2013 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne

SKU #1535733 98 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark This is quite chalky with firm phenolics that frame the wine beautifully. It’s medium-to full-bodied with strawberries and earth. Dense, linear and intense. Hints of brioche and pie crust at the end. Very structured and gorgeous. Salty and lightly chewy. One third of the base wines fermented and aged in oak. Connoisseur Champagne. From organic vineyards of the Roederer domains. Smaller production than normal. Seven years on the lees. Give it two or three years to open. Inner quote mark (7/2021)

98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark I've revisited Roederer's 2013 Cristal four times since I reviewed it in April of this year—including several times from my own cellar—and I had to admit that even my lavish praise didn't do it full justice. Combining the cool-vintage cut of 2008 with the more completely mature fruit of 2012, the 2013 Cristal might well be said to represent the perfect combination of the two from a purist's perspective. The wine unwinds in the glass with notes of crisp orchard fruit, white flowers, almond paste and citrus oil, followed by a medium to full-bodied, seamless and multidimensional palate that's intense but weightless, with racy acids, a pinpoint mousse and a long, penetrating finish. Drink the 2008 Cristal on its own, and you're unlikely—to put it mildly—to have any complaints; but compare it directly with the 2013 and you'll see Roederer's rapid progress in the vineyards writ large. (WK) Inner quote mark (9/2021)

97 points John Gilman

Outer quote mark The 2013 vintage of Cristal from Maison Louis Roederer is the only one in the last two decades to be made from fruit that was harvested in October, as global warming has pushed most picking dates in the Champagne region forward into September. Spring was cool and flowering in 2013 did not occur until the month of July- almost unheard of in recent times! The cépages this year is sixty percent pinot noir and forty percent chardonnay, with one-third of the vins clairs barrel-fermented for this vintage. As always, none of the vins clairs went through malolactic fermentation and the wine was finished with a dosage of eight grams per liter. The wine delivers a beautiful young bouquet of apple, a hint of pear, yellow plum, a complex base of chalky minerality, brioche and a lovely array of fruit blossoms in the upper register. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied, focused and complex, with impeccable balance, a superb core, laser-like focus, very elegant mousse and a long, vibrant and very classy finish. This has the structure to age long and gracefully and may well close down a bit over the next couple of years, but for the moment, it so seamlessly balanced that I find it very easy to drink out of the blocks (which is not customary for my palate with Cristal, which I usually want to bury in the cellar for a decade!). This is a very beautiful vintage of Cristal and a very, very worthy follow-up to the stellar 2012 version! Inner quote mark (4/2021)

97 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2013 Cristal is a wine of extraordinary precision and tension. Searing acids drive a bold, racy Champagne that won’t be ready to offer its best drinking anytime soon. In recent vintages, Cristal has been quite open on release. That is far from the case with the 2013. Readers should plan on being quite patient. The blend is 60% Pinot Noir (from Aÿ, Verzy, Verzenay, Beaumont-sur-Vesle) and 40% Chardonnay (Mesnil, Avize, Cramant). Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon was especially selective and used only 30 out of the potential 45 plots that are typically available for Cristal. About 32% of the lots were done in oak, the rest in steel, with the malolactic fermentation blocked across the board. It was an October harvest, the sort of harvest that has become increasingly rare in Champagne. Lecaillon describes the summer as similar to 2012, but adds the vines were a month behind in their development. In tasting, the 2013 reminds me of the 1996 in its austerity, even more so than the epic 2008. (AG) 97+ Inner quote mark (3/2021)

96 points Decanter

Outer quote mark The peak of drinkability is between 15 and 20 years from the harvest; so says Jean-Baptiste, but he has not spared the taster the wondrous early impression of perfection in the making. A soft gold with glistening highlights, like the river meadow at dawn; the nose effortlessly marries a panoply of flavours, the citric grip nodding to hints of passion fruit and Mirabelle plum, with hazelnut and almond signalling the grace of development. Texturally generous, yet tightly wound, taut and flinty yet ripe and open, the wine faithfully underlines the vigneron’s philosophy, every nuance of its template deftly rehearsed and charmingly enacted. (SF) Inner quote mark (4/2021)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark I think the 2013 Cristal checks in behind the 2008, but it's nevertheless a beautiful wine. Lots of ripe orchard fruits, toasted bread, brioche, and chalky mineral notes define the nose, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a layered, nicely concentrated, tight, inward style, beautiful precision and purity, and a great finish. It needs a good 5-7 years of bottle age to hit its stride and will keep for two decades or more. Inner quote mark (4/2021)

96 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark A wine of chalk soils, from mid-slope estate parcels, Cristal is a blast of pale limestone power in 2013. Its textures are grand and sumptuous against the chalk, its flavors layering sunny apple briskness, smoky lees and earthy acidities ghosting the finish, lasting for minutes, suggesting a long life ahead in the cellar. Inner quote mark (12/2021)

96 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark Exotic hints of tangerine and candied ginger are an enticing entrance for this vivid Champagne, accenting a finely meshed range of ripe green apple and cassis fruit, with rich notes of chopped almond, brioche and lemon curd. An underscoring streak of salinity gains momentum through the mouthwatering finish, echoing as it rides the plushly creamy mousse. This is decadence in a sleek and graceful package. *Collectible* (AN) Inner quote mark (11/2021)

K&L Notes

The 2013 Cristal is made from an estate within their estate, and sourced from 45 mid-slope, old vine sites on the chalkiest parcels in the Côte des Blancs, Mountain of Reims and Grand Valley of the Marne. It is composed of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, and like the 2012, is treated to 32% barrel fermentation, mostly in very large oak uprights. It comes from one of the latest harvests in my career in Champagne, which did not start until October. This vintage has given the wine its brisk, zippy acidity, as the manicured, perfectly situated vineyard sites have given the wine creaminess and texture. It has it all. -Gary Westby, K&L

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Product Reviews:

By: Tim Telli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/20/2021 | Send Email
A new vintage of Cristal always excites the staff here at K&L. Bread dough on the nose with hints of marcona almonds. Lots of chalky acid on the palate. Very lively with zesty flavors of lemon peel. This is so complex with its lengthy finish that slowly tails off imperceptibly. So refined. Don't hesitate to drink now and if you can lay some down in the back of your cellar, the 2013 Cristal will reward you with heavenly drinking experiences for decades to come This would pair perfectly with some Jamon Iberico whilst polishing your Faberge eggs. Outstanding!

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/19/2021 | Send Email
Cinnamon and I enjoyed this with salmon en papillote that she prepared with a Dijon rub and fresh fava beans with parmesan. I love the hazelnut note on the generous nose of this Champagne, a signature of one of Roederer’s favorite grand crus, Verzenay. It also has great pullman loaf toast on the nose and in the mouth, and an incredible silky texture on the mid-palate. While this wine is light and seemingly effortless up front, one can find incredible depth and profound complexity when one spends time with it. It would be impossible to tire of this great Champagne. The back end is vivacious, bright and very long, telling the story of the chalk that it came from. While it is drinking great right now, the best years are in front of it, and given the track record of Cristal, this could easily be put down as a birth year wine for children born in 2013. It will last!
Drink from 2021 to 2043

By: Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/18/2021 | Send Email
The 2013 Cristal is truly a show stopping wine. It's layered and full bodied with notes of honey, apple and lime. The palate upfront is fresh and open then finishes with crisp acidity and lovely minerality. It's a beautiful bottle to enjoy now or throw in your cellar for 5-10 years. I'm sure you won't regret it.

By: Lilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/18/2021 | Send Email
Truly sublime Champagne with silky texture that supported by lovely freshness and crisp acidity but doesn't feel too sharp or austere. It shows great mineral depth and has a bit of soft brioche notes on the palate alongside with orchard fruit and white blossom aromas. This will develop nicely but, to be honest, this this so good it's impossible not to drink it already!

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