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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)

98 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark As the first 100% biodynamic Cristal, entirely from Roederer-owned vineyards, this is an important milestone. This latest incarnation is a great Champagne with its density, elegance and poise. Still impressively young, the wine is taut, tightly wound and textured. At the same time, it has pure, ripe white and citrus fruits that are perfumed, and an important part of this wine’s long-term future. Drink at the earliest from 2023. Organic and biodynamic. *Cellar Selection* (RV) Inner quote mark (10/2020)

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)

97 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark A classic beauty, fresh-faced and focused today but with a harmonious grace of form suggesting a long career ahead. There's a creamy, viscous quality to the mousse that swathes the palate, carrying finely detailed flavors of poached quince, Mandarin orange preserves, toasted almond and pickled ginger. Mouthwatering throughout, with a pleasing, soft zestiness to the mineral-laced finish. (AN) Inner quote mark (10/2020)

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: $249.99

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By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/12/2020 | Send Email
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. This Cristal is open right now, with wonderful baguette toast and fabulous, detailed chalk on the generous finish.
Drink from 2020 to 2042

By: Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/11/2020 | Send Email
It was an absolute treat to be able to taste this 2012 Cristal release especially with it being the first 100% biodynamic release. Champagnes from the 2012 vintage have been showing amazingly and this bottle is no exception. Inviting aromas of grapefruit and orchard fruit fill the glass with overall freshness. The palate is well-rounded with lemon zest, toasted almond and cherries. The finish is lovely with minerality and bright acidity. This makes a wonderful gift for Champagne lovers and collectors!

By: Lilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/11/2020 | Send Email
A true classic Champagne, it is made to last and will age gracefully rewarding you for your patience with unimaginable complexity and intriguing flavor profile in yers to come. Cristal is never disappointing. It is one of the most impressive Champagne and it shows. Elegant yet firm and structured with delicate aromas that are shy at first but open up with a little bit of time in a glass. The same goes for the palate: gentle bubbles blanket beautiful freshness and brightness of this wine. It is a masterpiece.

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/10/2020 | Send Email
What a lovely showing! The nose opens softly with orange blossom before the fruit comes through with Bartlett pear and yellow apple. Vanilla and gentle baking spices join into the fold as well. As gentle and elegant as the nose is, the palate comes through with a lot of freshness and fun. The bubbles are fine which make for a lovely texture and a lively sipper, going perfectly with fresh apple notes and flavors of lemon fizzle candies.

By: Tim Telli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/10/2020 | Send Email
After many years of changing their approach to farming the vineyards, this is the first vintage of Cristal to be 100% biodynamic. 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, with about 6-7 years on the lees for added complexity. A tiny bead, always a good sign. Smooth and creamy, with really nice minerality and some chalky notes on the palate. Crisp and dry with flavors of apples and lemon curds. Getting better with air. This is typically delicate yet complex, a wine of great finesse. I expect this to age gracefully and provide many years of drinking pleasure.

By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/9/2020 | Send Email
Getting to taste a new vintage of Cristal is always exciting, and the 2012 does not disappoint! The aromas are very distinctive, showing toasted hazelnut, pie crust and white pear. On the palate the wine is clean and dry with bright acidity and gorgeous lime zest notes complementing the orchard fruits. It combines a surprising depth of texture and fruit with an over all light body. It's already so complex, but if you have the patience, put one away for a few years, and it will develop beautifully.

By: Jennifer Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/8/2020 | Send Email
I love the back story Gary gives of the packaging of this bottle...how an old Russian Tzar demanded that the bottle be clear (to easily see if it was poisoned) and there be no punt on the bottom (to prevent possible bombs hiding there). 100% biodynamically farmed and estate grown, this 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay 2012 Cristal is phenomenal. On the nose sweet crisp green apple notes and honey fill my senses. On the palate super savory flavors, chalk and lots of tiny and powerful bubbles emerge with an intense minerality undertone throughout. I also get umami flavors of mushroom and even oyster on the half shell (a great pairing too!) Needless to say, the bottle price does not disappoint, and I'm sure you will find this champagne does not disappoint either. Great for holiday gifting and definitely a crowd pleaser.

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