2006 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne

SKU #1144530 97 points James Suckling

 Deep Pinot-driven presence is the first and lasting impression. Power with control. Superfine bead, bread and spiced biscuits, candied ripe red fruits and a sense of tight-knit complexity. Some grapefruit, lemon pith & gently flinty notes too - impressive nose. In the mouth it is rich, powerful, mouth-filling and flavoursome with a core of the same biscuity red fruit flavour, savoury nutty notes and a wrap of assertive, persistent acidity that holds rich powerful flavour deep and focused whilst maintaining a polished, gently creamy texture. Long chalky bread and biscuit finish. A superb Pinot-driven vintage. (NS)  (7/2015)

97 points Vinous

 Broad, ample and resonant on the palate, the 2006 Cristal dazzles with its pure richness and volume. Readers need to give the 2006 another 4-5 years in bottle, perhaps longer, as the wine appears to be shutting down a bit. Tasted next to the 2002, today the 2006 is a bit less opulent but just as intense, layered and deep. This is a fabulous showing. (AG)  (5/2014)

95 points John Gilman

 The 2006 Cristal is comprised of a blend of fifty-five percent pinot noir and forty-five percent chardonnay, with twenty percent of the vins clairs having been barrel-fermented for this vintage. Despite the 2006 vintage’s predilection towards precociousness, there is no sign of this character in this beautiful rendition of Cristal, which offers up a deep, youthful and very serious bouquet of apple, delicate tangerine, brioche, fresh almond, very classy limestone minerality, incipient smokiness, a touch of orange peel and a floral topnote redolent of white lilies. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and impeccably balanced, with a great core of fruit, laser-like focus, utterly refined mousse, crisp acids and superb length and grip on the very pure and primary finish. Structurally, the 2006 Cristal is decidedly more open than its 2005 counterpart, but aromatically the wine is certainly not more developed and remains a young and very beautiful bottle of Champagne. I really love the background influence from the barrel fermentation here, which gives the wine a hint of roundness out of the blocks, but which does not intrude on the classically racy style of young Cristal. The 2006 Cristal will certainly reach its apogee earlier than the 2005, but this is still a young wine and deserves at least a handful of years in the cellar prior to drinking. (Drink between 2018-2040)  (6/2014)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Light, bright gold. Heady mineral- and smoke-accented citrus and orchard fruit aromas, with notes of fig, toasted nuts and sweet butter adding complexity and depth. Powerful, palate-staining poached pear and orange flavors are given spine by a smoky mineral quality, picking up floral and spicecake notes with air. Rich but lively and precise, finishing with superb clarity, power and spicy persistence. Drinking this Champagne now would be a shame given this cuvee's track record for aging. (JR)  (11/2013)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* Although it is still young, this vintage of Cristal promises great things. There’s an impressive balance between ripe fruit and crisp acidity, rich and food friendly, but also a fine apéritif. Apricot and grapefruit flavors are round and rich, but with considerable minerality as well. This is a beautiful wine that can improve with age, at least through 2030. (RV)  (12/2013)

95 points Wine Spectator

 This elegant version shows beautiful texture and a sense of finesse despite the underlying power of vibrant acidity and smoky minerality. The palate offers a finely layered mesh of blackberry, poached pear, almond pastry, lemon zest and pickled ginger flavors. (AN)  (11/2013)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Roederer’s 2006 Brut Cristal is striking in its sense of lift and delicacy, serving as one of many instances where those bringing preconceptions of this vintage’s warmth and ripeness of fruit to their experience may be pleasantly surprised. A nose of fresh apple, fennel and cucumber sets up associations with a slaw or salad that are crisply, lusciously and refreshingly redeemed on the palate. A garland of honeysuckle and heliotrope complements subtle suggestions of raw almond and vanilla, while alkaline and iodine notes as well as cooling but pungent green herbal notes add to the soothing yet stimulating finish. This exceptionally poised, refined, and buoyant performance is apt to gain depth with a few years’ bottle age. (DS)  (11/2013)

Jancis Robinson

 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay. Complex but very youthful nose. So tight and coiled. Still so tight it’s almost metallic on the finish. What a shame it is that people are drinking this already. There is massive density here but not -- yet -- that much flavour and development. Lots going on in the finish. Very long. Wait!!!! 18/20 points. Drink 2020-2035. (JR)  (6/2016)

K&L Notes

This all estate-grown Champagne is from the chalkiest parts of the largest family holding of vines in the entire region. Mostly from old, mid-slope vines, the 2006 is composed of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay. This vintage was 20% fermented in oak with weekly lees stirring to give the wine richness, even though there is no malolactic fermentation. The dosage is between eight to ten grams per liter. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)

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Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/4/2015 | Send Email
The Louis Roederer Cristal is a famous Champagne, and deserves to be an even more famous wine. We just tasted this again at our staff summit, and it has opened up into a gorgeous, creamy, integrated masterpiece, and is the most precocious young Cristal I have tasted. It is all estate grown Champagne comes from fifty hectares of the chalkiest, oldest vine sites on Roederer's 240 hectare estate. They farm these vineyards especially for Cristal, restricting the yields, and for many of the plots farming organically. This 2006 reminds me very much of the 2002 when it was this age; creamy and very mineral at once. It manages to have a full body and retain an extraordinary chalky freshness!
Drink from 2015 to 2056

Staff Image By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/28/2014 | Send Email
It's a shame that most Cristal is consumed so quickly after it's released because the 2006 is definitely one that will age and show its true beauty and potential with a few years in the cellar! The 2006 is the brightest, most structured vintage that I've had from Cristal in quite some time. Add the signature ripe, sweet fruit, full bodied richness and chalky minerality on the finish and you have a vintage Cristal that will match up to the best of them.

Staff Image By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/20/2014 | Send Email
Cristal is really serious Champagne. Yes it is famous, yes it has a lot of hype, but behind all of that, there is some of best Champagne in the bottle you will find anywhere. The 2006 is a beautiful combination of ripe summer fruit that is characteristic of the vintage, and a driving minerality that comes from the chalky soil from estate-grown grapes. I was well impressed with the golden apple and pear notes that were delivered alongside super-fine bubbles and a precise mineral presence. A hint of nutty richness at the back-end of the palate adds just the perfect balance of richness. This is a wine that will develop in the cellar for years to come and will undoubtedly reward your patience.

Staff Image By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/19/2014 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Empty
Ripe nose of fragrant white flowers, stone fruits and almonds. Light and delicate and soft on the palate. Rich and smooth, with a very small bead. Long finish. Quite drinkable now but, should age very well in the cellar. Should be available over the course of a year from now. Like the 2005, this one is rarin' to go right out of the chute.

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