New Release – Cristal 2008, 6×75, £730, 100 Pts

Cristal

This afternoon we are extremely excited to release the perfect scoring Cristal 2008, a stunning 100 point wine and future legend. The 2008 vintage seems to have been a long time in releasing, its majesty and brilliance echoing for 10 years. Today marks the first marquee release, which could be the best of them all, the spellbinding Cristal. The 2008 vintage is stylistically classical, resonating back in time and reflecting some of the finest ever. It abounds with stunning, fresh acidity, powerful fruit and a dry style. It is made to stand the test of time, the 1985, 1952 and even 1928.

It comes as no surprise therefore that James Suckling has awarded it 100 points, an accolade he has reserved only for Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1996, Krug 2002 and Krug Clos du Mesnil 1985, these trade at £1,550, £1,500 and £8,100 per six respectively. Antonio Galloni agrees, awarding Cristal 2008 98+ points and saying ’The 2008 Cristal is a real head-turner. …2008 looks like it will soon take its place alongside the greatest Cristals. Today, it is breathtaking.’ This makes it his second highest scoring Cristal, pipped by the 1979 with 99 points, which trades today at £2,700 per case of six. However, the + suggests the 2008 will equal or surpass the 1979! Priced today at £730 per case of six Cristal 2008 will sell out by the end of the play today. Collectors the world over will want to cellar this future legend while speculators will see 100% upside in the short-term.

As can be seen from the table below, it surpasses all vintages since the 1979, including the 1996 which trades at £1,950 per case of six and the 2002, £1,100. It is instructive to consider that in her tasting note for the 2008 Jancis Robinson quotes cellar master Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon; he states ‘‘the Cristal 1996 should have been an exceptional vintage like 2008 but we all agreed that we picked a week too early. And we should have done more malo. So we improved on this in 2008 with 16% malo, and now the 2008s are “the perfect 1996s”. As such, Jancis Robinson points out that ‘Lécaillon thinks 2008 is even better than 2002 potentially; the concentration of 2002 is the result of wind, but the concentration of 2008 is soil-related, thanks to the very long growing season.’ She also highlights ‘This will be the first time a Cristal has been launched at 10 years old.’ Robinson has also awarded it one of her highest ever scores with 19.5.

Cristal JS Jancis Galloni Price
2009 97 19 96 £635.00
2008 100 19.5 98+ £730.00
2007 96 18 97+ £700.00
2006 97 18 97 £700.00
2005 92 18 92 £700.00
2004 97 19 97 £845.00
2002 96 19 96 £1,100.00
2000 N/A 18.5 N/A £850.00
1999 N/A 19.5 N/A £1,100.00
1997 N/A 18 N/A £1,250.00
1996 97 19.5 97 £1,950.00

Cristal only produces 25,000 to 32,000 cases, or 300,000 to 400,000 bottles per vintage. It is released on strict allocation and currently there is a material shortage of Cristal in the market. Global demand is outstripping the supply and as such, it is recommended to buy Cristal 2008 for speculation, to secure a cellar holding, or of course, for Christmas.

Cristal is the most recognised vintage Champagne in the world and along with Krug Clos du Mesnil and Salon, it is the finest vintage cuvee on the market. Like Krug Clos du Mesnil and Salon, Cristal exhibits wonderful complexity of flavour, magnificent concentration of fruit and a wonderfully balanced finish. Cristal also improves for decades in bottle and is at its most precocious after 20-25 years. Cristal therefore has an unusual position in the market; it is considered by Champagne drinkers and critics to be the acme of prestige Champagne, selling out to collectors quickly, yet also rides the crest of ostentatious revelry, taking pride of place in nightclubs and bars around the world.

Louis Roederer’s Cristal boasts the renowned flat-bottomed ‘crystal’ bottle, covered in an anti-UV cellophane wrapper. The gold label was created in 1876 for Alexander II of Russia and is considered to be the first ever prestige cuvee. Fearing assassination, the Tsar asked that the Champagne bottles for his ‘Three Emperors’ dinner be made clear, so he could see the bubbles and a flat bottom to prevent a bomb being hidden in it.

We expect this to be greatly oversubscribed, as such this is offered subject to availability and allocation.