One of Cristal’s Finest Vintages in 50 Years
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. When you have the chance to lock into a “supremely elegant” Cristal from one of the finest vintages of the past 50 years, you hit “Buy” first, and then you starting thinking about your New Year’s Eve dinner party plans for December 31, 2017, but also for December 31, 2027 and 2037 — because life takes on new meaning when you pop a bottle of 10- or 20-year old Cristal. Trust us — print out and wrap this missive around the few bottles you cellar and thanks us in a decade or two when you’re marveling in disbelief over the fireworks in your glass. Elsewhere up to $299, just $199 per bottle on Wine Access for this masterpiece.
Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne 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.”