We have our favourites in Champagne House styles - Pol Roger, Louis Roederer, Krug - usually driven by the personal associations we have had with the brands and the owners as much as with the quality.
Her Indoors' all-time favourite is Louis Roederer. We often have a glass of this when we see it in bars and regularly have a bottle. On occasion Louis Roederer Cristal comes our way - previously when it was more affordable we would buy it and in recent years we have had it by way of gift. Needless to say we love it.
Roederer Cristal is a very expensive champagne. Ridiculously expensive. Its cost has as much to do with its quality as much as its popularity. There was a bit of a stoush a few years ago when the head of Roederer publicly announced that he and the company were perturbed that a big percentage of sales in USA were attributable to drug dealers, hip hop artists and rappers. Jay-z got all uppity and labelled the comments as racist and called for a boycott of Roederer Cristal. This was music to our ears as if overpaid hip hop artists weren't buying it then it might come down to affordable levels. Fat chance. It still is one of the world's most expensive champagnes.
We're drinking up the cellar at the moment as we're heading off overseas for a few years. The other night we drank a bottle of 2005 Cristal.
As I mentioned earlier, we like champagne and drink a lot of it. We also appreciate very good examples of methode champenoise like Deutz. When it comes to drinking a vintage champagne or a prestige champagne the difference is phenomenal.
A good methode champenoise should usually cost about $30.
A good non vintage champagne should usually be about $80
A prestige champagne can be over a hundred.
Elite champagnes like Dom Perignon, Krug, Cristal etc start at $250 and just keep climbing.
Worth the money?
Well no but ......
.....the difference between the really top stuff and the simply good stuff is tremendous.
The Cristal 2005 was fine, absolutely fine. The bead was intense with tiny bubbles. The texture was silky with no coarse notes at all. The flavour was fruity and fresh. Delightful. On opening the fresh bread smell (yeast autolysis) was very pronounced and could be smelled from metres away.
The wine is an experience and any champagne drinkers should splurge out on wines of this calibre at least once to use as a yardstick.
I don't know when we'll try it again, maybe we could become hip hop artists and make our fortune
"C'mon y'all, get sippin', get sippin'
'dis Cristal man is for tippin', for tippin'
Break da bank, do dat pawn thang,
Do watcha gotta just get that big bang,
Yeah, do it just do it
Y'all never rue it"