2008 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne

SKU #1344997 100 points Jeb Dunnuck

 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.  (12/2018)

100 points James Suckling

 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. Impressive on release, this will be at its best drinking from 2025.  (1/2018)

99 points John Gilman

 The wine is flat out stunning, offering up a pure and youthfully complex bouquet of apple, lemon, warm brioche, stunningly complex, chalky minerality, a touch of orange zest, fresh almond and a floral topnote redolent of lemon blossoms and mimosa. On On the palate the wine is deep, fullbodied, complex and utterly seamless in its balance, with a great core, laser-like focus, utterly refined mousse and a very, very long, racy, complex and seamlessly balanced finish. This is a breathtakingly beautiful wine in the making!  (5/2018)

98 points Decanter

 Cristal 2008 is on a roll to yet higher levels of exquisite purity and precision of fruit in a paradoxical balance of weightlessness and depth of flavour, permeated with minerals and a salinity reflecting the greatest terroirs of the Roederer estate. Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon believes that 2008 is his best effort to date, and it's easy to see why. It's from a cooler, maritime vintage that came right in the end, with one of the longest harvests ever, running from mid-September to early October. The colour is a stylish pale gold flecked with green. Aromas of white flowers are joined by a cleansing citrus vigour and richer tones of peach and mirabelle. The palate is still quiet, but a tender creaminnes shows through, and there's so much concentration to come if you drink if after 2021. The greatness of the wine owes everything to the influence of organic and biodynamic precepts in the field - and Lecaillon's sleepless perfectionism in the cellar towards finer fruit and a careful brake on too much yeasty expression. The acidity is vibrant but better integrated in the 2008 than in the 1996. Magnificent. Dosage 7.7g/l. (ME)  (6/2018)

98 points Vinous

 The 2008 Cristal is a wine that takes over all the senses and never lets up. The brilliance and cut of the Chardonnay finds an extra kick of resonance from the Pinot Noir to carry the mid palate and finish in this stunningly beautiful, chiseled Champagne. Lemon oil, almond, flowers, dried herbs and Mirabelle plum are some of the many aromas and flavors that develop as the 2008 shows off its pedigree. The 2008 is a regal, towering Champagne from Roederer. That’s all there is to it. (AG) 98+  (7/2018)

98 points Wine Enthusiast

 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)  (12/2019)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 It is a 60/40 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 36 plots in seven grands crus: Verzy, Verzenay, Beaumont and Aÿ for the Pinot Noir and Mesnil, Avize and Cramant for the Chardonnay. Twenty-five percent of the wine was fermented in oak, and 16% underwent malolactic fermentation to moderate the fresh acidity of the 2008 vintage. The assemblage was bottled in May 2009. After 8.5 years on the second lees (longer than any Cristal before), the first release was disgorged in September 2017 with a relatively low dosage of 7.5 grams per liter. The 2008 Cristal opens bright, super clear, fresh and pure on the exciting, absolutely fascinating nose with its fine, complex and elegant bouquet of gorgeously ripe and matured fruits, brioche and chalk expressions. This is the finest you can get from Champagne. The palate is pure, lean, fresh and filigreed but concentrated, highly complex, full of tension and enormously vibrant. This is a great vin de terroir, a dense and elegant Super-Cristal that goes straight and precise as a laser beam over the palate but also has texture in the form of sensually fleshy fruit. The dosage, however, is the lowest ever: just 7.5 grams. The endless and highly tensioned finish is complex, citrusy fresh, full of chalk and crystalline finesse. The 2008 Cristal is a vitalizing drug, 'the Chevalier Montrachet of Champagne,' as Jean-Baptise Lécaillon puts it. It is the most exciting 2008 Champagne I have tasted thus far. (SR) 97+  (6/2018)

97 points Wine Spectator

 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. Drink now through 2033. (AN)  (11/2018)

Jancis Robinson

 It is a tribute to the special qualities of the 2008 vintage that this Cristal has benefitted from longer in bottle than any other Cristal: 10 years. More malo and a little more oak on this wine that Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon claims is all the better for the lessons learnt with the similarly high-acid 1996 vintage. Just one sniff and you're assailed by the most extraordinary combination of density and lift. There's a hint of lime and it's extremely tight (I'd guess it has only just been deemed ready to release) and firm on the finish. But there is just so much pleasure to be had already. Super-fresh but so concentrated that there is no question of austerity. So much to dig into here. It will surely slowly unfurl but is already gorgeous. Hedonistic rather than intellectual. Very special. (JR) 19/20  (6/2018)

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. He is not a man prone to hyperbole!

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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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