Robert Parker 95+/100
The 2002 Brut Cristal Rose shows the classic Roederer introspectiveness that can sometimes make the wines hard to grasp when they are young. It, too, is a relatively lightly-colored rose. The bouquet is beautifully woven into a fabric of layered, ripe fruit. With some time in the glass, the wine's textural beauty becomes more apparent, but this is a Champagne that needs bottle age. It should be spectacular in time. Cristal Rose is made with the same technique as the rose, which is to say the Pinot is cold-macerated on the skins for 6-7 days, but the percentage of oak is a touch higher. For Cristal Rose the Pinot is sourced from Ay and the percentage of Chardonnay (from Avize and Mesnil) is a touch higher than the Brut Rose at 40% of the blend. This is Lot L031784L100149, disgorged in April, 2008. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.
This is another set of exceptional new releases from Roederer, one of the very few of the larger houses that captures the full potential of Champagne as an art of blended wine. Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon and his team have done a marvelous job with these Champagnes. Unfortunately, I was not able to taste the 2004 Cristal, which will be released in the Spring of 2010. Lecaillon is also working on a new wine, a Brut Nature Champagne (equal parts Pinot and Chardonnay, and likely to be a vintage wine) which will also be released next Spring. Readers who want to learn more about this historic house may want to take a look at my vertical of Cristal going back to 1979 available on www.erobertparker.com.