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2005 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne

SKU #1076523 97 points John Gilman

Outer quote mark The 2005 Cristal is a legend in the making, but this wine is still very young and closed and some extended bottle age will be necessary to really allow all of the multi-faceted elements here to blossom and come to the fore. The cépages is the same as for the 2006, fifty-five percent pinot noir and forty-five percent chardonnay, but this does not mean that Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon selected vins clairs from the same crus for the two vintages! The 2005 vintage was considered strongest for chardonnay, so careful selection of pinot noir vins clairs for the Cristal in this vintage was of paramount importance, though the domaine’s superb holdings in Verzenay and Verzy certainly made the selection process a bit easier. The 2005 Cristal offers up a deep, extremely primary and very promising bouquet of apple, pear, a gorgeously complex base of chalky soil tones, incipient nuttiness, citrus peel, smoke, a touch of lavender and a topnote of peach blossoms. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and absolutely rock solid at the core, with great focus and finesse, very refined mousse, a crisp girdle of acidity and great length and laser-like focus on the poised, primary and utterly refined finish. The 2005 is an utterly brilliant Cristal in the making, but give it time to blossom in the cellar! Inner quote mark (4/2018)

97 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark 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. *Cellar Selection* (RV) Inner quote mark (12/2012)

96 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark 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%. Inner quote mark (3/2012)

95 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark 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. Inner quote mark (12/2012)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark (L036332A109909): 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. (JR) Inner quote mark (12/2012)

94 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark 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. (AN) Inner quote mark (11/2012)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark 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. (AG) Inner quote mark (10/2012)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Magnum. So powerfully scented that it perfumed the room on opening. Meaty, savoury nose. Not at all sweet. Bone dry and upright somehow. Very appetising - not at all rich. A seriously good aperitif Champagne though not one of the most concentrated Cristals. Impressive persistence though. 18/20 points. (JR) Inner quote mark (12/2015)

K&L Notes

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 Cuvée," and it remains so 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.

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Price: $219.99
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By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/17/2013 | Send Email
The crown jewel of the Roederer house, the 2005 Cristal certainly lives up to the reputation it has so rightly established for itself. To borrow from the jewelry world, the cut and clarity of this wine are commendable. The pure vein of minerality that cuts through this wine gives focus and definition, only serving to highlight the purity of stone and citrus fruits that are present in abundance. This minerality is balanced by the richness of 5 years on the lees, baking spices and other confectionary qualities really lend to the depth of this wine. What strikes me about this version of Cristal is the immediate allure of the wine, usually one of the most prematurely opened bottles in the Champagne world, the 2005 has so much beauty to offer right now. It was absolutely a pleasure to taste this wine and a good reminder of just how world class Champagne can be. Something to drink now, or tuck away for a future special occasion, please enjoy this wine with fellow Champagne enthusiasts.

By: Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/7/2012 | Send Email
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I'm no pushover for big names, but man is this a beautiful Champagne. This is the one for special gifts, anniversaries, or just splurging on a true luxury. I have to admit being surprised at just how good this Champagne is, and can heartily recommend this for all of your special holiday Champagne gifts - it's a rare occasion of linking truly great bubbles with an incredibly impressive luxury label.
Drink from 2012 to 2025

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/6/2012 | Send Email
Cristal is an all estate Champagne, from 50 hectares of vines: the best, oldest and chalkiest parts of Roederer's vineyards. They farm these plots, which are roughly 1/3 from the Cotes de Blancs, 1/3 from the north facing side of the Mountain de Reims and 1/3 from Ay, differently from the rest of the estate, intentionally working the land for lower yields and higher quality. This approach has yielded a great 2005, and one that can be enjoyed much sooner than the 2004 that was being sold last year. This is a pure, chalky and precise wine and best enjoyed by a couple over dinner. Too bad so much will be wasted in clubs!
Drink from 2012 to 2025

By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/1/2012 | Send Email
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Is there any better way to start a morning than tasting the wines of Roederer? I tasted the latest Cristal in mid-August at 10:15 a.m. in the morning with a very fresh, coffee-free palate. While the last release of this bubbly, the 2004, needs a few more years to unwind, the 2005 is up and raring to go. Toast and citrus dominate the nose while the palate is more open, with white stone fruits and cream. More opulent than previous releases with more appeal for current drinking. It does, however, have that expected high quality that we have become spoiled by!

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