Louis Roederer Cristal Rose 2002
Rosé Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
A salmon pink hue, with radiant highlights and incredible youth. A regular, refined and lively effervescence. An intense, rich, bewitching bouquet of red fruit and citrus zest associated with more complex notes redolent of cedar and spring sap. The aromas evolve gently in the glass evolving from dried fruits, fresh almonds and frangipane, to notes of Tarte Tatin, oven-baked apples and caramel. In tastings, the wine is soft and silky on the palate with a marvelous harmony of flavor and concentration of fruit. The attack is fruity and crisp. Finesse and fruit combine to create a full palate that melts in the mouth, giving way to candied citrus and dried fruits. The exceptional characteristics of the 2002 vintage have been literally captured in this generous epicurean Cristal Rosé 2002, which reveals a perfect equilibrium between concentration and finesse, richness and freshness, intensity and refinement.
60% Pinot Noir 40% Chardonnay
Wine & Spirits - "Levi Dalton at Convivio (NYC) compared this wine to the pianist who hits the right keys at the right moment. He's referring to the precision of the wine, which is astonishing. There is no singular flavor, but rather a resonant chord, a series of oppositions that create the invisible intensity of an electric current, the power of the charge balanced by the elegance of the flavor and the structure of the wine. You could describe it as light and brisk, or bold and intense; either way, you'll still be tasting it ten minutes later. As Peter Liem pointed out, "You could use any descriptor in the world and apply it to this wine. It is an Ur wine." The most exciting thing about it is the thought of what it will become."
Wine Enthusiast - "The 2002 Brut Cristal Rose shows the classic Roederer introspectiveness that can sometimes make the wines hard to grasp when they are young. It, too, is a relatively lightly-colored rose. The bouquet is beautifully woven into a fabric of layered, ripe fruit. With some time in the glass, the wine’s textural beauty becomes more apparent, but this is a Champagne that needs bottle age. It should be spectacular in time. Cristal Rose is made with the same technique as the rose, which is to say the Pinot is cold-macerated on the skins for 6-7 days, but the percentage of oak is a touch higher. For Cristal Rose the Pinot is sourced from Ay and the percentage of Chardonnay (from Avize and Mesnil) is a touch higher than the Brut Rose at 40% of the blend. This is Lot L031784L100149, disgorged in April, 2008. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022. "
International Wine Cellar - "Medium pink with a light copper hue. Strawberry, cherry skin and blood orange on the nose, with notes of brown butter and dried flowers adding complexity. Lush and creamy but not heavy, offering open-knit red berry and sappy citrus flavors and a deeper, buttery quality on the back end. Hangs on with attractive spiciness, a hint of candied orange and impressive, gently sweet persistence. I'd err on the side of youth with this alluring Champagne and drink it over the coming decade rather than bury it in the cellar. "
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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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