Louis Roederer Cristal late release 2006 is a small parcel of Cristal which has spent an extra 8 years aging on its lees in Louis Roederer’s cellars before release in October 2020. The fizz in all Champagne is created by a second fermentation within the bottle itself. As yeast and sugar is added and the bottle sealed there is nowhere for the CO2 created by the fermentation to go so it remains trapped inside the bottle. This reaction creates sediment which is referred to as ‘The Lees’ (it is basically dead yeast). It is removed from the finished bottle but is packed with flavour and it is the slow interaction over time between the liquid and the lees that creates such unique, toasty, tasty, autolytic flavours in Champagne. Vintage Champagne must spend 18 months aging in the way and Cristal is normally aged for 5-6 years on its lees so this extra 8 years is quite special and produces a wine which is rare and brilliant.
Cristal was created in 1876 at the request of Tsar Alexander II. It is produced in the best years when the grapes have reached ultimate maturity and is a blend of grapes sourced from Grands Cru vineyards located in the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs. The wine is aged for 5 years in the cellars and left for a minimum of 8 months after disgorging to attain the perfect maturity. The dosage is 8-10 g/l.