Louis Roederer Brut Premier is one of the world’s finest non-vintage Champagnes. Cristal is one of the world’s most prestigious cuvées. Both come from the same producer, the esteemed Champagne house Louis Roederer in the city of Reims, but otherwise how much do they have in common? Let’s look in detail at both wines to see just how they compare!
Louis Roederer Brut Premier vs. Cristal
OK, so let’s see what we’re dealing with here. To compare these two premium Champagnes, we’re going to need a bottle of each (hard work, we know!). Those of you that want to play along can find these wines here:
Bottles chilled, opened and ready to go? Great, let’s have a taste…
Tasting Louis Roederer Brut Premier
Champagne houses tend to produce their non-vintage Champagne in a consistent and signature house style, year in and year out. The importance of blending in Champagne production cannot be overestimated, and expert producers may blend up to 70 different base wines in order to achieve the right style.
Louis Roederer Brut Premier is Roederer’s non-vintage Brut Champagne, and is rightly recognised as one of the very best. This is no accident, as the wine is meticulously blended so that each bottle you pick up will offer the same sort of wine tasting experience. The Brut Premier style focuses on “freshness, finesse and brightness”, according to cellarmaster Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon. Do we agree with him? Let’s have a virtual taste:
- The colour of Louis Roederer Brut Premier is a bright gold, and lots of fine bubbles are visual cues towards the wine’s quality
- On the nose, there are lots of bright, fresh fruit aromas
- The palate is deliciously smooth and refreshing, with complex notes ranging from white fruits to red berries and yeast flavours
Overall, a delicious Brut Champagne with a lot of complexity. It’s the perfect aperitif, though will also match well with oysters and other fruits de la mer. Louis Roederer Brut Premier is not exactly cheap, but offers a very strong quality/price ratio. How does that compare with Cristal, then?
Tasting Louis Roederer Cristal 2000
One of the most iconic Champagne labels out there, Cristal needs no introduction. Originally created specially for Russian Tsar Alexander II, this is surely one of the world’s most famous wines. As a vintage Champagne, Cristal will taste different from one year to the next, but again there is an overarching style. Says Lécaillon, “Cristal is both powerful and delicate, combining subtlety and precision.” It’s not every day that you can open a bottle like this, so drink vicariously with us:
- Visually, it has a brilliant, glistening yellow-gold colour and a mousse of incredibly fine bubbles – note that Cristal is bottled in clear glass to show off its wonderful colour
- On the nose, Cristal 2000 has subtle, nuanced aromatics of citrus, lime and apricot, with an underlying toasty and brioche character
- On the palate, this wine is deceptively delicate, incredibly well-balanced and has a seemingly never-ending finish
The verdict: Louis Roederer Brut Premier or Cristal?
So, how did they compare? It really depends on what you’re looking for. In terms of price, there’s no comparison: Louis Roederer costs a mere fraction of the price of Cristal, so there’s that. Regarding flavour and taste, both wines have a lot to offer, though there is nothing quite like the subtle nuance of Cristal – despite its reputation, there is nothing flashy about it! In the end, the choice is yours: If you can afford it, Cristal is an exceptional experience for any wine lover. If you’d rather not spend hundreds of euro, but want to treat yourself: Louis Roederer Brut Premier offers a lot of luxury for a relatively little price!
Which do you prefer, Louis Roederer Brut Premier or Louis Roederer Cristal?