid around 100-200€ a bottle. Perfectly stored bottles are still very worthy and will last well for another 10-15 years and decant at least 15min before tasting. Good value for money.
- (Tasting note created by Tb's AI)
  • 91p

An interesting contrast to the already-open Henriot 2009. I tasted this at the launch on of the top floor of The Shard, London's tallest building, looking at a fiery sunset and catching up on gossip with David Roberts MW of Goedhuis. Maybe the wine was served just a fraction too cool in recognition of the length of the guest list but it was extremely youthful and tight, so that there was not that much on the nose, but it built admirably through the palate to provide an intriguingly spicy, dense, long-lasting finish. I don't think that this 2009 has reached anything like its full potential and in a world that was not gagging for the latest vintage of Cristal, Roederer would have benefited from waiting a little while before releasing it. Given they have deliberately launched this before the 2008, I can only imagine how backward the older vintage is.  It must be a real challenge for winemaker Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon to deliver wines that are easy to drink but do not sacrifice their potential. He is quoted as saying that the proportion of biodynamically-grown grapes in this vintage has reached 40% and will be greater in the future. The wine certainly has real dynamism. And I'm sure will deserve an even higher score eventually.

  • 94p

45 parcels of pure chalk. See this report on a vertical tasting of Cristal. The idea is to capture the purity of chalk. Naturally low yields, high ripeness and low pH. The 45 parcels are always fermented separately. 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay. They retain only the best for Cristal. They have twice used all 45 parcels: in 2015 and 2002. Often 30-35 parcels make it. No malo. 40% of the parcels are biodynamic. Cristal spends one more year on the lees than Roederer vintage champagne. They released 2009 before 2008. There can be four different disgorgement dates for Cristal.
Tense and lifted on the nose. So very different from the vintage: much more finesse. Racy and elegant. Masses of acidity and tension. Lighter in texture than the vintage. A racy thoroughbred. So refined but very youthful.

  • 96p

A very rich and full-bodied Cristal that harks back to 2006 or 1989 in style. It's round and rich, which underlies the ripeness of the vintage. Lots of dried-apple and pineapple character with bread dough and flan flavors. The bubbles are so fine you almost don't notice them. Very vinous style.

  • 97p

Lovely melange of pure, soft white fruitiness and bready complexity on the withdrawn nose of great elegance. The palate is more forward with lovely silky, almost oily softness of texture, which comes with a fine mineral kick at the very finish. Needs time.

  • 95p
Good looking normal size bottle. Colour is green-yellow and light. On the nose it is intense, complex, refined, fresh and pure. The taste is fresh, full, round, elegant, vivid, refined, and dry, and high in acidity, medium-bodied, with balanced, well-structured, good texture, concentrated structure and youthful. On the palate it is layered and has apricot, citrus, mineral, spice and viscous flavours. The finish is long, lingering and vibrant. This wine is fine and excellent. Perfectly stored bottles are still very worthy and will last well for another 10-15 years and decant at least 15min before tasting.
- (Tasting note created by Tb's AI)
  • 93p
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Information

Origin

Reims, Champagne

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Good

Fake factory

None

Other wines from this producer

Blanc de Blancs

Brut Nature Rosé

Brut Nature Starck

Brut Premier

Carte Blanche Demi-Sec

Carte Blanche Sec

Collection 242

Coteaux Champenois Le Mesnil-sur-Oger Hommage à Camille

Cristal Rosé

Cristal Rosé Vinothèque

Cristal Vinothèque

Rosé Brut

Vintage

Vintage Blanc de Blancs

Vintage Rosé

Inside Information

An interesting contrast to the already-open Henriot 2009. I tasted this at the launch on of the top floor of The Shard, London's tallest building, looking at a fiery sunset and catching up on gossip with David Roberts MW of Goedhuis. Maybe the wine was served just a fraction too cool in recognition of the length of the guest list but it was extremely youthful and tight, so that there was not that much on the nose, but it built admirably through the palate to provide an intriguingly spicy, dense, long-lasting finish. I don't think that this 2009 has reached anything like its full potential and in a world that was not gagging for the latest vintage of Cristal, Roederer would have benefited from waiting a little while before releasing it. Given they have deliberately launched this before the 2008, I can only imagine how backward the older vintage is. It must be a real challenge for winemaker Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon to deliver wines that are easy to drink but do not sacrifice their potential. He is quoted as saying that the proportion of biodynamically-grown grapes in this vintage has reached 40% and will be greater in the future. The wine certainly has real dynamism. And I'm sure will deserve an even higher score eventually. (Drink between 2019-2035)

Score: 18+ Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, October 2016

The 2009 Cristal is a beauty, with incredible richness as well as elegance, which are the hallmarks of this cuvée. Always a rough blend of 60/40 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from estate vineyards, it has a toasty, yet pure bouquet of stone fruits, rising bread, white flowers, and toasted bread, as well as a terrific sense of chalky minerality. While it’s not built around sheer richness and power (à la Krug), it’s perfectly balanced, has a fine, fine mousse, and shines for its class and purity. Bravo! It’s going to keep for another two decades. Maturity: 2018 - 2038.

Score: 97 Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, February 2018
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Cristal 2009 is the most recent release at £549 per 6×75 (£1,098 per 12×75). more ...

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