Champagne Krug, Grande Cuvée, 168ème Édition, Brut

Champagne Krug, Grande Cuvée, 168ème Édition, Brut

Product: 10008055082
Prices start from £775.00 per case Buying options
Champagne Krug, Grande Cuvée, 168ème Édition, Brut

Description

This has all the makings of a great Champagne. At first a little reticent and quite mellow but with time in the glass it opened up to reveal wave after wave of deliciously enticing aromas – buttered brioche, honey, hazelnut paste and crème pâtissière. There is no doubt this has a lot of depth. On the palate it doesn’t hold back, round and ripe with bruised apple, nougat and fleshy fruit up front and a lovely barley sugar touch. Then great vitality as the lemon tinged acidity comes powering through to give a tight, tingling finish. This is hugely enjoyable now but give it five years and I think this will be one of those wines that will stick in the memory for all the right reasons. Absolutely epic. Drink now to 2035+.
Peter Newton, Private Account Manager (May 2020)
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About this WINE

Krug

Krug

Krug was established in 1843 and has since specialised in producing only prestige and specialised champagnes. Krug is the only firm still producing all its champagne in small oak casks, an essential element for developing Krug's intense bouquet and complex flavours. Today, Henri, Rémi and Olivier Krug, who supervise every step of production, tasting and blending, represent the 5th and 6th generations.

With long periods of maturation (6-8 years), Krug champagne continues to age gracefully after release, developing an intensely rich, nutty flavour whilst remaining remarkably fresh.

Krug`s finest champagne is Clos du Mesnil, a 100%-Chardonnay based champagne that comes from a small walled vineyard at Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. It is one of the world`s greatest Blanc de Blanc champagnes.

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Champagne

Champagne

Our wine buyers leave no stone unturned in their quest to find the best Champagnes, and Berry Bros. & Rudd takes particular pride in its eclectic range of artisan Champagnes that represent a real sense of terroir, original winemaking, labour-intensive viticulture (often organic/biodynamic) and the uncompromising excellence of the end product.

Grand Marques Artisan Champagnes
 Ayala Perrier Jouët Alfred Gratien Lancelot-Pienne
 Billecart-Salmon, Pol Roger Bonnaire Lahaye
 Bollinger Pommery Cédric Bouchard R&L Legras
 Dom Perignon Louis Roederer Gaston Chiquet Marguet
 Krug Ruinart Guy Larmandier Paul Bara
 Lanson Salon Eric Rodez Pierre Péters
 Laurent-Perrier Taittinger Janisson Baradon René Geoffroy
 Moët & Chandon Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Jacquesson Vergnon
    Larmandier-Bernier Vilmart & Cie


How Champagne is made 

In 1668, in the village of Hautvillers, the monk turned cellar master, Dom Pérignon, is said to have discovered how to make sparkling wine; while the same technique is used all over the world today, the region of Champagne continues to make some of the finest.

So what makes wine sparkle? Adding a solution of sugar and yeast to a white wine starts another fermentation in the bottle which results in the bubbles. Once the yeasts have done their job, a sediment known as ‘lees’ collects on the side of the bottle; contact with this deposit during maturation gives the wine its characteristic flavours of freshly-baked bread, toast and biscuit. Once this sediment is isolated (remuage) and removed (dégorgement), the Champagne is topped up with a sugar solution to make it dry or sweet

The Champagne Wine Region

Champagne is the most northerly wine region in France and is situated north-east of Paris. There are three main vineyard areas: Côte des Blancs, Vallée de la Marne and Montagne de Reims.
 
Ripeness of the grapes is often a problem, which is one reason why a blend of grape varieties is usually used: the white Chardonnay to give fruit and elegance, and two reds – Pinot Noir (particularly to provide a ‘backbone’) and Pinot Meunier.

In Champagne there are around 15,000 growers and 290 Champagne houses. Traditionally, growers have sold their grapes to the Champagne houses which account for 70 percent of production and 90 percent of exports. Recently, increasing numbers of growers are making growers’ Champagnes themselves, using their own grapes.
 
The Champagne houses used to be organized into a Syndicat des Grandes Marques, which had 28 members, not all of them of equal quality. That has now been superseded by the Club des Grandes Marques, with 24 participants: Ayala, Billecart-Salmon, Bollinger, Canard- Duchêne, Deutz, Dom Pérignon, Heidsieck & Co. Monopole, Henriot, Krug, Lanson, Laurent-Perrier, Moët & Chandon, G.H. Mumm, Perrier Jouët, Joseph Perrier, Piper-Heidsieck, Pol Roger, Pommery, Ch. & A Prieur, Louis Roederer, Ruinart, Salon, Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin.
 
Champagne Styles

Vintage Champagne
Made exclusively from grapes grown in a single year, this is produced only in the best years, and is released at about six years of age.
 
Non-Vintage Champagne
Most of the Champagne produced today is Non-Vintage, comprising the blended product of grapes from multiple vintages. Typically grapes from a single-year vintage will form the base of the blend, ranging from 15 percent to up to 40 percent.

Rosé Champagne
Typically light in colour, rosé Champagne is produced either by leaving the clear juice of black grapes to macerate on its skins for a brief time (known as saigneé), or by adding a small amount of Pinot Noir red wine to the sparkling wine cuvée. The saigneé method is more elaborate and costly, requiring highly-skilled winemaking, hence only a few houses still use it – among them Laurent Perrier and Louis Roederer.

Luxury (Prestige) Cuvée
Top of the range, this is vintage-dated. Famous examples include Louis Roederer's Cristal, Laurent-Perrier's Grand Siècle, Moët & Chandon's Dom Pérignon, Duval-Leroy's Cuvée Femme and Pol Roger's Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill.

Demi-Sec (Rich) Champagne
Demi-Sec or Rich is a medium-dry to medium-sweet style which occupies the other end of the spectrum from the standard dry "Brut" style. Brut Natural or Brut Zéro contains less than three grams of sugar per litre, Extra Brut has less than six grams of sugar per litre, and Brut less than 12 grams of sugar per litre. 

Recently Disgorged Champagne
R.D. (Recently Disgorged) style was introduced for the first time by Madame Bollinger in 1961, on the 1952 Bollinger Grande Année vintage. Late disgorgement allows the Champagne to retain its freshness, vivacity and fruity expression, despite the ageing.

Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Blanc de Blancs denotes a Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes.

Blanc de Noirs Champagne
Blanc de Noir Champagnes are made exclusively from black grapes, Pinot Noir (typically) and Pinot Meunier grapes. Bollinger's prestige cuvée Vieilles Vignes Françaises is the lead example.

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Champagne Blend

Champagne Blend

Which grapes are included in the blend, and their proportion, is one of the key factors determining the style of most Champagnes. Three grapes are used - Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.

26% of vineyards in Champagne are planted with Chardonnay and it performs best on the Côtes des Blancs and on the chalk slopes south of Epernay. It is relatively simple to grow, although it buds early and thus is susceptible to spring frosts. It produces lighter, fresher wines than those from Burgundy and gives finesse, fruit and elegance to the final blend. It is the sole grape in Blancs de Blancs, which are some of the richest long-lived Champagnes produced.

Pinot Noir accounts for nearly 40% of the plantings in Champagne and lies at the heart of most blends - it gives Champagne its body, structure, strength and grip. It is planted across Champagne and particularly so in the southern Aube district.

The final component is Pinot Meunier and this constitutes nearly 35% of the plantings. Its durability and resistance to spring frosts make the Marne Valley, a notorious frost pocket, its natural home. It ripens well in poor years and produces a soft, fruity style of wine that is ideal for blending with the more assertive flavours of Pinot Noir. Producers allege that Pinot Meunier lacks ageing potential, but this does not deter Krug from including around 15% of it in their final blends.


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Reviews

Customer reviews

Wine Advocate96/100
jancisrobinson.com19/20
Decanter96/100

Critic reviews

Wine Advocate96/100
Krug's NV Grande Cuvée 168ème Édition is a classic in the making, wafting from the glass with aromas of dried fruits, pear, toasted nuts, orange zest, honeycomb and freshly baked bread. Medium to full-bodied, generous but incisive, it's deep and elegantly fleshy, with a beautifully refined mousse and an enveloping core of fruit that's complemented by the characteristic Krug patina of nutty complexity imparted by barrel fermentation. Even if this is more open out of the gates than the 2011-based 167ème edition, the 168ème edition is also the more concentrated and intense of the two. It's based on the 2012 harvest, complemented by fully 42% reserve wines—a blend of 198 wines from 11 different vintages dating back to 1996.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (May 2020)
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jancisrobinson.com19/20
This is the latest cuvée launched in the UK in May 2020 but has already been available in the US and Japan. A blend of 198 wines from 11 different years, with the youngest the acclaimed 2012, back to a precious, powerfully aromatic lot of Verzenay Pinot Noir 1996. The final blend – 52% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 13% Meunier – was bottled in 2013 and aged for seven years in Krug’s cellars in Reims. Yields in 2012 were 20% lower than usual because of a succession of meteorological events including frost, rain, storms and hail in winter and spring 2012, followed by the driest ripening season since 1974.
Notably intense aroma with crème pâtissière dominant. Masses of extract and remarkable acidity underpinned by great depth of flavour and beautiful balance on the finish. I think this is going to be a really great, glamorous Grande Cuvée that will continue to develop in bottle for many years to come. I suspect it will be even more enjoyable from the end of 2020. The length on the palate is remarkable. This is magnificently precise, a great tribute to the work of the old cellarmaster Eric Lebel, who is still in the background, and a wonderful welcome to his successor Julie Cavil, who has been learning from him since 2006.
Jancis Robinson, jancisrobinson.com (May 2020)
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Decanter96/100
52% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, 13% Pinot Meunier. A gentle gold with discreet yet persistent mousse and aromatics of spring meadows, lemon sherbet and barley sugar; the wine is pure and softly powerful, youthful energy finely poised, somewhat cautious after so many years in the chalky cellars. The reserve wines, Pinot Noir from Verzenay and Chardonnay from Avize especially, are subtle in support, vivacious despite their relative maturity, contributing to an ensemble which is hitherto dominated by red fruit, courtesy of the superb Pinot Noir, and a colourful tension. Behind that there are whispers of honey, quince and posset… and with so much more to come; but the finish, happily in these days of privation, takes one to wherever one may wish to go.
Simon Field MW, Decanter (May 2020)
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