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2006 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne

SKU #1144530 97 points Decanter

Outer quote mark Fantastic from the start. A colossal power of beautiful rumbling Pinot maturity. It’s like chewing on the ripest grapes from Aÿ and Verzenay. At the same time ultra stylish: unmistakable Cristal essence of peach and mango sweetness, pineapple, coconut, vanilla, sprightly acidity and citrus blossom. Many similarities with 2002 but with a clearer Pinot touch. (RJ) Inner quote mark (9/2014)

97 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark 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 flavorsome with a core of the same biscuity red fruit flavor, savory nutty notes and a wrap of assertive, persistent acidity that holds rich powerful flavor deep and focused whilst maintaining a polished, gently creamy texture. Long chalky bread and biscuit finish. A superb pinot-driven vintage. Inner quote mark (7/2015)

96 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The bouquet is drop-dead gorgeous, lively and broad, and beautifully defined as always, offering scents of citrus fruit, toasted walnuts and a hint of brioche. The exquisitely balanced palate displays spine-tingling mineralité and real tension and grace. The long, quite deep finish makes me wonder whether this 2006 will meliorate with further bottle age. Should I care, when it is so delicious now? Just superb. (NM) Inner quote mark (4/2019)

95 points John Gilman

Outer quote mark The 2006 Cristal is comprised of a blend of fifty-five percent pinot noir and forty-five percent chardonnay, with twenty percent of the vins clairs having been barrel-fermented for this vintage. Despite the 2006 vintage’s predilection towards precociousness, there is no sign of this character in this beautiful rendition of Cristal, which offers up a deep, youthful and very serious bouquet of apple, delicate tangerine, brioche, fresh almond, very classy limestone minerality, incipient smokiness, a touch of orange peel and a floral topnote redolent of white lilies. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and impeccably balanced, with a great core of fruit, laser-like focus, utterly refined mousse, crisp acids and superb length and grip on the very pure and primary finish. Structurally, the 2006 Cristal is decidedly more open than its 2005 counterpart, but aromatically the wine is certainly not more developed and remains a young and very beautiful bottle of Champagne. I really love the background influence from the barrel fermentation here, which gives the wine a hint of roundness out of the blocks, but which does not intrude on the classically racy style of young Cristal. The 2006 Cristal will certainly reach its apogee earlier than the 2005, but this is still a young wine and deserves at least a handful of years in the cellar prior to drinking. Inner quote mark (4/2018)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The 2006 Cristal shows rich and ripe (tropical) fruit on the nose along with delicate brioche notes. Round and textured on the palate, this is a generous but fresh, fine and salty Cristal with a very long and greatly finessed finish. (SR) Inner quote mark (11/2018)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark 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. *Cellar Selection* (RV) Inner quote mark (12/2013)

95 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark 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. *Cellectibles* (AN) Inner quote mark (11/2013)

K&L Notes

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)

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Price: $229.99
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Product Reviews:

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/4/2015 | Send Email
The Louis Roederer Cristal is a famous Champagne, and deserves to be an even more famous wine. We just tasted this again at our staff summit, and it has opened up into a gorgeous, creamy, integrated masterpiece, and is the most precocious young Cristal I have tasted. It is all estate grown Champagne comes from fifty hectares of the chalkiest, oldest vine sites on Roederer's 240 hectare estate. They farm these vineyards especially for Cristal, restricting the yields, and for many of the plots farming organically. This 2006 reminds me very much of the 2002 when it was this age; creamy and very mineral at once. It manages to have a full body and retain an extraordinary chalky freshness!
Drink from 2015 to 2056

By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/28/2014 | Send Email
It's a shame that most Cristal is consumed so quickly after it's released because the 2006 is definitely one that will age and show its true beauty and potential with a few years in the cellar! The 2006 is the brightest, most structured vintage that I've had from Cristal in quite some time. Add the signature ripe, sweet fruit, full bodied richness and chalky minerality on the finish and you have a vintage Cristal that will match up to the best of them.

By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/20/2014 | Send Email
Cristal is really serious Champagne. Yes it is famous, yes it has a lot of hype, but behind all of that, there is some of best Champagne in the bottle you will find anywhere. The 2006 is a beautiful combination of ripe summer fruit that is characteristic of the vintage, and a driving minerality that comes from the chalky soil from estate-grown grapes. I was well impressed with the golden apple and pear notes that were delivered alongside super-fine bubbles and a precise mineral presence. A hint of nutty richness at the back-end of the palate adds just the perfect balance of richness. This is a wine that will develop in the cellar for years to come and will undoubtedly reward your patience.

By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/19/2014 | Send Email
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Ripe nose of fragrant white flowers, stone fruits and almonds. Light and delicate and soft on the palate. Rich and smooth, with a very small bead. Long finish. Quite drinkable now but, should age very well in the cellar. Should be available over the course of a year from now. Like the 2005, this one is rarin' to go right out of the chute.

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