Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Rose Millesime 2008, 1.5L
"The finest rendition of this cuvée that Lécaillon has produced to date—and, indeed, one of the finest wines produced by any of Champagne's important houses in the last two or three decades—is the 2008 Cristal Rosé, a brilliant wine that derives from a mere four of the 45 plots that are candidates for inclusion in Cristal: two blocks of Pinot Noir from Aÿ, one of Chardonnay from Mesnil and another from Avize, and I suspect that its origin in the crème de la crème of Roederer's Cristal-worthy holdings has even more to do with the extra dimension it possesses above and beyond its white counterpart than the delicate infusion of Pinot Noir phenolics that give it its delicate pink hue. Unfurling in the glass with aromas of wild strawberries, tangerine, warm pastry and crisp green orchard fruit, the 2008 is medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a racy but beautifully integrated spine of acidity, a multidimensional core and a searingly chalky and laser-focused finish. Impeccably balanced and harmonious, this superb wine represents one of the qualitative peaks of this great vintage. It will be seven or eight years until it truly starts to blossom, but its benchmark quality is already glaringly apparent."