The 2014 Cristal is a dark horse, a wine built along linear lines rather than opulence, and from a year that generated very little enthusiasm at the time. A cold, wet summer and attacks from the Suzuki fly at harvest were among the challenges producers dealt with. And yet, the best wines turned out far better than initially expected. Cristal is a terrific example. It exudes energy and tension backed by strong saline accents that confer vibrancy. Stylistically, it reminds me of the 2004 in its build. The long, nuanced finish is a thing of beauty. In this tasting, the 2014 only suffers a bit because of some of the more overt vintages that surround it, but it s a gorgeous Cristal. Dosage is 7 grams per liter. Disgorged: 2022
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2054
Robert Parker 96
The 2014 Cristal is a terrific effort that transcends the vintage. Bursting from the glass with expressive aromas of ripe citrus fruit, nectarine, white flowers, freshly baked bread and subtle hints of honeycomb, it’s medium to full-bodied, vinous and fleshy, with an exuberant core of fruit that’s girdled by racy acids, resulting in a wine that’s simultaneously chiseled and demonstrative, meaning that early appeal doesn’t come at the expense of the requisite tension for long-term cellaring. Concluding with a long, aromatic and intensely chalky finish, it is a brilliant Champagne that will offer a broad drinking window. This bottle was disgorged in June 2021 with seven grams per liter dosage.
Anticipated maturity: 2021-2050
Rather a wet summer followed by a usefully drying wind and picked, after a few days’ shrivel time, from 20 September over a week. 39 of the usual 45 plots went into this ‘composition’ with three Ay Pinot lots and three from Avize excluded. 32% oak-fermented. No malo. As usual 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay from Roederer’s own 100% organically grown vineyards from some of the best sites. Disgorged in June 2021, dosage 7 g/l. Broad nose with floral notes on the nose and some strong citrus notes – lime? – on the palate with an incredibly tight texture that seems to be focused on a single point on the finish. This is surely a wine to wait for? Enormous tension but I think I’d prefer it to develop a bit more breadth ideally. Though there already is some sort of serious register on the finish. Dense and still extremely tense. This clearly has a great future ahead of it and I hope very much to encounter it in future.
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2040