Krug winemaker Jérôme Jacoillot presented two new cuvées from the Champagne house at a press tasting in London this week.
Unveiling a blanc and a rosé, both Champagnes are the latest expressions from Krug, referred to as “éditions”, and carrying a number to signify their distinct character.
As with every Grande Cuvée release since 2016 – and every Rosé since 2018 – the label features the Édition number, with this year’s Grande Cuvée being the 167ème Édition, and the rosé being the 23ème Édition.
Such numbers are used to highlight the number of times Krug has “recreated” these cuvées since their inception, according to Jacoillot, who stressed that the Champagnes should not be seen as multi-vintage expressions.
“People talk about the base vintage, or a multi-vintage, but we are talking about new cuvées, and every edition is different, and the fullest expression of Champagne every year regardless of variations in climate,” he said.
Indeed, he stressed that the dominant vintage in the blend – referred to as the “base vintage” – was not the most relevant aspect to the character of these blended Krug Champagnes, pointing out that years with a lesser reputation can be the source of great cuvées.
By way of example, he recalled how a comparative tasting of different Krug Grand Cuvées showed that the favourite expression among the tasters was based on a vintage considered extremely poor in Champagne.
“We tasted 10 Grande Cuvées, which were editions 155 to 165, and found that the 157 was the best, but it was crafted around the harvest of 2001, and 2001 was probably one of the worst vintages ever in Champagne, and yet this was our favourite Krug Grand Cuvée,” he said.
Continuing, he commented, “This is why we need to speak about the ‘édition’, because every one is different, but the goal is the same, which is to create the same emotion when you taste it.”
Krug Grande Cuvée 167ème Édition
Krug Grande Cuvée 167ème Édition is composed around the 2011 harvest, which is also the youngest vintage in the blend, which comprises 191 wines from 13 different years, dating back to 1995. Its final composition is 47% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay and 17% Meunier. The wine has spent seven years in Krug’s cellars before release.
Cellar master Eric Lebel described the wine with the following words, “On the nose are aromas of flowers in bloom, ripe, dried and citrus fruits, as well as marzipan and gingerbread. The palate reveals flavours of hazelnut, nougat, barley sugar, jellied and citrus fruits, almonds, brioche and honey.”
Krug Grande Cuvée 167ème Édition is now available commercially at RRP £140.00.
Krug Rosé 23ème Édition
Krug Rosé 23ème Édition was composed around the harvest of 2011, blended with reserve wines from 9 other years, the oldest from 2000, including some plots of Meunier wines from 2007, as well as some plots of Chardonnay wines from 2009. The selection totalled 60 different wines from 10 years was blended with a traditionally macerated red wine from “a very special plot” in Aÿ, which represented 13% of the final cuvée.
Its final composition is 45% Chardonnay, 29% Pinot Noir and 26% Meunier. In all, reserve wines from Krug’s extensive library made up 56% of the final blend of this Édition of Krug Rosé. The wine has spent seven years in Krug’s cellars before release.
Cellar master Eric Lebel described the wine with the following words, “It entices the nose with aromas of rose hips, cured ham, mulberries, redcurrant, peony pepper and pink grapefruit. Finally, its delights the palate with delicate flavours of honey, citrus and dried fruit with a long finish, enhanced by its fine bubbles.”
Krug Rosé 23ème Édition is now available commercially at RRP £250.00.