Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2006
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Glistening color with light amber highlights, indicating a year of very fine ripeness. Soft, almost timid bubbles, in a fine, slow and steady flow. There is a rich bouquet with confit fruit (lemon, orange), white flowers (lilies) and lightly roasted nuts (hazelnuts and almonds). On airing, the dominant fruitiness becomes intense, almost explosive: a sabayon of vine peaches,apricots, melon and mango. The mouth features a rounded, complex ballet of fruit. The texture is incredibly concentrated, giving the impression of biting into a ripe, fleshy fruit. The palate is enveloped by this depth of juicy, creamy, silky fruit, which soon makes way for a pure, sharp, graceful freshness. A transition follows from ripe fruit to a clear, light, delicate environment. Ripeness, softness and concentration arise from freshness and mineral quality, transforming the ripe fruit into a slightly sharp citrus flavor; the warmer notes make way for flowers, citrus zests and nuts. After this rapid succession of flavors, there is a lasting impression of harmony: the aromas, flavors, slight bitterness and freshness come in just the right proportions, intermingling to form a perfectly integrated yet complex whole. A few hints of tatin tart and Danish pastries add a final touch to the already complex range of aromas. This concentrated, dense, ripe, fresh and long Cristal 2006 is unhesitatingly made using full-bodied, smooth Pinots and fresh, elegant mineral Chardonnays. The ripeness of 2006 harvests makes it possible to achieve a distinctive culmination of matter and purity, richness and softness.
Although it is still young, this vintage of Cristal promises great things. There's an impressive balance between ripe fruit and crisp acidity, rich and food friendly, but also a fine apéritif. Apricot and grapefruit flavors are round and rich, but with considerable minerality as well. This is a beautiful wine that can improve with age, at least through 2030.
Score: 95, Roger Voss, December 1, 2013
This elegant version shows beautiful texture and a sense of finesse despite the underlying power of vibrant acidity and smoky minerality. The palate offers a finely layered mesh of blackberry, poached pear, almond pastry, lemon zest and pickled ginger flavors. Drink now through 2028. 20,000 cases imported.
Score: 95, Alison Napjus, November 30, 2013
Roederer's 2006 Brut Cristal is striking in its sense of lift and delicacy, serving as one of many instances where those bringing preconceptions of this vintage's warmth and ripeness of fruit to their experience may be pleasantly surprised. A nose of fresh apple, fennel and cucumber sets up associations with a slaw or salad that are crisply, lusciously and refreshingly redeemed on the palate. A garland of honeysuckle and heliotrope complements subtle suggestions of raw almond and vanilla, while alkaline and iodine notes as well as cooling but pungent green herbal notes add to the soothing yet stimulating finish. This exceptionally poised, refined, and buoyant performance is apt to gain depth with a few years' bottle age.
Score: 93, David Schildknecht, November 2013
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