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Cristal that goes ‘beyond Champagne’ released by Louis Roederer

Champagne Louis Roederer has announced the release of  its Cristal Vinothéque and Vinothéque Rosé from the 2002 vintage.

Claiming to be ‘born of the greatest Cristal vintages’, and from 20 years of winemaking, the latest Cristal Vinothèque follows on from the 1995, 1996, 1999 and 2000 editions.

According to Louis Roederer, the Vinothèque 2002 “continues the quest for ever greater refinement” that it said was typical of the brand, and had “exceptional intensity and complexity”.

The products have 20 years of ageing in three successive phases: sur lattes, sur pointe and then sur bouchon, across what Roederer calls its “laboratory of time”.

2002 was described as a “extraordinary year” and “exceptional vintage” in Champagne with warm temperatures yet without excessive sunshine or heat, a mild winter, and slightly less rainfall than average during the growing cycle, with cool nights and a cool, dry northeast wine in August and September.

These exceptional conditions resulted in optimum ripeness levels in the grapes and good concentration of flavour. The harvesting began on the 12 September for the Chardonnays which were displaying an average sugar concentration of over 11% in natural alcohol.

Cristal Vinothéque 2002 is described as an “intense, complex bouquet” with a blend of citron, citrus peel, grilled almond and wheat aromas, and a “tantalising impression of morning dew combined with smoky notes, nougat and honey”.

The Main Crus are Verzenay, Verzy, Beaumont-sur-Vesle, Ay, Avize, Mesnil-sure-Oger, Cramant and it is 60% Pinot noir and 40% Chardonnay. Aged for 11 years, “sur lattes”, it is followed by 5 years “sur pointes” and a further 4 years rest after disgorgement.

Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Chef de Cave, said: “This is something that goes beyond Champagne, here we have a wine with concentrated, long, delicate and fresh textures not dissimilar to a great white Burgundy.”

Cristal Vinothéque Rosé 2002 is said to be “bursting with freshness” and gives the impression of a “sea breeze wafting in delicately concentrated fragrances of zesty red and citrus fruits”.

The Main Crus are Ay, Avize, Mesnil-sur-Oger and it is 56% Pinot noir and 44% Chardonnay also aged for 11 years “sur lattes” followed by 5 years “sur pointes” and a further 4 years rest after disgorgement.

Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Chef de Caves said it had “incredible youth” and was “a ballerina vibrating with energy and sensuality.”

The bottles are available from the end of September at prestige retailers and select merchants with the Cristal Vinothéque 2002 priced at £1150.00 inc VAT per 75cl bottle or £2300.00 inc VAT per 150cl magnum and the Cristal Vinothéque Rosé 2002 priced at £2300.00 inc VAT per 75cl bottle and £4600.00 inc VAT per 150cl magnum.

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