Roederer’s most famous wine was created in 1876 to satisfy the demanding tastes of Tsar Alexander II. Particularly fond of the House’s wine, the emperor asked Louis Roederer to reserve the best cuvee for him every year. To distinguish this cuvee, this exceptional champagne came in a flat-bottomed, transparent lead-crystal bottle. The new brand was named after this precious material, which is particularly transparent and luminous.
Produced only during the best vintage years, when the Chardonnay (around 40%) and Pinot Noir (around 60%) grapes have attained perfect maturity, Cristal is aged for 6 years in Louis Roederer’s cellars and left for a further 8 months after degorgement.
Cristal is a remarkably balanced and refined champagne whose length is inimitable. It has a silky texture and fruity aromas, complemented by a powerful mineral quality with white fruit and citrus notes. Cristal is a wine that keeps well: it can be aged for over twenty years without losing its freshness and character.
In 1845, at a time when majority of winemakers were buying the grapes rather than cultivating their own, Louis Roederer took a visionary approach. Wanting to master every aspect of the wine’s creation, he acquired several Grand Cru vineyards in Verzenay. Since then, every Louis Roederer vintage originates exclusively from their own vines. Its tete-de-cuvee, Louis Roederer Cristal, is among the finest Champagnes in the world.
The estate, which originally comprised 100 hectares acquired in 1850, now extends over 240 hectares, carefully chosen from the best terroirs of the Montagne de Reims, the Cote des Blancs, and the Vallee de la Marne. The estate cultivates 3 traditional grape varieties: Chardonnay for its minerality, finesse, and elegance; Pinot Noir’s solid constitution which adds structure to the blends and prepares the wine for aging; and Pinot Meunier whose adaptability brings harmony and softness to certain cuvees.
The Louis Roederer House has remained an independent, family-owned company and is now managed by Frederic Rouzaud, who represents the seventh generation of the lineage.