TN: 1990 Cristal

1990 Louis Roederer “Cristal” Brut

The 82 Salon was not a perfect bottle, so as a substitute we had a 90 Cristal Brut. Unfortunately meanwhile a champagne for nouveau riche and a while ago also the favourite champage of several R&B stars.

Based on 62% Pinot Noir und 38% Chardonnay. Shockingly young. Needs 10 more years! Brilliant balance with flavors of sponge, hazelnut and the palate is totally wrapped in silk. Bewitching elegance. And what a neverending length…

I would enjoy to drink such a Champagne more often, as we all know our girls could drink Champagne every day. :wink:


Thanks for the note Martin. The sad outcome of Cristal’s fame has been it being drunk up much too early. At least your '90 was able to benefit from some cellar time.

in its youth, this wine was a bit sweet. I think I have a couple b left; your note makes me want to open one . . .

Had one for New Years along with it’s younger sibling, the 96. If you think the 90 is ten years too young…
Actually, I think the 90 is in a terrific place right now and if you don’t serve it too cold and open it an hour or two prior to drinking, it is for me pretty close to Champagne perfection.
The 96 is painfully intense at this point but the potential perhaps even surpasses the 90.

I have always loved good bottles of the '90…unfortunately I think I only have a few left now.


open a bottle! Despite its youth it offers great drinking pleasure.



no doubt, 90 Cristal offers great drinking pleasure right now. BTW, my french friend Laurent Gibet published his notes yesterday:

Champagne Grand Cru : Roederer “Cristal” 1990 - 8 august 2009 : still very young
(55% Pinot noir/45% de Chardonnay)
DS(15,5) - PC17 - LG17 - MS17 - MF17 - VM17. Note moyenne : 17
Surprise de finir avec un tel vin (dont il paraît que les rappeurs américain se sont récemment détournés, sans que ce soit une affliction pour les responsables du domaine, pour une néo cuvée clinquante au moins aussi onéreuse).
J’y vois une (petite) majorité de pinot noir en raison de ces senteurs encore mesurées de pomme, d’agrumes, de végétal, d’épices. Le tout, encore en attente, a un cachet indéniable.
Bouche austère, pure, aux bulles très fines, fortifiée par une acidité type 1996. Un vin qui ne bronche pas, ferme, bien présent, à attendre encore.

Rappel : Cristal Roederer 90 : le 7 janvier 2000 (série de champagnes de prestige)
PP18 - DS17,5 vers 18, LG17,5 vers 18. Note moyenne : 17,7 vers 18
Une cuvée spéculative, particulièrement difficile à trouver aujourd’hui. Belle robe brillante et dorée, pour une bulle fine. Le dégagement gazeux est ici aussi plus nerveux, plus rapide que dans le cas de Salon.
Le nez est vineux, avec des notes animales assez prononcées. Il est puissant mais fin, franc, précis, complet et complexe. Il allie des notes de café, et des notes presque évanescentes de miel qui rappellent le pollen.
La bouche est assez virile mais reste subtile. Elle déploie des notes de nougat à la pistache, de clafoutis (cerise crémeuse), de fruits secs. Elle est fougueuse (un dégustateur décrit cette sensation de surfer sur la bulle en milieu de bouche. Cette cuvée semble la plus vive, la plus jeune de la dégustation. On décèle un potentiel d’évolution notable qui pourra encore apporter une plus-value à ce vin d’attaque

Any advice regarding the '90 Rose? I have one bottle acquired from PC that looks in excellent condition.

I opened my second to last bottle of the 1990 Cristal Rosé in November for my best friends wedding.
I brought a three pack on release and have had them since.

Just wonderful drinking now this is close to Rosé perfection for me. This definately still has time in hand as still has some primary red fruits but with a nice balanced combination of mature notes. Depending on how you like your rosé if you like it very fresh it’s a bit past it, for most it is either perfect now or you could leave it another 5 years or so. I’ll probably wait another ten years on the last bottle just to see what happens…

On a seperate note it’s a real shame that this wine doesn’t come in the beautiful french cherry tree box with the brass plaque and wax sealed leather catch anymore. Probably the nicest box I’ve ever seen on any wine. For the price it’s rediculous they just put it in cardboard now, that was definately value added.

I’m often left wanting more with the white Cristal, but I have rarely been disappointed with the Rose Cristal. You can argue over the price point and whether it is worth it, but it is certainly a top notch wine - at one time the highest priced wine in Champagne (until Clos du Mesnil). I still wish I had bought more of the 88 and 96 Cristal Roses (two of my personal favorites).

As a side note, the regular Roederer vintage Rose is almost always very good too and often performs over its price point.

Differrent strokes. I’m a total Cristal whore, usually preferring it to Krug. YMWV. Just lights up my pleasure centers like a pinball machine.

Of course for most expensive bubbles these days, the Clos du Mesnil has been totally eclipsed by the Clos d’ Ambonnay. I remember about falling out of my chair when the first offers came across my email for the 95. My first inquiry was to whether at $3200 they were talking about a bottle or a case. I’m waiting for Tuppatch to open a magnum for me.

I bet if you sent it out for lab analysis you would find that it is completely dry, in fact. [snort.gif]