Introduction of Louis Roederer Champagne
More than Cristal
Try this experiment at your next party: Ask everyone to raise their hands if they have heard of Cristal. Most people will raise a hand. Now, ask this same group to leave their hands up if they have heard of Louis Roederer. Watch the hands fall!
Louis Roederer is the Maisons de Champagne (Champagne House) that produces Cristal. While wildly popular at high-end parties and certain types of music videos, the name of Cristal is rarely attached to its maker: Louis Roederer.
Louis Roederer features several champagne offerings including brut, rose, and of course – Cristal. There is a significant jump in price from the Brut to the Cristal and for very good reason.
Champagne prices are a bit more volatile than those of other wines, generally speaking. While there are plenty of winemakers that have a range of pricing, champagne frequently has offerings from the same Champagne Maison that range from economical to very expensive.
Louis Roederer is a perfect example of this phenomenon, with offerings at the $50 price point up to over $500. Here, we will examine the offerings from Louis Roederer more closely and break down how this price disparity occurs.
Louis Roederer Champagne Prices
Louis Roederer is a “true” champagne. As you can see in our price guide, this lends to a higher starting price point. There are many factors that influence these high-end prices beyond the specialized region of Champagne being a requirement.
Vintage vs Non-Vintage
When it comes to authentic French champagne, vintage makes a big difference. The leading requirement for a bottle being considered vintage is that all the grapes involved in the winemaking must be from the same year. Thus, there can be no blending with a wine made in a previous year.
This is not to say that non-vintage wines are “cheap” or even made with a lower standard. Non-vintage wines are simply blends of multiple years and can include many vintages in the blend. However, vintages are often highly regarded because of their specificity and tend to cost more overall.
Cristal: Fit for a King (or Tsar)
Cristal represents the first-class of Champagne. Originating as the personal Cuvee for Tsar Alexander II, the vintage champagne was first made in 1876. With relatively humble beginnings, it was bottled traditionally in the darker bottles we all know. The Tsar noted that this hid the beauty of the champagne and Roederer got to work designing a more fitting vessel.
Cristal was born and named after the new, transparent bottles created after the Tsar made his commentary. The bottle alone does not impact the notably high price point but it does make the prestigious blend more recognizable in social circles.
The most influential impact of the higher-priced Cristal is the care and time required to create the blend. It is only made from grapes that have reached peak maturity. After the perfect blend is crafted, it is locked away for six years and eight months to age properly.
The Priciest Bottle
As if the Cristal pricing was not high enough, the Champagne House of Louis Roederer found the need to create an even more expensive bottle. Around a century after Cristal was created, the Cristal Rose was developed.
Similar in composition, the rose tint and flavor comes from the finest and rarest Pinot Noir grapes hand-selected just for this purpose. The aging process is the same as the Cristal, aging for six years and eight months before selling.
How Does it Compare?
There are certainly comparable offerings in pricing for all the Louis Roederer selections. Here are some popular choices for each pricing range.
Comparable to Brut Premier – $50 Range
These champagnes are typically non-vintage selections. They are often aged for shorter periods of time and use a greater variety of grapes.
Comparable to Brut Nature – $80 Range
This price point tends to present some vintage offerings. Made with grapes of the same year, the exclusivity tends to drive the price up a little bit from the non-vintage offerings. However, there are still some non-vintage wines in this range. Most have spent some significant time aging (think: 4+ years).
- Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé
- Ruinart Rose NV
- Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut
Comparable to Cristal – $250+ Range
Once you enter this price range, most selections are the top tier offering from the Champagne House. They feature the finest grapes and often hand-selected vineyards used only for these wines. These wines are produced with the most care and often spend many years aging. They say, “Time is money”, and that holds true with these fine champagnes.
- Dom Pérignon P2 Brut 1998
- Champagne Krug Vintage Brut 2000
- Piper-Heidsieck Rare Rosé 2007
As you can see on our Louis Roederer pricing guide, the price point changes drastically as it nears the top end. Specific years become more valuable than others based on the growing season and final product. Champagne in the upper-tier price point has become a collector’s item for many, making the more rare wines more valuable.
Champagne from renowned brands like Louis Roederer is accessible at many price points. Whether you are seeking an option for a nice dinner or a bottle to celebrate a grand moment, this brand offers a fitting selection. We have seen what makes the pricing fluctuate and only you can decide what features are important to you.
Common Louis Roederer Champagne Prices List
|Name||Average Price||Food Suggestion|
|Louis Roederer Brut Premier||$51||Shellfish, Crab and Lobster|
|Louis Roederer Carte blanche||$50||Cakes and Cream|
|Louis Roederer Rose Vintage||$68||Meaty and Oily Fish|
|Louis Roederer Brut Nature 2006||$82||Shellfish, Crab and Lobster|
|Louis Roederer Brut Nature 2009||$81||Shellfish, Crab and Lobster|
|Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne||$243||Shellfish, Crab and Lobster|
|Louis Roederer Cristal Rose||$518||Meaty and Oily Fish|