Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Champagne (Millésimé)
In 1876, Tsar Alexander II, a lover of Louis Roederer's wines, asked the producer to create a special cuvée for his personal use, unique in his style and design. Dissatisfied with the standard champagne bottles which concealed the beautiful color and effervescence of the eye, he asked that his personal cuvée be served in transparent crystal glass bottles with a flat bottom to foil the insertion of explosives by alleged assassins. Thus, Louis Roederer selects the best vines from seven great vintages of his domain and Cristal, the first prestige cuvée, was born.
World famous, Cristal is produced only from great vintages where the ripeness of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape varieties can provide the subtle and precise balance that distinguishes this cuvée. Between 20 and 30% of the wines are vinified in oak barrels and the final mixture is refined for six years in the cellars and rests for twelve months after disgorgement. Recently, the Cristal vineyards have been converted to biodynamic farming methods and the House estimates that by 2020, all of the Cristal plots will be cultivated biodynamically.
Weather: The 2005 vintage was unpredictable and full of contrasts. The weather was generally warm with little rain, but a heat wave in August followed by an initial cold and rainy anticipation of moderate September. In the end, careful selection in the vineyard ensured a limited volume of exceptional quality and indeed, 2005 was an extremely short vintage.