Krug 2003 Investment
Just five years after Joseph Krug founded the champagne house in 1843, he documented his great vision for Krug. In his notebook, he revealed the principles of creating a champagne of great richness and yet great elegance, of selecting only the finest elements from the greatest terroirs, rejecting mediocre fruit and making both a non-vintage and a vintage cuvée (revolutionary at the time). Discovered by Olivier Krug just four years ago, the ideals in this notebook and Krug's resolute commitment to them, has secured its position as the most luxurious and exclusive of all champagnes.
The potential for a Krug vintage wine is identified during the blending of Grande Cuvée, and only after the blend has been secured and all of the reserves earmarked, with the wines displaying the most pronounced character of the vintage becoming the vintage wine.
The 2003 Vintage
The 2003 vintage was a year of many circumstances: dry winter and spring, very premature blooming, two serious frosts and ending with a summer of scorching heat. For the first time since 1802, Krug decide to commence picking in August and as a result of the unpredictable weather, the yield was smaller than usual - leading to production for 2003 being 25% less than the average for Krug. Further, Krug did not decide to make the 2003 vintage until 2012 (releasing it in early 2014), when they felt it had evolved sufficiently. It is interesting to note that Krug released the 2003 vintage before the 2002 vintage, choosing to allow the 2002 a few more years’ development.
Krug is typically extremely popular in the UK: we are the third biggest market and consume 1/5th of its total production. Krug 2003 has been no exception, especially coming with high commendation from the world’s leading wine critics. Jancis Robinson MW rated it 18/20 immediately upon release in January 2014 and commented: “Rich, lightly smoky nose … broad, rich blend. It seems much more forward than usual Krug vintages - even more forward than the Grande Cuvée based on 2003.”
Interestingly, Antonio Galloni has already notied Krug 2003’s potential for development. Initially scoring it 93/100 upon release, he revisited it just 6 months later and rescored it 94/100 and was full of praise: “I can't think of a young Krug Champagne that delivers this much pure pleasure at such a young stage in its life. The 2003 has developed nicely since I last tasted it about six months ago. This is class personified.”
Krug 2003 contains the highest proportion of Pinot Meunier allowed in vintage Champagne (the blend is 46% PN, 29% CH, 25% PM), and displays the intense complexity that Krug is famous for, no doubt arising from Krug’s unique persistence on producing their Champagnes in small oak casks. Vintage Krug is widely considered one of the greatest Champagnes and the 2003 is a testament to this legacy.
The investment potential for Krug Vintage is evident in the market history of previous vintages. The graph below shows Krug 1996’s market growth since it’s release in 2008 – it has experienced a strong 80% price increase, rising from £1,500 to £2,700 per 12 x 75cl case.
The performance of the 1990 vintage also adds supplement to the potential of the 2003 vintage. Over the last ten years, Krug 1990 has appreciated from £950 per 12 x 75 cl case to £2,900 – an astonishing 205% increase. It’s worth noting that Jancis Robinson MW scored Krug 1990 an 18/20 – the same score she has given Krug 2003.
Vintage Krug has such an outstanding global reputation (and demand) and as a result, also experiences an excellent vintage premium - increasing extensively in value with age as supply diminishes. As the table below shows, the 2003 vintage has one of the lowest price-over-points ratio’s (a loose measure of value, calculated by dividing the price of a wine by its 20-point score) – indicating an exceptional relative value for money.
|Krug POP scores by vintage|
|Vintage||Av. case price||JR Score||POP|
With Krug 2003’s already stellar reputation, strong approval from the worlds leading wine critics and, crucially, limited production, stocks are sure to diminish quickly – prices could well rise quickly to match.
Data as at 11th September 2015
Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com – 18/20 - “Rich, lightly smoky nose with acidity that immediately seems lower than usual. They lost a lot of Chardonnay to the 11 April frost. For the first time since 1802 they picked in August. Pinot Noir was much better quality than the Chardonnay and some Meunier lifted the notably broad, rich blend. It seems much more forward than usual Krug vintages - even more forward than the Grande Cuvée based on 2003.”
Antonio Galloni, VinousMedia.com - 94/100 - “Soft, supple and delicate in the glass, the 2003 Vintage is super expressive today. Smoke, brioche, apple tart and spice notes flesh out in a resonant, impeccably layered Champagne loaded with personality. I can't think of a young Krug Champagne that delivers this much pure pleasure at such a young stage in its life. The 2003 has developed nicely since I last tasted it about six months ago. This is class personified.”
Wine Valuation & Selling
Customers who purchase from The Finest Bubble and cellar with us will have access to independent valuation data from Liv-ex for Champagne held in their reserves through an online personal account. When you come to sell your Champagne, The Finest Bubble may make an offer to buy depending on market conditions, however you are not tied to selling through us. If you need us to assist in selling the champagne we can do this for a 4% charge. There are no costs for providing this valuation information.
We have presented information that shows the historical case for Krug as an investment and any forward looking statements are forecasts and not guarantees. Since the value of any investment can go down as well as up we recommend you consult with an accredited financial expert before making investment decisions.
We are able to help you with our opinion on what champagnes and which vintages we believe offer the right qualities to consider cellaring for 5-10 years and help with up to the minute market data showing valuations, trends and transaction quantity for every champagne. We are not able to offer financial advice or advice on investments.
To discuss this further please contact Nick or Chris 020 7359 1608 or email us via the contact page.Last Updated: 11th September 2015