2002 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne

SKU #1037666 100 points Wine & Spirits

 If a wine could ever make you want to pull the top down on your '68 Ferrari convertible, rip off the rearview mirror and take off, this is it. It has a different kind of energy than the '02 Cristal Rosé, which is more ethereal, like strawberries at the right hand of some ancient Gallic god. This is more insolent, brash, earth bound. All the scents and flavors seem to emanate from limestone, as does the acidity, which hits at the front of the mouth and powers through the wine with the kind of solar energy that lifts mist off the white chalk on a cool morning in Cramant. The wine goes on for miles. It's already irresistible, and will only improve with ten, 20, 30 and 40 years of age.  (12/2009)

98 points James Suckling

 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay, all 45 estate plots are used in this vintage. This was picked earlier than most others, but it is a very ripe and rich vintage with citrus and light, white chocolate notes, with some honey and nougat, as well as hints of smokiness. A pithy grapefruit-flavored palate, with some smooth toffee and nectarine fruits. Extremely fleshy, and chalky, too. The fruits are caramelised in terms of texture. Glossy and lustrous at the edge. A superb wine.  (10/2017)

98 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is an exceptional wine, as is the vintage. The fruits - grapefruit, crisp red apple - balance with a fine yeasty character. There is a great depth of flavor, the fruits going in a pure line of freshness. The one problem is that it is much too young, the result of the demand from the market for the next vintage. Age this wine for at least four years. (RV)  (12/2008)

97 points Decanter

 From one of the true landmark vintages of Champagne, this is a titanic Cristal which pulsates with energy and verve. Though already fifteen years of age, it is still remarkably young and taut with tensile mineral strength. The stone and citrus-laden fruit is still in its infancy with just a developing hint of toasty brioche, vanilla and almond. Its purity, depth, weight and mouthfeel is balanced by a great arc of acidity, which will frame the wine for the long haul. A hugely impressive Cristal, but this is still not ready. (JS)  (10/2017)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2002 Cristal is one seriously big, huge even, Champagne, and while this cuvee normally shows a seamless, elegant style, the 2002 vintage’s fruit profile dominates this wine. Toasted bread, oak spice, orchard fruits and toasted nuts give way to a full-bodied, mouthfilling, rich 2002 that stays light, graceful and elegant on the palate, with good to moderate acidity. It’s beautiful today, yet has two more decades of longevity.  (12/2017)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Roederer’s 2002 Cristal is still in its infant, fresh stage. Subtle notes of pears, flowers, spices, mint, minerals and oak are woven into a cashmere-like frame of extraordinary grace and elegance. This beautifully-sculpted Champagne possesses notable clarity but with the additional depth of fruit that is characteristic of this vintage. It is a gorgeous, seductive Cristal of the highest level. In 2002, Cristal is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay with 10 grams of dosage. 20% of the wine was fermented in oak. This is Lot : L030351A107809. This bottle was disgorged in June 28th, 2007. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2032. (AG) 96+  (12/2008)

96 points Vinous

 The 2002 Cristal is just now beginning to enter a plateau of early maturity. The ripeness and exuberance is on full display, but the 2002 needs quite a bit of air to fully open up and show its personality. Today, the 2002 is racy and intense to the core, with fabulous balance and plenty of the vintage's trademark opulence. What a gorgeous Champagne this is. (AG)  (5/2014)

92 points Wine Spectator

 A suave customer, with hints of citrus, berry and coffee. Harmonious and refined, with freshness and a bright structure. The finish shows a lot of potential, with a mouthwatering aftertaste. (BS, Web Only-2009)

Jancis Robinson

 55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay. Straw. Very mineral and focused on the nose. Sharp as a spear. Yet with great delicacy. So tightly laced! Really tastes as though it is only just becoming drinkable. Really tight and fresh and tense. Admirably different. Very long. Beautifully constructed. (JR) 19/20 points  (11/2012)

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Price: $274.99
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Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/7/2009 | Send Email
This Champagne comes entirely from estate Grand and Premier Cru vineyards and is one of the finest young Cristals I have tasted. It is very, very dry and tight, with the kind of precision and minerality that one would only expect from a much smaller production Champagne.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Other White Wines

Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.
Sub-Region:

Champagne

- The French region of Champagne (comprised of the towns of Rheims, Epernay, and Ay) was the first region in the world to make sparkling wine in any quantity. Today, the name of the region is synonymous with the finest of all sparkling wines, and winemaking traditions of Champagne have become role models for sparkling wine producers, worldwide. Surprisingly, the region of Champagne is now responsible for only one bottle in 12 of all sparkling wine produced. Styles of champagne range from the basic brut (often blends of several vintages), single vintage champagnes, and rose.
Alcohol Content (%): 12