Roederer’s 2002 Cristal, from magnum, is just off the charts. What else is there to say? The magnum format is so well-suited to Champagne. As opposed to still wines, which are just aged in glass, for Champagne, the secondary fermentation takes place in the glass. I am convinced that is a major part of what makes Champagne from magnum (or larger) often so compelling. The texture, breadth and overall pedigree here is just remarkable, with layers of apricot, spice, dried flowers and citrus confit that continue to build over time. The 2002 is neither old nor young; it is quite simply eternal. What a great way to start the night. Wow!
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2042
Magnum. Disgorged in 2008, dosage 9 g/l. 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay. 17% of the cuvée is fermented in oak. Five years spent on the lees. ‘In 2002 I did nothing – just blended the usual Cristal plots’, said Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon. Deep dark straw. Very complex and this seems really quite aged. Mature white-burgundy sensation. Complex and savoury. Really exciting. Maybe not the most persistent Cristal in this vertical tasting, but really exciting.
Anticipated maturity: 2012-2026
Robert Parker 96
Tasted from the original 2009 disgorgement, the 2002 Cristal is a broad, vinous wine, bursting with aromas of honeyed yellow orchard fruit, warm butter, brioche and fresh peaches. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, textural and mouthfilling, rendering the fine-boned chalky structure and textural finesse that distinguish this quintessentially elegant style of this cuvee in a broader-shouldered, more enveloping register. The 2002 is beginning to enter its plateau of maturity and is drinking beautifully today, though it still has many years ahead of it.
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2039