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2008 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne

SKU #1344997 100 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark The 2008 Cristal is a perfect wine, and Champagne simple does not get any better. This incredible wine offers a beautiful perfume of clean, crisp fruits, layers of complexity in its toasted spice and white flowers, and an utterly seamless, yet powerful style on the palate. This is a rich, decadent expression of Cristal yet it’s still crystalline and elegant, with no sensation of weight, and it just glides over the palate. Haut Couture at its finest and this majestic, profound, legendary Cristal can be drunk anytime over the coming 2-3 decades. Inner quote mark (12/2018)

100 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Disgorged October 2016 and will be the first Cristal to be released ten years from harvest when it is offered in 2018. 35 parcels used from a possible 45 in this vintage. The assemblage is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. This is so fresh and tense and mineral with extremely exuberant Chardonnay notes on the nose of white peach, lemon and yellow grapefruit, and hints of almost brambly sous bois aromas. The yeast characters are also super fresh, and there are subtle woody notes, with a hint of vanilla bean and light spices. The palate is super long, and very pure, powerful and focused. It drives deep and taut. Pinot Noir is a strong core and the Chardonnay sits at the edge offering lemon and white nectarine sorbet flavors. Staggeringly concentrated, yet the balance makes it seem airy and light. Acidity is perfectly positioned, and the power is intense and long. This is an ultra precise Cristal, finishing with a mere suggestion of savoriness and warmth to come. Inner quote mark (10/2019)

99 points Decanter

Outer quote mark The 2008 vintage in Champagne is one of the most interesting of the last decade, and Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon has made an outstanding Cristal. It's a blend of Pinot Noir (60%) and Chardonnay (40%) from 36 plots in Grand Cru terroirs, with a dosage of 7.5 g/l. Fresh, delicate and lively, the bouquet is complex and shows elegant aromas of citrus, flowers, mirabelle and spices. The palate is chiseled and precise, with a powerful mid-palate and plenty of freshness supported by a chalky and saline finish. (YC) Inner quote mark (11/2019)

99 points John Gilman

Outer quote mark It is a great, great vintage of Cristal and I was very much looking forward to revisiting it this past November, as it is now due for its re-release from the maison. Readers may recall that this is the 'rare bird' of Cristal vintages that included some vins clairs that went through malo, as about sixteen percent of the blend underwent its secondary fermentation prior to blending and bottling for aging sur lattes. The wine is brilliant on both the nose and palate, with time not really seeming to have touched it much since I last tasted a bottle. The bouquet is deep, complex and still properly youthful in personality, wafting from the glass in a fine blend of apple, pear, a touch of fresh almond, complex, chalky minerality, incipient notes of caraway seed, citrus peel and lovely floral tones in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still fairly primary, with a rock solid core, lovely cut and grip, laser-like focus, refined mousse and a very, very long, very pure and still quite youthful finish. As I have noted in the past, twenty percent of the vins clairs for the 2008 Cristal were barrel-fermented and the wine was finished with a dosage of 7.5 grams per liter. It was disgorged in September of 2017. Inner quote mark (11/2019)

99 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2008 Cristal is one of the most complete, most dazzling Champagnes I have ever tasted. A stunning wine from any and all perspectives, the 2008 simply has it all. Spherical in construction, with superb persistence. The 2008 takes hold of all the senses and never gives up. One of the many things that makes the 2008 special is a combination of ripe fruit and bright, piercing acidity. Marzipan, lemon confit, dried flowers and orchard fruit all build into the explosive, resonant finish. (AG) Inner quote mark (12/2019)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Disgorged in September 2017 with 7.5 grams per liter dosage, the 2008 Cristal was produced from 37 of the 45 parcels that are candidates for inclusion in this cuvée—some 40% of which were farmed organically back in 2008—and it's a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. The finest young Cristal in decades, the wine wafts from the glass with a pure and vibrant bouquet of crisp orchard fruit, clear honey, warm brioche, citrus zest and white flowers. On the palate, it's full-bodied, intense and incisive, with superb concentration, racy acids and a long, searingly chalky finish. Pristinely balanced, there are some 500,000 bottles of this legend-in-the-making. (WK) Inner quote mark (3/2020)

98 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark The latest incarnation of Roederer’s iconic Champagne, this comes from a great vintage and is balanced, moving towards maturity. White stone fruit are shot through by lemon acidity. A steely edge contrasts with the underlying richness. Drink now, although the wine will age for many years. *Cellar Selection* (RV) Inner quote mark (12/2019)

97 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark There's a sense of focus and vibrancy to the overall structure, while the palate is all grace and charm. A fine, lacy texture carries a tapestry of ripe white cherry, toast point, blood orange zest, honey and ground ginger notes, with a minerally, mouthwatering finish. A stunning Champagne with a long future ahead of it. (AN) Inner quote mark (11/2018)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Deep golden straw. Surprisingly reticent nose but massive spread on the palate. Masses of acidity. Not as obviously appealing as the 2012 but it grows towards the peacock’s tail end. Then it really opened out in the glass, promising a long life and even greater complexity. 19/20 points (JR) Inner quote mark (6/2019)

K&L Notes

This great Cristal is composed of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, all from organically farmed, estate vineyards in the mid-slope "golden band" of the Mountain of Reims, Côte de Blancs, and Grand Valley of the Marne. For the first time ever, the winemaking team at Roederer decided to do 20% malolactic fermentation due to the massive concentration and acidity of the wine. The wine is so packed and vivacious that they decided to release the 2009 ahead of it so as to give the 2008 the time it needed. This is special stuff, and Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, cellar master of Roederer says it is the best wine he has made in 30 years at Roederer. And he is not a man prone to hyperbole!

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Product Reviews:

By: Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/1/2019 | Send Email
It's often hard to justify the price of a very high-end Champagne—at least in my book it is... usually. However, the 2008 Cristal is simply worth the hype. Like, whoa, seriously? There is so much going on in this bottle, and when I was drinking it, I only wished I had a magnum to share with everyone. Fresh yeasty character, followed by white peach, a nice brioche note, and so much more... I'm going broke this Christmas because I need to share a bottle of this with my dad.

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/21/2018 | Send Email
Well there isn't a lot I can add to the description of this wine, but having just tasted it blind at our most recent Champagne tasting I felt compelled to add my two cents. Blind tasting is a funny thing. It's a great way to force someone to evaluate a wine on it's own merit, not the branding/marketing/preconceived notions that go with it. Every single staff member in our tasting loved this wine. No one had a clue what it was, but the spectacular richness, bright acidity and extraordinary complexity made it clear that we had something special. And truly, that is all you can ask of the world's greatest brands: be just as special as you hope they will be. 2008 Cristal absolutely delivers.

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/5/2018 | Send Email
The world has been patiently awaiting the arrival of the highly anticipated 2008 vintage of Cristal from Roederer, and in this instance the patience will prove particularly rewarding. The vintage was marked by a very long, cool growing period that allowed for that special combination of high ripeness and acidity that marks truly great champagnes. This shows bright, fresh and concentrated flavors of stone fruit, citrus, apples, ranier cherries and white flowers, with subtle notes of hazelnuts and saffron. The flavors are fresh, balanced and integrated, indicating incredible aging potential, and the finish just goes on and on. This will be a collectors vintage, so grab yours before they snap them all up.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/5/2018 | Send Email
The most anticipated Champagne in my 20 years in the wine business is finally for sale. This has been so hyped up with 100 point scores that I figured it couldn't possibly be as good as the critics say... But it is. This is the most concentrated, long finishing Cristal I have ever tasted, and so loaded with chalky minerality and bright vivacious acidity that one could mistake it for a blanc de blancs. But then the hazelnut cream Verzenay Pinot Noir swells up to balance everything out, leaving me at a loss for words. The big shame is how much will be drunk down immediately (it is all too delicious right now) since the real story is the long term ageability of this masterpiece!
Drink from 2018 to 2068

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