louis roederer, cristal vinotheque brut 1996
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1996 Cristal Vinothéque spent 10 years sur lattes and four years sur pointe (for an explanation of those terms, readers are directed to the accompanying article) before disgorgement. Opening in the glass with a complex bouquet of dried fruits, honeycomb, fresh butter, lemon oil, spices and smoke, it's medium to full-bodied, ample and integrated, its racy spine of vintage-typical acidity elegantly cloaked in crisp but fleshy fruit, with terrific concentration and a long, precise finish. Incisive and powerful, this is a 1996 Champagne that has turned out very well indeed.