One of the finest Champagnes I have ever brought to my lips, the 1999 Cristal bursts from the glass with fresh hazelnut and apple scents. Elegant, deep, and silky-textured, this medium to full-bodied beauty is immensely concentrated, pure, packed with apple flavors, and astoundingly long in the finish. Louis Roederer does not display a disgorgement date or consumer friendly lot number on its non-vintage Brut. This is regrettable as it has consistently been one of the finer bottlings in this category. (PR)
From the family collection, disgorged ten years after harvest, slightly lower than original dosage. A warm year, the hottest since 1959 at the time, this has high ripeness and plenty of spice, a touch reductive, gentle citrus peel and some candied tropical fruits, clear chalk, dried honey and brioche too. The palate has a compression to it, smooth and finely layered texture here, some flesh and some succulent texture, generous dried red cherry fruit flavours pressed together with layers of more savoury autolysis. Complex and textural Champagne.
The precision of the flavors in this vintage of Cristal is riveting. They feel substantial, complete, youthful and extremely long even as their aromatic intensity remains subtle, layered in scents of fresh apple, brioche and yellow plum. But the integration is such that rather than emphasizing individual elements, the wine brings to mind words like brisk, elegant, refined. A beauty to drink now, though it will have more to offer with age.
A powerful Cristal, which has all the richness of the 1999 vintage. The aromas of white flowers and cocoa lead to a palate that is rich, intense, concentrated, but restrained. It is already drinkable, but should mature well. (RV)
Still incredibly youthful and primary, the 1999 Cristal Rosé offers plenty of power, but it is clearly much less refined than the other wines in this tasting, tough company, it must be admitted. Still, the 1999 looks like it will drink well for many years even if it is a bit compact and rough around the edges next to the other wines in the range. With time in the glass, hints of game, smoke and wild flowers with distinctly Pinot-leaning inflections add character. (AG)
Light gold. Vibrant, tangy aromas of apple, pear, white peach and minerals. Wound tight right now, only reluctantly offering up flavors of fresh orchard fruits, herbs and pepper. Finishes zesty and long. Seems less deep than the 1997 bottling; is this just in a sullen, youthful stage? (JR)
High-toned and floral, with hints of coconut and spice. Firm and lively. Needs a little time to integrate and resolve the fine mousse with the tactile finish. More backward and powerful than most 1999s, this has potential. (BS)
From jeroboam. Wow. Stunning nose, really stunning. Toasted marshmallows, saline, apple juice. Flinty, sparky, firework smokiness. Evocative. This is what the fuss is all about! (RH) (19.5/20 points)
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