Krug: a Champagne house founded in 1843 and still very much a family run company which is left to work undisturbed and independently, despite being owned by the LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey) group.
We’re launching Wine Facts of the Day from Sommelier India contributor Harshal Shah. Expect to see many more educational posts in the weeks ahead from Harshal.
The wine-making philosophy of the hosue has remained unchanged sinced it was formed and it seems unlikely that this will change in the future. Olivier Krug is the president of the company today, and Eric Lebel is the winemaker.
All base wines for Krug are fermented individually (from the different vineyards) in 205-litre oak barrels. The wines are rarely filtered and undergo only 2 rackings, both by gravity, from cask to cask before being bottled. Malo-lactic fermentation (the conversion of harsh malic acid into softer lactic acid, often giving softer, buttery characters) never occurs and none of the wines are disgorged before 6 years of age. The house style – the least costly wine, upwards of US$150/bottle – is made up of 118 different base wines from 10 different vintages. All Krug wines have a distinctive ‘perfume’ to them and are medium to full-bodied.
The greatest wines are the Clos de Mesnil (always vintage and 100% Chardonnay) and the recently introduced Clos d’Ambonnay (100% Pinot Noir – a Blanc de Noirs at 3,000 Euros/bottle, limited to a production of 3,000 bottles, all of which are already allocated. Vintage Krug is said to be the best of them all, with 1982, ’85 and 1990 being recent stars!
As Richard Juhlin says, “if the oppportunity arises, never miss a chance to drink a Krug!”