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Louis Roederer, Cristal Brut 2002

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100 points Wine & Spirits
"If a wine could ever make you want to pull the top down on your '68 Ferrari convertible, rip off the rearview mirror and take off, this is it. It has a different kind of energy than the '02 Cristal Rosé, which is more ethereal, like strawberries at the right hand of some ancient Gallic god. This is more insolent, brash, earth bound. All the scents and flavors seem to emanate from limestone, as does the acidity, which hits at the front of the mouth and powers through the wine with the kind of solar energy that lifts mist off the white chalk on a cool morning in Cramant. The wine goes on for miles. It's already irresistible, and will only improve with ten, 20, 30 and 40 years of age."

98 points James Suckling
"A re-release of the original 2010 disgorgement. Super fine, super fresh and super savory aromas of chalky stones with hints of flowers, white almonds, lemon peel and grapefruit. The palate has intense, mouth-filling, lemon-curd flavor. Very powerful, very concentrated and very expressive. Smooth finish that’s full of life, leaving a bright, white cherry note."

98 points Wine Advocate
"Roederer's 2002 Cristal is a fabulous wine! Originally released in 2009, it was re-released in March this year—and was sold out in a very short time. The Cristal I tasted at Roederer in May 2018 was disgorged in 2010, after seven years sur lie. Its amazing richness and concentration makes it a forerunner of the 2015 and follows the 1999. Only two times—2002 and 2015—the fruit from all 42 plots reserved for Cristal was used for the Cristal. 'I couldn't do any better blend than the one assembling all the 42 plots,' says Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, stressing that at that time only two hectares were farmed biodynamically. As a result of the conversion to biodynamic farming, Lécaillon promised himself the production of even more beautiful, vital and balanced wines, and you can feel his satisfaction whenever he speaks of the cuvées that are yet to come such as 2012 and 2015, the latter of which he calls 'the new 2002.' Back to history: the nose of the 2002 Cristal shows a deep, ripe and elegant fruit with aromas of white chocolate, wet chalk, wild vanilla and pepper (typical for 2002) as well as terroir-driven truffle notes. Intense and very elegant in the mouth, this is a ripe, rich and concentrated yet also pure and vital Cristal with great finesse, elegance and mineral complexity. It's a sublime Champagne right now, although it's more wine than Champagne."

98 points Wine Enthusiast
"This is an exceptional wine, as is the vintage. The fruits - grapefruit, crisp red apple - balance with a fine yeasty character. There is a great depth of flavor, the fruits going in a pure line of freshness. The one problem is that it is much too young, the result of the demand from the market for the next vintage. Age this wine for at least four years."

Jancis Robinson
"Magnum. Late release of the original cuvée. Disgorged 2009. These magnums were put aside because so many of Lécaillon's peers thought Cristal 2002 was released too young. Many said it wasn’t that great a vintage initially.
Richer nose – so much richer than the Cristal 2008! Lemon posset. Concentrated and quite dense. Heavier glasses than in the tasting room made the wine feel a bit heavy initially. Quite exceptionally persistent. Great undertow. In bottles Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon sees a strong vanilla note, because of light overripeness – very rare in Champagne. ‘Usually I pick a week after everyone else but in 2002 I picked a week earlier.’ He still picks later than most, even with biodynamics, ‘because still people pick on numbers'19/20 points."




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