Roederer's 2002 Cristal is a fabulous wine! Originally released in 2009, it was re-released in March this year—and was sold out in a very short time. The Cristal I tasted at Roederer in May 2018 was disgorged in 2010, after seven years sur lie. Its amazing richness and concentration makes it a forerunner of the 2015 and follows the 1999. Only two times—2002 and 2015—the fruit from all 42 plots reserved for Cristal was used for the Cristal. "I couldn't do any better blend than the one assembling all the 42 plots," says Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, stressing that at that time only two hectares were farmed biodynamically. As a result of the conversion to biodynamic farming, Lécaillon promised himself the production of even more beautiful, vital and balanced wines, and you can feel his satisfaction whenever he speaks of the cuvées that are yet to come such as 2012 and 2015, the latter of which he calls "the new 2002." Back to history: the nose of the 2002 Cristal shows a deep, ripe and elegant fruit with aromas of white chocolate, wet chalk, wild vanilla and pepper (typical for 2002) as well as terroir-driven truffle notes. Intense and very elegant in the mouth, this is a ripe, rich and concentrated yet also pure and vital Cristal with great finesse, elegance and mineral complexity. It's a sublime Champagne right now, although it's more wine than Champagne. Drink 2018-2050.
|Score: 98||Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (237), June 2018|
A re-release of the original 2010 disgorgement. Super fine, super fresh and super savory aromas of chalky stones with hints of flowers, white almonds, lemon peel and grapefruit. The palate has intense, mouth-filling, lemon-curd flavor. Very powerful, very concentrated and very expressive. Smooth finish that’s full of life, leaving a bright, white cherry note. Drink in 2022.
|Score: 98||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, September 2018|
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.
|Score: 97||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, December 2019|
The 2002 Cristal is just now beginning to enter a plateau of early maturity. The ripeness and exuberance is on full display, but the 2002 needs quite a bit of air to fully open up and show its personality. Today, the 2002 is racy and intense to the core, with fabulous balance and plenty of the vintage's trademark opulence. What a gorgeous Champagne this is.
|Score: 96||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2014|
The 2002 Cristal is a gorgeous, sculpted wine of extraordinary elegance. Graceful, well-delineated aromatics lead to ripe pears, spices, flowers, minerals and mint in this precise Champagne. Today the 2002 appears to have slightly more fruit than the 1996, and perhaps slightly better overall balance, although that is splitting hairs at this level. The wine remains fresh and in need of several years of cellaring before it hits its stride. In 2002 Cristal is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. 20% of the wine was aged in oak, and dosage was 10 grams. This bottle was disgorged in December 2007. Anticipated maturity 2010 - 2032
|Score: 96+||Antonio Galloni, RobertParker.com, March 2009|
As for the wines, from a great vintage in Champagne, the 2002 Louis Roederer Cristal is spectacular. It is a young champagne with lots of brioche, honeysuckle, and nectarine notes presented in a full-bodied, rich style. Purists would probably say it is too young to drink, and it has at least 15-20 years of life remaining.
|Score: 97||Robert Parker, Hedonists Gazette, April 2010|
A suave customer, with hints of citrus, berry and coffee. Harmoniousand refined, with freshness and a bright structure. The finishshows a lot of potential, with a mouthwatering aftertaste. Betterthan previously reviewed. Drink now through 2030.
|Score: 92||Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Insider), December 2008|