Also colloquially known as fizz or bubbly. It is the first of our wine styles, although technically it is a wine type that has many different styles. It can vary just as much as still wines.
Tend to have low or medium levels of ALCOHOL
Differ in the amount of PRESSURE
Are often described in terms of BUBBLES
SPARKLING WINES “FIZZ” OR “BUBBLY” Have many sources of AROMA AND FLAVOUR
Have varying amount of SWEETNESS
Are often described according to STYLE
Lightly Sparkling Semi-Sparkling Fully Sparkling
Bubble size – Fine/Medium/Coarse Fizziness – Subtle or Frothy (aggressively bubbly) Duration of bubbles – Goes flat quickly, persistent
Blending of Base and Reserve Wines Ageing on Lees – yeasty, bready, doughy aromas Grape Variety – e.g. apple for Chardonnay, strawberry for Pinot Noir
Doux or Sweet Demi-sec – Medium Dry Extra Brut/Brut/Extra Dry/Sec – Relative degrees of dry wines from 3 to 20 g/l of residual sugar Brut nature – with no sugar added
Simple or complex Elegant (or having finesse)
READ & LEARN
Fizziness, known more formally as ‘effervescence’, is the property of sparkling wines to make bubbles. The foam, or collection of bubbles that appear above the liquid, when being poured is called the mousse. A persistent mousse is one that lasts a long time. Where the bubbles disappear too soon, the wine is said ‘to go flat’ quickly. The bead refers to the string of bubbles of carbon dioxide (CO2) that rise from the bottom to the top of the glass. Generally, the highest quality sparkling wines have the smallest size of bubble and so we see sparkling wine described as having a ‘fine’ or ‘ultra-fine’ bead. Medium is also used and coarse refers to bubbles that are both large and unpleasant. Different winemaking techniques are used to produce the bubbles, but the method perfected in the Champagne region of France is known as the Traditional Method. Other methods for producing the bubbles, such as the Transfer and Charmat methods, will be discussed later in this chapter.
Sparkling wines can be: р Made from a wide variety of different grape varieties, both white and red р White, rosé or red in colour р Made from a single year or a blend of different vintages р Made with different pressures in the bottle, and described as lightly, semi-sparkling and fully sparkling р Made with a range of different alcohol levels, but low to moderate levels are usually favoured р Made to be simple or complex, with the more complex styles relying on long periods of ageing on lees
Examples of Sparkling Wines Using the Traditional Method Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Cava (white wines) Spain
Saumur Mousseux Loire Valley, France
Rosé or Pink Champagne
Blanc de Noirs Champagne
Cava Rosado Spain
Australian Sparkling Shiraz and other Sparkling Red Wines
What is ‘Autolysis’? This process most commonly refers to the breakdown of dead yeast cells or lees after the secondary fermentation has taken place during sparkling winemaking. The effect of this process is stronger when the wine is left in contact with the lees for an extended period of time, usually for a minimum of 18 months. Superior quality sparkling wines often have 5 years or more of lees contact. The result of this process in sparkling wine is extremely positive. The mouthfeel or texture is improved, because a longer lees contact period is often associated with a finer bubble size leading to a fine bead and a softer, creamier texture in the mouth. Many other beneficial compounds are produced that improve the stability of the wine and the complexity of the flavours produced. The autolytic character of sparkling wines is often described as: bready, biscuity or simply as ‘yeasty’.
Words and Phrases Trending in this Style Finesse: Sparkling wines that are made to be elegant are often described as having ‘finesse’, the quality of delicacy and elegance which is maintained despite high levels of aroma and flavour intensity.
Precise: Aromas and flavours that are clearly defined are often described as precise or having the quality of precision.
Louis Roederer Cristal showing a fine bead and persistent mousse.
2 The History of the Company
GB BE DE Paris
CH FRANCE IT
After a visit to the Louis Roederer Champagne house, you get the strong sense that this is a family-owned and run company which has a long tradition of doing things differently from the rest.
In 1876, Tsar Alexander II was already a great fan of Louis Roederer’s champagne and he asked Louis Roederer to “go one step further” and produce, for his own personal consumption, a wine unique in quality
Although the company was founded in 1776, Louis Roederer inherited the company in 1833. Since that time, the house has made the most of the ups and downs in the luxury market for their products. This is a company that knows who they are and what they have to do to continue to lead the way in Champagne and that is: they have to keep pushing themselves to do better. What do they say about themselves? The following is an extract from their wine information sheet.
and bottle. Louis Roederer offered to create an exceptional white crystal bottle to house the best selection from the 7 finest vineyards of his estate, thus creating the first prestige cuvée of Champagne. This wine is only produced in the “great” years when the ripeness of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir enables a subtle, precise balance.
This determination to “go one step further” was seen again when the Russian market for their wines dried up with the fall of the Tsar in 1917. Although Champagne’s first prestige cuvée disappeared from the market for some decades, the company decided to buy their own vineyards, at a time when other houses felt this was unnecessary. For other houses, it was much easier to buy the inexpensive grapes from the growers of the day. Camille Olry-Roederer, widow of the great-nephew of the founder, realized that to make top quality wine, you had to control the raw materials. This decision to forge their own path contributed enormously to the independence and quality of the house – an independence which has been preserved down to this day. Cristal was successfully brought to life again after World War II.
Martine Lorson, Head of Communications at Louis Roederer was asked: How is the company positioned today? Her answer is given below: “We have 230 hectares of our own vineyards which supply about 70 % of our raw materials. The decision was made back in the 1970’s to never buy grapes for more than 30 % of our production. Since that time, we have invested in other Champagne Houses and diversified into other areas such as St-Estèphe and Pauillac in Bordeaux. We invested heavily in the Anderson Valley, California and established Roederer Estate, which was first released in 1988. Today, we produce some of the finest sparkling wines in California. We also currently have holdings in Portugal. Frédéric Rouzand, the 7th generation since Louis Roederer himself, runs the company today.”
Please note A vineyard in Champagne is known as a cru. The best vineyards are classified as grand cru and the next best vineyards are known as premier cru. A wine estate in Champagne is often referred to as a: house Each house often has its own characteristic way of making wine and unique taste. This is broadly known as the: house style Finally, the top wine of the house is known as a: prestige cuvée
1. From the text above, which events from the history of Louis Roederer are connected with the dates on the timeline below?
Tsar Alexander II
3 What is Behind the Label?
How do you like your Champagne to taste? Light and zesty or rich and full-bodied? Complex and yeasty or delicate and subtle? Bone dry or full and sweet? Understanding a little bit about each of the different styles of wine and knowing a few key phrases in both English and French can help make choosing the right champagne for you much simpler. A non-vintage champagne or N.V., is based on the current vintageâ€™s production of the three main grapes, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. These base wines are carefully blended with reserve wines from previous vintages before being bottlefermented according to the â€˜Methode Champenoiseâ€™ (also known as the Traditional Method on labels of sparkling wine that come from outside the Champagne region). This wine is designed to showcase the style of the house and to be consistent in taste and quality. We will see later how Louis Roederer has invested heavily in making a non-vintage champagne of the highest quality. A vintage Champagne is made only in years with exceptional quality. It means that it came from grapes that come from the year stated on the label. A house cannot use more than 80 % of the grapes from the harvest for a vintage wine. This is to make sure the house maintains enough reserve wines for the future. You expect to see increased complexity and elegance in this style, in part because of the extra ageing on lees that is required by law for this type of wine.
While a non-vintage wine reflects mainly the house style, and a vintage wine reflects both the house style and the year itself, a prestige cuvée such as Cristal is the ultimate expression of both the house and the vintage. Whereas a vintage wine is aged on its lees for 3 years, Cristal is aged on its lees for 6 years and is a superb example of a late-disgorged wine (more about this later). A pink or rosé champagne is the only rosé style allowed to be made by blending a white and a red wine together. This is not done at Roederer. They have come up with their own unique way of making rosé Champagne which you will learn about later.
The flavour profile of a champagne is significantly influenced by the grape varieties themselves, with the blanc de blancs style showing pure elegance and finesse while the blanc de noirs style is characterized by more richness and depth. See the Test Your Knowledge section below. Finally, if you have a sweet tooth, you may prefer the demi-sec (medium dry) and doux (sweet) styles of Champagne that are ‘dosed’ or given extra sweetness before bottling. If a drier style is more your cup of tea, then there is brut nature – with no sugar added after primary fermentation – then extra brut, brut, extra dry and sec – in increasing order of residual sugar from < 3 to 20 g/l.
Test Your Knowledge Which of the traditional Champagne grapes are associated with these champagne styles? I. blanc de blancs II. blanc de noirs
4 The Vineyards
1. Read the following text and answer these questions below. A. The production of Louis Roederer Champagnes is limited by what 2 things? B. What is the main advantage in owning your own vineyards? C. What effects have been observed in biodynamically operated vineyards? D. What is the advantage of deeply rooted vines?
The Vineyards of Louis Roederer With the decision to source most of the fruit from their own vineyards and not to allow more than 30 % of the production to come from outside vineyards, Louis Roederer has basically set the limits of its own production. This is because it is extremely hard for a champagne house to acquire new vineyard holdings under existing laws. The great benefit of owning most of your own vineyards is that you can take the risks that growers would normally avoid in the pursuit of the highest quality possible. Imagine that you are a grower and you sell most of your grapes to a champagne house. When the grapes have reached their minimum ripeness levels required, would you be willing to wait an extra week before picking? You may achieve greater flavour intensity but you also know that any rains that come could seriously reduce the sugar concentration and delay ripening or even worse, completely ruin your harvest. Most are not willing to take
“If you are not the owner (of the vineyards), you cannot push the boundaries.” Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, Chef de Caves, Louis Roederer,
such a risk. But at Roederer, they often choose to run this risk in order to achieve the unique expression of each plot. Another way in which Roederer pushes the boundaries is in its implementation of both organic and biodynamic methods over the last ten years. Using these methods is not the goal itself, but is another way in which to achieve the highest quality possible. Deeper roots have been observed in the biodynamicallyrun vineyards. The Champagne region is influenced by both the continental and maritime climates. In cases of heavy rainfall, especially in summer, the chalky soil and bedrock act as a kind of sponge. It absorbs excess water and releases it when needed during dry weather periods. In this way the vines have ‘just enough’ water and ‘not too much’. It is this balance that helps to create a great wine. In the words of Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon: “Deeply-rooted vines in balance with their environment help to create what I call effortless taste, that is fresh, vibrant, intense and concentrated as well.”
2. Watch the video: S2_P1.1 – Louis Roederer_Champagne Yields and answer the following questions: A. What is the yield per hectare (in tonnes) for Champagne vineyards? How might this seem on the surface? B. How is the extraction process described? C. How much wine is produced from one hectare of vineyards? D. What statistic is missing from this situation? E. What is the range of yield per vine in Champagne?
Test Your Knowledge Which of the traditional Champagne grapes are associated with the sub-regions of A. Vallée de la Marne (the Marne Valley)? B. Montagne de Reims (the Reims mountains)? C. And Côte des Blancs (the white slopes)?
LINKS & TENDRILS
The information in this article is also presented in the video: S2_P1.2 – Louis Roederer_Deep Roots
5 The Vintage Report
1. Match the following growth stages to their corresponding pictures below: A. Harvest B. Flowering C. Fruit set D. Budburst (or Budbreak) E. Veraison
2. Read the 2005 harvest â€“ or vintage report â€“ below and answer the following questions: A. How was Champagne less successful than other French wine regions in 2005? B. What two reasons were given for the fact that the vintages at Louis Roederer are consistently of high quality? C. Which of the growth stages were problem-free? D. Which particular period was the most problematic during the growing season and how was the situation resolved?
The year 2005 was considered a classic vintage in many of the famous wine regions, although the year is not as uniformly successful for all the producers in Champagne. Thankfully, due to their large vineyard holdings in many of the top crus, the quality of the vintage met the strict requirements needed to declare a vintage at Louis Roederer. The mild and dry start to the year supported good budburst and flowering, which happened on schedule. Fruitset occurred quite quickly due to the fine weather. However, July came with periods of unseasonable rain
and occasional patches of mildew. The weather improved slightly in August with dry but cooler-than-average temperatures. This steady development was accelerated at the end of August and into September with sunny days and cool nights. The harvest turned out to be particularly successful for Chardonnay as well as Pinot Noir from the top crus. In the end, an excellent harvest despite cooler-thanaverage conditions and unexpected showers.
3. Find words from the text above which mean the same as following: A. Evenly B. Because of C. Vineyards D. To officially announce E. A type of fungus F. Sped up, went faster
6 The Winemaking
Many of the wine words in English used for champagne and other sparkling wines are still in the original French language or have very similar English versions. It is good to know these if you want to read about or talk about Champagne.
Methode Champenoise or the Traditional Method READ
1. Match the words below with their definitions: base wine muzzle riddling
disgorging reserve wine
A. The process that occurs after ageing for at least 9Â months on lees where the yeast cells bursts open, releasing a range of chemicals that improve aroma, flavour, complexity and the size of the bubbles in the wine. B. The dry, still wine made in the current vintage and used as a blending component. C. The wire cage that is tied over the sparkling wine cork to hold it in place.
yeast autolysis expedition liqueur
D. Dry, still wine made from a previous vintage and used as a blending component. E. Pushing something out of a vessel or container by force or pressure. F. The liquid used to sweeten the wine after disgorging. G. Shaking, twisting and inverting the bottle in one movement to move the yeast deposit toward the cork.
Riddling bottles of Cristal to move the yeast sediment down to the neck of the bottle. 234
2. Read how the words from exercise 1 have been used to describe the Traditional Method for making champagne and other sparkling wines. Then match the highlighted French words in the text with their English equivalents, listed below. expedition liqueur wire cage (or muzzle) pressing tirage liqueur
fermentation autolysis ageing on lees riddling
disgorging (the wine) blending lees stirring
A. The fruit is hand-picked, then whole-bunch pressed in a vertical basket press. The process of pressuage extracts 100 l of juice from 160 kg of grapes. B. Fermentation of the free-run and pressings juices is done separately by natural or neutral yeasts to create base wines. These wines are kept on lees and undergo battonage. C. Assemblage of base wines and reserve wines takes place, after which the wine is bottled with the addition of a liqueur de tirage consisting of sugar, yeast and a clarifying agent which starts the secondary fermentation. Then the bottle is crown sealed. D. After the secondary fermentation has finished, an élevage sur lie (or with lees contact) takes place for at least 6 years or more for Cristal so that the desired flavour can be generated by autolyse.
E. The yeast is removed by shaking and turning the bottles upside down in stages on riddling racks – or shaking tables – in a process known as remuage, to get the yeast deposit to the cork of the inverted bottle. This can be done by hand or mechanically, using a gyropallette. F. The bottle neck is frozen, then when the bottle is opened, the frozen plug of yeast lees is forced out under pressure in a process known as dégorgement. G. The clear wine in bottle is then topped up with a liqueur de expedition which also adjusts the sweetness of the wine. H. The cork is inserted, the muselet is placed over the cork. The wine now rests in the cellar waiting to be labelled.
3. Watch the video: S2_P1.3 – Louis Roederer_Methode Champenois to check your answers to exercise 2 above.
4. Watch the video again and answer the following questions:
A. What effect does lees stirring have on the base wines? B. What examples of blending components are mentioned and what is the objective of blending? C. Yeast autolysis creates what flavours in the wines?
7 Tasting & Describing the Wines
Describing the Wines of Louis Roederer Wine 1. Louis Roederer 2005 Cristal
1. Watch the video: S2_P1.4 – Louis Roederer_Cristal and answer the following questions: A. The fizziness in a freshly poured glass of sparkling wine is called the: I. mouse, II. moose, III. mousse B. What phrase was used to describe the top Champagne produced by the champagne house? C. When was Cristal created? D. What are some of the characteristics mentioned that you would expect from ‘the ultimate Champagne’? E. The word ‘focussed’ can be used to describe the nature of the flavour of this wine. What word from the video was used as a synonym? F. What flavours might you taste in this wine?
Describing the Wines of Louis Roederer Wine 2. Louis Roederer Brut Premier Non-Vintage
Wine 3. Louis Roederer 2008 Vintage Rose
2. Watch the video: S2_P1.5 – Louis Roederer_Brut Premier NV and answer the following questions:
3. Watch the video: S2_P1.6 – Louis Roederer_Rosé Vintage and answer the following questions:
A. The blending components are created from different vineyards, varieties and vintages. How many of the following are mentioned here? I. Different crus (or vineyard sites) II. Grape varieties III. Vintages B. What are some of the characteristics of this wine? C. What is more important than the bubbles in the wine? D. Fine and discreet are two words that describe what feature of this wine? E. How is the taste of the wine described?
A. Saignée is the French word for a technique that takes free-run juice from a recently crushed tank of dark-skinned grapes after a short pre-fermentation maceration and results in a rosé wine. What English phrase from the interview was used to describe this technique? B. What is the rosé juice blended with in order to keep the freshness and elegance of this style? C. Why can wine made this way, which is unique to the house of Roederer, only be made as a vintage wine? D. What 2 flavours were used to describe this wine in the video?
8 Marketing & Sales
1. Read the text below and find the words or phrases that mean the following: A. Extremely limited supply B. Being limited by some physical reality C. Came and had a big impact economically
D. To start and develop (regarding new markets) E. Limited (production)
Doing Things Differently from the Rest. An interview with Martine Lorson, Head of Communications, Louis Roederer What is the annual production at Louis Roederer? “Back in the early 70’s, Jean-Claude Rouzaud, who was the 6th generation in the company, a winemaker for the company, decided to never buy more than 30 % of his grapes from outside his own vineyards, which meant that he was physically bound by the size of his vineyards. As far as champagne was concerned, all of our markets were on severe allocation because the production was from 2 to 2½ million bottles.” What steps did you take during the 2008 recession in the global markets to stabilize the sale of your wines? “So the biggest market was the United States. Our number one market is France but the biggest export market was the United States. When the recession hit, the country that was the most hit was the United States so we lost many bottle sales from that market but we were able to recover by opening up to 30 new markets that in the past, we weren’t able to provide for.”
When it comes to accepting visitors to the house, you also do things very differently. Can you tell us about that? “ For many houses, the thousands of visitors that come to the region and visit the cellars contribute significantly to their sales and that’s fine. However, our fixed production means that allocation of our wines has always been quite tightly controlled. The bulk of our production is reserved for our domestic and export markets. We do however, welcome visitors from the wine trade. In this way, we can focus and give more personal attention to a smaller number of visitors who are our partners in importing, distributing and selling our wines. It is our pleasure to give guided tours of our vineyards and cellars and help our partners appreciate the great care that goes into making our wines.”
2. Find the answers to these questions in the previous text: A. What is the biggest market for Louis Roederer Wines? B. Given the popularity of the brand and the fact that that production is limited, what situation developed in the past? C. What was the response of the House when their 2nd biggest market was hit by recession? D. The House chooses not to get bottle sales from which potential market?
Champagne production explained on a guided tour of the Louis Roederer facilities.
9 Wining & Dining
1. Watch the video: S2_P1.7 – Louis Roederer_Food Pairings Here two lists of food recommendations were each given for Roederer Rosé in part 1 and for Cristal, in part 2. Which wine is said to be the most versatile when pairing with different foods?
2. Watch the video again and match each of these statements with either the Rosé (R) or the Cristal (C). A. This wine can be served as an aperitif. B. This wine can go with some fruits and desserts. C. This wine is best paired with firm-fleshed fish. D. This wine can stand up to (handle or manage) the spiciness of aioli (a French garlic mustard) and some spicy Chinese dishes.
3. Watch the video a final time with subtitles and answer the following questions: A. What cheese was highly recommended for the Rosé? B. What fruit was recommended to pair with the Rosé? C. Which 3 types of shellfish were mentioned for the Cristal? D. What flavour in the Cristal matches the saltiness of the food?
Shellfish – Oysters
Dark and oil-rich fish – Atlantic Salmon
Classic Food Pairings—Fish White, lean and firm fish – Swordfish
It is understandable why many would recommend a seafood pairing with Cristal. It may in fact be the wine they most enjoy with the food they have selected. Here are some of the typical categories of seafood/fish. р Shellfish: Oysters, Crab, Lobster and Crayfish р Dark and oil-rich fish: Atlantic Salmon and Blue fin Tuna р White, lean and firm fish: Catfish and Swordfish р White, lean and flaky – easily separated into small piece – fish: Rainbow Trout and Red Snapper р White, firm and oil-rich fish: Sturgeon and Chilean Sea Bass
White, lean and flaky fish – Red Snapper
White, firm and oil-rich fish – Chilean Sea Bass
Shattering Some Wine & Food Pairing Myths Myth: Delicately flavoured foods go with light-bodied, elegant wines.
What the Savvy Sommelier Might Say: Sommelier: And what would you like as your main course? Husband: I’ll have the lobster please. Wife: And I’ll have the Sirloin steak please, medium rare. Husband: Honey, I thought we were ordering the Cristal tonight to celebrate our anniversary? Wife: Oh that’s right. I guess I should order seafood instead, right? Sommelier: No need to change your order madam. We often try and pair the ‘wrong food’ with a wine during our staff training here, just so that we can have confidence in our food and wine recommendations. We’ve found that the naturally high and refreshing acidity in the Cristal makes it a very versatile wine to pair with a range of foods.
Husband: But won’t the steak be too strong for the Champagne? Sommelier: What we’ve discovered is that marinating the steak in lemon juice and adding just enough salt while cooking really helps to make it more balanced so that it can be paired with a range of wines. The idea that the strong flavours of the steak will overpower the delicate flavours of the champagne is incorrect. Husband: You’re kidding! Sommelier: We’ve tried it and Champagne goes surprisingly well with steak! Wife: Great. I’ll give it a try!
10 Sparkling Wines—Other Wines of the Same Type
Other Sparkling Wine Production Methods
1. Based on the information from the text opposite and from the rest of this profile, fill in the flow chart below (A–I) with these words:
The Traditional Method for making sparkling wine generally produces the highest quality. In can be summed up in the phrase ‘Fermented in this bottle’, which appears on some labels. A completely different production method is indicated by the very similar phrase ‘Bottle Fermented’ which often indicates that the secondary fermentation took place in the bottle but that the contents of many bottles had previously been ‘transferred’ to tank, where they were clarified, given a dosage and then re-bottled. This is known as the Transfer Method. This method avoids the riddling process but does subject the wine to extra movement and often results in reduced quality. The Tank Method – also known as the Charmat Method – creates the bubbles in the wine by performing the secondary fermentation in a pressurized tank. The wine is then clarified, sweetened by the addition of a dosage liqueur and then bottled. A fourth method, carbonation, not seen on the flow chart opposite, involves injecting carbon dioxide into the wine directly. An example of this method can be seen in Wine 2 on the following page.
dosage (2×) corking 2nd fermentation in bottle transfer to tank
Add Sugar & Yeast
Ageing on lees
2nd fermentation in tank, re-bottling disgorgement ridding/remuage
Wine 1. Grant Burge Sparkling Cabernet Shiraz NV Barossa Valley, Australia
Wine 2. Villa Maria Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand
’A sparkling wine for the red wine drinker’
2. Watch the video: S2_P1.8 – Grant Burge_Sparkling Shiraz Cab and answer the following questions: A. What contribution does Cabernet Sauvignon make to I. The wine itself? II. The wine’s future? B. What did Grant Burge set out – or plan and start – to do with some of his best Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon fruit? C. How is the wine described? D. When do Australians traditionally drink this wine?
“gently infused with a fine bead of bubbles”
3. Watch the video: S2_P1.9 – Villa Maria_Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc and answer the following questions: A. What is the effect of the bubbles on the taste of the wine? B. This wine is recommended to be drunk where and when? C. What foods would go well with this wine?
4. From the video in exercise 3, what effect is there when you paint a mental picture of how the wine can be enjoyed?
11 The Wine Information Sheet
READ & LEARN
Understanding and writing a wine information sheet is one of the target skills of this course. With this in mind, each of our eight Producer Profile sections will end with a review section based on a wine information sheet. These sheets are based on factual information about the wine being described but for teaching purposes are not identical to the information sheets found on the producer’s website.
General Comments on this Wine Information Sheet The vintage reports that present the challenges involved in growing healthy grapes and achieving the final successful outcome often use the words ‘despite’ and ‘in the end’. Finishing the report on the positive (and realistic) outcome is important for the confidence of the customer.
Helpful Hint Famous people from the past who were associated with your winery should definitely form part of the story of your brand. This can only add to your company’s prestige.
1. Read the text. Then, using the words in the list below, complete the spaces in the text with the correct word or phrase.
shellfish prestige mousse unseasonable
disgorgement bready cooler than average dosage
steady battonage finesse bead
History In 1876, Tsar Alexander II was already a great fan of Louis Roederer’s champagne and he asked Louis Roederer to “go one step further” and produce, for his own personal consumption, a wine unique in quality and bottle. Louis Roederer offered to create an exceptional white crystal bottle to house the best selection from the 7 finest vineyards of his estate, thus creating the first (1) cuvée of Champagne. This wine is only produced in the “great” years when the ripeness of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir enables a subtle, precise balance.
Production The blend is composed of 55 % Pinot Noir and 45 % Chardonnay (20 % of which is matured in oak casks ). No malolactic with weekly (5) 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 on lees and rests 8 months to perfect its maturity. after (6) of between 8 and 10 g/l of sugar The (7) is chosen to complement each vintage.
Harvesting 2005 was considered a year of marked contrasts between seasons and regions in Champagne.
Tasting Notes: Brilliant yellow colour, combined with a persistent and a fine (9) . (8) There’s an intense, highly expressive bouquet of white fruit, citrus and very pure minerality. The palate , revealexpresses wonderful (10) ing an incredible sweet and sour effect of juicy fruits such as peach and apricot balanced by a saltiness and oyster shell flavour that is very precise and elegant. and yeasty flavours are The (11) combined with vibrant acidity and a long, fine, silky finish.
The mild and dry start to the year supported good budburst and flowering, which happened on schedule. Fruitset occurred quite quickly due to the fine weather. However, rain and July came with periods of (2) occasional patches of mildew. The weather improved slightly in August with dry but (3) development temperatures. This (4) was accelerated at the end of August and into September with sunny days and cool nights. The harvest turned out to be particularly successful for Chardonnay as well as Pinot Noir from the top crus. In the end an excellent harvest despite cooler-than-average conditions and unexpected showers.
Cristal pairs well with seafood, such as firm-fleshed fish such as oysters, crabs as well as (12) and crayfish. The saltiness of the oysters, for example, goes well with the minerality of Cristal.