Why is this Wine so Yummy?
The Cristal 2008 is deep, intense and masterful. It offers the quintessential reflection of its chalk soils which lend it its velvety texture and delicate tension.
Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Cellar Master
Complex and intense bouquet disclosing candied citrus, yellow fruit, Williams pear, pollen and toasted almond. The delicately seductive bouquet shows intensity and well-honed precision.
The wine is powerful, full yet tight, on entry to the palate. The 2008 is undeniably well structured but in a particular way: the wine’s almost saline concentration has not been created by the sun, but, is derived from the dryness of the chalk soil in a particularly cool summer. The result is a smooth, almost liquorous, mouthfeel that coats the palate with a powerful yet soft texture. This gives way to an incredible finish, underpinned by freshness and an impression of absolute purity with a taut and very saline character.
This wine’s energy has been tamed by an unusually long period of bottle ageing: Cristal 2008 was in fact aged for 10 years before its release on the market. A first!
The Making of the 2008 Cristal
60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay. Partial malolactic fermentation at around 20% preserves natural acidity while adding complexity. 20% of the base wine is vinified in old oak casks.
Cristal is Louis Roederer’s flagship cuvée. It was created in 1876 and is composed of Grand Crus from the Montagne de Reims, the Marne Valley and the Côte des Blancs. Cristal 2008 was bottle-aged for 8 years before being left to rest for at least 8 months after disgorging in order to attain perfect maturity. The dosage is 8 g/l, the lowest every for a Cristal.
Aged for 10 years prior to release. The high acid year needing the extra 2 years compared to a more typical release of Cristal to resolve the acid.
“It took time for the 2008 to calm down its acidity, it is a high-acid year, and you have to get this rounding of the acid, and only time can give that.”
The 2008 Vintage
The 2008 vintage was characterised by an unusually dry and cool summer and undoubtedly falls into the ‘continental’ vintage category: dense and powerful owing to its exceptional concentration. Nevertheless, the unusually cool temperatures over the summer made their mark on the vintage, giving it a remarkable intense and saline freshness.