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Thursday, April 26, 2007

A note about Crystal Champagne


The firm of Louis Roederer has been in the champagne business since 1776.In the 19th century, the most popular types of champagne were Doux, Demi-Sec and Sec--in other words, Very Sweet, Less Sweet and a bit Sweet.(Residual Sugar via Dosage in grams per litre:-- Doux 50 g-- Demi-Sec 33-50g --Sec 17-35g-- Brut 0-15g-- Ultra Brut-- 0g/ No Dosage at all. )At the court of the Czars in St. Petersburg, Roederer Champagne was probably the most popular brand.Alexander II disliked having his champagne poured while wrapped in a linen cloth. He alsopreferred clear glass. He was appeased with a special bottling, in clear glass, made just forhim. Thus was born "Cristal"-- the first Cuvee de Prestige.The combination of World War 1 and the Russian Revolution in 1917 destroyed the Russian market for champagne. No Cristal was made between 1914 and 1924. Then production wasresumed with a tirage of 20,000 bottles, made in a drier style, probably Sec.The world market for Champagne did not really recover from World War 1 until the mid 1980s.In 1985, Roederer announced that sales had finally surpassed those of 1872.Cristal today-- the blend is of 50-60% Pinot Noir with a minimum of 40% Chardonnay. All the grapes come from Roederer's own vineyards.Roederer's vineyards extend for 180 hectares, of which 130 are rated 100% (Premier Cru). This has always given Roederer champagne a solid foundation of quality.Note: When storing Cristal, do not remove the yellow cellophane wrapper which is designed to filter out nearly all of the damaging solar rays.

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