Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne 2012
“2012 – It was a year of contrasts, one of hard toil but full of light. And it was a year in which the maturity of the grapes crafted a Cristal of a new dimension.”
Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne is the flagship cuvée from Louis Roederer created in 1876. Golden yellow colour with glistening gold tints – spells the word “luxury”. It has an incredibly dynamic effervescence that is so lively, you can almost hear it. Rich and complex aromas with notes of zesty and candied fruit (lemon) mingled with pollen, roasted hazelnut and Madagascar vanilla. After aeration, the bouquet develops rich notes of fresh pastries and smoky notes from bottle ageing. A delicious, concentrated and chalky palate. It shows incredible tension and perfectly honed aromatic precision. It has a distinctive and concentrated, silky mouth-coating and characteristic of the ripe Pinot Noirs from the 2012 vintage (yes, it consists of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay). The finish is long and remarkably concentrated.
2012 was one of the most challenging and complicated years ever experienced in Champagne. However, difficult conditions often lead to great things. The low yields due to the unpredictable weather, combined with continental conditions towards the end of the season, resulted in an unusual level of maturity. Providing a rich, full-bodied and structured wine, worth of the greatest vintages in Champagne.
Born in a year of contrasts, Cristal 2012 weaves a subtle blend of strength and finesse, the happy alliance of superb depth combined with the freshness of its limestone terroir. This wine of substance and firepower, born in the light of the white soils, finds a rare intensity in this year of fabulous maturity..
For the Louis Roederer Champagne House, this is the first Cristal vintage born of a new type of viticulture that connects Man and Nature. It is the result of long years of reflection and experimentation in order to create that perfect spark. In this type of viticulture, Nature comes through clearer and stronger, and each vine receives the care it needs each year.
Look out for the Louis Roederer Rosé.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
– 98 Points
As the first 100% biodynamic Cristal, entirely from Roederer-owned vineyards, this is an important milestone. This latest incarnation is a great Champagne with its density, elegance and poise. Still impressively young, the wine is taut, tightly wound and textured. At the same time, it has pure, ripe white and citrus fruits that are perfumed, and an important part of this wine’s long-term future. Drink at the earliest from 2023. Organic and biodynamic. *Cellar Selection.”
Such attractive, fresh, floral aromas here with fine bread, hints of white almonds and a lemon edge. White cherries and strong, chalky minerals, too. The palate has a very composed feel. Seamless and quite silky texture with effortless length and flow. Very fluid and composed. Very late, warming almond flavors. This is very long and smooth with a velvety finish. Super long pinot weight. Resolved and drinkable, but will age so well.”
– 98 POINTS
The 2012 Cristal is another absolutely stellar wine this flight of recent releases. Rich, vinous and beautifully textured, the 2012 has been nothing short of magnificent on the three occasions I have tasted it so far. In the glass, the 2012 is radiant and luscious, yet it possesses remarkable transparency and striking aromatic depth. Light tropical notes develop in the glass, giving the 2012 a real feeling of exotic beauty. The 2012 is the first vintage of Cristal done with 100% organically-farmed fruit, an approach introduced gradually starting with the 2007 that has profoundly changes Cristal, especially in its aromatic breadth. Two thousand twelve is the vintage where endless trials and experiments in farming and winemaking are fully realized. The 2012 is just stunning. It’s as simple as that. Dosage is just over 7 grams per liter, the lowest it has even been for Cristal. (AG).”
– 97 Points
Aromas of clear honey, crisp green orchard fruit, white peach, pastry cream and dried white flowers introduce the 2012 Cristal, a full-bodied, concentrated and powerful wine that’s built for the cellar. Broader, more textural and more muscular than the 2008 Cristal, with seemingly even greater reserves of structuring dry extract, the 2012 is incisive and searingly chalky. This is the first Cristal produced exclusively from organically farmed fruit, and it marks the opening of a new chapter for Louis Roderer. The blend is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, vinified without malolactic fermentation and disgorged with 7.5 grams per liter dosage. Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon has once again excelled himself. (WK)”
A classic beauty, fresh-faced and focused today but with a harmonious grace of form suggesting a long career ahead. There’s a creamy, viscous quality to the mousse that swathes the palate, carrying finely detailed flavors of poached quince, Mandarin orange preserves, toasted almond and pickled ginger. Mouthwatering throughout, with a pleasing, soft zestiness to the mineral-laced finish. (AN)”
– 19/20 Points
To be launched December 2019 or January 2020. Not affected by the oidium problems experienced elsewhere. 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay (the same as 2008). ‘You have to adapt and stay on the blank page. If you try to tick too many boxes, you go in the wrong direction.’ It will be the average age for Cristal launch. It was 2008 that was late. This will be the first 100% biodynamic Cristal. Rich and ripe, like 2002. Pungent nose — straight up the nose. Gorgeous and seductive. Complex and embroidered. Already lovely.”