White, Ready, but will improve

1998 Champagne Krug, Clos Du Mesnil

1998 Champagne Krug, Clos Du Mesnil

White | Ready, but will improve | Krug | Code:  944058 | 1998 | France > Champagne > Blanc de Blancs | Champagne Blend | Full Bodied, Brut | 12.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

JANCIS

17/20

WS

98/100

JANCIS - Much more open and developed on the nose than the regular 1998 vintage Krug. Really quite light and toasty, but without the density of the regular 1998 and without outstanding refreshment value. (£720 a bottle! And that’s cheap compared with their new single -vineyard Clos d’Ambonnay...)
(Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com - Nov 08)

WS - Stops you in your tracks. Fascinating-from the barrel-fermented coconut, vanilla, pineapple and marmalade bouquet to the incredible richness and concentration, this is an original. The peach, vanilla, honey and tangerine flavors ride a crest of bracing acidity, dry and forceful, to a lingering aftertaste of spring blossoms and hazelnut.
(Wine Spectator -Nov 2000)

The Producer

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.

The Grape

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.


The Region

Blanc de Blancs

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.

Recommended Producers: Salon, Billecart Salmon, Jacques Selosse, Dom Ruinart, Krug, Le Mesnil Grand CruGuy Larmandier

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