Louis Roederer Cristal Rose 2000
Rosé Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
The Louis Roederer Vintage Rosé is a unique type of Champagne. Roederer is one of the few houses to still use skin maceration in its winemaking. This is a delicate method that consists of letting Pinot Noirs macerate several hours on the press to extract more fruit and color. This process requires very concentrated and aromatic Pinot Noir grapes that come from the very old vines of the Cumières.
The wine is salmon pink in color, tinged with orangey-red highlights and ultra-fine bubbles. It is fabulously rich and lush on the nose, with an almost sappy opulence of juicy red and black berries (raspberries, strawberries, bilberries and blackcurrants), layering with ripe scents of candied and crystallized fruits plus a whiff of caramel and cocoa.
The wine is ample and creamy on the attack, with plenty of mouth-filling richness. The acidity is pure, mineral and crystalline, as crisp as biting into fresh fruit, deliciously light and subtle nonetheless. Red fruits still very much to the fore but with the added complexity of acacia blossom and nutty hints of hazelnuts and almonds. Overall, this is a complex Brut Rosé, with a robust, vinous structure, but remains fresh and elegant due to its enduring acidity.
Thanks to its structure and vinosity, 2000 Brut Rosé is a perfect accompaniment to fish (salmon in particular) or meats such as lamb, veal, fowl or even pheasant. In addition, this wine is an ideal complement to creamy cheeses or the sharpness of a soft fruit pudding.
Wine & Spirits - "This wine comes from two pinot noir vineyards in Ay, including La Bonotte, where Roederer farms the old vines biodynamically. The rose gains its color from skin contact during a five-day cold maceration and the start of fermentation before it is racked off the skins. The final blend includes 40 percent chardonnay, from Mesnil-sur-Oger and Avize. Effortlessly chic, this develops layers of complexity as it sheds the stemminess of its youthful pinot noir character. The flavor of tiny fraises de bois, combines with fennel, tangerine and floral notes in a powerful wine suited to a decade or more of age."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2000 Cristal Rose emerges from the glass in a stunning display of well-articulated aromas and flavors. Everything in is perfect balance as this perfumed wine opens up in the glass in a style that recalls the weightless transparency of a great Burgundy. The finish is long, sweet and incredibly refined. I came back to the bottle several hours after opening, and the wine had blossomed into an extraordinary Champagne. In 2000 the Brut Cristal Rose is 70% Pinot Noir from Ay and 30% Chardonnay from Mesnil, Avize and Oger. Roughly 15% of the wine was aged in oak. This is Lot: L029898D100064, disgorged February 1st, 2007. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2020. "
Wine Enthusiast - "Orange-pink in color, this a super-rich rosé. The flavors are of orange zest, citrus and red currants, with a beautiful contrast of hazelnuts. The texture, round and succulent, is still able to offer minerality and a crisp aftertaste."
International Wine Cellar - "Pink with an orange rim and a vigorous mousse. Deep cherry, berry skin, spiced nuts and flowers on the nose, brightened by blood orange and smoky minerals. Taut, finely etched red berry and citrus flavors gain flesh with air, taking a turn to bitter cherry, toffee apple and yellow plum. Sappy, lightly chewy and concentrated, with a long, spicy finish. Changed continually in the glass but maintained an impressive, nervy precision, suggesting that it will reward cellaring."
Wine Spectator - "This is very fruity, boasting apple, cherry and berry flavors, making it open and approachable. There's concentration as well, with a vibrant structure and a berry aftertaste."
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Louis Roederer Winery
Champagne Louis Roederer was founded in 1776 in Reims, France and is one of the rare family owned companies, which is still managed by the Roederer family. In 1833, Louis Roederer inherited the company from his uncle and renamed the company under his namesake. Under his leadership, the company rapidly grew while remaining true to their philosophy of uncompromising quality. Today, the company is under the helm of Jean-Claude Rouzaud and his son Frédéric who continue to place quality before quantity.
Champagne Louis Roederer is one of the only French champagne producers to own nearly 75 percent of the grapes in the most desirable vineyards in the Champagne. The property is located on 450 acres in the finest villages of Montagne de Reims, Côtes des Blancs, and Valleé de la Marne. Each region is selected to produce Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with the elegance needed for perfectly balanced champagne. The Louis Roederer vineyards rate an average 98 percent based on France’s statutory 100-point classification scale.
The reserve wine is then tasted and graded by a team of Roederer specialists. They choose as many as 40 different wines from several lots for the blend. For the final touch, the wine is then added in order to enhance the cuvee and guarantee consistency while retaining the champagne's characteristics. View all Louis Roederer Wines
About ChampagneView a map of Champagne wineries Champagne is both a region and a method. The wines come from the northernmost vineyards in France and the name conjures an image like no other can. An 18th Century Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon is said to be the first to blend both varietals and vintages, making good wines not only great, but also special and unique to their winemaker. Today, nearly 75% of Champagne produced is non-vintage and made up by a blend of several years' harvests.
All Champagnes must be made by a strictly controlled process called "Méthode Champenoise." The grapes are pressed and fermented for the first time. The blending phase follows and the wine is bottled and temporarily capped. Then comes the second fermentation, a blend of sugar and yeast is added and, this time, the carbon dioxide is kept inside the bottle. This process leaves a great deal of sediment that is extracted through a process of "racking" or "riddling." The bottles are progressively turned upside down until all the sediment is collected in the neck. The necks are then frozen and the sediment is "disgorged." After this phase, the winemaker may decide to add sugar to sweeten the wine. Finally the wine is corked. Some wines move through this process in a couple of months, while others are aged after the riddling phase to build greater complexity and depth.
Champagnes range from dry, "Brut," to slightly sweet, "Demi-Sec." Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used in Champagne blends, but "Blancs de Noirs" is made entirely of Pinot Noir and "Blancs de Blanc" is made from only Chardonnay grapes. The high acidity achieved by the northern location is crucial to the balance and structure of these wines.
Not every year is a "vintage" declared. In years when it is not, the wines are blended with the produce from other years to create the non-vintage blend, the house style that remains constant from year to year. But in a great vintage year, champagne houses will bottle by itself the unblended year's produce, and use other portions as "reserve" wines to supplement and enrich the non-vintage blend. A vintage champagne can age quite gracefully, and gain complexity just like any other great still wine.
Mild cheeses like gruyere and shellfish pair nicely with Champagne. Also, oysters and Champagne is a popular combination. A full-flavored vintage Champagne can go with almost any meal.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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