Champagne Louis Roederer: Cristal 2013 Release

Champagne Louis Roederer: Cristal 2013 Release

©Emmanuel Allaire

Champagne Louis Roederer: Cristal 2013 Release

Champagne Louis Roederer: Cristal 2013 Release

©Emmanuel Allaire

'Cristal of Cristals Plus'

Cellar master Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon called the 2013 vintage the “Cristal of Cristals Plus”. He outlined 2013 as “a really cool vintage” with a cold and wet spring, exceptionally late flowering lasting until early July, and a “fortunately beautiful summer with quite a lot of heat and light,” followed by a “classic cool-climate September before starting harvest on the 27th of September, finishing not until 15 October.” 

Complicated Growing Season

“The growing season was complicated,” he said, noting relatively poor fruit set which decreased the average weight of the grape bunches from their usual 120-140g to just 90-100g. This, however, resulted in “much more concentrated flavours and super-concentrated aromas in 2013. That is the beauty of 2013, that it is so intense in flavour. It really speaks loudly and it speaks of concentration.” He emphasized the quality of the Chardonnay with its “saltiness and expression” while the Pinot Noir, mainly from the Montagne de Reims, spoke “of ripeness”. Champagne Louis Roederer has 45 dedicated vineyard plots for Cristal. Only 30 of these made it into the 2013 vintage blend, resulting in 20-30% less production of the cuvée.

Vintage Parallels

Lécaillon compared 2013 to the 2008 vintage: “For me, 2013 is the new 2008.” He noted the parallels in analytic values at harvest, the similarity of potential alcohol levels and acidity but pointed to the difference of the pH value in the must. In 2008 the pH was 2.93, in 2013 it was 3.02. “I think it showcases the great summer we had which gave more fleshiness to the 2013 vintage. 2013 has everything of 2008: the precision, the salinity, the raciness. It is a beautiful gift from nature.” 

Cristal 2013 is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay and comes with a dosage of 8g/l. Lécaillon’s recommendation for enjoying it is: “Let the wine breathe, that is the key for Cristal, let the wine open in the glass.” It is delicious now but will age magnificently

Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal 2013 

see the tasting note