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2002 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Rosé Champagne

SKU #1050285 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2002 Cristal Rosé has always been suspected to become a legend one day. Now, nine years later, the onion-colored wine has arrived in the Olympus of the finest Champagnes. Clear, matured and vinous on the intense and complex yet very delicate nose, this is a lush, succulent, perfectly round and intense 2002 that equilibrates its generosity and texture with great elegance and spellbinding balance. Stunningly, this seamless, charmingly seductive and voluptuous character is combined with great purity and harmony, especially in the finish that is not just round and caressing but also fresh, piquant and stimulatingly salty. Is there anything more we could expect from a Rosé Champagne? Even if you served me the wine in a black glass, it would still be a gorgeous, beautiful wine. Yes, it's wine rather than anything else, and its bubbly vinosity makes me desperate for more. If I just could, I would marry the 2002 Cristal Rosé straightaway. The cuvée reflects a great continental vintage as well as the stupendous terroirs of Aÿ (Pinot Noir: 60%), Avize and Mesnil (Chardonnay: 40%). The bottle I tasted at Roederer in Reims in May 2018 was disgorged in 2011, so, like the 2008, after eight years on the second lees. (SR) Inner quote mark (6/2018)

100 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark Levi Dalton at Convivio (NYC) compared this wine to the pianist who hits the right keys at the right moment. He's referring to the precision of the wine, which is astonishing. There is no singular flavor, but rather a resonant chord, a series of oppositions that create the invisible intensity of an electric current, the power of the charge balanced by the elegance of the flavor and the structure of the wine. You could describe it as light and brisk, or bold and intense; either way, you'll still be tasting it ten minutes later. As Peter Liem pointed out, "You could use any descriptor in the world and apply it to this wine. It is an Ur wine." The most exciting thing about it is the thought of what it will become. Inner quote mark (12/2009)

98 points Vinous

Outer quote mark As hard as it may seem to believe, the 2002 Cristal Rosé (Re-Release) is even better than the Blanc. Utterly explosive in the glass, with soaring aromatics and tremendous palate presence, the 2002 dazzles from the very first taste. With time in the glass the 2002 grows effortlessly, showing myriad shades of nuance with each successive taste. I am reminded of the vertical I did of Cristal Rosé here a few years ago. Yes, the Rosé is expensive and rare. But it also delivers the goods. And then some. (AG) Inner quote mark (7/2018)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark Showing its age well, this wine offers a mature toastiness balanced by rich red fruit. The acidity is well integrated, making this impressive wine ready to drink now. (RV) Inner quote mark (12/2018)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Medium pink with a light copper hue. Strawberry, cherry skin and blood orange on the nose, with notes of brown butter and dried flowers adding complexity. Lush and creamy but not heavy, offering open-knit red berry and sappy citrus flavors and a deeper, buttery quality on the back end. Hangs on with attractive spiciness, a hint of candied orange and impressive, gently sweet persistence. I'd err on the side of youth with this alluring Champagne and drink it over the coming decade rather than bury it in the cellar. Inner quote mark (11/2009)

90 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark This is very fruity, boasting apple, cherry and berry flavors, making it open and approachable. There's concentration as well, with a vibrant structure and a berry aftertaste. Drink now through 2019.(BS) Inner quote mark (11/2009)

K&L Notes

This is very special wine, made only in great vintages, and then only rarely offered at retail (Roederer prefers to see it on wine lists at famous restaurants rather than hidden in cellars). It is a pity, since this great Champagne's best years are ahead of it. It is an entirely estate grown, largely organic Champagne. The Pinot Noir, which composes 60% of the blend, is from very old vines in the house's best plots in the Grand Cru of Ay that are all organic. The Chardonnay that makes up the other 40% of the blend is from mostly Grand Cru and some Premier Cru estate vineyards in the Cotes de Blancs. The 2002 vintage in Champagne was fantastic, with much in common with 1990; a mild winter and less than average rain fall produced wines with high natural sugar. Unlike 1990, there were few hot days, giving the wines an extra element of grace. Cristal Rosé is the most elegant and refined of wines, and the 2002 should keep for decades. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)


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