Champagne House Louis Roederer has released the first few bottles of Cristal Vinothèque collection 1995 cuvée, which has aged much longer than the “ordinary” Cristal. 

Roederer Cristal Vinotheque 1995

Cristal prestige cuvée is usually aged for around 10 years sur lattes, before disgorgement, in contacts with the dead yeasts before being released.In this version, the champagne has aged a total of 14 years sur lattes, and for another 7 years sur bouchon i.e. after disgorgement and the removal of the yeasts, in the cellars of the House.

Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, Chef de Cave at Roederer, explains the rationale behind this aging choice.

“The project started in the late 90’s when we aimed at producing “the perfect Cristal”, in line with the spirit of this cuvée with an extensive aging that brings the maturity that we like”.

With this idea in mind, we have tested the best aging and disgorging techniques to express a Cristal that is both “ripe” and perfect with a very precise bouquet, a silky texture, tender bubbles… A wine that is neither “oxidative” nor “reductive”, but that is just right!”

For this, we have regularly analyzed and tasted the cuvée all along its aging in our cellars until we identified the right moment to disgorge it.

As a result, Cristal Vinothèque 1995 is characterized by:

-8 years of horizontal aging on lees, with a greater contact of the dead yeasts with the wine and a certain exchange of oxygen through the neck of the bottle. Roederer named this stage “texture apogee”. In this way, the champagne develops a more mature bouquet in the nose and a larger texture in the mouth.

-6 years of vertical aging on lees, with the dead yeasts concentrated in the neck of the bottle, limiting the contact with the wine and stopping the exchange of oxygen, generating a reductive environment that rejuvenates the wine. Roederer named this stage “concentration and rejuvenation time”. In this way, the champagne develops a more precise bouquet in the nose freshness and salinity in the mouth.

-A limited dosage of 7g/l, close to Extra Brut, using some bottles of this very cuvée, bringing further precision and freshness to the champagne.

-7 years of post-disgorgement aging sur bouchon. Roederer named this stage ” improvement of the effervescence” when the bubbles become rounder, softer, more discrete.

“The outcome of our work was so exciting that we have decided to share it by making available few hundred bottles for Cristal aficionados,” Lecaillon concludes.