Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Champagne (Millésimé) 2013
“Cristal 2013 promises to be a great champagne, more restrained in its early years, yet also more intense, crowned by a burst of lovely plump fruit and crafted for long ageing.”
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. Powerful and complex on the palate, revealing a mixture
of yellow fruit (mirabelle plum), juicy, ripe fruits (nectarine), citrus peel (candied orange) and finely-roasted nuts(hazelnut). The nose is simultaneously powdery and sweet, with elegant, chalky notes. Gentle, tactile and full-bodied on the palate. The bubbles create a gentle, vibrating sensation, then the wine becomes soft, dense and juicy. But it is the chalky freshness that quickly sets the tone: the sweetness becomes energetic and intense, giving the wine an elegant yet powerful texture. Fine, textured tannins reveal a poised and vinous dimension to the wine. The finish is savoury and saline. 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay
The perfect embodiment of chalky purity, Cristal 2013 is a little restrained in its youth. Its perfumed finesse and great elegance draw their energy this year from the slow ripening of the grapes. This is a masterfully crafted wine, glowing and concentrated, which leans towards the soil, reflecting the salinity of its terroir as never before.
1/3 vineyard of «La Rivière» (i.e la Vallée de la Marne)
1/3 vineyard of «La Montagne» (i.e la Montagne de Reims)
1/3 vineyard of «La Côte» (i.e la Côte des Blancs)
2013 was characterised by a particularly late growing cycle. A seemingly endless winter was followed by a very cool, late spring. They had to wait until the start of July for flowering to begin – something they hadn’t seen in Champagne for quite some time! Fortunately, summer was glorious with plenty of sunshine, record high temperatures and very low rainfall, ideal for the ripening of the Pinot noirs and Chardonnays. The temperatures were cool for the October harvest and the resulting wines are elegant and fresh – the signs of a classic vintage.
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.”
This is quite chalky with firm phenolics that frame the wine beautifully. It’s medium-to full-bodied with strawberries and earth. Dense, linear and intense. Hints of brioche and pie crust at the end. Very structured and gorgeous. Salty and lightly chewy. One third of the base wines fermented and aged in oak. Connoisseur Champagne. From organic vineyards of the Roederer domains. Smaller production than normal. Seven years on the lees. Give it two or three years to open.
– 97 Points
Notes of crisp yellow orchard fruit, white flowers, blanched almonds and warm brioche introduce the 2013 Cristal, a full-bodied, layered and incisive wine that’s taut and chiseled but also notably exuberant in a vintage that I admire immensely but which can sometimes present an austere side. Deep, concentrated and penetrating, it’s complemented by a pinpoint mousse and concludes with a long, saline finish. Less introverted than its 2012 predecessor, readers won’t regret trying a bottle of the 2013 Cristal young—even if I’d recommend forgetting some for a decade too.
Exotic hints of tangerine and candied ginger are an enticing entrance for this vivid Champagne, accenting a finely meshed range of ripe green apple and cassis fruit, with rich notes of chopped almond, brioche and lemon curd. An underscoring streak of salinity gains momentum through the mouthwatering finish, echoing as it rides the plushly creamy mousse. This is decadence in a sleek and graceful package. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Drink now through 2033. From France.
– 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.”
The peak of drinkability is between 15 and 20 years from the harvest; so says Jean-Baptiste, but he has not spared the taster the wondrous early impression of perfection in the making. A soft gold with glistening highlights, like the river meadow at dawn; the nose effortlessly marries a panoply of flavours, the citric grip nodding to hints of passion fruit and Mirabelle plum, with hazelnut and almond signalling the grace of development. Texturally generous, yet tightly wound, taut and flinty yet ripe and open, the wine faithfully underlines the vigneron’s philosophy, every nuance of its template deftly rehearsed and charmingly enacted.