louis roederer, cristal rose 2002
Wine & Spirits
Levi Dalton at Convivio (NYC) compared this wine to the pianist who hits the right keys at the right moment. He's referring to the precision of the wine, which is astonishing. There is no singular flavor, but rather a resonant chord, a series of oppositions that create the invisible intensity of an electric current, the power of the charge balanced by the elegance of the flavor and the structure of the wine. You could describe it as light and brisk, or bold and intense; either way, you'll still be tasting it ten minutes later. As Peter Liem pointed out, "You could use any descriptor in the world and apply it to this wine. It is an Ur wine." The most exciting thing about it is the thought of what it will become.
The 2002 Brut Cristal Rose shows the classic Roederer introspectiveness that can sometimes make the wines hard to grasp when they are young. It, too, is a relatively lightly-colored rose. The bouquet is beautifully woven into a fabric of layered, ripe fruit. With some time in the glass, the wine’s textural beauty becomes more apparent, but this is a Champagne that needs bottle age. It should be spectacular in time. Cristal Rose is made with the same technique as the rose, which is to say the Pinot is cold-macerated on the skins for 6-7 days, but the percentage of oak is a touch higher. For Cristal Rose the Pinot is sourced from Ay and the percentage of Chardonnay (from Avize and Mesnil) is a touch higher than the Brut Rose at 40% of the blend. This is Lot L031784L100149, disgorged in April, 2008. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.
The sense of completeness here is stunning. This has very complex aromas of sous-bois, blood oranges and spicy, lightly toasty elements, as well as a wealth of dried roses, brown, woody spices, gunflint and pot-pourri. Expansive, playful palate with exotic pink grapefruit and a silky, soft and fleshy, supple edge. Almost airy, soft, delicate fruit. Full of happiness! Vibrant, succulent cherries to close. Holds super long. This really is in a great place. Original disgorgement in 2012.