Cristal, the ultimate Champagne to be produced by Champagne Louis Roederer, builds upon the 200-year tradition of fine winemaking that has made Roederer French Champagnes amongst the most sought-after in the world. For connoisseurs the world over, there is nothing finer than Cristal. Jewel in the Louis Roederer crown, cuvée CRISTAL remains faithful to the value which inspired it in 1876 when, especially created for Tsar Alexander II, it sought to epitomize the elegance and purity of Champagne.
Twenty percent of the wines were matured in wood (oak barrels) with weekly batonnage. There was no malolactic fermentation. Cristal is made from grands crus from the Reims mountains, the Marne Valley and the Côte des Blancs. Matured for an average of 5 years in the cellars, it is left to rest for 8 months after disgorging to complete its maturation. Dosage is adapted to each vintage, at between 8 and 10 g/l. 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay.
The 2005 vintage was a year of marked contrasts between seasons and regions. Following a fairly harsh winter, 2005 had a mild spring with relatively warm temperatures all year long. There was above-average sunshine and a slight water deficit, as had been the case throughout the dry cycle of 2005/2004 and 2003. The heat and humidity in July produced larger grapes and bunches, rather unusual for the Champagne region, while the cooler weather in August, followed by a very sunny month of September, led to favorable ripening in spite of heavy parasite pressure. The harvest dates were typical of those of the decade: September 12th for Chardonnays and the following day for Pinots noirs.
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