2005 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne
*Cellar Selection* The iconic Roederer Champagne, Cristal's latest release, brings a perfect balance of richness and age worthiness. It is full of apple flavor, and the mousse is very fine and almost imperceptible. As so often with a beautifully blended wine like this, a few minutes breathing brings out extra complex flavors. It certainly should age over five years and more.
The complexity and youthful freshness here makes a striking Champagne that offers immense pleasure and a certain richness and depth that reflects the style of the vintage with some warmth reflected in the wine. The nose has rich citrus and stone fruits, some white flowers, light creamy honey notes and fresh sweet pastry, it has a toasty thread that has built quickly in the wine. Plenty of body on the palate, it has a wealth of assertive citrus and more exotic fruits too, the power and concentration undeniable, the length impressive and the balance impeccable. Already great drinking here. Slightly higher chardonnay component at around 45%. -NS
Wine & Spirits
Every vintage can't be 2002, or even 2004. Even so, this is pretty great, an open, airy, whip-smart delivery of Cristal’s spark, a wine of formidable delicacy. The undertow is there, drawing down a wave of spicy oak notes and heady crème caramel to reveal glints of limestone, the bright shimmer of acidity sustained by the cool rootedness in the soil. In 45 words of my notes on this wine, there’s not a single mention of fruit. Instead, they focus on brightness, subtlety, lusty juiciness, balance and mouthwatering complexity.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright yellow-gold. Heady floral-accented citrus and orchard fruits on the nose, with smoky mineral and floral overtones adding complexity. Velvety and chewy in texture, offering deep, juicy orange and poached pear flavors and suave honey and chamomile nuances. Blends precision with power, finishing with a distinct mineral quality and excellent persistence.
Vibrant and mouthwatering, this offers a range of patisserie pear and apple fruit, candied lemon zest, pastry dough and marzipan notes set on a finely detailed texture, which imparts a great deal of finesse. The lasting finish echoes a smoky mineral note. Drink now through 2025.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Cristal stands out for its exceptional inner perfume and elegance. Soft, delicate and pretty, the 2005 is a relatively immediate Cristal with all of the signatures very much in the right place. The 2005 doesn’t have the opulence of the 2002 nor the focus of the 2004, but it is a very pretty, if somewhat small-scaled version of this iconic Champagne. I would drink the 2005 while the 2002 and 2004 age. Although Cristal has an impeccable track record when it comes to aging, personally I would not push it with the 2005. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020.
Rich, indulgent, baked character on the nose. Long, toasty palate. Certain minty freshness. Understated as yet. Drink 2015-2022. (17.5/20 points)
The Champagne of Kings! Or Tsars, to be more exact. Champagne Louis Roederer's "Cristal" was created in 1876 for Tsar Alexander II as the first "Prestige Cuvee" and it remains as such to this day. These are the best grapes from the best sites in the best vintages. The Champagne, a blend of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay, spends an average of five years sur lie, and is notable for its richness. Toasty, with notes of cherries, lemons and tangerines on the nose that carry over to a palate full of fleshy stone fruits. Incredibly powerful, this is a bottle to cellar.