2004 Louis Roederer Cristal Rose

Year: 2004
Appellation: Champagne
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 94
Sparkling Wine
Price :
$450.00
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"The 2004 Cristal Rose, from magnum, is less expressive than the Cristal. Today it is too soon to tell how much of that may be attributable to the larger format. The 2004 Cristal Rose is 70% Pinot from Ay and 30% Chardonnay from Avize. This remains a very tight, mineral-driven Cristal Rose that will require significant bottle age. A final burst of floral red berries on the finish bodes well for the future. Today I prefer the Cristal over the Cristal Rose, but time will ultimately tell how these wines develop. I recently tasted the 1996s and it is now appears the Rose has moved ahead, if very slightly, from the Cristal. The 2004 Cristal Rose was disgorged in December 2009 and dosage was 9 grams per liter." (WA)

Winery Notes:
Cristal Rosé is the rarest champagne produced by Champagne Louis Roederer. When the ideal vintage occurs and the wine is produced, it is done with regimented standards of winemaking that require a rigorous selection of crus, vintages, grapes and wine. The traditional skin maceration is used in order to gently extract the natural pigments for the unique color and create the particular style of this rosé. The cuvée Cristal Rosé is produced exclusively from the best grapes of Louis Roederer's own "Premier Cru" vineyards, primarily those of Aÿ, Verzenay, Verzy and Cumières for the Pinot Noir, and Le Mesnil sur Oger and Avize for the Chardonnay. Exceptionally, these vines lie on a limestone block with clay and limestone soil and, in the best years, the vines achieve extraordinarily mature fruit with a crystalline purity of acidity corresponding perfectly to the Cristal style. Today these vines are organically grown.

Cristal Rosé 2004 is a fine example of the quest for perfect elegance underlying the creation of this cuvée. It offers an encounter which is a moment of pure delight!” – Jean Baptiste Lécaillon, Head Winemaker & Executive Vice President of Production

Winemaking
Twenty percent of the wines are vinified in oak barrels with weekly batonnage. No malolactic fermentation. To create Rosé champagnes, Louis Roederer still uses the saignée method after cold maceration that can last five to eight days in the liquid phase. Cristal Rosé is matured six years in the cellar and rests for eight months after disgorgement to perfect its maturity. Dosage of between 8 and 10 g/l is adapted to each vintage.

Tasting Notes
“A pastel pink color with bright, slightly orange glints. Fine, light bubbles in a long-lasting flow. The bouquet is delicate and subtle, with elegant fruitiness (red fruits: strawberry, fig), zesty hints (citrus fruit: lemon and orange) and juicier nuances such as vine peach. There is a deep, slightly sweet burst of aromas. In the mouth, the bite is young, spring-like and energetic: full-bodied and silky, but based on very mineral freshness. This mineral quality is typical for Cristal Rosé, expressing the chalkiness and saltiness of the Aÿ terroir. The second mouth has airy notes and great aromatic purity, displaying the discrete power of this great cuvée. On airing, a few traces of Danish pastry and lightly roasted dried fruits hint at its enormous capacity for change.

Harvest
This year was a classic, generous year, yielding both quantity and quality. 2004 followed the same climatic trends as 2002: cool, moderate temperatures throughout the season; a considerably reduced rainfall (by about 30%) during the growing cycle, which, despite a particularly cold and rainy month of August, was fortunately followed by a dry and sunny September, ripening the grapes off impressively. The Louis Roederer vineyard team worked intensively in this period, and by the 20th September the grapes had attained a “vintage” balance, combining maturity and freshness.