We have managed to secure an early allocation of the latest release of Louis Roederer Cristal, from the 2013 vintage. Offered ahead of the official release in May and in advance of the major critics releasing their tasting notes, this is a somewhat below the radar offer. What we do know is that demand for Cristal appears to be unfailing and stocks are likely to disappear rapidly.
Unlike in many other fine wine regions in France, 2013 was a promising growing season in Champagne, characterised by a particularly late start to the growing season. A long winter was followed by a very cool, late spring. Flowering began at the start of July. Fortunately, the summer was glorious, with plenty of sunshine, record high temperatures and very low rainfall, ideal for the ripening of the Pinot noirs and Chardonnays. The temperatures were cool for the October harvest and the resulting wines are elegant and fresh.
Chardonnay on the Côte des Blancs (which makes up around one-third of the blend) fared particularly well. Roederer's Cellar Master Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon commented that 2013 has the same acidity and balance as 1988 (taut, elegant vintage champagnes, to those of us who remember that vintage!). It appears to be quite a classic year, with concentration but also elegance and good acidity, making for long ageing potential.
Offered on allocation at £825 per six bottles in bond.* Very limited availability.
*All prices are time specific and are superseded by price shown on our main fine wine list.