Spotlight on: Louis Roederer Cristal
Louis Roederer is a producer of Champagne based in Reims, France. Founded in 1776, it was inherited and renamed by Louis Roederer in 1833. It remains today as one of the only still independent and family-run Champagne houses. Here we take a closer look at the brand and their famed Cristal.
- Satisfying Demands
The first Cuvée de Prestige (Prestige Cuvée) of Champagne was created in 1876 by Louis Roederer to satisfy the demanding tastes of Tsar Alexander II and is called Cristal, referring to the aspect of the bottle.
- Safety First
In 1876, Tsar Alexander II pointed out to his sommelier that the design of a standard champagne bottle made the beautiful colour and effervescence invisible to the eye. He therefore requested of Roederer that his personal cuvée be served in bottles made of transparent crystal glass with a flat bottom (to foil the insertion of explosives in the indentation by would-be assassins), to remedy this defect. Cristal was born.
- If It Ain’t Broke…
For more than a century, the appearance of the patented Cristal bottle has remained unchanged. After the fall of the Russian monarchy in 1917, the House of Louis Roederer decided to continue producing Cristal and to market it internationally. The result was a great success. Today, the limited production of Cristal is far from able to satisfy the increasing worldwide demand.
- Patience is a Virtue
Cristal is produced uniquely during the best years, when the Chardonnay (40%) and Pinot Noir (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 disgorging (dégorgement).
- A New Twist on an Old Favourite
In 1974 —almost 200 years after the establishment of the Champagne House of Louis Roederer and 100 years after the creation of Cristal— Jean-Claude Rouzaud decided to create the Cristal Rosé Cuvée. To achieve this, he selected old-vine Pinot Noir grapes from the finest Grand Cru vineyards at Aÿ-Champagne, which are now cultivated according to biodynamic principles. The calcareous soil, which gives the grapes an exquisite minerality, enables the vines (in the best years) to attain exceptional fruit maturity complemented by a crystalline acidity.