Long-time Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon has produced yet another in a string of superb Champagnes with the 2007 Cristal. Rich, powerful and enveloping, the 2007 takes hold of all the senses and never lets up. The aromatics alone are captivating, but then the wine opens on the palate, revealing layer after layer of flavor to match a multi-dimensional, kaleidoscopic personality that will leave Champagne lovers weak at the knees. The 2007 is 58% Chardonnay and 42% Pinot Noir, which is to say a bit more Chardonnay-leaning than is the norm. The 2007 is striking today, but it should also age effortlessly for several decades. It is also without question one of the very finest new releases of the year.
Welsh gold, filigreed stream of tiny bubbles; great Chardonnay scents, freshly citrus made complex by dried fruits and hazelnuts; exquisite mouthfeel, delicate yet rounded; chalky Pinot then announces its presence with notes of yellow peach and subtle vinosity.Creamy and seductive with air. Lovely.
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The 2007 Cristal is comprised of a blend of fifty-eight percent pinot noir and forty-two percent chardonnay, with fifteen percent of the vins clairs barrel-fermented this year. The base wines did not undergo malolactic fermentation for the 2007. The wine spent five years aging sur latte and was finished with a dosage of 9.5 grams per liter. Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon is very pleased with the potential of the 2007 Cristal, which he feels hails from an under-appreciated vintage in Champagne. The wine offers up a beautiful young nose of pear, apple, patissière, a gorgeous base of limestone minerality, very gentle spice tones, hints of the smokiness to come, a touch of fresh almond and a lovely topnote of white flowers. On the palate the wine is deep, fullbodied and utterly seamless, with brisk, well-integrated acids, laser-like focus, very elegant mousse and outstanding length and grip on the focused and still very youthful finish. The balance here is impeccable and the wine is certainly approachable today, but its true zenith is still a good eight to ten years down the road. A beautiful wine. 2016-2050+.
Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon calls Cristal "the first terroir cuvée of the Champagne." He furthers, "It’s not just Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, but the chalk that brings the ultimate finesse, length and precision of Cristal." Forty-five blocks with averaging age of 43-years-old, low-yielding vines form the base of Cristal, which is usually made of approximately 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. Due to an early bud break (end of March) and the wet summer, the 2007 was picked at the end of August, so almost 100 days after the flowering instead of the normal 93-95 days. There is a bit less Pinot Noir than usual (57%) and accordingly, more Chardonnay (43%) in the 2007 Cristal. This Champagne comes along in a golden color and with a deep and matured, yet well-defined bouquet of ripe yellow fruits and honey notes. Full-bodied, round and very complex, the generous 2007 is a perfect mix of ripe fruit and precise minerality. It is a silky textured, pure and precise, as well as powerful and expressive Champagne. It has great tension and grip in the very long and persistent finish. Great expression of chalk. The 2007 was disgorged in 2015. The 2009 is to be released in September; the 2008 won't be in the market earlier than January 2018. Neither a 2010 nor a 2011 will be released, but a 2012.