Like the 2008 Cristal, the 2008 Cristal Rosé is the finest young vintage of this cuvée that I have ever tasted. The vineyards used for this cuvée have been farmed entirely biodynamic since the 2007 vintage and the wine was finished with a dosage in ’08 of 7.5 grams per liter. This is simply a brilliant young vintage of Cristal Rosé, offering up a stunningly pure and precise bouquet of fraises du bois, tangerine, complex, chalky minerality, white flowers and a touch of caraway seed in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, refined and full-bodied, with a flawless, completely seamless structural chassis, great depth at the core, elegant mousse and superb complexity and grip on the perfectly balanced, refined and laser-like finish. The 2008 Cristal Rosé is still a baby and will need at least another seven to ten years to start to truly blossom, but its magic is already very easy to behold. Rosé Champagne simply does not get any better than the brilliant 2008 Cristal!
The finest rendition of this cuvée that Lécaillon has produced to date—and, indeed, one of the finest wines produced by any of Champagne's important houses in the last two or three decades—is the 2008 Cristal Rosé, a brilliant wine that derives from a mere four of the 45 plots that are candidates for inclusion in Cristal: two blocks of Pinot Noir from Aÿ, one of Chardonnay from Mesnil and another from Avize, and I suspect that its origin in the crème de la crème of Roederer's Cristal-worthy holdings has even more to do with the extra dimension it possesses above and beyond its white counterpart than the delicate infusion of Pinot Noir phenolics that give it its delicate pink hue. Unfurling in the glass with aromas of wild strawberries, tangerine, warm pastry and crisp green orchard fruit, the 2008 is medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a racy but beautifully integrated spine of acidity, a multidimensional core and a searingly chalky and laser-focused finish. Impeccably balanced and harmonious, this superb wine represents one of the qualitative peaks of this great vintage. It will be seven or eight years until it truly starts to blossom, but its benchmark quality is already glaringly apparent. (WK)
Super fresh with all the DNA of the regular ‘08 Cristal. It heads on a chalky, restrained tangent of delicately spiced cherries with fine white pepper and crushed stones. The palate has a thread of silky, smooth pinot flesh that counterbalances the acidity of the chardonnay. Superb textural build, fine layers adding weight through the finish. Super long, fine and fresh red cherries, wrapped in super tight yet silky acidity.
As a group, the 2008 Champagnes are focused and tightly wound. The 2008 Cristal Rosé has plenty of those qualities, but what places it in a truly rarified category is its sheer depth and verticality. Vinous, powerful and resonant, the 2008 Cristal Rosé has more than enough stuffing to support decades of cellaring. For starters, it won’t be ready to drink for another 5-10 years. This is a positively monumental, towering Champagne from Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon and his team. (AG)
Frédéric Rouzaud and Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon decided to hold the 2008 Cristal Rosé longer than the 2009, giving it eight years to rest on the lees. The cool vintage and long aging created a wine with a huge personality and presence, its compressed power barely relieved by Lécaillon’s decision to include lots that underwent malolactic fermentation (16 percent), a rare move for Roederer’s vintage cuvées. Even though the wine is a giant, challenging to approach right now, there’s elegance under its deep well of flavor, from rich, floral raspberry to elusive wild fruit. This is destined to live for decades.
This wine comes from a great vintage. It shows in the richness and intense structure of the Champagne, packed with both acidity and a great line of minerality, tautness and fruitiness. Produced mainly from biodynamically grown grapes, the wine has extra depth. (RV)
Like fine china, this graceful rosé Champagne is all about delicacy paired with form. Vibrant acidity provides well-honed structure, fleshed out by the detailed flavor range of white cherry, slivered almond, candied ginger, pink grapefruit pith and spring blossom as this rides the satiny mousse. Minerally smoke and chalk notes echo on the finish. *Collectibles* (AN)
Disgorged December 2017 or early 2018. Deep salmon. Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon pays more and more attention to the colour. ‘You can taste the colour sometimes. I am going for less and less colour with each year.’ 10% red wine. With the fruit from four parcels – two in Aÿ and one each in Avize and Mesnil. Mid to deep salmon. Intense. The line and discipline of 2008 informs this wine. Reductive nose. Some strawberry fruit but overall real tension. Extremely vibrant. Some chew. Very long. Heady development in the glass. (JR) 18.5/20 points
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