At France’s greatest Champagne house, winemaker Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon told us we would have to go back to the 1960s to find a vintage as rich and concentrated as this 2009 Cristal. When the critics chimed in, it came in the form of a 97-point trifecta from Decanter, Wine Enthusiast, and James Suckling. This “supremely elegant” Cristal from one of the finest vintages of the past 50 years truly will be the pièce de résistance at your next New Year’s Eve party or any special celebratory occasion. Big, rich, and bold on entry, more vinous and almost Meursault-like with gorgeous layers of ripe apple, juicy orange, and white peach. This is a rare vintage of Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne.
Louis Roederer’s “Cristal” was created in 1876 to satisfy the refined palate of Tsar Alexander II. The emperor asked Roederer to reserve its best cuvée for him in exceptional vintages. To distinguish the Tsar’s Champagne from the rest, the wine came in a flat-bottomed, lead-glass “crystal” bottle. The brand later took its name from that precious vessel.
Over a century later, Cristal remains one of the world’s most iconic Champagnes. But winemaker Jean Baptiste Lécaillon isn’t content to sit back and let stardom carry the brand. He continually strives to take the Tsar’s Champagne to new heights. 2009 is a prime example. In an interview with Decanter, he expanded on what he considers the secret to his amazing success—biodynamics. Nearly half of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes that comprise the 2009 were farmed biodynamically, which, Lécaillon says, “gives you an extra ripeness while maintaining the acidity at the same time.” “The texture is new,” he explained, “and that is biodynamics.”
Big, rich, and bold this is a rare vintage of Cristal that marries great precision and substantial power. Drink now or stash away. You can thank us in a decade or two when you’re marveling in disbelief over the fireworks in your glass.