Champagne Louis Roederer launched the latest vintage of its prestige cuvée, Cristal, last night. The 2009 vintage was unveiled at new Champagne bar Sky Lounge, at the Shangi-La Hotel in London.
The 26-cover bar is located on level 36 of the iconic Shard building and will list the largest collection of vintage Louis Roederer champagnes in the capital. The hotel's general manager, Paul Brackley, commented: 'Louis Roederer is the perfect and obvious partner to launch Sky Lounge.'
Also present at the launch were Roederer's CEO, Frédéric Rouzaud and chef de cave Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon. Rouzard quipped, 'We do not launch Cristal very often, but maybe this one will help you out of the depression after Brexit...'
He explained that for the first time, a vintage of Cristal has been launched out of sequence, as the 2009 has been released ahead of the 2008. Lécaillon added: 'The 2008 will only be released after 10 years in bottle.'
Cristal 2009 is a 60/40 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, sourced from grands crus in the Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne and Côte des Blancs. For the first time, 40% of the grapes used for the vintage were farmed biodynamically. 'This is a new way of farming for Roederer, that we are developing now,' said Lécaillon.
He described 2009 as 'a fantastic year' when a cold, dry winter was followed by rain and mildew in spring, but a sunny summer with almost no rain in August and September. The cuvée was made without malolactic fermentation, but with 16% of the base wines vinified in oak casks and dosage of 8g/l.
'It has a dense body, but with a very light, elegant style,' said Lécaillon. While Rouzard described it as, 'A very singular expression of what champagne should be.'
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