Monday, May 20, 2013

Immodest Monday: Louis Roederer Cristal 2004

Immodest Monday: Louis Roederer Cristal 2004 Champagne
Reims, France
On Mondays I've been featuring a modestly price grocery store wine for under $10. This Monday, however, was a special night -- I graduated from Business School! In honor of this occasion I am featuring Louis Roederer's cuvée prestige Cristal

Review: This brut (dry) sparkling is quite extraordinary. I hardly know where to start. Flavors: soft green apples, light citrus, minerals, brioche, and white flowers. Texture: superfine bubbles, brisk acidity, creamy and full. Finish: lingering fruit and toast. Oh so nice.

The grapes for this house specialty are sourced from three districts within Champagne: Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blanc. The differences in terroir, combined with intense care during production and ageing, contribute to the complex and interesting nuances of this wine. For example, 20% of the wine is matured in oak casks prior to the secondary fermentation. Each week the wine goes through battonage, where the lees (spent yeast cells) are stirred up with a baton. This imparts not only some yeasty flavors, but also helps to give the wine its smooth richness and depth.

Is it worth the several hundred dollar price tag? Yes and no. It was amazing to experience and to share with friends. Did it taste $250 better than quality domestic non-vintage bubbly? Nope. But I'm very glad I splurged, just this once.

Food Pairing: Caviar and friends!

Bottom Line: Amazing. A once (or maybe thrice?) in a lifetime purchase.

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 2004
  • PLACE: Champagne AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée)
  • GRAPES: 55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay; 20% of wine matured in French oak
  • AGEING: 5 years in the cellars, and an 8 month rest after disgorgement 
  • BOOZE: 12% 
  • CELLAR: Drink now, age for up to 15 years

Where did I get it? Special order through the Crystal City Wine Shop
What's the damage? Super Premium

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