The 2008 Louis Roederer Cristal is precise, silky, and harmonious with a rich, powerful body that has a very pure balance and incredible ageing potential. The complex and intense bouquet discloses candied citrus, yellow fruit, Williams pear, pollen, and toasted almond, showing intensity and well-honed precision. The wine is powerful, full yet tight, on entry to the palate. The 2008 is undeniably well structured but in a particular way: the wine's almost saline concentration has not been created by the sun, but is derived from the dryness of the chalk soil in a particularly cool summer. The result is a smooth, almost liquorous, mouthfeel that coats the palate with a powerful yet soft texture. This gives way to an incredible finish, underpinned by freshness and an impression of absolute purity with a taut and very saline character.
Varietal Composition: 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay
Appellation: Champagne AOC
Aging: Bottle-aged for 8 years before disgorgement, followed by 2 additional years prior to release
Dosage: 8 g/L
98+ Points - Vinous
"The 2008 Cristal is a wine that takes over all the senses and never lets up. The brilliance and cut of the Chardonnay finds an extra kick of resonance from the Pinot Noir to carry the mid palate and finish in this stunningly beautiful, chiseled Champagne. Lemon oil, almond, flowers, dried herbs and Mirabelle plum are some of the many aromas and flavors that develop as the 2008 shows off its pedigree. The 2008 is a regal, towering Champagne from Roederer. That’s all there is to it." -AG, Jul/2018
98 Points, "Cellar Selection" - Wine Enthusiast
"The latest incarnation of Roederer's iconic Champagne, this comes from a great vintage and is balanced, moving towards maturity. White stone fruit are shot through by lemon acidity. A steely edge contrasts with the underlying richness. Drink now, although the wine will age for many years." -RV, 12/1/19
Note that Wine Enthusiast previously rated 2008 Cristal 100 Points on 12/1/17, and it landed #5 on their Top 100 Cellar Selections for 2017.
97+ Points - Wine Advocate
"Let's start describing the 2008 Cristal technically first. It is a 60/40 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 36 plots in seven grands crus: Verzy, Verzenay, Beaumont and Aÿ for the Pinot Noir and Mesnil, Avize and Cramant for the Chardonnay. Twenty-five percent of the wine was fermented in oak, and 16% underwent malolactic fermentation to moderate the fresh acidity of the 2008 vintage. The assemblage was bottled in May 2009. After 8.5 years on the second lees (longer than any Cristal before), the first release was disgorged in September 2017 with a relatively low dosage of 7.5 grams per liter. So, here is how it tastes as a "young" cuvée: The 2008 Cristal opens bright, super clear, fresh and pure on the exciting, absolutely fascinating nose with its fine, complex and elegant bouquet of gorgeously ripe and matured fruits, brioche and chalk expressions. This is the finest you can get from Champagne. The palate is pure, lean, fresh and filigreed but concentrated, highly complex, full of tension and enormously vibrant. This is a great vin de terroir, a dense and elegant Super-Cristal that goes straight and precise as a laser beam over the palate but also has texture in the form of sensually fleshy fruit. The dosage, however, is the lowest ever: just 7.5 grams. The endless and highly tensioned finish is complex, citrusy fresh, full of chalk and crystalline finesse. The 2008 Cristal is a vitalizing drug, "the Chevalier Montrachet of Champagne," as Jean-Baptise Lécaillon puts it. It is the most exciting 2008 Champagne I have tasted thus far (May 2018)." -SR, 6/18/18
97 Points, "Collectibles" - Wine Spectator
"There's a sense of focus and vibrancy to the overall structure, while the palate is all grace and charm. A fine, lacy texture carries a tapestry of ripe white cherry, toast point, blood orange zest, honey and ground ginger notes, with a minerally, mouthwatering finish. A stunning Champagne with a long future ahead of it. Drink now through 2033." -AN, 11/30/18