Vinous Table: Marea, New York, NY (Jul 2022)
Roederer’s 2002 Cristal, from magnum, is just off the charts. What else is there to say? The magnum format is so well-suited to Champagne. As opposed to still wines, which are just aged in glass, for Champagne, the secondary fermentation takes place in the glass. I am convinced that is a major part of what makes Champagne from magnum (or larger) often so compelling. The texture, breadth and overall pedigree here is just remarkable, with layers of apricot, spice, dried flowers and citrus confit that continue to build over time. The 2002 is neither old nor young; it is quite simply eternal. What a great way to start the night. Wow!
Antonio Galloni - 100
Champagne – 2019 Fall Releases (Dec 2019)
The 2002 Cristal is now entering its first plateau of maturity, which makes it a terrific Champagne for drinking now. Hints of apricot, brioche, lemon confit, honey, hazelnut, baked apple tart and spice give the 2002 striking layers of nuance. Rich and generous, the 2002 show plenty of the natural opulence of the year and yet retains terrific freshness as well. As always, Cristal is a blend of Pinot from Ay, Verzenay, Verzy and Beaumont sur Vesle, and Chardonnay from Mesnil, Cramant and Oger. Dosage is 9 grams per liter. This is the original 2010 disgorgement. What a wine.
Antonio Galloni - 97
Cristal in Magnum: It’s Another World (Dec 2019)
The 2002 Cristal (magnum) is off the charts. In magnum, the 2002 shows a bit less of the opulence and richness it presents in bottle, which is not at all a bad thing for a vintage that has so much natural exuberance. Creamy and exquisitely layered in the glass, the 2002 is wonderfully expressive today, not to mention incredibly inviting. Dried flowers, mint, Mirabelle and wild flowers give the 2002 captivating inner perfume and tons of sheer allure. This is the original 2009 disgorgement. Dosage is 9 grams per liter, lower than was once the norm here, and the result of a combination of factors including climate change, generally riper fruit and a warm growing season.
Antonio Galloni - 99
New Vintage Champagne Releases (Nov 2008)
Light, bright gold with a steady bead. Orange, ripe pear, red berries and white flowers on the nose, with complementary notes of lemon, honey, sweet butter and smoky minerals. Ripe citrus and orchard fruit flavors are braced by gentle minerality, picking up subtle baking spice and buttered toast notes with air. Surprisingly generous at this stage, with smoky mineral and floral qualities on the finish. This is more open-knit than the comparatively elegant 2000 and appears ready to drink.
Josh Raynolds - 91
Cristal – The 1980s…A Decade of Change (Dec 2018)
One of my all time favorites, the 1982 Cristal is magnificent. Fresh, nuanced and exceptionally beautiful, the 1982 remains one of the all-time great Cristals. Apricot, almond and chamomile nuances suggest the 1982 is just starting to turn the corner into its plateau of maturity. This bottle lacks a bit of excitement, but, then again, the 1982 Cristal is not exactly the sort of wine I get to taste on a regular basis, so it is possible this is not the best showing. Hopefully, I will get a chance to taste it again soon. Even so, well-stored bottles will drink well for another decade-plus. “In my opinion, 1982 is the first vintage of climate change in Champagne,” Lécaillon explains. “Sugars were higher than we were used to seeing. As a comparison, the 1981 Cristal is also concentrated, but it is concentrated by low yields. In 1982, we had high yields and elevated ripeness, meaning it was the sun that ripened the fruit.”
Antonio Galloni - 96