Louis Roederer Cristal Rose 2008
In 1974, almost 200 years after the establishment of the Champagne house of Louis Roederer and 100 years after the creation of Cristal, Jean-Claude Rouzaud decided to create the Cristal Rosé cuvée. To achieve this, he selected old-vine pinot noir grapes (using massale selection, which involves propagation from the vineyard’s most successful plants) from the finest grand cru vineyards at Aÿ. The limestone bedrock and unique calcareous clay soil enable the vines (in the best years) to attain exceptional fruit maturity, complemented by a pure and crystalline acidity that is a perfect evocation of the Cristal style. Today, the vineyards are cultivated according to biodynamic principles.
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: Bright pink hue with delicate salmon-pink tints. Soft, even sparkle that fills the glass and gives the wine an almost creamy appearance.
On the nose: The delicate, subtle bouquet opens up with elegant aromas of flower petals and dried fruit and nuts, which then give way to zesty notes of red berries such as redcurrant and wild strawberry, characteristic of Louis Roederer's old pinot noir vines from Aÿ.
On the palate: The juicy and fleshy attack is underpinned by a direct, intense freshness. It displays simultaneously solid and fluid powdery notes harking back to the tannins in the pips which were perfectly ripe and lignified. There is an explosion of intense, rich, fresh flavors, complemented by notes of hazelnut and a powdery, almost oily, mouthfeel, characteristic of the finest pinot noirs. There is an impression of chalkiness on the finish with zesty notes reminiscent of candied citrus and yuzu.
This is fantastic with lobster and beluga caviar, or a gourmet salad: lobster and foie gras. It also works with seared salmon or poached sea trout.