Cristal Champagne, a Drink Fit for a King ..
is perhaps one of the first names that springs to mind when thinking of a top quality bottle of bubbles. Made by the champagne house, Louis Roederer, it’s often accepted that Cristal was the very first ‘prestige cuvee’ champagne produced back in the mid-1800s.
It was the year 1867 – a time when Tsar of Russia, Alexander II, was living in fear of assassination due to turbulent political times. Fear of bombs gave rise to the order that the champagne for the annual Three Emperor’s Dinner be produced in clear bottles, rather than the regular green colour, so nothing could be hidden within. Thus the house of Louis Roederer Champagne commissioned a Flemish glassmaker to create a clear crystal champagne bottle exactly for this purpose. And the name ‘Cristal Champagne’ was born.
It wasn’t until 1945 that Cristal Champagne became available on a commercial basis, but the drink really hit the headlines in the decadent years at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century. Seen as one of the drinks of choice of such famous names as Puff Daddy, Jay-Z and B.I.G, the popularity of Cristal Champagne literally went through the roof, although subsequent bad feelings saw it fall from grace in the world of hip-hop music.
Cristal Champagne Production
The making of the wine naturally has to adhere to many strict criteria. And these are not only these set down in law for champagne production, but also those standards set by Louis Roederer Champagne themselves. The grapes used are from the champagne house’s 10 most celebrated crus (growing areas), and are a combination of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes in approximately equal parts.
The House of Cristal began to produce a rose champagne in 1974, and this has become a popular product. It contains more of the Pinot Noir grapes than the regular white champagne, but contrary to popular belief, the ‘pink’ colouring is actually created with red wine as opposed to using the Pinot Noir grape skins.
Prices of Cristal Champagne vary a little from place to place and country to country. But one thing’s for sure – a bottle of Cristal is a premium, high end champagne so by necessity you can expect it to cost a little more than certain other brands.
Because the year, vintage and other aspects affect the price of Cristal Champagne, it’s a little difficult to say exactly how much you can expect to pay for a bottle of the Louis Roederer bubbly. A bottle of Cristal Champagne can be found for as little as €160 or €170 upwards. Of course, if you’re looking at a special vintage year, a limited edition or a rare old bottle, then the price of a bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne can set you back four figures or even more.
Cristal Champagne – always presented in its trademark, ‘crystal’ clear, flat bottomed bottle is a firm favourite amongst many champagne drinkers – so much so that it’s often referred to simply as ‘Cristal’ or even ‘Crissy.’ And far from being simply a drink that appeals to Hollywood royalty, Cristal Champagne certainly can be seen gracing some of the finest dining tables the world over.
About Champagne ExpertWe are four people working on this blog: Jacki (England), LeChamp' (France) and Sophie & Marc (Germany)... and we love Champagne and all sparklers out there. We just started this website, we still learn, we will drink a lot of Champagne.
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> June 18th: Piper Heidsieck Standard: very nice Champagne, that's a 8/10
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