What is Cristal champagne?
Cristal is a premium French champagne produced by Louis Roederer, one of the region’s oldest and most respected champagne houses. Cristal is the family-owned firm’s “prestige cuvée” — its most exclusive and finest quality champagne.
When was Cristal first produced?
Even amongst the elite of French champagnes, Cristal has a unique history. In 1876 Tsar Alexander II of Russia commissioned Louis Roederer to produce his finest champagne, to be made exclusively available to the Russian Imperial Court. Working alongside the Tsar’s private cellar master, Roederer met the challenge and produced an exquisite champagne blend that would continue to be served at the Imperial Court right up until the Russian Revolution ended the reign of the Tsars in 1917.
Why is it in a clear bottle?
The unique Cristal bottle is also linked to the original commission by Tsar Alexander II. The Tsar specifically requested of Louis Roederer that his new champagne should be presented in a clear bottle, the better to appreciate the drink’s fine colour and quality before it had even been poured. It was also asked that the bottle should have no “punt” (the uprising indentation or dimple at the bottom of wine or champagne bottles) for fear that enterprising assassins could conceal an explosive within it. Roederer commissioned a Flemish glassmaker to create a clear, lead crystal bottle with a flat bottom. It was from this original bottle that the champagne gained the name ‘Cristal’, and to this day Cristal champagne bottles are distinctively clear.
What grapes are used for Cristal champagne?
From 1876 to today, Cristal has only ever been produced from the finest chardonnay and pinot noir grapes from Louis Roederer’s vineyards. The split between the two grapes is approximately 50/50, with some variation between different vintages. Throughout Cristal’s history, vintages have only been produced in the so-called “great” years, when it is a certainty that the ripeness of the pinot noir and chardonnay can be combined to attain the perfect balance of flavours that this unique champagne requires. The fact that the wine isn’t produced every year, and that l production averages to only around 300,000 to 400,000 bottles a vintage, helps give Cristal its deserved reputation for exclusivity.
What is Cristal rose?
Cristal rose is simply the champagne blended with red wine to give a pink blush to the colour.