Cristal Vertical at Atera

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R@y.Tupp@+sch
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Cristal Vertical at Atera

#1 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » December 4th, 2018, 6:40 pm

Notes/impressions to follow in the next day or two.

Some tremendous wines from second and third tier vintages.

Jay, you're getting off easy by missing this week.


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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#2 Post by ky1em!ttskus » December 4th, 2018, 6:47 pm

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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#3 Post by Steve Doi » December 4th, 2018, 6:57 pm

Really looking forward to your notes. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#4 Post by Karl K » December 4th, 2018, 7:11 pm

Very nice!
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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#5 Post by brigcampbell » December 4th, 2018, 7:37 pm

You can not post that picture and disappear!

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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#6 Post by etomasi » December 4th, 2018, 7:38 pm

waiting for notes like... [popcorn.gif]
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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#7 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » December 5th, 2018, 8:52 am

Twice a year I come up with a Champagne theme, supply the wines and moderate a dinner at Atera for the WineWorkshop. While Atera has two Michelin stars, is a top NYC restaurant, it virtually gets little to no buzz. A smaller than usual group had the pleasure to enjoy Ronny Emborg's food as he turned out one imaginative course after another without getting too cute. Staggering Plus.

The wines -

NV Roederer - as reception. No flaws but nothing exciting. Good

First Flight

'08 Cristal - Along with DP this wine has gotten the most hype for the vintage (Krug will surely join them in a year). This bottle was initially the most ungiving of the other examples I've had and shockingly offered the least pleasure in the flight. That said, at the end of the evening it became much more expressive and pancaked the two mags. If you must open a bottle, give it three plus hours of air and then save your other bottles for another 20+ years. Currently Excellent Plus

'07 Cristal Mag - I had never had this vintage of Cristal prior to last night, and I don't think I've had any producer's Champagne from '07. Very approachable even out of magnum with upfront fruit and decent acidity. Saline notes made the '07 a perfectly match for a Kushi oyster and uni on a flatbread. Excellent Minus

'05 Cristal Mag - Also very enjoyable with great aromatics and floral notes. Ripe fruit but dry finish. I'm glad that Roederer has toned down the dosage in recent vintages. Drink the '05 in any format while cellaring some other vintages. Excellent

Second Flight

'02 Cristal - Still very youthful, but not surprisingly, more forthcoming than the '08. A wealth of yellow fruit, some saline and chalk with great acidity. Time will tell if the '08 can approach this vintage. Staggering

'00 Cristal - Another solid performance for Cristal in a somewhat difficult vintage. Riper than the '02 and could use a bit more acidity. I rarely say to drink up Champagnes of this age, but I don't see this getting any better. Excellent minus

'99 Cristal - Smoky yellow fruit, vibrant acidity another tremendous success for the vintage. For me, only Taittinger CdC is a better Champagne in '99. Staggering

Third Flight

'96 Cristal - Cristal has flown a bit under the radar in the vintage. Most of the talk is about Krug, Salon and Clos du Mesnil. But make no mistake, this is no slouch. A touch of smoke and flowers. On the palate intense yellow fruit with some red fruit underneath it. This is just starting to evolve and will be one of the longer lived Champagnes from the vintage. Staggering Plus

'96 Cristal Rose - Very pale rose color which seems to be a trademark of Roederer's Rose. Good berry fruit with an initial touch of funkiness that went away as the evening progressed. Excellent

'90 Cristal - The first Champagne to start showing some mature aromas and flavors. I'm drinking this again tonight and am interested to see if both bottles are at the same level of maturity. Honey, marzipan and hazelnuts to go along with plenty of fruit. So far, my favorite wine to drink tonight. Still has good acidity so it should drink at this level for some more time. Staggering Plus

Fourth Flight

'89 Cristal - We reverted back to a more youthful style of Champagne. More ripeness than many of the other vintages consumed. That said it maintained an elegance without becoming clumsy. Still pale yellow. Staggering Minus

'89 Cristal Rose - Red berry fruit with some spices including a touch of cloves. The most complex of the Roses including the '85. Excellent Plus

'88 Cristal - Well now we've reverted back even more in time. Or so it seems. Intense yellow fruit. Great structure and acidity. I wish I knew somebody who drank 1928 Champagnes at 30 years old to get a reference point for some of the '88's including Cristal. Many decades of life left. With room to get better, it is currently Staggering.

'88 Cristal Rose - Also more tightly wound than the '89 Rose with dense red fruit. I typically don't like 40 year old Roses, but this may be an exception. Excellent Plus

Fifth Flight

'86 Cristal - Was hoping that this was still alive and would give a bit of pleasure. Turned out to be the biggest surprise of the night. Showing mature flavors with plenty of yellow fruit and good acidity on the finish. Cristal cements that it wears the Champagne crown in off vintages. Staggering

'85 Cristal - So, based on consuming a number of bottles, I've long believed that Cristal underperformed in 1985. Well this was a magic bottle of 1985 Cristal. Similar to the '90 with its mature flavors, but with more fruit.This bottle was in a great place. Staggering Plus

'85 Cristal Rose - My least favorite of the Roses. Not much going on. Going forward, maybe I need to say "Cristal Rose underperformed in 1985". Very Good Plus

Sixth Flight

'83 Cristal - Like the previous flight I was hoping for a decent showing of this bottle versus the much better Champagne vintage this was served alongside it. And like the previous flight it over performed. Good marriage of fruit and marzipan and hazelnuts. Excellent Plus

'82 Cristal - Slightly more advanced than it should have been, this bottle was on its downside. Still had a little yellow fruit and mature flavors but there was also too much mushrooms and "brown" flavor. Very Good.

Seventh Flight

'81 Cristal - Not the most widely declared vintages. This is definitely at its plateau. Like '99, Cristal is one of the stars of the vintage. Only Krug Collection Mags can overwhelm it. A few liked it more than the following wine. They were nuts [wow.gif] Staggering

'76 Cristal - This is why I love 40+ year old Champagne. So many flavors it's hard to pick them all out. Just when you think the fruit has faded into the sunset in shows through the honey, caramel, marzipan .... Killer minus

'66 Cristal - Was the color of blackstrap molasses. I didn't even open it.

Great evening of food and wine. I wish some people who are jaded about Cristal would have been there.
Last edited by R@y.Tupp@+sch on December 5th, 2018, 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#8 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » December 5th, 2018, 9:35 am

Any mousse left on the 76?

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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#9 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » December 5th, 2018, 9:43 am

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 9:35 am
Any mousse left on the 76?
No froth upon pouring but definitely some bubbles in the glass and more so on the palate.
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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#10 Post by ryancurry » December 5th, 2018, 9:45 am

Thank you for the notes. I'm a big Cristal fan. Especially when they are mature. Too bad about your bottle of 82. That wine can be spectacular.
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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#11 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » December 5th, 2018, 10:51 am

ryancurry wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 9:45 am
Too bad about your bottle of 82.
True, but with 20+ wines, some of which had some age on them, I'm always expecting a couple of bad or corked bottles..
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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#12 Post by Dan.Gord0n » December 5th, 2018, 10:56 am

Wonderful notes - thanks for taking the time to post! Based on this broad perspective how to you think the overall consistency and quality of Cristal fits within its peers of high end Champagne?

Any particular reason that the '04 wasn't included among the flights of younger vintages?

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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#13 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » December 5th, 2018, 11:17 am

Dan.Gord0n wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 10:56 am
Wonderful notes - thanks for taking the time to post! Based on this broad perspective how to you think the overall consistency and quality of Cristal fits within its peers of high end Champagne?

Any particular reason that the '04 wasn't included among the flights of younger vintages?
Thanks.

The one reason I don't currently put Cristal at the same level as Krug, DP or Taittinger CdC is the inconsistencies with their bottles from the 60's and 70's. Probably a big factor is/was storage and their clear bottles.

Had to cut some vintages out and I didn't want too many young wines while wanting to show how well Cristal does in off vintages.
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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#14 Post by dbailey » December 5th, 2018, 1:10 pm

Ray,

Great notes as usual! What are your thoughts re the longevity of 88 krug vs cristal? The krug tasting I posted on here about last week showed quite a lot of variability.

Dan
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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#15 Post by Mike Hawkins » December 5th, 2018, 3:01 pm

I note your comment regarding the performance in weaker years. While I understand where you’re coming from (although not having had all those vintages), I really think Goisses is the king of ‘off vintages’, and perhaps underperforms in the heralded years.

Cheers

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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#16 Post by Rich Brown » December 5th, 2018, 8:35 pm

Man, that sounds like an awesome night Ray - really appreciate you posting the details!

Quick side question for you- have you by chance had a 97 Cristal lately? Considering opening one this weekend but am worried its still a bit young (and I generally prefer my champagne with some age on it)

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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#17 Post by paul hanna » December 5th, 2018, 9:31 pm

Thanks Ray,

Have always rated good bottles of some of the '80's Cristals, so good to see them perform.

'88 and '96 Cristal Rose have also been amongst my faves....

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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#18 Post by Ian Dorin » December 6th, 2018, 6:49 am

Love the notes, and as usual I find some interesting spots where you and I overlap.

2007 Cristal was really surprising for me. It's a really good example of the "off vintage" capabilities they have.

Totally agree on the 96 and 99. Both are really stunning wines. I think the price of the 96 reflects that you and are not alone :)

I also don't get super excited 96 Cristal Rose. While I'm sure you've had it far more times than I, it's a wine that I'm not going out of my way to drink or buy. I'm sure you are of the same thought, but give me DP Rose over Cristal all the time.
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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#19 Post by mark rudner » December 6th, 2018, 8:37 am

as a slight aside, if anyone is passing thru terminal 8 at jfk, the vino volo has 07 cristal for $235 which i found irresistable.
and agree, it's drinking surprisingly well

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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#20 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » December 6th, 2018, 10:26 am

dbailey wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 1:10 pm
Ray,

Great notes as usual! What are your thoughts re the longevity of 88 krug vs cristal? The krug tasting I posted on here about last week showed quite a lot of variability.

Dan
Dan,

To my recollection I've only had a couple of advanced bottles out of the dozens that I've drank. Had a bottle last night that was just starting to show hints of maturity but seemed as it it had decades more of prime time drinking.
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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#21 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » December 6th, 2018, 10:29 am

Rich Brown wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 8:35 pm
Man, that sounds like an awesome night Ray - really appreciate you posting the details!

Quick side question for you- have you by chance had a 97 Cristal lately? Considering opening one this weekend but am worried its still a bit young (and I generally prefer my champagne with some age on it)
Rich,

Sorry, but I don't recall the last time I had '97 Cristal. Based on the vintage I'd be surprised if it wasn't ready to drink.
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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#22 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » December 6th, 2018, 10:36 am

Mike Hawkins wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 3:01 pm
I note your comment regarding the performance in weaker years. While I understand where you’re coming from (although not having had all those vintages), I really think Goisses is the king of ‘off vintages’, and perhaps underperforms in the heralded years.

Cheers

Mike
For me Clos des Goisses would be a contender. Very good Champagne from '80, '93, and '99 but for me, just decent in '97, '98 and '00. The unique vineyard location gives them an advantage in many off vintages and potentially hinders them in the better ones.
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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#23 Post by Rich Brown » December 6th, 2018, 11:41 am

R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:
December 6th, 2018, 10:29 am
Rich Brown wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 8:35 pm
Man, that sounds like an awesome night Ray - really appreciate you posting the details!

Quick side question for you- have you by chance had a 97 Cristal lately? Considering opening one this weekend but am worried its still a bit young (and I generally prefer my champagne with some age on it)
Rich,

Sorry, but I don't recall the last time I had '97 Cristal. Based on the vintage I'd be surprised if it wasn't ready to drink.
Good enough for me! Thanks Ray!

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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#24 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » December 6th, 2018, 2:32 pm

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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#25 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » December 6th, 2018, 2:45 pm

R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:
December 6th, 2018, 10:36 am
Mike Hawkins wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 3:01 pm
I note your comment regarding the performance in weaker years. While I understand where you’re coming from (although not having had all those vintages), I really think Goisses is the king of ‘off vintages’, and perhaps underperforms in the heralded years.

Cheers

Mike
For me Clos des Goisses would be a contender. Very good Champagne from '80, '93, and '99 but for me, just decent in '97, '98 and '00. The unique vineyard location gives them an advantage in many off vintages and potentially hinders them in the better ones.
A drift here, but made me this of a question about the 2000 Clos des Goisses. Some years back, Bordeaux Index sold this undisgorged, meaning you could reach out and have yours disgorged anytime you wanted. We were thinking of doing it in 2020, as a nice round number. Any thoughts on when might be best? I bought some because, I admit, I thought it was a cool idea more than because I love the wine.

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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#26 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » December 6th, 2018, 2:52 pm

I would reach out to Charles Philipponnat. Super nice guy and he surely will give you better insight than anybody else.

Just don't tell him I said the 2000 Goisses isn't so great blush
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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#27 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » December 6th, 2018, 6:29 pm

R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:
December 6th, 2018, 2:52 pm
I would reach out to Charles Philipponnat. Super nice guy and he surely will give you better insight than anybody else.

Just don't tell him I said the 2000 Goisses isn't so great blush
Great suggestion. Thanks!

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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#28 Post by chetkern » December 6th, 2018, 7:04 pm

Ray-

Fabulous notes as I’m a big Cris fan and appreciate the need to really age them. I drank a well stored 79 last winter and the memory of that is indelible!!

Tremendous consistency and step up in quality for Cristal beginning in the 90’s and even more so with better vineyard management through the early 2000’s especially for all the other Roederer wines.

As to Goisses 2000, mine from Rare Wine company from the original disgorgement have seen better days but I went back and purchased 2013 disgorgement of 2000’s and those are drinking beautifully now, and agree re Charles.

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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#29 Post by etomasi » December 6th, 2018, 7:58 pm

Rich Brown wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 8:35 pm
Man, that sounds like an awesome night Ray - really appreciate you posting the details!

Quick side question for you- have you by chance had a 97 Cristal lately? Considering opening one this weekend but am worried its still a bit young (and I generally prefer my champagne with some age on it)

Well, I'm not Ray, but I had a '97 about 3 years ago and it was still pretty young.
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Re: Cristal Vertical at Atera

#30 Post by Rich Brown » December 7th, 2018, 7:46 pm

etomasi wrote:
December 6th, 2018, 7:58 pm
Rich Brown wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 8:35 pm
Man, that sounds like an awesome night Ray - really appreciate you posting the details!

Quick side question for you- have you by chance had a 97 Cristal lately? Considering opening one this weekend but am worried its still a bit young (and I generally prefer my champagne with some age on it)

Well, I'm not Ray, but I had a '97 about 3 years ago and it was still pretty young.
https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp? ... bb095e04a6

Thanks Eric!

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