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Louis Roederer 'Cristal' Brut, 2012, Reims, Champagne, France


2012 vintage 'Cristal': "This beautiful wine, with its poise, elegance and balance, has both a steely mineral core and an outer ripe-fruit character. It has citrus, tight acidity and rich apple and green-plum flavors. Drink now." - Wine Enthusiast - 95 Points

The Roederer estate was first founded in 1776, though the domaine was inherited and renamed by Louis Roederer more than a half-century later. Today, the estate is regarded as one of the few independent, family-run champagne houses, producing more than 3.5 million bottles of bubbles a year. Although known for the namesake bottles of Champagne, the house’s true skyrocket to fame came with the production of Cristal, which was first produced back in 1875 for Russian czar Alexander II due to his fear of assasination by explosives.

Alexander called for a Champagne produced in a clear flat-bottomed bottle whose contents were visible. Roederer accepted the request, and upon the wine's creation, Cristal was born. However, the wine didn't actually become available on the market until 1945; today, some 300-400K bottles are produced annually.