2014 Louis Roederer

Cristal Millesime Brut,  Chardonnay - Pinot Noir

Montagne de Reims,  Champagne,  France

$350
JD 96
RP 96
V 98
Size:
Quantity:

Availability: 18

2014 Louis Roederer Cristal Millesime Brut, Champagne, France 

Overview

In 1876, Tsar Alexander II - already a great lover of Louis Roederer wines - asked Louis Roederer to ‘take the exercise still further‘ and create a cuvée for his personal use which was unique, in terms of both its style and the bottle. Louis Roederer offered him an exceptional crystal bottle, holding the fruit of vines selected from the seven great crus on his estate. The chardonnay and pinot noir grapes provide the subtle, precise balance that has now become synonymous with the leading prestige cuvée of Champagne.

Cristal is Louis Roederer’s flagship cuvée. It was created in 1876 and is composed of seven Grand Crus from the Montagne de Reims, the Marne Valley and the Côte des Blancs.

Winemaking

Cristal 2014 is composed of grapes sourced from 45 "lieux-dits" in Verzenay, Verzy, Beaumont-sur-Vesle, Ay, Avize, Mesnil-sur-Oger, and Cramant. 32% of the wines are vinified in oak. No malolactic fermentation. The dosage is 7 g/L. 

Tasting Notes

Intense, bright and luminous golden hue. Dynamic effervescence with a continuous stream of fine bubbles. Intense, fragrant bouquet of great purity. Concentrated and candied citrus fruit mingle delicately with notes of grain and lightly roasted almonds. The lovely sensation of big ripe fruit is balanced and lifted by energetic fresh tangy overtones. Fruity palate with a silky texture, complemented by soft bubbles that are perfectly integrated and deliciously elegant. The purity and perfection of the ripe yellow fruit melt into the intense chalky freshness, typical of Cristal, that is both powdery and saline. Dense, juicy, concentrated and long on the mid-palate, thanks to the spicy and sappy structure resulting from partial ageing in large oak vats (foudres). The finish builds to a crescendo, revealing a rich grainy and velvety texture that is wrapped in a long, saline and superbly elegant finish.

Harvest Notes

A "weather waltz", and one with clear, sharp contrasts! The spring was sunny and dry and ended with a heatwave in June; summer was autumnal, cool and rainy; September was hot, sunny and very dry… weather we would usually associate with the month of August. The ‘key’ to the vintage lay in the soils as well as in the work carried out by the winegrowers. The good drainage properties of the chalk on the lower-middle part of the hillside helped us greatly by allowing the excess water from the summer to drain away which limited any excess vigor in the vines. These factors were complemented by our increasingly eco-friendly viticultural practices which allow us to take our quest for grapes of perfect balance and maturity even further.

JD 96

Jeb Dunnuck

It’s always educational, and a treat, to taste the latest vintage of Louis Roederer’s flagship Cristal Champagne. This cuvee is sourced from 45 separate plots covering just under 200 acres spread between the villages of Verzeny, Verzy, Beaumont-sur-Vesle, Aÿ, Avize, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, and Cramant. The vineyards are farmed either organically or biodynamically and are planted to a 60/40 split of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Each parcel is vinified separately and for the 2014, only 39 parcels made the final selection, with the blend being roughly 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. The wine has the malolactic fermentation blocked and is brought up in a mix of 32% oak and 68% tank. This was a warmer year that saw fabulous springtime weather, a slightly cooler, rainy summer, and a great end of the year. The 2014 fits in nicely in recent vintages and has a style all its own, showing a fleshy, round, nicely concentrated style reminiscent of the 2012 yet not quite the precision of either the 2008 or 2013. Gorgeous and classic Cristal stone fruit, chalky minerality, white flowers, almond paste, and subtle toast emerge on the nose and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a supple, almost creamy texture, terrific balance, and a great finish. It’s surprisingly approachable yet I’ve no doubt it will evolve nicely given its mid-palate depth and overall balance. It’s beautiful today and a terrific Cristal to enjoy over the coming two decades or so. It’s unquestionably more approachable than either the 2013 or 2008, but not far off qualitatively. Reviewed by Jeb Dunnuck, Issue date: February 2022. Drinking window: 2022 - 2042.
RP 96

Robert Parker Wine Advocate

The 2014 Cristal is a terrific effort that transcends the vintage. Bursting from the glass with expressive aromas of ripe citrus fruit, nectarine, white flowers, freshly baked bread and subtle hints of honeycomb, it's medium to full-bodied, vinous and fleshy, with an exuberant core of fruit that's girdled by racy acids, resulting in a wine that's simultaneously chiseled and demonstrative, meaning that early appeal doesn't come at the expense of the requisite tension for long-term cellaring. Concluding with a long, aromatic and intensely chalky finish, it is a brilliant Champagne that will offer a broad drinking window. This bottle was disgorged in June 2021 with seven grams per liter dosage. Reviewed by William Kelley, Issue date: February 2022. Drinking window: 2021 - 2050.
V 98

Vinous

The 2014 Cristal is another in a long line of gorgeous wines from Roederer and long-time Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon. A dazzling, vibrant Champagne, the 2014 impresses with a stunning combination of fruit density and linear energy that brings to mind a hypothetical blend of 2012 and 2008. At times, the bubbles feel totally wrapped up in waves of creamy, resonant fruit to the point the mousse is barely perceptible, especially with aeration. The flavors are bright and finely sculpted, leaning very much into the citrus, floral and mineral end of the spectrum. The blend is a classic: 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay taken from 39 of the 45 parcels that comprise the Cristal estate. In most vintages, the Pinot components are roughly equally split between Verzy/Verzenay and Aÿ, but in 2014, Lécaillon favored Verzy and Verzenay, two north facing villages in the Montagne de Reims {where rain was less problematic) known for conferring saline energy and vibrancy. Rain was much more of an issue in the Vallée de la Marne. Consequently, some of the Pinots in Aÿ were diluted and did not make it into the blend. Chardonnays were sourced from historic plots in Avize, Mesnil and Cramant. About 32%of the lots were fermented in wood, the rest were done in tank. As always, all of the malolactic fermentations were blocked. In 2014, the growing season was marked by a good spring followed by a cool, wet summer and then very favorable weather in September. I vividly recall that there was not much enthusiasm for the vintage at the outset. Today, though, opinions are starting to change, at least with regards to some wines. Since 2012, Cristal has been made entirely from organically-farmed grapes, an approach Lécaillon adopted in order to achieve a more ideal and parallel relationship between sugar and phenolic ripeness. "Champagne is always a battle between picking too early and rot,’’ Lécaillon has often said during our tastings. One of the other benefits of organic farming is that it naturally lowers yields. As Champagne fans know, the great wines of the 1950s and 1960s were made at a time when yields were in the 5,000 kilo per hectare range. Then, in the 1980s, widespread planting of higher-yielding clones led to an entirely different situation in the vineyard. Today's permitted yields are 11,000 kilos per hectare, with some variation in years that present unusual growing conditions. With organic farming, yields for Cristal are in the 7,000-9,000 kilo per hectare range. Another innovation at Roederer has been a focus on higher­ density plantings with newer vineyards, an approach that encourages low production per vine. But back to the wine. The 2014 Cristal is a riveting Champagne. Don't miss it. Reviewed by Antonio Galloni, Issue date: February 2022. Drinking window: 2024 - 2064.

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SHIPPING: Due to warm summer weather, we recommend to only ship within the United States with Same Day or Overnight Service to protect the wines from environmental damage. If you would like to waive this protection by shipping Ground, we will request a waiver be signed.

PACKAGING: Our premium wines need optimal temperature consistency; therefore are packaged in EPS foam shippers with gel pack (when needed) and shipped only during ideal weather temperatures.

WEATHER HOLD: In adverse temperature conditions, we reserve the right to withhold shipment until ideal temperatures return unless we receive explicit instructions via email to release the wines, voiding any guarantee. We will contact you if a hold is necessary.

FULFILLMENT: Shipments are via GLS, FedEx, or UPS.

  • Orders received Sunday - Wednesday before 6:00 p.m. will ship the following day.
  • Orders received Thursday-Saturday will ship on Monday.

DELIVERY:

  • FedEx Same Day Service within Los Angeles Metro area may be available if order is placed before noon, but not guaranteed. Please contact us directly at (626)340-0795 to facilitate expedited service.
  • All shipments are recommended for Same Day or Overnight. Ground shipping to Mid and East Coast states is not recommended at this time due to warm temperatures.

Adult Signature: By law, all shipments of alcohol must be received and authorized by an adult. Our delivery carriers will not release packages without an adult signature and additional charges may be incurred if the package requires withholding or redirection.

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We ship within the United States to: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

JD 96

Jeb Dunnuck

It’s always educational, and a treat, to taste the latest vintage of Louis Roederer’s flagship Cristal Champagne. This cuvee is sourced from 45 separate plots covering just under 200 acres spread between the villages of Verzeny, Verzy, Beaumont-sur-Vesle, Aÿ, Avize, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, and Cramant. The vineyards are farmed either organically or biodynamically and are planted to a 60/40 split of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Each parcel is vinified separately and for the 2014, only 39 parcels made the final selection, with the blend being roughly 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. The wine has the malolactic fermentation blocked and is brought up in a mix of 32% oak and 68% tank. This was a warmer year that saw fabulous springtime weather, a slightly cooler, rainy summer, and a great end of the year. The 2014 fits in nicely in recent vintages and has a style all its own, showing a fleshy, round, nicely concentrated style reminiscent of the 2012 yet not quite the precision of either the 2008 or 2013. Gorgeous and classic Cristal stone fruit, chalky minerality, white flowers, almond paste, and subtle toast emerge on the nose and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a supple, almost creamy texture, terrific balance, and a great finish. It’s surprisingly approachable yet I’ve no doubt it will evolve nicely given its mid-palate depth and overall balance. It’s beautiful today and a terrific Cristal to enjoy over the coming two decades or so. It’s unquestionably more approachable than either the 2013 or 2008, but not far off qualitatively. Reviewed by Jeb Dunnuck, Issue date: February 2022. Drinking window: 2022 - 2042.
RP 96

Robert Parker Wine Advocate

The 2014 Cristal is a terrific effort that transcends the vintage. Bursting from the glass with expressive aromas of ripe citrus fruit, nectarine, white flowers, freshly baked bread and subtle hints of honeycomb, it's medium to full-bodied, vinous and fleshy, with an exuberant core of fruit that's girdled by racy acids, resulting in a wine that's simultaneously chiseled and demonstrative, meaning that early appeal doesn't come at the expense of the requisite tension for long-term cellaring. Concluding with a long, aromatic and intensely chalky finish, it is a brilliant Champagne that will offer a broad drinking window. This bottle was disgorged in June 2021 with seven grams per liter dosage. Reviewed by William Kelley, Issue date: February 2022. Drinking window: 2021 - 2050.
V 98

Vinous

The 2014 Cristal is another in a long line of gorgeous wines from Roederer and long-time Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon. A dazzling, vibrant Champagne, the 2014 impresses with a stunning combination of fruit density and linear energy that brings to mind a hypothetical blend of 2012 and 2008. At times, the bubbles feel totally wrapped up in waves of creamy, resonant fruit to the point the mousse is barely perceptible, especially with aeration. The flavors are bright and finely sculpted, leaning very much into the citrus, floral and mineral end of the spectrum. The blend is a classic: 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay taken from 39 of the 45 parcels that comprise the Cristal estate. In most vintages, the Pinot components are roughly equally split between Verzy/Verzenay and Aÿ, but in 2014, Lécaillon favored Verzy and Verzenay, two north facing villages in the Montagne de Reims {where rain was less problematic) known for conferring saline energy and vibrancy. Rain was much more of an issue in the Vallée de la Marne. Consequently, some of the Pinots in Aÿ were diluted and did not make it into the blend. Chardonnays were sourced from historic plots in Avize, Mesnil and Cramant. About 32%of the lots were fermented in wood, the rest were done in tank. As always, all of the malolactic fermentations were blocked. In 2014, the growing season was marked by a good spring followed by a cool, wet summer and then very favorable weather in September. I vividly recall that there was not much enthusiasm for the vintage at the outset. Today, though, opinions are starting to change, at least with regards to some wines. Since 2012, Cristal has been made entirely from organically-farmed grapes, an approach Lécaillon adopted in order to achieve a more ideal and parallel relationship between sugar and phenolic ripeness. "Champagne is always a battle between picking too early and rot,’’ Lécaillon has often said during our tastings. One of the other benefits of organic farming is that it naturally lowers yields. As Champagne fans know, the great wines of the 1950s and 1960s were made at a time when yields were in the 5,000 kilo per hectare range. Then, in the 1980s, widespread planting of higher-yielding clones led to an entirely different situation in the vineyard. Today's permitted yields are 11,000 kilos per hectare, with some variation in years that present unusual growing conditions. With organic farming, yields for Cristal are in the 7,000-9,000 kilo per hectare range. Another innovation at Roederer has been a focus on higher­ density plantings with newer vineyards, an approach that encourages low production per vine. But back to the wine. The 2014 Cristal is a riveting Champagne. Don't miss it. Reviewed by Antonio Galloni, Issue date: February 2022. Drinking window: 2024 - 2064.

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