Louis Roederer Cristal Brut, Champagne France 2008

Louis Roederer Cristal Brut, Champagne France 2008

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The overriding impression is one of a true harmony of flavours, senses and silky textures. The bite in the mouth is full and creamy, revealing an incredible concentration of juicy fruits. Absolute sensuality. 2008 VINTAGE. 100 POINTS JAMES SUCKLING. 100 POINTS ROGER VOSS. 100 POINTS ALBERTO LUPETTI. Louis Roederer is unlike any other Champagne house of its magnitude. The largest independent, family-owned and managed Champagne maker of all is privileged to 240 hectares of superbly located vineyards, supplying 70% of its needs for an annual production of three million bottles. With 410 blocks and 450 tanks and casks at his disposal, Chef de Cave Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon describes his role as "a la carte winemaking". He hates the word blend. "We don’t blend, we combine," he says. "I love art, and like a great painter we add colour rather than blending." There are few in Champagne today with an intellect as sharp, an attention to detail as acute and a nerve as strong as Lecaillon. For 18 years, he has championed extraordinary initiatives in Roederer’s vineyards unparalleled in the region, and a regimen in the winery to match. Never have his wines looked more characterful or more precise than now. Louis Roederer’s vintage wines are assembled exclusively from estate properties, and even its entry Brut Premier NV boasts 55% estate fruit. The vast majority of these vineyards are on prime chalk soils, and 100 hectares are farmed biodynamically. Implementing biodynamics on such a scale is unheard of in Champagne, and Roederer’s operation is the biggest in the region, and one of the biggest in France. Cristal 2008 is the ultimate embodiment of Lecaillon’s fanatical work in the winery and, most of all, in the vineyards, a magnificent, towering monument to the lofty chalk aspiration that defines Cristal. Lecaillon has defined this to be the greatest Cristal he has ever made. It is gloriously understated, impeccably poised and unreservedly refined. The only question that remains is whether this could be the greatest Cristal of all time. It will take years to unravel to reveal its answer. Don’t miss one moment of this mesmerising spectacle.
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