Louis Roederer

Cristal Brut Champagne Chardonnay Pinot Noir Blend

9.355 ratings
9.420 pro ratings
Champagne, France
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
Top Notes For
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9.7

The 1990 Cristal is remarkable. Polished, nuanced and light on its feet, the 1990 is all class. Citrus, orchard fruit and floral notes are wonderfully lifted throughout. A slight reductive note adds character on the finely knit finish. I can’t think of a better way to start this tasting. Simply put, the 1990 is a total rock star. Moreover, it is much more delicate than most wines from this ripe vintage. Amazingly, the 1990 tastes like it is still not ready! “Nineteen ninety was my second vintage here,” says Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon. “It was ideal. The fruit was just perfect. We blocked the malolactic fermentation completely and only fermented 6-7% of our lots in oak, as opposed to the more typical 20%, in order to preserve as much freshness as possible. The wine was made by my predecessor, Michel Pansu, but I was learning. This was the first year I started working with oxygen by reducing sulfites in vinification to pre-oxidize the Chardonnay musts, as I do know, which allows me to get rid of all the unstable, oxidative compounds. With Pinot, on the other hand, you need a little bit of sulfur at crush or you lose the brilliant fruit. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, December 2018)

The 1990 Cristal is remarkable. Polished, nuanced and light on its feet, the 1990 is all class. Citrus, orchard fruit and floral notes are wonderfully lifted throughout. A slight reductive note adds character on the finely knit finish. I can’t think of a better way to start this tasting. Simply put, the 1990 is a total rock star. Moreover, it is much more delicate than most wines from this ripe vintage. Amazingly, the 1990 tastes like it is still not ready! “Nineteen ninety was my second vintage here,” says Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon. “It was ideal. The fruit was just perfect. We blocked the malolactic fermentation completely and only fermented 6-7% of our lots in oak, as opposed to the more typical 20%, in order to preserve as much freshness as possible. The wine was made by my predecessor, Michel Pansu, but I was learning. This was the first year I started working with oxygen by reducing sulfites in vinification to pre-oxidize the Chardonnay musts, as I do know, which allows me to get rid of all the unstable, oxidative compounds. With Pinot, on the other hand, you need a little bit of sulfur at crush or you lose the brilliant fruit. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, December 2018)

Dec 21st, 2018
Nick Apone

1990 vintage.

1990 vintage.

1 person found it helpfulSep 28th, 2016
Bethany D'Meza

The last couple of bottles have been a bit off but not this one... a mature champagne but the acidity was in perfect harmony.. honey and lemons

The last couple of bottles have been a bit off but not this one... a mature champagne but the acidity was in perfect harmony.. honey and lemons

Nov 22nd, 2015
Mike Fifer

Writer The Wine Monologues

9.1

Green apple and nuttiness. Still has great acid but bubbles fading. Still-- a classic.

Green apple and nuttiness. Still has great acid but bubbles fading. Still-- a classic.

Oct 3rd, 2015
Charles Antin

Senior Wine Specialist/Auctioneer Zachys

9.3

Highlight of the dinner. Singing. Creme brûlée and truffle. Or maybe it was all the truffles.

Highlight of the dinner. Singing. Creme brûlée and truffle. Or maybe it was all the truffles.

Sep 18th, 2015
Liz Thach MW

Still fresh and amazing

Still fresh and amazing

Feb 16th, 2015
Caroline Conner

Gold, raisin brioche slathered with honey, still incredibly bright and unbelievably good

Gold, raisin brioche slathered with honey, still incredibly bright and unbelievably good

Jan 1st, 2015
Sabra Lewis

The rose. Pleasantly surprised.

The rose. Pleasantly surprised.

Oct 15th, 2014
Chad Walsh

Smells like Bianchetti truffles and sex.

Smells like Bianchetti truffles and sex.

Mar 30th, 2014
Mark Bright

Partner/Wine Director Saison Restaurant

10

Absolutely brilliant with super high acid and great texture, like drinking chalk, in a good way

Absolutely brilliant with super high acid and great texture, like drinking chalk, in a good way

Mar 5th, 2014