Tasting Champagne Louis Roederer
… with Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon and Mark Bingley MW at Berry Bros. & Rudd
Yesterday I got the chance to taste for the first time a glass of Cristal. I know I could have just bought a bottle and in fact I have a bottle in my wine fridge (how did that survived there?) but it just isn’t the same as tasting with the winemaker on a rainy summer day at the famous BBR shop in St James Street. I wanted to dislike it, my hubby (I am sure) even more – yet it was magical. The 2004 was pure, intensely rich and complex on the first sniff, no swirling needed, this wine will outlive me! The unique crystal clear bottle without a punt was originally created for Tsar Alexander II of Russia in the 19th century who feared assassination. Thus he had made a flat-bottomed clear bottle that could not hide bombs. Modern Cristal consumers – New York rappers – may be more seduced by the bling gold wrapping but the distinctive style has remained the same for over 100 years.
A bottle will set you back £150 or thereabouts and the production is very limited due to the selection from 7 finest and oldest vineyards (50% biodynamically grown now). Limited only to the best years although luckily for us there have been many ‘best’ years in the past decade 2004 2002 2000 1999 1997 1995 1994 1993 1990 it seems.
LR Blanc de Blanc 2006* – Cremant style (only 4kg of presuure)
LR Brut 2006* – 70% PN 30% Chard
LR Rose 2007**
Cristal 2004*** – 50-60% PN 50-40% Chard
LR Brut NV*