x
  • Country ranking ?

    296
  • Producer ranking ?

    10
  • Decanting time

    15min
  • When to drink

    now - 2045
  • Food Pairing

    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 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.

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Galloni: “Magnum: One of the many highlights of the afternoon, the 1996 Cristal Vinothèque (magnum) exudes a level of richness and intensity that is simply breathtaking. That extra kick of richness the 1996 has developed in magnum and over extended time on the lees is pure magic in balancing some of the natural austerity of the year. What comes through is a Champagne of unforgettable profoundness. Smoke, crushed rocks, white flowers, mint and finely sculpted citrus confit/orchard fruit add striking layers of dimensions. The 1996 is so bright and so alive in the glass. A whole range of Chardonnay inflections punctuate the finish. This is a late disgorgement from 2009. Dosage: 8 g/l ”

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The Story

Now world-famous, Cristal is produced only from the truly great vintages in which the ripeness of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes can provide the subtle and precise balance that is now the distinction of this cuvée. Between 20-30% of the wines are vinified in oak barrels and the final blend is matured for six years in the cellars and rests for twelve months after disgorgement. Recently, the Cristal vineyards have been converting to biodynamic farming methods and the House estimates that by 2020 all Cristal plots will be cultivated biodynamically.

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Wine Information

The 1996 vintage was a standout year: one of, if not the, best of the last twenty. A warm beginning to June followed by a cooler end provided favourable growing conditions and the weather fluctuation resulted in staggered flowering of the Chardonnay grapes. September was sunny but mild with light scattered showers creating incredible grape maturation with high sugar and acidity levels. This unique sugar/acidity balance combined with small, concentrated berries revealed an aromatic depth rarely seen in Champagne.

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Vintage 1996

Up to this point 1996 has been considered a fantastic vintage which produced classic wines; the best since 1990. A long, dry summer produced grapes of record ripeness with record acidity. Some, including myself, question how the 1996s are aging. The wines are generally characterized by a distinctive rather lemony acidity and very good attack, but some wines now seem terribly austere, while others already seem dangerously short of fruit. None of the subsequent vintages are quite as distinctive as 1996, which in the more successful cases should almost certainly be drunk after the 1999s.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

A perfect but youthful masterpiece in magnum served by Jean-Bapriste Lecaillon for my VIP group at Roederer private mansion in Reims.

  • 98p

Another positively stellar wine, 1996 Cristal Rosé Vinothèque is powerful, tightly wound and in need of considerable time in bottle to fully come together. Today, the fruit and the mid-palate are very, very shy. Whereas the Blanc is incredibly expressive today, the Rosé appears to be going through a reticent phase. This is the least accessible of the bottles I have tasted so far. Even so, the intensity and delineation of the flavors is just stunning. Cranberry, rose petal, mint and chalk open up in the glass, but the Rosé is above all else a Champagne of structure. The 1996 Cristal Rosé Vinothèque spent ten years on its lees, flat (sur latte), and another four years upside down (sur pointe), the first period to get a slight oxygenation, and the second to bring the wine back into a slightly reductive state. Dosage is 7 grams per liter, using a custom liqueur made from bottled wine and liqueur, as opposed to the Cristal from cask that is used for the first release of Cristal and Cristal Rosé. The 1996 Cristal Rosé is the first Champagne Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon blended at Roederer. That year, the pH was so low (2.82) that the malolactic fermentation should not have worked, but it did.

  • 97p
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Information

Origin

Reims, Champagne

Other wines from this producer

Blanc de Blancs

Brut Nature

Brut Premier

Carte Blanche Demi-Sec

Carte Blanche Sec

Cristal

Cristal Rosé

Cristal Vinothèque

Rosé Brut

Vintage

Vintage Blanc de Blancs

Vintage Rosé

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