Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 1996
A gleaming pale gold color, with a fine foam and an elegant cord of bubbles. It has an eloquent, intense, delicate nose, with almond flavors, and constant fresh white flowers. It has a full, consistent attack, with remarkable balance, near gossamer-like smoothness, and an extraordinary length. Serve with the more refined dishes: caviar, fish, and shellfish such as lobster, and spiny lobster.
Cristal comes from the strictest criteria of development, which require a drastic selection of the cru, villages, grapes, and finally, of the wines. Only Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from the House's ten most famous crus are retained.
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.