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2012 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne

SKU #1451315 98 points John Gilman

Outer quote mark The 2012 vintage of Cristal is the first to be produced entirely from Demeter-certified, biodynamically-farmed fruit, which is a landmark for Maison Roederer. The future is now here! I have been looking forward to this release of this vintage of Cristal for a few years now, but sadly found myself not in top form to appreciate its debut, as I was so suffering from jet lag after my three weeks on the road in November that my energy level was no match for this beautiful young wine. The 2012 Cristal is its customary cépages of sixty percent pinot noir and forty percent chardonnay and none of the vins clairs went through malo this year, with one-third of the blend barrel-fermented. The wine was finished in 2012 with a dosage of 7.5 grams per liter and offers up a beautiful young nose of pear, apple, fresh lemon, white flowers, a very complex base of chalky minerality, a hint of the caraway seed to come and a topnote of white flowers. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nascently complex, with a racy girdle of acidity, a rock solid core, impeccable focus and grip, refined mousse and stunning length and grip on the poised and perfectly balanced finish. This is another great vintage of Cristal in the making, but it deserves plenty of time in the cellar to blossom properly. Inner quote mark (11/2019)

98 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Such attractive, fresh, floral aromas here with fine bread, hints of white almonds and a lemon edge. White cherries and strong, chalky minerals, too. The palate has a very composed feel. Seamless and quite silky texture with effortless length and flow. Very fluid and composed. Very late, warming almond flavors. This is very long and smooth with a velvety finish. Super long pinot weight. Resolved and drinkable, but will age so well. Inner quote mark (7/2019)

98 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2012 Cristal is another absolutely stellar wine this flight of recent releases. Rich, vinous and beautifully textured, the 2012 has been nothing short of magnificent on the three occasions I have tasted it so far. In the glass, the 2012 is radiant and luscious, yet it possesses remarkable transparency and striking aromatic depth. Light tropical notes develop in the glass, giving the 2012 a real feeling of exotic beauty. The 2012 is the first vintage of Cristal done with 100% organically-farmed fruit, an approach introduced gradually starting with the 2007 that has profoundly changes Cristal, especially in its aromatic breadth. Two thousand twelve is the vintage where endless trials and experiments in farming and winemaking are fully realized. The 2012 is just stunning. It’s as simple as that. Dosage is just over 7 grams per liter, the lowest it has even been for Cristal. (AG) Inner quote mark (12/2019)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Aromas of clear honey, crisp green orchard fruit, white peach, pastry cream and dried white flowers introduce the 2012 Cristal, a full-bodied, concentrated and powerful wine that's built for the cellar. Broader, more textural and more muscular than the 2008 Cristal, with seemingly even greater reserves of structuring dry extract, the 2012 is incisive and searingly chalky. This is the first Cristal produced exclusively from organically farmed fruit, and it marks the opening of a new chapter for Louis Roderer. The blend is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, vinified without malolactic fermentation and disgorged with 7.5 grams per liter dosage. Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon has once again excelled himself. (WK) 97+ Inner quote mark (12/2019)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark To be launched December 2019 or January 2020. Not affected by the oidium problems experienced elsewhere. 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay (the same as 2008). ‘You have to adapt and stay on the blank page. If you try to tick too many boxes, you go in the wrong direction.’ It will be the average age for Cristal launch. It was 2008 that was late. This will be the first 100% biodynamic Cristal. Rich and ripe, like 2002. Pungent nose -- straight up the nose. Gorgeous and seductive. Complex and embroidered. Already lovely. 19/20 points. (JR) Inner quote mark (6/2019)

K&L Notes

While the 2008 and 2009 vintages were entirely organically grown, the 2012 Cristal is the first to be completely biodynamic. Cristal is an estate within an estate for Louis Roederer and the vineyards are spread across the chalkiest areas of the Grande Vallée de la Marne, Montagne de Reims and Côtes des Blancs. This wine is composed of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, and this year they have increased the amount that is fermented in large wooden barrels to 32%. The dosage is 7.5 grams per liter. - Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer

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Price: $269.99

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By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/28/2019 | Send Email
We all work extra days this time of year, and this Sunday was my day to be the cavalry and reinforce our sales crew. I opened the 2012 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne after we closed and shared it with the crew. Cristal is made for the connoisseur who has been lucky enough to taste a lot of nice things, and this 2012 is as elegant as one could wish for. They used more barrel fermentation (in large foudre only) than ever before- 32%. The extra wood fermentation has brought some subtle Christmas spice to this creamy, clean and extraordinarily long Champagne. I brought the last bit home and had it with Cinnamon, and as usual, the last drops were the best, boding very well for the future. That being said, I think that this is a wine that one can drink while waiting for ones 2008s to mature.
Drink from 2019 to 2042

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