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2008 Vintage Champagne – Legends in the Making

Cristal – Dom Pérignon – Pol Roger

By Howard Lee | February 2, 2019

Celebrated as potentially the finest champagne vintage since 2002, the expectations for the 2008 vintage were high. Further hype was added when famous producers like Louis Roederer and Dom Pérignon chose to release the 2009 vintage prior to 2008 vintage. We finally got our hands on the recently released 2008 champagnes - and they certainly live up to expectation. 2008 was a cool continental year, despite the challenging weather in first half of the year, a cool and dry autumn allowed a fruitful, plentiful harvest to create classic styled Champagnes: refreshing citrus aromas up front while keeping impeccable balance and finesse with the thirst quenching acidity and subtle notes of dried fruits and toasted brioche. 
From recent tastings here are three of our highlights that deserve a place in your cellar – 

Louise Roederer: Cristal 2008 
The 2008 Cristal was aged for ten years (impressive 8.5 years on lees) prior to release, which is a Cristal record. To smoothen the high acidity from the cool vintage, 16% of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine is very youthful and vibrant, offering a bouquet of candied fruits and brioche aromas. The impressive length and complexity suggest longevity.

Dom Pérignon: Legacy Edition 2008 
This 2008 vintage of Dom Pérignon marks the end of an era. Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy ended his 28 years reign and his successor Vincent Chaperon will take charge from 2019 onwards. This final masterpiece certainly did not disappoint; showcasing its immense power from the get-go with complex notes of citrus fruits and crisp minerality.

Pol Roger: Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill 2008
This iconic favourite champagne of Sir Winston Churchill kept its usual high standards in this excellent vintage. The tropical fruits and brioche aromas and flavours are powerful while remaining well-structured and balanced. As the famous Prime Minister once said about champagnes, ”In success you deserve it." 

These three stellar wines will be our top picks for celebrations in the coming New Year and they should be yours too!

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Roederer, Louis: Cristal
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"The newly born Cristal 2008 comes to us with a patient heart, full of promise. It has been shaped by time and by its unique chalky soils and is now ready for us to enjoy after ten years of ageing. The 2008 vintage was a continental year, intense and hot, with scorching temperatures and weather which was a nimble succession of sunny and cool spells. Cristal 2008 is the embodiment of this concentration, intensity, energy and complexity.

Cristal has a restrained strength and a pervasive purity, like a lithe ballerina’s impossibly graceful leap through the air... A fine balance of finesse and power, energy and sensuality, Cristal captures all differences, reconciles all contrasts. Borne by its delicate substance, its notes of white fruit, candied citrus and toasted almonds harmoniously combine to create an endless parade of nuances. This is a cleverly seductive wine!"


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