2002 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne
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 Rosť, 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 irresistable, and will only improve with ten, 20, 30 and 40 years of age.
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.
*Three Stars* Its Pinot Noir portion notwithstanding, this wine has a crisp, chalky, lightly citrusy, lightly toasty aroma that is more than a little bit suggestive of an elegant Blanc de Blancs. And perhaps that is its secret. It is an incredibly refined yet deep wine whose suggestions of roasted soy and caramel are kept as complex nuances within a well-filled, refreshing, crisp set of flavors and a graceful, lengthy aftertaste. It occupies a comfortable middle ground between the quiet refinement of Dom Perignon and the bold approaches of the top Bollinger and Krug wines.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Seriously precocious nose with notes of apple blossom, fresh strawberries, clotted cream, cashews and lightly toasted hazelnuts plus a barely detectable hint of oak. Great concentration of apple crumble flavours with very fine bubbles and a crisp backbone of acid. Long creamy finish.
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. Better than previously reviewed. Drink now through 2030. (Web Only - 2009)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Light, bright gold with a steady bead. Orange, ripe pear, red berries and white flowers on the nose, with complementary notes of lemon, honey, sweet butter and smoky minerals. Ripe citrus and orchard fruit flavors are braced by gentle minerality, picking up subtle baking spice and buttered toast notes with air. Surprisingly generous at this stage, with smoky mineral and floral qualities on the finish. This is more open-knit than the comparatively elegant 2000 and appears ready to drink.