Krug is the breathtaking view at the summit of great Champagne. It is loved, cherished and revered by collectors and critics alike. Their vintage and single vineyard Champagnes are the epitome of terroir and winemaking, yet it is their non-vintage that is perhaps the most impressive of all. Krug NV is not a conventional non-vintage at all, rather it is made from a predominant base vintage, which establishes its core, then blended with many other vintages, hence the consideration as non-vintage. Krug views it as the ultimate expression of their craft, the house speak of it as ‘the sun, around which all other satellites orbit’.
Krug have now pushed the envelope further, rightly moving the non-vintage into a class of its own. In 2016, Krug released their first ‘Krug Edition’ named 163 which marked the 163rd release of their Grand Cuvee, running from the inception of Maison Krug in 1843. Later in the year it was followed by Krug 164 and earlier this year we where delighted to release the 165. The newest release is the edition 166 which is modelled on the 2010 vintage, it is an astonishing blend of 140 wines from 10 separate vintages. The oldest vintage is the exceptional 1998 while the youngest is the 2010.
The 2010 vintage was without doubt a success story for Chardonnay, a grape that holds its own against botrytis which affected both Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier during the growing season. Indeed, August 14 marked server rainfall for three days where the region saw about three months of water in just as little as three days. This kick-started the maturation process which resulted in berries bursting, thus leading to danger of Botrytis, however disaster was averted thanks to a glorious week of dry, cool and windy days putting an end to any further development. Hence, the general theme given by growers for the 2010 vintage was sorting and blending for the red grapes and absolute excellence for the Chardonnay. The final composition for the Edition 166 is 45% Pinot Noir, 39% Chardonnay and 16% Meunier.
The Krug Editions now replace the Krug non-vintage and it is a clear marker that they view their non-vintage as a cut above the rest, we do also. In fact, their non-vintage competes with and exceeds most vintage prestige Champagnes. It is telling that it undergoes eight years ageing in the Krug cellar, which helps deliver the incredible complexity, tension and nuanced profile. Krug 166 Edition has not yet been tasted, however the 163 and 164 Editions both received 96 points from Richard Juhlin. The 166 is again surely destined for another astounding score. Priced today at £640, this is a must have collector’s item, the level of quality is astonishing.
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