Louis Roederer Cristal 2008 **100PTS**
At Louis Roederer, the appearance of new vintages gently marks the life of the Champagne House but does not transform it. However, the unveiling of Cristal 2008 at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris opens a new chapter in the fascinating life of this flagship cuvee. As the Cristal 2008 showed impressive personality, Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, Cellar Master, decided to extend its ageing to ten years. This has endowed this vintage with remarkable maturity and contributed to its surprising and exacting temperament.
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.
On the eye: Amber hue with green and orange tints. Fine, even and lively sparkle.
On the nose: 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.
On the palate: 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.