We released Cristal 2009 back in July last year for £550 per case of six, when it had been awarded 94-96 from Antonio Galloni. The best grapes in 2009 came from Montagne de Reims and Ay and the Pinot Noir grape in particular, which was reflected in Cristal made up of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. We posited that on account of the strength of the vintage and Cristal’s superb resources, that Cristal 2009 would achieve the upper tier of the critic’s scores. It has since been awarded 96 from Galloni, matching the beautiful 2002 which trades today at £1,050. It has also been awarded 97 points from James Suckling and recently 19/20 from Jancis Robinson, surpassing the 2002 and 2004.
Cristal shows a hugely attractive vintage premium and these scores put it amongst the best, up there with the 2002 which trades at £1,050 and not far behind the 1996, which is over three times the price of today’s release at £1,950. The vintage premium is so consistent that we actually recommend all Cristal vintages, it is a very solid hold over five, 10 and 20 years. However, the obvious choice is this 2009 release, trading at more than a 10% discount to all other vintages when taking advantage of our very special price. We can offer a special deal today: buy eight cases at £5,000 (£625 IB per case). We can also offer a discount when buying two or more cases (6×75 – £635 In Bond).
It comes as no surprise therefore, that older vintages of Cristal are extremely difficult to buy. 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 2009 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 de Mesnil and Salon, it is the finest vintage cuvee on the market. Like Krug Clos de 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.
96 Points, Antonio Galloni
Rich, creamy and radiant, the 2009 Cristal captures all of the natural generosity of the vintage while also retaining a good bit of freshness and aromatic intensity. Immediate and totally sensual in its allure, the 2009 will drink well with minimal cellaring. All things considered, at this stage, the 2009 comes across as relatively restrained for a wine from a warm year.
97 Points, James Suckling
A very rich and full-bodied Cristal that harks back to 2006 or 1989 in style. It’s round and rich, which underlies the ripeness of the vintage. Lots of dried-apple and pineapple character with bread dough and flan flavors. The bubbles are so fine you almost don’t notice them. Very vinous style. Drink now.
19/20 Points, Jancis Robinson
Tense and lifted on the nose. So very different from the vintage: much more finesse. Racy and elegant. Masses of acidity and tension. Lighter in texture than the vintage. A racy thoroughbred. So refined but very youthful.
Louis Roederer Cristal 2009, 6×75 – £640 IB
Buy 2 cases or more for £635 IB per case
or Buy 8 cases for £5,000 IB (£625 IB per case)
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