2000 LOUIS ROEDERER CRISTAL BRUT- having just had the 2008 a few nights prior, it was interesting to compare and try to project where it may be in 8+ years as the 00 certainly had lots of similar and more mature notes even though there certainly was a serious vintage disparity between that and the 08 which is still be being hailed by some as a potential vintage of the century; this bottle was just really good and truly was an extension of the 08` as it is also loaded with honeyed lemon oil accented with ginger and spice and brioche; it also had a rich and creamy texture and just exuded class all the way through; after about 15 minutes or so, it actually expanded and took on a new dimension with everything being times two. I love Cristal.
The 99 is an extremely showy Cristal and was current winemaker Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon’s first effort as Chef de Cave. He hit it out of the ballpark and as a youngster, this was amazing with loads of fruit, cream, and a touch of vanilla spice. It has calmed down over time and still drinks well, but the glory of its youth was amazing to experience. It is the best 1999 Champagne that I have had and can proudly stand side-by-side with vintages of Cristal like 1988, 1990, 1996, 2008, 2009, and 2012. It is that good though overlooked. To me, the 2000 is a big step down from the 1999.
It’s been 3+ years since I had the 99` and it was very good then. I did not think it was the best vintage, but neither was the 2000 and both have shined beautifully and as Brad remarks, it has become a stunning bubbly.
Louis Roederer is becoming one of those go to producers for me when in doubt about any other considerations like a questionable vintage for champagne. I’ve found they are credible for any vintage they declare especially for Cristal and across the board for just about every bubbly they release.
Im not sure there is a minimum age as most have lots to give at the outset. For those who prefer some maturity, my best guess is age 18-20 and beyond. I've tracked the 08 and a few others from early on and they definitely go through maturation phases that enhances the taste profile, texture, body and complexity. For the most discerning palate, it was obviuos the 2000 was more mature and evolved than the 2008, but the question is, is it so much more so to make the decision to wait?
Do you have any thoughts regarding why the 2009 was drinking so great immediately upon release and continues to be just fantastic? Do you think it will also still improve further with age despite “breaking the rules” for a minimum age of 18-20?
I do have some ideas as to why the 09 is drinking so good and it has to do with many factors, 09 being a really good vintage, better than advertised. The 09` Cristal is laced with acidity and that provides a beautiful backbone for all else to be framed by. Plus, as I understand it, they picked the fruit for this when it was very ripe and the flavors profile was off the charts relatively speaking, with everything being pronounced and more ready to please out of the gate. And, I believe it will continue as the acidity is so supportive of maintaining its power and expressive flavors. And, whatever benefits it receives from maturation shall only serve to build on its treasured gifts. I just bought more recently.