Louis Roederer Cristal 2002 in Gift Box (Late Release)
It is always fascinating to re-discover vintages of Cristal that have been left to mature in the cellars after being disgorged. 9 years after its disgorgement date, this Cristal has taken on a whole new dimension and the finish reminds one of a fine white from neighboring Burgundy. Impressive and extremely seductive!
An extraordinary year with all the qualities of an exceptional vintage in Champagne: consistently warm temperatures yet without excessive sunshine or heat, a particularly mild winter, slightly less rainfall than average during the growing cycle (20% less), cool nights and a cool, dry northeast wind in August and September. These exceptional conditions resulted in optimum ripeness levels in the grapes and good concentration of flavor. The harvesting began on September 12 for the chardonnays which were displaying an average sugar concentration of over 11% in natural alcohol.
On the eye: Golden yellow in color with glistening gold tints. Incredibly dynamic effervescence, so lively you can almost hear it!
On the nose: The nose is flawless, aromatic, intense, deep and dense. It reveals an exceptionally rich and complex bouquet dominated by fruity, zesty and roasted aromas combined with enticing notes of vanilla and a hint of truffle.
On the palate: This wine coats the palate with its texture and volume on entry to the palate and offers a concentrated mouthfeel underpinned by a smooth effervescence. But there is definitely a little extra something on the finish: exceptional finesse, a chalky freshness and a menthol touch which give it such intensity on the finish, the signature of a fine white wine.
The strength and finesse of Cristal are perfectly suited to delicate foods. It is a flattering accompaniment to caviar, fish and shellfish such as scallops, John Dory, lobster and crayfish.