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January 24, 2014

Krug 2003

Krug.2003

Today we are releasing Krug Vintage 2003, from one of the world’s greatest Champagne houses. Krug was established in 1843 by Joseph Krug and today Olivier Krug still supervises the houses production, tasting and blending; this represents six generations of stewardship. Krug is the only Champagne house that continues to produce their Champagnes in small oak casks, this is the essential component that defines it legendary intense bouquet and complex flavours. Krug’s superlative Champagne is from a single small walled vineyard, Clos du Mensil; it is the world’s leading Blanc de Blanc Champagne and exorbitantly expensive with an average bottle price of £600. Krug vintage is a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay and in 2003 the assemblage was 46%, 29% and 25% respectively, which is the highest proportion of Pinot Meunier allowed in vintage Champagne.

Krug 2003 6×75 – £770 IB
The philosophy behind Krug Vintage is to produce a wine that reflects each vintage and not the selection of the best wines of a particular year; instead it is expression of that year. 2003 is a very particular vintage for fine wine in Europe due to the incredibly warm weather. The temperateness of the growing season means the wine has lower acidity but an extremely ripe and rich round mouthful, with precise and elegant fruit. Krug did not decide to make the 2003 vintage until 2012; they only release vintages when they feel they have evolved sufficiently. As such they have not made the 2002, choosing to return to it in a few years. As such the 2003 can be drunk without the need for extended cellaring, although it will continue to improve for a decade. The 2003 has not be critically scored or tasted, although vintage Krug averages 95-96 points across recent vintages amongst leading critics.

Production in 2003 is very small, 25% less than their average and will prove very popular; the UK is the third biggest market for Krug, taking one fifth of its total production. Vintage champagne is experiencing a soaring demand globally and a limited supply. There is also a propensity to drink vintages younger to help fulfil demand and 2003 will certainly experience great demand. That said the style of Krug Vintage is masculine and the wines have long maturation period of 6-8 years allowing it to age gracefully.

The 2003 exhibits, lemon, citrus and honey, yet is redolent of dates and plum with almonds and apricots. As one might expect it has defined aromas of toast and brioche and it is already exposing a delightful nuttiness and early sings of hazelnuts.  It is wonderfully balanced and open, with animated and dramatic raw virility.

 “For me, Krug is more than Champagne. It is a word that stands for artistry, tradition, craftsmanship, and moments of pure pleasure… If the opportunity arises, never miss the chance to drink a Krug!” – Richard Juhlin

Krug Vintage broadly considered one of the greatest Champagnes in the world and prices of mature vintages rise quickly after a decade, with the 1990 and 1996 already £3,000 a case. Anecdotally Krug became a favourite tipple of the Queen Mother and when she was 97 she smuggled a case of Krug into the hospital where she was treated after falling and breaking her hip.

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