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Champagne & Sparkling

Krug


  • Established in 1843 in Reims, France, the House of Krug has solely produced exceptional Champagnes, commonly known as prestige cuvées or tête de cuvées.

    Continuing an unbroken line of familial succession, the sixth generation of the Krug family oversees all aspects of production: from vineyard work, to blending and production. Renowned for their uncompromising commitment to quality, the house maintains a high proportion of reserve wines - a practice unparalleled in the Champagne industry; and matures all Champagnes for an unusually long period, six to eight years before release. As a grande marque Champagne House, Krug uses only grapes of the highest quality. Sourced from grand cru and premier cru sites in the Champagne region, three varieties contribute to the complexity of the blends: Pinot Noir, for fullness and aging capacity, Pinot Meunier for fruitiness and bouquet, and Chardonnay for finesse and elegance.


    Celebrated for their achievements in the art of blending, the family uses their taste memory of the original Krug style and the Krug taste to recreate the Krug Grande Cuvée; a horizontal (grapes and vineyards) and vertical (years) blend of the broadest dimensions. This inimitable talent is the secret behind Krug’s consistent expression of the House style year after year.


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  • Johann-Joseph Krug had been in the Champagne industry for years when he decided to start his own winery and founded Krug in 1843. The traditions of Krug have been handed down from generation to generation, and today Olivier Krug has taken over for his father Henri and Uncle Remi Krug. Varying from year to year, production is tiny when compared to all the other Grande Marques, but is of unparalleled quality.


    "One cannot obtain a good wine without using good elements and good terroirs.
    We may have obtained seemingly good cuvees by using ordinary or even mediocre elements and wines, but these are exceptions that one must never count on. Otherwise, there is a risk that one’s process will fail or one’s reputation will be ruined."

    Joseph Krug,
    personal notebook, 1848

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  • Krug oversees all viticultural practices used in growing grapes for its wines. The maison (the house) owns prestigious vineyard sites in Le Mesnil, Oger, and Avize, all Grand Cru vineyards of the Côte des Blancs. It also owns vineyards in Aÿ and Ambonnay, which provide Grand Cru Pinot Noir.


    Grapes that are purchased for Krug are supplied by a network of small growers with whom the house has been working for many years, in some cases for generations. Krug purchases the vineyards' entire production each year, and in return is allowed to consult closely with the growers regarding issues such as the treatment of the vines and soil, the yields and the harvest date. Representatives from Krug are sent into the fields to oversee the harvest at each location.

    The average rating of all of the grapes on the échelle des crus is 98%. (The échelle des crus is the means by which French regulators assess and rank the quality of vineyard sites across the entire Champagne appellation; it’s a strict grading system in which the higher the rating, the higher quality of grapes, 98% is close to perfect.) Most of the grapes come from Grand Cru slopes that are rated a perfect 100%, but Krug believes in the importance of Pinot Meunier to the blend to add its characters to the aroma, and no Pinot Meunier vineyards are rated 100%.

    The grapes are gently pressed and left to settle before fermentation begins.

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  • Base Wine Fermentation
    Krug ferments its base wines in 205-liter oak casks in the traditional Champagne method. The casks are "used", that is these casks have been employed previously, and impart no oak character to the wines. How is this accomplished? The answer is that in the first year casks are used, they are only filled with hot water. The second year, they are used for wine that will be sent to a distillery, in other words, these wines are not used at all in Krug Champagnes, but only to help "season" the barrel for use in its third year. In the third year, these now-seasoned barrels hold the Krug wines that are used for topping off all the other the casks of aging Krug wines.
    Many of these barrels can be quite old.


    Plots
    Each barrel contains wine from a separate lot, all of which have different flavor characteristics. This separation increases the complexity of the blends. Each wine is kept separate through the entire process and only blended at the final stages.


    Fermentation
    After alcoholic fermentation, malolactic fermentation - a process which converts a wine’s tart-tasting malic acids into softer-tasting lactic acids, conferring more buttery flavors to a finished wine - is generally avoided, although it is not suppressed by chemical means. The base wines are never filtered and are racked using gravity and held in stainless tanks to preserve their character. Blending and stabilization are also done in stainless steel. Wines that will be held as reserve wines are stored in stainless steel tanks that are blanketed with inert gas.


    Blending takes place every February and it can take a week to determine the most perfect cuvée. Since the beginning of Krug, every wine produced has been blended with a member of the Krug family involved, a continuation of the legacy of its founder.

    After secondary fermentation in the bottle, Krug ages the Champagne for a very long time on its lees, anywhere from six to ten years, according to the demands of the vintage. Krug has, in certain vintages, released its Champagnes out of chronological order so as to ensure that the wines have aged sufficiently before being disgorged. Krug has an amazing 3.5 million bottles of Champagne aging in its cellar and often uses these older vintages for blending.


    Harvest Video
    Olivier Krug talks to Decanter about the 2010 harvest in Champagne from a great video on YouTube.



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  • Krug is the only House to offer five Prestige Cuvees that are all different, while all being of equal, undisputed quality and distinction. Each Cuvee conveys a particular interpretation of nature, offering an inimitable experience the moment it is tasted, overwhelming the senses with exceptional pleasure.



    Krug Grande Cuvée
    Krug Grande Cuvée is at the heart of the House of Krug: it is its raison d’être. Since 1843, Krug Grande Cuvée has embodied the utmost in excellence that Joseph Krug, the founder of the House of Krug, sought to give his clients, a Champagne of extreme generosity and absolute elegance, the very best every year.

    Krug Grande Cuvee’s timeless character and unforgettable sensations reconcile the paradoxical:
    - Fullness and finesse
    - Maturity and freshness

    Krug Grande Cuvée is a very generous Champagne, a blend of around 120-140 base wines from ten or more different vintages and three grapes varieties. Krug Grande Cuvée’s exceptional finesse, expressed through its subtle bubbles is the result of resting for at least another six years in Krug’s cellars.


    Tasting Notes
    Deep golden colour and fine, vivacious bubbles, predicting fullness and elegance. Aromas of flowers in bloom, ripe & dried fruit, marzipan, gingerbread and citrus fruits.
    Flavours of hazelnut, nougat, barley sugar, jellied and citrus fruits, almonds, brioche and honey.




    Krug Rosé
    Krug Rosé is a relatively recent addition to the Krug range of Champagnes, having been introduced first in 1983. Pure provocation, it is a sensual, extravagant Champagne that seamlessly fuses the intensity and elegance of the Krug style with an excitement all its own. Krug Rosé has a pale pink-gold color and exquisitely fragrant bouquet are the prelude to an abundance of fresh, exotic flavors, including wild berries, ginger, pepper and quince. Krug Rosé is a unique blend that spans four to six different vintages, three grape varieties, and encompasses all the complexities of the Krug style. It is aged for a minimum of six years before release. Krug Rosé is produced only occasionally and in strictly limited quantities.



    Krug Vintage
    Unique to the House of Krug, every Krug Vintage is crafted to be different, to reveal the expression of a particular year. A year with character, a year with a special story to tell in a way that Krug alone can relate. To narrate this story, Krug has blended very expressive wines from a single year, enhanced by a stay of over ten years in the cellars. Krug Vintage is the story of a year as seen by Krug; there are as many stories as there are Krug Vintages.
    Check Krug.com for the current vintages offered by Krug.




    Krug Clos du Mesnil
    Clos du Mesnil is one of the rarest Champagnes, a single vineyard, single grape Champagne. Although there are a few imitators of this wine, there are none to equal Clos du Mesnil. The reason for this is that it possesses a unique microclimate. Not only is Mesnil a Grand Cru village, but the Clos is particularly favored, because over the last three hundred years the town has built up around it, and now provides extra ripening because of the heat from the village. It must be remembered that the Clos is a monopole of Krug, and no other producer in the town of Le Mesnil shares in its exquisite fruit.

    Krug Clos du Mesnil has a luminous pale gold color and a bouquet of biscuit, orange blossom and yellow fruit with notes of honey and almonds. On the palate, the wine is a full and elegant champagne that balances the purity of Chardonnay and the mineral aromas characteristic of the terroir.



    Krug Clos du Ambonnay
    The rarest of all Krugs, Krug Clos d’Ambonnay is the exceptional product of a single walled vineyard in the village of Ambonnay, which has been one of Krug’s best-loved terroirs for generations. In this supremely elegant champagne, the characteristic structure and refinement of Ambonnay’s Pinot Noir grapes are elevated to their ultimate expression by long years of ageing in the cellars. Krug Clos d’Ambonnay is a landmark, because it “boldly goes where no other bubbly has gone before”.

    Krug Clos du Ambonnay is fresh and full tasting with a vibrancy and maturity culminating in a lingering, elegant finish.

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