2009 Louis Roederer Cristal

Year: 2009
Appellation: Champagne
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 95
Wine Advocate: 95+
Vinous Media: 96
James Suckling: 97
Wine Enthusiast: 97--Wine and Spirits: 96--John Gilman: 96
Sparkling Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.0%
Price :
$169.95

2016 James Suckling Top 100: #78

"White peach and acacia blossom aromas accent the flavors of poached apple, gingersnap biscuit, pastry cream and spun honey in this harmonious Champagne. The satinlike mousse caresses the palate, while firm, focusing acidity drives the lasting finish. Drink now through 2030. 2,645 cases imported. -A.N." (WS)

"The 2009 Cristal is a blend of Grands Crus from the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs (a total of 33-34 parcels of which 40% were farmed biodynamically). Like the 2008 Cristal, the 2009 also blends 60% Pinot Noir with 40% Chardonnay, and 16% of the wine was vinified in oak casks. No malolactic fermentation was done. The 2009 was aged for six years in the cellars and was disgorged in March 2016 with a dosage of eight grams per liter. Released two years ago, the 2009 is just starting another, more "Burgundian" life. Tasted in May 2018, the bouquet was pretty reductive, with flinty and toasty/nutty notes and some potted ginger flavors. Full-bodied, round and rich on the palate, this is a stunningly pure, fresh and salty 2009 that is driven by its chalky terroir and the lingering salinity. Is it really 2009? It is ripe, yes, but driven by the strength of chalk. The finish is pure, clean, fresh, very complex and long yet delicate and endlessly salty. However, two years after disgorgement, the 2009 Cristal is closing down and in a pretty reductive stage right now. Tasted May 2018." (WA)

"Rich, creamy and radiant, the 2009 Cristal captures all of the natural generosity of the vintage while also retaining a good bit of freshness and aromatic intensity. Immediate and totally sensual in its allure, the 2009 will drink well with minimal cellaring. All things considered, at this stage, the 2009 comes across as relatively restrained for a wine from a warm year." (VM)

"A very rich and full-bodied Cristal that harks back to 2006 or 1989 in style. It's round and rich, which underlies the ripeness of the vintage. Lots of dried-apple and pineapple character with bread dough and flan flavors. The bubbles are so fine you almost don't notice them. Very vinous style. Drink now." (JS)

"The latest incarnation of this famous Champagne now comes from Roderer's own vineyards, a good portion of which are run on biodynamic lines. This still-young wine has great depth and richness, a beautiful balance between ripe fruit and crisp texture that make it alive, crisp and bright. As it matures, it will deepen and become even more intense. Drink now if you must, but preferably wait until 2019." (WE)

"Cristal 2009 is supple and lovely, the vintage adding richness to the clarity and precision of its fruit, heightening the sense of purity from a wine exclusively made from chalk terroirs. It’s a straight line of flavor widened by fruit notes of just-ripe white peach and deeper tones of red currant. What ornate charm this offers may be clarified by the details (60 percent pinot noir, 40 percent chardonnay, from seven grand cru villages, plus Mareuil-sur-A, where Roederer owns exceptional parcels of pinot noir, a portion ofthe lots fermented in barrel, none of it allowed to undergo matolactic fermentation). But this is not the kind of symphonic blend that other houses strive to produce. Young Cristal offers resonance rather than complexity, a long, gentle reverberation that lasts. Its future lies in its perfect shape, something time will address with a patina on the surface and in layers below." (Wine and Spirits)

"The 2009 vintage of Cristal is composed of a blend of sixty percent pinot noir and forty percent chardonnay, with none of the vins clairs this year undergoing malolactic fermentation. Sixteen percent of the base wines were barrel-fermented this year and the wine was finished off with a dosage of eight grams per liter. The bouquet shows the generosity of fruit of this warm summer, but coupled with the classic Cristal sense of elegance, as it offers up scents of white peach, apple, patissière, beautifully complex, chalky minerality, a hint of almond and a topnote of spring flowers. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and vibrant, with excellent midpalate depth, utterly refined mousse, laser-like focus and excellent length and grip on the youthful and very complex finish. This is likely to reach its apogee earlier than many vintages of Cristal, given the Continental warmth of ’09, but the wine is impeccably balanced and it will also age long and very gracefully. Just lovely. 2021-2050+. 96.(JG)

Winery Notes:
In 1876, Tsar Alexander II - already a great lover of Louis Roederer wines - asked Louis Roederer to 'take the exercise still further' and create a cuvée for his personal use which was unique, in terms of both its style and the bottle. So Louis Roederer offered him an exceptional crystal bottle, holding the fruit of vines selected from the seven great crus on his estate. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes provide the subtle, precise balance that has now become synonymous with the leading prestige cuvée of Champagne.

Winemaking:
Cristal 2009 is made with 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. 16% of the wines matured in wood (oak barrels) with weekly batonnage and no malolactic fermentation. Cristal is a blend of grand crus from the Reims mountain, the Marne Valley and Côte des Blancs. Matured for 6 years in cellars and with 8 months of resting after disgorgement. Dosage for the 2009 vintage is 8 g/l.