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Roederer ready for Cristal 04

Champagne Louis Roederer will unveil its Cristal 2004 in September, the first of the Grandes Marques to release a prestige cuvée from this vintage.

Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, head winemaker and executive vice-president for Roederer, described 2004 as “a very classic vintage”, with “the power and energy we look for in Cristal”.

Lécaillon also noted that the vintage’s 25% fermentation in oak “makes this Cristal more open earlier and much easier to understand.”

Frédéric Rouzaud, managing director of Roederer since 2006, confirmed this view, saying: “In a way, I think ’04 will be more easy and accessible for customers.”

Nevertheless, both maintained that Cristal is really built for longevity, with Lécaillon suggesting “it is really at its best when it’s 20 to 25 years old.”

Defending a release date which falls so far ahead of other leading prestiges cuvées, Lécaillon noted, “If we wait one or two years more it won’t make a difference to the customer’s understanding. It’s built to last 25 years and we can’t wait that long!”

Disgorged in January, the 2004 is currently being held for a minimum of a further eight months prior to release, by which time Lécaillon predicted, “I think its nose will be more nutty, more toastiness will come out and on the palate it will become more wine-y.”

Anticipating strong demand for Cristal 2004, Lécaillon warned: “There is not much; it will last for one year and no more.”

This autumn is also set to mark another significant milestone for Roederer as it unveils a zero dosage addition to its portfolio.

Gabriel Savage, 06.05.2010

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