Krug Champagne lured me off Wall Street. It’s the ultimate special occasion Champagne. So, Happy Monday!
Krug Champagne is my wedding anniversary wine, and today’s the day. How’s that for #mondaymotivation? It prompted me to quickly share this video tasting with CEO Maggie Henriquez about the wine’s DNA for you to enjoy while I get on with the festivities.
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If we could celebrate every Monday with Krug Champagne we’d have a different outlook on life–or maybe, the indulgence would start to seem less special? That’s the upbeat, and probably accurate, way to think about the budget realties that keep this wine in special occasion territory for most of us. (Another upbeat observation: for the same investment as a cult Cab, we can drink it five times as often!)
In this tasting video shot at the Clos de Mesnil vineyard, Krug CEO Maggie Henriquez parallels to musical performance, the differences between Krug’s three signature Champagnes: Clos de Mesnil, Vintage, and Grande Cuvee. The Clos de Mesnil is like a solo performance–one grape, Chardonnay, perfectly situated in one extraordinary vineyard, Clos de Mesnil. The Vintage, an expression of a single, distinctive harvest year, is like a sonata–a composition for an instrumental soloist where the “performer” in the case of Champagne is mother nature’s riff on the weather during that particular growing season. And the Grande Cuvee is a symphony–a blended “performance” of grapes, vineyards and harvest years all conducted into a taste expression that always makes me want an encore.
It also lured me off Wall Street, as I wrote in my Great Wine Made Simple Book–not to wander wine country like a Dead Head looking for my next bubbly fix, but to indeed travel to Europe to learn enough about wine that I could hopefully, someday, make a living at it. Things worked out. And my first stop on that trip? The Champagne region. I could not visit Krug because I had no wheels and so could only visit Champagne houses within walking distance of the Reims train station. I would say that made this tasting for me, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity–but, Maggie invited me back in ten years to re-taste the vintage with her. It’s a date!
Clos de Mesnil – A single, walled vineyard in the Grand Cru village of Mesnil, planted to Chardonnay exclusively. ‘Clos’ is a traditional French term referring to a single vineyard. The term derives from an old tradition in regions like Burgundy and Champagne, of enclosing top vineyards with hand-built stone walls, to delineate and protect them.
Vintage – Vintage Champagne is produced from the harvest of a single year, when the Champagne house deems that year to be particularly distinctive and thus worthy of its own bottling, distinct from the signature wine of the house which is typically of blend of vintages to maintain consistency of the house style.
Multivintage – This is Krug’s distinct term for its signature Grande Cuvee. Often the approach of blending vintages to achieve a consistent house style is referred to as non-vintage, and written as NV on wine lists. I think the term multivintage more accurately reflects the theory and practice of blending in Champagne.
Can’t afford Krug but love the rich, toasty style like I do? Try this wine. I picked it out in a blind tasting of Champagnes just last week and while it is not Krug, its nutty-rich style is sort of in the same vein.
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