2006 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne
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.
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)
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.
*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.
*Collectibles* 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. Drink now through 2028.
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)
Wine & Spirits
A full-figured vintage of Cristal, this has broad lemon custard flavors and a robust structure that feels youthfully severe. There’s a fruity mushroom tone to the flavors, like chicken of the woods. This needs several years to mature, allowing the mineral structure to release its fruit.
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)