Krug has always been a Champagne house that is widely regarded as the best of the best. Each year, Chef de Cave Eric Lebel meticulously crafts cuvees of distinction, modeled on the methods Joseph Krug established in 1843. It was Joseph who first introduced the idea of creating a ‘house style’ of Champagne; he created a wine modeled not on a single vintage of wine, but rather a meticulous blend of reserve wines, each treated as its own unique wine, and eventually hand selected to contribute to a powerful singular blend. Joseph strived to create the most generous expression of Champagne year after year, and in Champagne Krug, he created an enduring legacy that has been driven by only the highest quality of fruit, farming practices and production at every level. Chef de Cave Lebel works tirelessly each year to create the most special blend of all the separately vinified vineyard plots to ensure a generous and complex expression of Champagne. It truly cannot be over-emphasized how exceptional these wines are.
Although it was Joseph’s will to be free of the pressures of vintage variation in Champagne, he still firmly believed that vintage Champagne should be produced only when there was an interesting story to be told through the particular year. While he referred to the Krug Grande Cuvée as “Krug No. 1,” Joseph called these single vintage bottlings, “Krug No. 2”, and was equally committed to emphasizing the importance of Champagne through select vintages in superb years. The commitment of this blend is not to display the best wines of a single year, but instead to blend a wine which encapsulates the best expression of a year.
The DECANTsf team was recently invited to sit down and taste the 2006 Vintage over lunch, next to the current 167th Edition of the Grand Cuvée, and it did not disappoint. While the Grande Cuvée displays its typical power and beauty, the 2006 is distinct in its depth of dried stone fruits, bruised quince, hints of marzipan and high-toned acidity that delivers length and freshness alongside powerful concentration on the palate. It paired beautifully with pan-roasted sea bass and hazelnut beurre blanc, but also held up alongside nutty aged gouda and fresh honeycomb. This wine has spent 12 years in the cellar before its release, and while drinking beautifully now, will continue to hold its weight and develop if cellared properly.