The Cristal Cuvée by Roederer

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At the age of 48, Frédéric Rouzaud incarnates the sixth generation at the head of Roederer. This brand’s story goes back to 1776. In that year, an Alsacian by the name of Nicolas Schreder founded his business before leaving it to his nephew Louis Roederer. After discovering the wonders of champagne, Louis decided to acquire vineyards in the Champagne region. Thanks to its astute owner, the Roederer vineyards have today become historic; starting with just 130 hectares, today they number more than 214. But the story really gets good around 1876 – this is when the producer first composed its iconic Cristal vintage.

Cristal is exceptional first and foremost thanks to its composition. In 1876, Czar Alexander II of Russia scoffed at being served the same champagne as his court. Instead, he wanted a special transparent “poison-proof” bottle. And so Louis Roederer produced a champagne for him composed of 10 of the most prestigious and reputed vintages in his region. Furthermore, this sparkling jewel was poured into a transparent bottle to thwart anything vile being slipped inside.

The recipe today reminds identical to the original – 55% pinot noir, 45% chardonnay, and a total of 20% of wines fermented in oak barrels within the superb chalky cellars beneath Boulevard Lundy in Reims. Indeed, this producer is constantly seeking to go forward. “We’ve rethought the way of cutting the vine, cultivating the earth, and the fermentation,” explains Frédéric Rouzaud. As for the future, it’s currently biding its time in Roederer’s cellars…

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