“Cristal is today the most sought-after cuvée de prestige, and has perhaps the most appetizing appearance of any wine in the world… In my opinion, this house is one of the four best in all of Champagne. Every vintage is stunning. Buy all the Roederer wines you come across!” – Richard Juhlin
The house of Louis Roederer only produces Cristal in vintages when the grapes are deemed worthy of elevation into this revered wine and, whilst the origins of Cristal are well known (it was first produced in 1876 at the behest of Tsar Alexander II) the unique characteristics of each vintage are perhaps less so.
The 2006 harvest produced rich, complex fruit, a result of a warm, dry September that allowed the grapes to achieve perfect maturity. A blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay from grand cru vineyards situated across the Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs, the wine is matured in the cellars for five years before disgorgement and a further eight months rest.
The result is a champagne of striking complexity, perfect balance, imposing length and piercing intensity. Impressive in scale, it will undoubtedly benefit from a spell in the cellar; as ever the best things come to those who wait…
Louis Roederer Cristal 2006
£570 per 6 bottles In Bond
£300 per single magnum In Bond
Broad, ample and resonant on the palate, the 2006 Cristal dazzles with its pure richness and volume. Readers need to give the 2006 another 4-5 years in bottle, perhaps longer, as the wine appears to be shutting down a bit. Tasted next to the 2002, today the 2006 is a bit less opulent but just as intense, layered and deep. This is a fabulous showing. 10,000 cases imported in the US. 97 points. Antonio Galloni, May 2014
The 2006 Cristal is one of the most towering, structured young Cristals I can remember tasting. Roederer is among the first, if not the first, major house to release its tete de cuvees. Young Cristal can often deceive with its open, seductive personality, but that is not at all the case here. The 2006 is majestic, powerful Cristal that is going to need bottle age. Today it is massive, tightly coiled and imposing, with tons of structure, phenomenal balance and plenty of potential for the future. In 2006, the blend favors Pinot Noir over Chardonnay slightly, at 60% and 40% respectively. The Pinots are from Verzenay, Verzy, Beaumont-sur-Vesle, Ay and Mareuil sur Ay, while the Chardonnays emerge from sites in Avize, Mesnil and Cramant. As always, Cristal is made exclusively from estate-owned vineyards. 96+ points. Antonio Galloni, Nov 2013
Roederer’s 2006 Brut Cristal is striking in its sense of lift and delicacy, serving as one of many instances where those bringing preconceptions of this vintage’s warmth and ripeness of fruit to their experience may be pleasantly surprised. A nose of fresh apple, fennel and cucumber sets up associations with a slaw or salad that are crisply, lusciously and refreshingly redeemed on the palate. A garland of honeysuckle and heliotrope complements subtle suggestions of raw almond and vanilla, while alkaline and iodine notes as well as cooling but pungent green herbal notes add to the soothing yet stimulating finish. This exceptionally poised, refined, and buoyant performance is apt to gain depth with a few years’ bottle age. 93 points. David Schildknecht, erobertparker.com