To the eye, brilliant yellow with light amber highlights. A beautiful mousse with fine cordon of persistent and regular bubbles.
On the nose, intense and delicate. Revealing a clean and well-blended mixture of flavours of honey, cocoa, lightly toasted hazelnuts, candied citrus fruit… without exuberance, but luxurious simplicity!
In the mouth, a savoury explosion of ripe fruit on the attack, revealing red fruit, white chocolate, caramel and Danish pastry, typical of Cristal. Silky, concentrated texture, leaning on intense, powerful and vinous structure, but maintaining refinement. The palate builds up to attain a delicious sensation of well-blended harmony of flavours. A fresh finish with a hint of bitterness making it almost crunchy.
All the exceptional characteristics of the 2002 vintage have literally been captured in this 2002 Cristal, which is generous and lush, revealing perfect balance between concentration and finesse, freshness and vinosity, intensity and refinement. In three words: proud, rich and luxurious.
55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay
Dosage: 10 g/l, from a selected blend of 8 to 10 of the very best crus from the Louis Roederer vineyard aged in oak.
Serve at a temperature of 8°C (46°F) to 10°C (50°F). We recommend that you leave the bottle to cool in the refrigerator for 2 H. Alternatively, immerse the bottle up to its neck in a champagne bucket filled with ice before serving. Never cool the bottle in the freezer since this breaks the wine.
The 2002 Cristal is a gorgeous, sculpted wine of extraordinary elegance. Graceful, well-delineated aromatics lead to ripe pears, spices, flowers, minerals and mint in this precise Champagne. Today the 2002 appears to have slightly more fruit than the 1996, and perhaps slightly better overall balance, although that is splitting hairs at this level. The wine remains fresh and in need of several years of cellaring before it hits its stride. In 2002 Cristal is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. 20% of the wine was aged in oak, and dosage was 10 grams. This bottle was disgorged in December 2007.
— Antonio Galloni
What more can be said about the 2002 Louis Roederer Cristal …
Having been lucky enough to have taste the 2002 over the past several years, and most recently in September 2016 I can honestly say that it is entering its prime drinking window now. In previous years like most Cristal’s it was rather young and a shame to drink so early. Apricot, pears, spice, roses, wild berries, can all be tasted as the first zip dances in your mouth, ever so perfectly smooth and balanced making it delightful to enjoy and savour over a couple of hours. That perfectly smooth and mineral balance can only be found in perfect Champagnes. If correctly cellared this will easily last 20/30 years and beyond!
On this occasion the food pairing was Tuna/Salmon Sashimi and assortment of Sushi Maki’s for the main course. A fantastic dessert pairing was homemade apple pie and vanilla ice cream. The 2002 Cristal was voted 2016’s World Best Champagne.
100/100 (September 2016)