Louis Roederer Cristal Vinotheque 1999

Louis Roederer Cristal Vinoteque 1999

A Laboratory of Time

This invaluable and exactly measured ageing process gives Cristal Vinothèque its stature; it determines the future of the wine and guides it with wisdom and precision. Adapted to the vintage and weather over the course of the year, devised and implemented by the cellar master, everything comes together over the course of time.

First, there is a long period of resting on the lees, between 8 and 12 years: this preparatory phase enables the wine’s aromas to develop and its structure to become more complex. The wine gains greater texture and body, it becomes softer and smoother, helped by the richness of the lees which gives it a deeper and more complex whole.

After the riddling process, the wine is left sur pointe: this is the moment when the passage of time is suspended. The wine rests, anticipating an extended maturation process and, having already developed some body thanks to the initial ageing on the lees, now unearths its dormant freshness. This phase lasts between 5 and 10 years.

Then it’s time for the wine to be aged under cork: after disgorgement, the wine is in perfect condition for ageing and it rests in our cellars, dug beneath the ground, in total darkness, at a temperature of 11°C. An additional 2 to 6 years ageing under cork are then required to permit the wine’s gradual evolution and ultimate blossoming. The cellar master is the conductor of time and the ageing process in which every phase plays an important role. It is a slow process, a dazzling paradox that is played out: forged by patience and rest, guided by the choices made by the cellar master, the wine slowly acquires a luster.

The sur pointe stage is particularly essential because it allows the wine to purify itself, to withdraw for a time, slowing down the ageing process for a while. This wait serves a purpose: it is in this stillness that the wine takes its shape and sets itself in motion. This slowing down of the ageing process protects the wine from oxidation and preserves the character imbued by the grapes and the soil. At the time of disgorgement, only subtle fine-tuning is required, just the right stroke, and nothing more, to underscore the wine’s personality. The cellar master therefore gives it a lower dosage than the original Cristal, 1 or 2 grams less, and the result is a champagne that is both fresher and more evolved, with a longer finish, and more elegance than any other champagne.

This dosage is a passport for the journey that is to come. Another five years under cork go by, time for the smooth integration and harmonisation of the flavours. A perfect alchemical process weaves together in the darkness of the cellars, under the rock, just below the water table. And this cool wave of freshness laps over the wine like time. After these long years spent resting underground, the wine does not show any of the wrinkles of time; its aromatic notes remain fresh, undulating and vivacious, at their perfect point of equilibrium.

“An exceptional wine that is in the midst of a 20 year window of beauty. Late disgorgement has enhanced its aromatic complexity whilst creating this fresh, precise and timeless palate.” – Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Chef de Cave

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To the eye, bright golden colour. A soft, serene elegant and creamy effervescence.

On the nose, delicate bouquet blending citrus fruit, candied lemon and a hint of lightly roasted hazelnuts. The purity and simplicity of the Chardonnay dominates the nose with notes of flour and a hint of freshly baked pastries. The Pinot noir, with its texture and concentration of aromas, structures the wine and supports the Chardonnay. What a champagne! The enticing bouquet continues to open up in the glass to reveal its vibrant youth.

In the mouth, the palate is captivating, delicious and silky smooth. Its delicate bubbles burst gently on the tongue to bring finesse and freshness to the wine’s powerful texture. The elegant Pinot noir offers up distinctive notes of candied citrus fruit, citron, oriental spices and vanilla. The ‘Cristal’ chalkiness is powerful, precise, mineral and lingers on the powdery, saline finish.

Pinot Noir 57%, Chardonnay 43%. 24% of the wines vinified in oak. No Malolactic Fermentation

The strength and finesse of Cristal are perfectly suited to delicate foods. It is a flattering accompaniment to caviar, fish and shellfish such as scallops, John Dory, lobster and crayfish poached sea trout.

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.

Professional reviews: Coming soon!

Additional information

Weight6 kg