Like many in the trade I remember the first time I tasted Krug. Sat in the back room at Oddbins in St Andrews we had saved up together to purchase and drink a Grande Cuvee, the old white label version that had been sat for a while on the shelf. We opened it with much excitement. It did not disappoint. It absolutely enveloped the palate, caressing every millimetre with texture, acidity, sweetness and any other descriptor you chose to throw at it. It was sensational and I was hooked. I moved swiftly on to the vintage, 1988, and what a remarkable wine that was! One of the reasons I believe this vintage to be one of the greats. My love for Chardonnay was then cemented with surely one of the greatest wines in the world Clos du Mesnil. 1990 in Magnum!
When LVMH bought Krug in 1999 we all watched with a worried gaze as to the next steps. Nothing immediate but we all knew things had to change. It was around this time that I had the fortune of trying a wonderful bottle of Krug Private Cuvee from what must have been the mid 1960s. I healthy reminder of the history and greatness that LVMH was playing with. Hugely powerful and if possible hitting even higher notes than their Grande Cuvee and even more parts of the palate.
Since then I have watched and tasted the Grande Cuvee become less and less on the palate. A concept diluted. It is still a great wine but less of the moment defining experience it once was.
I await the 2002 to judge whether their vintage wines have taken the same course.
Luckily for my palate their Clos du Mesnil is sublime, without exception. Even in a vintage that I struggle with, 2000, I was blown away. Such incredible grip on the palate. So much length. I was staggered.
The introduction of Clos d’Ambonnay in the last decade and the release of 1995, 1996 and 1998 is a fascinating experiment to watch. Positioning itself well above even Clos du Mesnil in price, three times to be precise, I struggle to see end consumers engaging in it.
In the last year LVMH has unveiled an opportunity to examine and enjoy Grande Cuvee through the years and perhaps put to test my very worry, by offering it to consumers from different years (each base year having it’s own unique name). Although an interesting academic proposition I am left somewhat disappointed and frustrated. I can’t help but think this is marketing and accounts taking control. The Grande Cuvee I knew and loved didn’t need aging to show itself, it just was.
Region: La Montagne de Reims
Contact: Olivier Krug
Cuvée De Prestige: Clos du Mesnil, Clos d'Ambonnay
Parent Group: LVMH
Year Founded: 1843
Recent Tasting Notes from Krug
Krug Grande Cuvee
Tasted:January 21, 2016
Sweet nose. Palate surprisingly fresh and clean. By the glass at Heathrow terminal 5. 2006 base.read more…
Base Vintage: 2006