Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2012
|Region||France, Champagne, Reims|
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Amber hue with green and orange tints. Fine, even and lively sparkle. 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.
The 2012 Cristal is another absolutely stellar wine this flight of recent releases. Rich, vinous and beautifully textured, the 2012 has been nothing short of magnificent on the three occasions I have tasted it so far. In the glass, the 2012 is radiant and luscious, yet it possesses remarkable transparency and striking aromatic depth. Light tropical notes develop in the glass, giving the 2012 a real feeling of exotic beauty. The 2012 is the first vintage of Cristal done with 100% organically-farmed fruit, an approach introduced gradually starting with the 2007 that has profoundly changes Cristal, especially in its aromatic breadth. Two thousand twelve is the vintage where endless trials and experiments in farming and winemaking are fully realized. The 2012 is just stunning. It's as simple as that. Dosage is just over 7 grams per liter, the lowest it has even been for Cristal.
A classic beauty, fresh-faced and focused today but with a harmonious grace of form suggesting a long career ahead. There's a creamy, viscous quality to the mousse that swathes the palate, carrying finely detailed flavors of poached quince, Mandarin orange preserves, toasted almond and pickled ginger. Mouthwatering throughout, with a pleasing, soft zestiness to the mineral-laced finish. Drink now through 2035.
The first vintage from 100% biodynamically farmed vineyards, the 2012 Cristal is a brilliant effort based on 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. Always from the same blocks (45 blocks) and 40-year-old vines, it's more rounded and supple than the 2008 and has plenty of oomph in its apple blossom, white flower, chalky minerality, spice, and toasted bread aromas and flavors. With gorgeous purity of fruit, a seamless, layered mouthfeel, flawless balance, and a terrific sense of minerality on the finish, this is a beautiful, elegant yet rich Cristal to enjoy over the coming 20 years or so.
Aromas of clear honey, crisp green orchard fruit, white peach, pastry cream and dried white flowers introduce the 2012 Cristal, a full-bodied, concentrated and powerful wine that's built for the cellar. Broader, more textural and more muscular than the 2008 Cristal, with seemingly even greater reserves of structuring dry extract, the 2012 is incisive and searingly chalky. This is the first Cristal produced exclusively from organically farmed fruit, and it marks the opening of a new chapter for Louis Roderer. The blend is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, vinified without malolactic fermentation and disgorged with 7.5 grams per liter dosage. Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon has once again excelled himself.