95 Points Tyson Stelzer
The secret of Cristal is that it’s built to age, and its reductive style screams out for some years of post-
disgorgement to truly blossom. For its price and reputation, Cristal is a relatively early release in the world of
prestige cuvées, though Lécaillon points out that 30 years ago it enjoyed only three years on lees, when he joined
the company 20 years ago it only had four, and now it has six or seven. Notwithstanding, Cristal is the first 2009
prestige cuvée to hit the streets.
Lécaillon describes 2009 as a ‘tutti-fruity year’, yet holding its freshness, luminous and bright. He has given it
the lowest dosage of any Cristal ever. It’s a generous and creamy cuvée, true to its dry, hot, sunny and ripe vintage.
It leads out succulent and complex, with juicy peach and apple fruit, even hints of pineapple, and the complexity of
age in fresh, spicy ginger, honey biscuits and nougat. Subtle gunflint reduction brings complexity, while respecting
the purity of its fruit. It changes up a gear on the finish, gaining velocity and energy from the tension of malic
acidity and the pronounced texture of grapefruit pith that embodies a seamless accord between fine, salt chalk
minerality, the mouthfeel of lees age and subtle phenolic bitterness. These elements all settle comfortably into
place in balance and harmony, albeit disparate at this youthful age. As ever with Cristal, all it asks for is time.
Source: Tyson Stelzer.