About this WINE
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.
Blanc de Blancs
In Champagne, the term Blanc de Blancs designates Champagnes made only from Chardonnay grapes. The vineyards located between Cramant and Mesnil-sur-Oger in Cote de Blancs yield the best examples of the style.
A classic Blanc de Blancs is restrained and elegant when young, yet with ageing it develops a mouth-coating brioche richness that overlays an intense expression of fruitiness. Blanc de Blancs are endowed with longer ageing potential than a typical Blanc de Noirs.
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.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous, Nov 2014
Krug has done a terrific job with their 2003 Vintage. Warm, richly oxidative Krug signatures wrap around the palate in a textured, inviting Champagne endowed with tons of pure class, something that is especially evident on the finish, which is as sexy as it gets. In this vintage, Chef de Caves Eric Lebel bumped up the percentage of Meunier to give the wine as much freshness as possible. One of the challenges with Krug Vintages is that the wines are never ready to drink when they are released, something that has been true for as long as I can remember. That won't be an issue with the 2003, which is absolutely gorgeous today. I tasted the 2003 twice about a month apart.
Those tastings suggest the 2003 won't be a long-lived Champagne by the standards of Krug, one of Champagne's most historic, iconic houses. I would choose to drink the 2003 ahead of any other Krug vintage back to the late 1980s. The 2003 is 46% Pinot Noir, 29% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Meunier.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous, May 2014
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com, July 2014
Wine Spectator, Dec 2014