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|Krug Clos Du Mesnil 1998
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Krug Clos Du Mesnil 1998 ChampagneMore vintages: 2000, 2002, 2003Just 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 it's position as the most luxurious and exclusive of all champagnes.
Clos du Mesnil is the most famous vineyard in all of Champagne, and one of the finest Chardonnay sites outside the Grand Crus of Burgundy itself. In the heart of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, the vines were planted and the protective wall built in 1698; based on pure chalk, the east-facing slope achieves less ripeness than some of Le Mesnil's south-facing slopes, making it all the more suited to Krug's long-ageing style. Krug purchased the plot in 1971, but not until the outstanding 1979 harvest, did Olivier's father suggest they should make a single wine; from one grape, one year, and one little garden. The great winners of the 1998 vintage were Chardonnays, particularly the Chardonnays from Mesnil-sur-Oger; with mild weather in the spring, high temperatures in August and radiant sunshine during harvest, the wines potential was clear from the start - fresh, lively, aromatic and elegant.
A unique luminous pale gold colour, there are aromas of candied fruit and white truffle; it is immediately clear this has intense purity. On the palate, flavours of citrus fruit, vanilla and herbs combine with a velvety texture and persistent finish. Krug Clos du Mesnil 1998 is a special landmark, marking the 300th birthday of the Clos, and it will age beautifully.
Grape Varieties: 100% Chardonnay
Krug Clos du Mesnil 1998 Champagne: same day delivery in London, next day UK mainland & free delivery on 6+ bottles. Krug Overview Vintage Overviews Grand & Premier Crus Explained
“The 1998 Blanc de Blancs Clos du Mesnil has developed beautifully since I last tasted it. What a wine. For the first few years of its life, the 1998 seemed to lack personality, then, suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, it blossomed. Today, the 1998 is rich, powerful and explosive, none of which was a few years ago. Layers of textured fruit, pastry, spices and crushed rocks jump from the glass. Still an infant, the 1998 promises to drink well for two to three decades. This is without question the best bottle of the 1998 I have ever tasted. Time to do another complete vertical?”
“Yeasty and toasty nose of bread dough, apple jam and cider, wax, menthol and spices. Quite a unique nose. Buttery and citric at the same time on the palate of width and length. Salty and mineral with light new oak nuances. Comes with power and spine for further bottle ageing. Not as refined as the best vintages.”
“A minerally vein and finely tuned acidity structure this elegant 1998, with expressive notes of orchard blossom, hazelnut, dried apricot, pastry, lemon cream and crystallized pineapple sitting on a texture of finely spun silk. Features a long, mouthwatering finish”
“Very hot summer. Very crisp, powerful and refreshing nose with quite a bit of development. Almost aggressively bracing. There's a hint of ginger here and then a bone dry finish. This wine is really very intellectual as opposed to hedonistic. At the moment there is an almost astringent note on the end. Great nose; hard work on the palate.”
“A wine that has created its own universe. It has a unique, special softness that allies with the total purity that comes from a small, enclosed single vineyard. The fruit is almost irrelevant here, because it comes as part of a much deeper complexity. This is a great wine, at the summit of Champagne, a sublime unforgettable experience.”
Brochure - Krug & Its People Summer 2014
Krug - The Highest Rated Champagne in last 25 years wine-searcher.com, 2nd May 2014
Read about Julie Cavill, The winemaker of this Vineyard thedrinksbusiness.com, 12th April 2014
Interview with Olivier Krug wine-searcher.com, 30th Dec 2012
Wine Spectator’s 2013 ratings confirm Krug as the top-rated Champagne House (584 Kb) 25th Sept 2012
Krug Wins 6 of top 10 Champagnes in Wine Spectator 2012 Awards Jan 2012
Established in 1843 by Joseph Krug, having left Jacquart Champagne where he was working to set up his own House with a very unique style. Joseph wrote in his cherry personal notebook the philosophy for Krug Champagne which is followed still today. The two beliefs he wished to share were: craftsmanship without compromise and no hierarchy within his Champagnes. He believed that there should be only two cuvees, Cuvée number one (now known as Grande Cuvée) should be the fullest expression of Champagne each year and Cuvée number two should express the circumstances of an interesting vintage.
Today the sixth generation of the Krug family are still involved in all aspects of Krug Champagne. Independently owned by the Krug family for generations, Krug is now part of the luxury goods conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moëeuml;t Hennessy (LVMH). Despite owning some 20 hectares of vineyards within Champagne, Krug is still a négociant producer of Champagne, with the grapes used in Krug coming from long-term contract growers who are proud to declare that the grapes are destined for the production of Krug.
Normally in Champagne, the non-vintage Cuvée of each Champagne is considered to be the 'entry level' Champagne of that house. However with Krug, this is not the case. Krug's Grande Cuvée Brut is the Champagne, more than any other, to which connoisseurs of Champagne aspire. With a reputation built not upon product nor one-off successes in comparative wine tastings, Champagne Krug has built possibly the most enviable reputation in all of Champagne, simply by turning out Champagne of incredibly high quality, year after year, for the last 170 years.
Krug's production is well under one per cent of the world's champagne - but it is often described as the Rolls-Royce of the industry. Its devotees, who have called themselves "Krugists", include Ernest Hemingway, John le Carré, Sir Alec Guinness, Naomi Campbell and the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who used to sneak in bottles whenever she was in hospital.
Krug range includes a tiny, 1.84 hectare vineyard in the village of Les Mesnil called Clos du Mesnil, protected from the harshness of spring frosts by being situated in the heart of the village surrounded by the houses helping to create a unique microclimate. This amazing vineyard creates the remarkable single vineyard Cuvée only produced in exceptional years. Although vines were first planted on this spot in 1698, it has only belonged to the Krug family since 1971. "We had no clue what a gem it would be," says Olivier. "It's a darling vineyard."
Whereas most Champagne houses put all of their best grapes in to making single vintage at Krug a sizeable proportion of the wine produced from best grapes from declarable vintages are held back as reserve wines, then blended into the "Krug Grande Cuvée" Brut. The exact composition of each year's release of this Krug "Grande Cuvée" Brut Champagne varies depending on many factors but typically each release of this Krug "Grande Cuvée" Brut is a blend of around 120 different wines from 10 different vintages. Each bottle of Krug has a unique ID code which can be scanned using the smart APP (available to download for free at the App store) to discover the unique blend and personality of each bottle.
Another defining factor in the flavour of Krug is the fact that all Champagnes are fermented in small 205 litre oak barrels. Krug opt to use well seasoned oak that imparts no specific oak flavour to their Champagne, as it allows for a better exchange with oxygen. Once initial fermentation is complete the Krug Champagnes are then left on their lees, the youngest of the wines in the blend being 6 years old with the oldest usually over 20 years old. This gives the wine richness, complexity, relating back to the original philosophy of Joseph Krug thus "producing the fullest expression of champagne every year".
» Krug's Clos du Mesnil Vineyard in the heart of Mesnil-sur-Oger
» Krug's Walled Clos du Mesnil Vineyard in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Côte de Blancs, Champagne
» Krug's Entrance Yard in Reims - Today & the1930's
» A Long View & part of Krug Champagne's many kilometers of Cellars under its home in Reims!