Champagne Krug Brand Overview & Buy Champagnes Same Day Delivery
Joseph Krug left his job at Jacquart Champagne to set up his own house with a very unique style in 1842. Joseph wrote in his cherry-coloured personal notebook the philosophy for Krug Champagne which is still followed 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 cuvées: number one (now known as Grande Cuvée) should be the fullest expression of Champagne each year and number two should express the circumstances of an excellent and 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 Moët 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’s famous champagne.
In Champagne, the non-vintage cuvée is normally considered to be the ‘entry level’ champagne of that house. However, with Krug, this is not the case. Krug Grande Cuvée NV is the champagne, more than any other, to which connoisseurs aspire. With a reputation built upon quality and consistency, rather than volume and one-off successes in comparative wine tastings, Krug has built possibly the most enviable reputation in the whole of the region, simply by producing 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. House devotees, who call themselves “Krugists’” include Ernest Hemingway, John le Carré, Sir Alec Guinness and Naomi Campbell.
The Krug range includes a tiny, 1.84-hectare vineyard in the village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger called Clos du Mesnil, protected from the harshness of spring frosts by being situated in the heart of the village and surrounded by houses helping to create a unique microclimate. This amazing plot creates the remarkable single vineyard cuvée, only produced in exceptional years. Although vines were first planted here in 1698, it has only belonged to the Krug family since 1971 and the first vintage was produced in 1979. “We had no clue what a gem it would be,” says Olivier Krug. “It’s a darling vineyard.”
Whereas most Champagne houses put all of their best grapes into making a single vintage, at Krug a sizeable proportion of the wine produced from the best grapes from declarable vintages are held back as reserve wines to be used in the Krug Grande Cuvée NV blend. The exact composition of each year’s release of Krug Grande Cuvée NV Champagne varies depending on many factors but typically each release contains around 120 different wines from 10 different vintages. Each bottle of Krug has a unique ID code which can be scanned using a smartphone App to discover the unique blend and personality of each bottle.
Another defining factor in the favour 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, current Chef de Cave Eric Lebel leaves the Krug Grande Cuvée blends on their lees, the youngest of the wines in the blend being six years old and the oldest usually over twenty years old. This gives the champagne its richness and complexity, relating back to the original philosophy of Joseph Krug, producing “the fullest expression of Champagne every year”. Put simply, Krug are the most luxurious of all producers.