Louis Roederer Cristal 2008: the best ever vintage?
“An impression of absolute purity… Cristal 2008 is deep, intense and masterful” – Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Chef de Cave Louis Roederer.
If ever there were a champagne release to get excited about, it would go without saying that this is it; Louis Roederer's illustrious Cristal 2008!
It has achieved some phenomenal scores; three 100 point ratings:
The 2008 vintage was unlike any other in Champagne, a season that favoured all three grape varieties perfectly culminating into this monumental champagne. The 2008 is the first ever vintage to undergo a full ten years of ageing, a process which has lent the finished champagne a remarkable level of complexity and aromatics. While the lowest dosage ever, 8g/l delivers the vivacity, purity and drive to complete its perfection.
The 2008 completes a trio of outstanding vintages spaced six years apart: 1996, 2002 and 2008. And with Lécaillon building on the lessons learned from 1996, Cristal 2008 has potential to go down in history as one of Louis Roederer’s very best.
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Louis Roederer Cristal 2008
£1,250.00 per 6 bottles IB
This is one of the most exciting Champagnes I have tasted in years. Shining straw yellow in colour. Not only is it layered in the palate, but it also extraordinarily complex on the nose, with hints of freshly cut hay giving way to yeast autolytic characters of bran, shreddies and malting barley. In the palate it is so wonderfully complete, with depth and weight, without in any way being forced. A wine with stunning fruit concentration, extraordinarily power and impeccable balance. The long structured finish makes this a potential great in the world of Champagne for many years to come. Quite simply perfection… Drink 2020 - 2045. Goedhuis & Co
100 Points – James Suckling
With staggering density and impressive balance, this is one of the greatest Roederer Cristal ever made. It’s a wine for the long term, and its best to leave it for six or seven years in the cellar before drinking. However, the vibrant youth of this great champagne is hard to be patient with. Simply put, it’s great to drink anytime.
100 Points – Wine Enthusiast
This latest incarnation of the famous brand is a superb wine. It is on par with, maybe even better than, the already legendary 2002. Its balance is impeccable, apple and citrus flavors working with the tight minerality to give a textured yet fruity wine. Produced from Louis Roederer’s own vineyards which are mainly biodynamic, the wine has its own intense purity and crispness. It has amazing potential and is likely to age for many years.
100 Points – Alberto Lupetti
Never has a champagne achieved such perfection on its début – absolutely top marks. Cristal 2008 has succeeded in doing just that. What more is there to say? It has everything and more. This is when you realise that, if you are to judge it, you shouldn’t try looking for it, but turn your thinking on its head and ask yourself: What does it lack? What’s wrong with it? Nothing. Balance and perfection.
98+ points - Antonio Galloni
The 2008 Cristal is a real head-turner. Powerful, ample and explosive in all of its dimensions, the 2008 takes hold of the sense and never lets up. There is a crystalline purity to the flavors that is simply remarkable. Although still a baby, the 2008 looks like it will soon take its place alongside the greatest Cristals. Today, it is breathtaking.
19.5 points – Jancis Robinson
Very persistent. This is a marvellous wine that is incredibly complete but obviously still youthful. Cristal followers are in for a major treat.
98 points - Decanter Magazine
Cristal 2008 is on a roll to yet higher levels of exquisite purity and precision of fruit in a paradoxical balance of weightlessness and depth of flavour, permeated with minerals and a salinity reflecting the greatest terroirs of the Roederer estate. Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon believes that 2008 is his best effort to date, and it's easy to see why. It's from a cooler, maritime vintage that came right in the end, with one of the longest harvests ever, running from mid-September to early October. The colour is a stylish pale gold flecked with green. Aromas of white flowers are joined by a cleansing citrus vigour and richer tones of peach and mirabelle. The palate is still quiet, but a tender creaminess shows through, and there's so much concentration to come if you drink if after 2021. The greatness of the wine owes everything to the influence of organic and biodynamic precepts in the field - and Lecaillon's sleepless perfectionism in the cellar towards finer fruit and a careful brake on too much yeasty expression. The acidity is vibrant but better integrated in the 2008 than in the 1996. Magnificent.
97+points - Wine Advocate
The 2008 Cristal opens bright, super clear, fresh and pure on the exciting, absolutely fascinating nose with its fine, complex and elegant bouquet of gorgeously ripe and matured fruits, brioche and chalk expressions. This is the finest you can get from Champagne. The palate is pure, lean, fresh and filigreed but concentrated, highly complex, full of tension and enormously vibrant. This is a great vin de terroir, a dense and elegant Super-Cristal that goes straight and precise as a laser beam over the palate but also has texture in the form of sensually fleshy fruit. The dosage, however, is the lowest ever: just 7.5 grams. The endless and highly tensioned finish is complex, citrusy fresh, full of chalk and crystalline finesse. The 2008 Cristal is a vitalizing drug, "the Chevalier Montrachet of Champagne," as Jean-Baptise Lécaillon puts it. It is the most exciting 2008 Champagne I have tasted thus far (May 2018).
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