Cristal is made according to the strictest criteria, based on a drastic process of selection applying to the vintage, the cru, the village, the grapes and finally the wines. Only Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes from the House's 10 most celebrated crus are used in the production of this legendary cuvee.
Glistening colour with light amber highlights, indicating a year of very fine ripeness. Soft, almost timid bubbles, in a fine, slow and steady flow. There is a rich bouquet with confit fruit (lemon, orange), white flowers (lilies) and lightly roasted nuts (hazelnuts and almonds). On airing, the dominant fruitiness becomes intense, almost explosive: a sabayon of vine peaches, apricots, melon and mango.
The mouth features a rounded, complex ballet of fruit. The texture is incredibly concentrated, giving the impression of biting into a ripe, fleshy fruit. The palate is enveloped by this depth of juicy, creamy, silky fruit, which soon makes way for a pure, sharp, graceful freshness.
A transition follows from ripe fruit to a clear, light, delicate environment. Ripeness, softness and concentration arise from freshness and mineral quality, transforming the ripe fruit into a slightly sharp citrus flavour; the warmer notes make way for flowers, citrus zests and nuts. After this rapid succession of flavours, there is a lasting impression of harmony: the aromas, flavours, slight bitterness and freshness come in just the right proportions, intermingling to form a perfectly integrated yet complex whole.
A few hints of tatin tart and Danish pastries add a final touch to the already complex range of aromas.
2006 Cristal has an intriguing harmony of aromas, flavours and freshness. As a young wine it is already deliciously balanced and charming, and promises to be a magnificent champagne in full maturity.
Cristal 2006 is made with 55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay and 20% wines matured in wood (oak barrels) with weekly batonnage - no malolactic fermentation. Cristal is a blend of grand crus from the Reims mountain, the Marne Valley and Côte des Blancs. The wine is matured for 5 years in cellars and rests for 8 months after disgorging. Dosage varies between 8 and 10 g/l depending on the vintage.
2006 was a very warm year, characterized by contrasting rainfall patterns. Following on from an unusually cold and rainy August, a warm, dry September hastened up the ripening process producing distinctive, rich, complex grapes.