Cristal Rosé 1999
60% Pinot Noir / 40% Chardonnay
Roederer own 200 hectares (500 acres) from the three main growing zones in Champagne.
The Cote des Blancs: 75ha of Chardonnay grapes, which provide an elegant, smooth freshness.
The Montagne de Reims: 65ha of Pinot Noir grapes, which give, power and structure.
The Vallee de la Marne: 60ha of Pinot Noir grapes which give fruitiness and roundness.
These vineyards are located in the finest villages, such as Ay, Verzenay, Vervy, Avize and Cramant where the plots rank between 95% and 100% on the official classification scale for the 'crus'.
Roederer source two thirds of their grape needs from their own vineyards, which is the largest proportion of any champagne house and enables them to have strict control over their raw materials. For example Roederer 'green harvest’ in July to reduce the amount of grapes and thus improve quality.
The harvest takes place usually mid September and takes around 15 days. 600 people work in the Louis Roederer vineyards, harvesting the grapes by hand. The grapes are then transported quickly and efficiently to one of Louis Roederer's three pressing centres, which are in the heart of its vineyards.
To make its rosé champagnes, Louis Roederer uses the "skin-contact" maceration technique, a traditional method in which the must is left to macerate for several hours in the press to extract the natural pigments. To obtain the unique colour and style of this particular rosé, Louis Roederer uses Pinot Noir from very old vines in Cumières which yield extremely ripe grapes of outstanding aromatic concentration. Cristal Rosé requires an average maturation period of 5 years on the lees. Like all Louis Roederer champagnes, after being disgorged, it is left for another six months to allow for perfect blending.
Appearance: Fairly intense orangey-red colour with the beginnings of salmon-pink highlights. Regular, lively mousse, almost fizzing with ultra-fine bubbles.
Nose: Rich honest nose, retaining the freshness of red berries after a few moments airing plus a whiff of lightly roasted almonds or hazelnuts. These initial aromas follow through to more mature scents of Poire William suggesting lightly caramelised fruit or fruit in alcohol, mingled with floral notes of lime blossom.
Palate: Well rounded, warm and fabulously full on the palate. The red-fruit flavours remain to the fore but become riper, juicier and more marked by black-skinned fruit (blackcurrant). The structure is firm and powerful yet unfailingly elegant, with that lively, crystalline, persistent acidity that is found in Grand Cru Champagne from limestone soils.
Cristal Rosé 1999 is the perfect expression of those two mainstays of the Cristal Rosé style: thoroughbred structure and caressing elegance. It is expressive and sensitively made, with the potential to age for a very long time indeed (judging by Louis Roederer’s in-house trials).
11 to 12 grams of sugar per litre. The "liqueur de dosage" is prepared with the greatest of care from a selected blend of 8 to 10 of the very best crus from the Louis ROEDERER vineyard and then left to age in oak. After dosage the champagne is left to rest for a further six months