Champagne Cristal Brut - Louis Roederer - Vintage 2007
Average Price - $214 US
Average Rating - 4.5/5
This past holiday season, I brought out a few special bottles to celebrate with friends. One of these was 2007 Cristal which I had purchased at Gatwick duty free. The bottle comes ornately encased in a golden box which ensures it travels well. The bottle inside is wrapped in cellophane to protect against UV damage. The entire unpacking of the bottle adds to the pomp and ceremony of opening the famed bubbles.
But lets not forget the history Cristal. Originally Dubois Père & Fils began producing wine in 1776 and Louis Roederer renamed the Champagne House when he inherited it from his uncle in 1833. The champagne was originally made for Tsar Alexander II of Russia and became the official champagne of the Russian court. The Tsar ordered the bottle be clear for two reasons: to ensure the bottle was not a hidden bomb and secondly to be able to see the bubbles. The leaded crystal clear bottle gave Roderer the name Cristal for his champagne.
Today the champagne is better known as the choice of rappers than Tsars. It continues to appear in music videos and in song lyrics. And even after the economic crisis, sales of Cristal surged by 43% in 2010. Annual production is between 300,000-400,000 bottles a year which means that getting your hands on the best vintages can be challenging.
But you’re probably wondering - what does it taste like? My one friend commented that it tastes like money. But more seriously, it has light citrus notes with a richer finish. Beautifully balanced acid, complex and refined. The chardonnay is much more pronounced than the pinot noir. The bubbles are both both abundant, compact and powerful. Was very good but would be better if kept for another 3-5 years.