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1997 Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne
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- Closure: Cork
Notes sourced from Louis Roederer.
Louis Roederer is unique in Champagne owning two-thirds of the vineyards for their total production covering the Pinot Noir sub regions of “Montagne de Reims” and “Vallee de la Marne” with Chardonnay from the “Cotes des Blanc”. By 1995, recent acquisitions hadincreased Louis Roederer's holdings from 180 hectares to nearly 190 hectares, ranking 97.5% on the official classification scale. In 1876, Tsar Alexander II asked that his personal champagne be presented in crystal bottles, thus giving rise to the very first prestige cuvee. Today, the Cristal bottle exemplifies the quest for perfection which inspires the House of Louis Roederer to provide its demanding and refined clientele with exceptional Champagnes.
Vintage Conditions: The freak weather conditions experienced in Champagne, of the most savage intensity, led Louis Roederer to fear the worst, but a glorious September saved the harvest and ensured the quality of the vintage.Following a remarkably harsh winter, spring frosts destroyed 16 hectares of Louis Roederer vineyard from Verzenay to Verzy. Persistently wet and cold weather after the flowering then triggered repeated attacks of mildew. Fortunately, warm and sunny conditions during themonths of August and September, ensured a quality yield which was as unexpected as it was exceptional. The lightly laden vines, particularly those of the Pinot Noir vineyards, gave good quality heterogeneous yields composed of very healthy bunches. The sugar content wasvery high and total acidity was generally satisfactory.
Cristal is made from the finest cuvees pressed from the highest quality grapes from the Champagne Louis Roederer vineyards. Today it is still produced in limited quantities, always as a vintage wine and only in exceptional years. A truly fine Champagne, Cristal ischaracterised by its finesse and elegance (derived from the high proportion of Chardonnay in the blend), and its enticingly delicate bouquet and perfect balance.
Tasting notes: Made from a blend of pinot noir 55%, chardonnay 45%. Yellow green colour with fleeting glints of gold. The nose is rich and intensely fruity, with a masterful balance of freshness and maturity. Notes of citrus on a background of red berries, are followed by a subtle toastiness plus warmer notes of baking (Tarte Tatin) and wood (almonds), from the partial fermentation in French oak barrels.The palate is rounded and vinous, but with all the delicacy and freshness which comes from a wine perfectly poised between youthfulness and maturity. The mousse is an endless stream of deliciously creamy bubbles filling the mouth with softness through to a finish of exquisite length and crispness. An elegant, stylish wine with a crisp delicacy but already a hint of maturity, the 1997 reflects the vintage, cold at the outset but warm and sunny by harvest.
Serve well chilled. Richly perfumed, Louis Roederer Cristal 1997 is an exquisite aperitif or celebratory Champagne. The strengthand finesse of Cristal make it an excellent accompaniment to delicate dishes including shellfish such as scallops, lobster and crayfish, John Dory fish and caviar.