The 2005 Cristal is another impressive wine in this vertical, but in this case, it is its performance in a very hard year that impresses most. There’s real depth, density and textural resonance here. Apple tart, chamomile, dried flowers, pear and brioche linger. “We had some rot issues, mainly in Pinot Noir, so we focused on Chardonnay.” The Pinot components in Cristal are sourced from vineyards in Aÿ in Marne Valley and then Verzy and Verzenay on the Montagne de Reims, with an unusually high amount of Aÿ Pinot in 2005 as those sites ripened earlier and under more favorable conditions with less rot. Because of that, the 2005 is unusually round and supple in feel. The 2005 also shows a light reductive quality that is not especially typical of Cristal. “Every time the vintage is a bit open in character, we go for reduction, which is achieved by favoring tanks that are more reductive in the blend.” Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon and his team turned out a brilliant wine in this very challenging harvest. The 2005 is not the finest Cristal, but it is a real charmer. Dosage is 8 grams per liter. Disgorged: 2013.
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2038
Robert Parker 93
The 2005 Cristal is drinking very well, and it stands out as a fine effort in this challenging year for Champagne. Offering up aromas of crisp orchard fruit, nectarine, freshly baked bread and subtle hints of honeycomb, it’s medium to full-bodied, elegantly fleshy and incisive, with racy acids and a pearly mousse, concluding with a long, chalky finish.
Anticipated maturity: 2021-2023