2012 Louis Roederer 'Cristal' Brut Champagne
Winemaker's Notes: 2012 was one of the most challenging and complicated years ever experienced in Champagne. However, difficult conditions often lead to great things… The low yields, due to the unpredictable weather, combined with continental conditions towards the end of the season, gave us unusual levels of maturity, resulting in rich, full-bodied and structured wines worthy of the greatest vintages in Champagne.
Rich and complex aromas with notes of zesty and candied fruit (lemon) mingled with pollen (white flowers), roasted hazelnut and Madagascar vanilla. After aeration, the bouquet develops rich notes of fresh pastries and smoky notes from bottle ageing.
A delicious, concentrated and chalky palate. It shows incredible tension and perfectly honed aromatic precision. The attack is powerful, distinctive and concentrated and reveals a silky, mouth-coating texture, characteristic of the ripe Pinot noirs from the 2012 vintage.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - "The 2012 Cristal Rosé is showing brilliantly, unwinding in the glass with a beautiful bouquet of fresh peach, bergamot, strawberries, tangerine and blanched almonds that's still quite reserved. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, deep and strikingly complete, its vinous attack segueing into a multidimensional core that exemplifies the ideal of power without weight, built around a racy but integrated spine of animating acidity and complemented by an exquisitely refined mousse. All the concentration of the 2012 vintage is on display, but it's rendered with terrific finesse. Decidedly youthful and introverted—indeed, I spent several hours with a bottle to compose this note—the 2012 will really come into its own with five or six years in the cellar and displays all the attributes necessary for considerable longevity. It's a blend of 56% Pinot Noir and 44% Chardonnay that saw no malolactic fermentation, and it was disgorged with eight grams per liter dosage."
Wine Enthusiast - "As the first 100% biodynamic Cristal, entirely from Roederer-owned vineyards, this is an important milestone. This latest incarnation is a great Champagne with its density, elegance and poise. Still impressively young, the wine is taut, tightly wound and textured. At the same time, it has pure, ripe white and citrus fruits that are perfumed, and an important part of this wine's long-term future. Drink at the earliest from 2023. Cellar Selection"
Vinous - "The 2012 Cristal is another absolutely stellar wine this flight of recent releases. Rich, vinous and beautifully textured, the 2012 has been nothing short of magnificent on the three occasions I have tasted it so far. In the glass, the 2012 is radiant and luscious, yet it possesses remarkable transparency and striking aromatic depth. Light tropical notes develop in the glass, giving the 2012 a real feeling of exotic beauty. The 2012 is the first vintage of Cristal done with 100% organically-farmed fruit, an approach introduced gradually starting with the 2007 that has profoundly changes Cristal, especially in its aromatic breadth. Two thousand twelve is the vintage where endless trials and experiments in farming and winemaking are fully realized. The 2012 is just stunning. It’s as simple as that. Dosage is just over 7 grams per liter, the lowest it has even been for Cristal."
James Suckling - "Such attractive, fresh, floral aromas here with fine bread, hints of white almonds and a lemon edge. White cherries and strong, chalky minerals, too. The palate has a very composed feel. Seamless and quite silky texture with effortless length and flow. Very fluid and composed. Very late, warming almond flavors. This is very long and smooth with a velvety finish. Super long pinot weight. Resolved and drinkable, but will age so well."
Wine Spectator - "A classic beauty, fresh-faced and focused today, but with a harmonious grace of form suggesting a long career ahead. There's a creamy, viscous quality to the mousse that swathes the palate, carrying finely detailed flavors of poached quince, Mandarin orange preserves, toasted almond and pickled ginger. Mouthwatering throughout, with a pleasing, soft zestiness to the mineral-laced finish. Drink now through 2035."
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