To be released April 2018. I tasted a trial sample of a wine that is not yet disgorged. This will be the first time a Cristal has been launched at 10 years old. Lécaillon: ‘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”’. Dosage was just 8 g/l, the lowest ever. 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. Very persistent. This is a marvellous wine that is incredibly complete and but obviously still youthful. Cristal followers are in for a major treat.
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040
Robert Parker 98
Disgorged in September 2017 with 7.5 grams per liter dosage, the 2008 Cristal was produced from 37 of the 45 parcels that are candidates for inclusion in this cuvée—some 40% of which were farmed organically back in 2008—and it’s a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. The finest young Cristal in decades, the wine wafts from the glass with a pure and vibrant bouquet of crisp orchard fruit, clear honey, warm brioche, citrus zest and white flowers. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, intense and incisive, with superb concentration, racy acids and a long, searingly chalky finish. Pristinely balanced, there are some 500,000 bottles of this legend-in-the-making.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2050
James Suckling 100
OMG. A masterpiece. A benchmark. Tight and structured, with fantastic precision and structure. Sharp line of acidity throughout, with fine and tight bubbles. Pineapple, lemon, white apricot, seashell, biscuit, blanched almond and a hint of chamomile. Vertical and mineral. Dosage 7g/L. Special release in magnum and aged two or three years longer on the lees than the normal bottling. I can’t go higher than this. Even better in a few years.