To the eye, brilliant yellow colour displaying light amber nuances, combined with an ultra-fine, persistent, soft effervescence
On the nose, there’s an intense, highly expressive bouquet on the first nose! The aromatic elegance and precision of Chardonnay is apparent: white fruit, sweet pollen, fine citrus fruit and very pure minerality. After a few minutes, the aromas move on to more confit, lightly grilled hints. The bouquet is rich and sweet, almost generous, remaining precise and impeccably refined.
In the mouth, the bite in the mouth is full and creamy, revealing an incredible concentration of juicy fruits: yellow peach, apricot, mango and others. This silky, meaty concentration, which is both dense and soft – and typical of great Pinot noir – is immediately combined with a sophisticated touch of acidity, ringing the wine alive with minerality. The overriding impression is one of a true harmony of flavours, senses and silky textures… Absolute sensuality.»
Composed of 55% Pinot noir and 45% Chardonnay (20% of which is matured in oak casks with weekly batonnage). No malolactic fermentation occurs. Cristal is produced using harvests from the finest vineyards of Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs.
Cristal ages an average of 5 years in the cellars and rests 8 months after disgorgement to perfect its maturity.
Dosage: between 8 and 10 g/l is customised to complement each vintage.
The 2004 Brut Cristal has put on quite a bit of weight since I first tasted it earlier this year. It is a powerful, structured Cristal layered with considerable fruit. Chardonnay seems to play the leading role in 2004, at least today. Cristal is often accessible young, but that is far from the case here. This is a serious, painfully young Cristal that will require considerable patience. Readers who are willing to spend some time with the wine today will find a super-impressive, complete Cristal. This is Lot L033331E100008, disgorged January, 2010.
97/100 (December 2010)
— Antonio Galloni
The 2004 is still very young and should most definitely be cellared for a few more years, having said that it is still very exuberant and tremendously smooth with all the clear sings of one of the best Cristal of the last few years.
Apricot, pear, apple, mango, citrus all present as you first taste this excellent Vintage that only gets better after given a few minutes to breathe and develop other more Wine like features as the bubbles start to fade and that wonderful smooth fine bubble is enjoyed.
Lovely aromas of floral & Chardonnay, honey, citrus, sweet dough, with a creamy and precise finish.
Should be fascinating to taste and enjoy in the next 5-10 years. The food pairing this time was with Rio Frio Caviar Russian Style blinis, followed by a Lobster Risotto for main course. Dessert Fresh Wild red berries and Strawberries with cream.
97+/100 (August 2016)