This is surely a first at Krug: the presentation of the new edition of the Grande Cuvée was made via the Zoom video platform due to the lockdown and health crisis of COVID-19. It was an opportunity that I took advantage of, to record the first episode of season 1 of Anthocyanes, le podcast (in French only).
During our discussion, Olivier Krug confirmed to me that the Grande Cuvée was now called Grande Cuvée Edition 168.
In accordance with the wishes of Joseph Krug, the founder of the House in 1843, this cuvée represents the house signature, combining “great richness and fine elegance”.
This edition is likely to remain in the annals. The 2012 vintage, on which it is based, got off to a difficult start: hail, frost, heavy rain and rot. Everything seemed to overwhelm the Champagne region, to the point that Julie Cavil, the cellar master, said that her “nerves were almost more damaged than the grapes”. Fortunately, a magnificent end of the season, the driest since 1974, allowed the Champagne region to produce one of the most beautiful vintages of recent years.
The 2012 vintage is the base, but it is accompanied by 198 wines from 11 vintages. One can imagine the complexity of the composition of this cuvée, which contains 42% reserve wines, the oldest being is a 1996 pinot noir from Verzenay.
It was disgorged last autumn, with a dosage at 7 g/l, a “classic” dosage for the house, and with seven years of ageing in the cellars of Maison Krug before its release this spring.
Like many great and beautiful cuvées from champagne, a little ageing is necessary in order to appreciate it. The end of 2020 seems to be the best time, while a cellaring of more than 10 or 15 years will only benefit this champagne of aesthetes, which reaches here one of its most remarkable levels.
Krug – Grande Cuvée Edition 168
52% pinot noir, 35% chardonnay and 13% pinot meunier.
A sublime nose of pastry, lightly encaustic, spring flowers, citrus and white fruits for a racy complexity and emotional freshness. On the palate it is creamy, dense, very well constructed in balance and delicacy. Well-managed acidity and a gorgeous finish. Crystalline texture as well. It is a remarkable Grande Edition, a great tribute to the old cellarmaster Eric Lebel and a wonderful welcome to Julie Cavil, who has worked with Lebel since 2006, and become cellarmaster this year. – 97