Apparently Louis Roederer Cristal Champage was a favourite of the Russian Court in the late 19th century and the iconic clear bottle was developed in conjunction with glassware company Baccarat to allay fears of poisoning.
This according to current export director Frédéric Heidsieck, who presented a tasting of the Brut Premier NV (R695 a bottle from The Reciprocal Wine Trading Company), Vintage 2008 (R895), Carte Blanche Demi Sec (R675) and Cristal 2007 (R3 295) yesterday.
Roederer has been owned by the Rouzaud family for seven generations and today produces 300 000 cases annually, 65% of production coming from their own vineyards. Cristal comes from a 70ha site, farmed biodynamical, production amounting to some 400 000 bottles depending on vintage and is typically a blend of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay, spending six years on the lees.
The 2007shows yellow apple and peach, roasted nuts and a pleasant yeasty quality. It’s rich and full, quite vinous in fact, with an energetic bubble and fresh acidity.