Robert Parker 98
I’ve revisited Roederer’s 2013 Cristal four times since I reviewed it in April of this yearâ€”including several times from my own cellarâ€”and I had to admit that even my lavish praise didn’t do it full justice. Combining the cool-vintage cut of 2008 with the more completely mature fruit of 2012, the 2013 Cristal might well be said to represent the perfect combination of the two from a purist’s perspective. The wine unwinds in the glass with notes of crisp orchard fruit, white flowers, almond paste and citrus oil, followed by a medium to full-bodied, seamless and multidimensional palate that’s intense but weightless, with racy acids, a pinpoint mousse and a long, penetrating finish. Drink the 2008 Cristal on its own, and you’re unlikelyâ€”to put it mildlyâ€”to have any complaints; but compare it directly with the 2013 and you’ll see Roederer’s rapid progress in the vineyards writ large.
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2060
Disgorged in 2020, dosage 8 g/l. 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, 32% of the cuvée is fermented in oak. Six and a half years spent on lees. Very challenging in the vineyard. A very late year, spring arrived especially late. Lots of sunshine but a very high acid level, emphasised by Louis Roederer’s non-malo policy. The oak proportion in this wine is relatively high because Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon is aiming for a dry finish which helps ‘stretch the impact of the wine on the palate’. Biodynamic fruit means the fruit can take more oak because it’s so concentrated. Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon loves this wine, calling it ‘the essence of Cristal’. Very fresh. Very tight on the nose. Extremely youthful and tense. Needs to unfurl. Tight and dry on the end. Long but embryonic. Lots of citrus elements. Elegant.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2036