At the House of Krug, every Krug Vintage celebrates the distinct character of a particular year. A Krug Vintage is a blend of the most expressive wines from a single year enhanced by a stay of over ten years in the cellars. Every Krug Vintage is different: it is the music of the year, captured by Krug.
Celebrating nature’s bounty with a statement such as a Krug Vintage has been at the heart of Krug since Joseph Krug founded the House in 1843. Krug 2008 embodies his philosophy and dream. Today the House of Krug is pleased to present Krug 2008, a classic Krug story of harmonious intensity, complementarity and contrast, nicknamed “Classic Beauty” by the House’s Tasting Committee members.
“Krug 2008 is a paradoxical harmony of contrasting flavours that are together expressive, balanced and intense on the palate.” – Julie Cavil, Cellar Master, House of Krug
The Origins of Krug Vintage
When Joseph Krug founded the Champagne House bearing his name in 1843, driven by his understanding that the true essence of Champagne is pleasure itself, his dream was to craft the very best Champagne he could offer every year, regardless of annual climate variations. He went beyond all known boundaries of Champagne creation, establishing a House where all Champagnes would be of the same level of distinction.
In 1848, he committed his vision to the pages of his dark cherry personal notebook, stating: “a good Champagne House should only create two Champagnes of the same quality.” Joseph Krug’s Champagne Number 1 would later become Krug Grande Cuvée and his Champagne Number 2, the Champagne of circumstances, thus, Krug Vintage.
In order to create these unique Champagnes, Joseph Krug was unequivocal with regard to craftsmanship. In his notebook, he stressed that “it is not possible to make a good wine except from good elements”. To this day, the House upholds his uncompromising vision.
A cornerstone of Krug’s craftsmanship is the concept of individuality, or the art of turning the harvest from every plot into a separate wine and then following its individual character before any blending decision is made. This allows Krug’s Cellar Master to identify and discern wines from single plots that can enrich that year’s creations, others to be kept as reserve wines for later use or wines to reject, which do not reach the desired profile.
“At Krug we love to share our stories and with a Krug Vintage we tell the story of an interesting year. It is our love and dedication which allows these delicious tales to be brought to life.” – Olivier Krug, Director of the House of Krug and sixth generation of the Krug family
Champagne No. 1 and Champagne No. 2
Champagne Number 1, which is known today as Krug Grande Cuvée, is the most generous expression of Champagne, re-created every year, regardless of annual climate variations. Krug Grande Cuvée is a blend of over 120 different wines from more than 10 different years. Blending so many different wines from different years lends a fullness of flavours and aromas that would be impossible to express with the wines of a single year. It is a complete orchestra playing together in harmony.
Champagne Number 2, Krug Vintage is created as Joseph wrote, “according to the circumstances.” In the House of Krug, Krug Vintage is not the selection of the best wines of a good year, but the selection of the wines which better express the story of the year, those wines which better play the music of the year. The creation is then enhanced by a stay over ten years in Krug’s cellars.
“In principle, a good House ought to make two Champagnes from similarly composed blends: Champagne No. 1: This composition should be altered according to the year. If the wines are full-bodied, one must use more light wines of previous years… and the opposite if they are too light, for instance, those of 1848. Champagne No. 2: […] As for No. 1 and according to the circumstances.” – Joseph Krug, Founder, House of Krug
The circumstances of 2008
The year 2008 was one of Champagne’s coolest in 14 years, and also one of the region’s least sunny in almost half a century. A superb vintage, it was a classic northern climate, one that has not been seen much since. Rainfall was normal, the summer was dry, and temperatures were constant throughout the growing season. This absence of extremes resulted in slow and steady grape maturation.
Under these circumstances, the fruit was intense, elegant and beautifully structured. Unexpected heterogeneity in the vines brought a very complete spectrum of flavours and aromas to the harvest. For the final blend, the House’s Cellar Master selected wines best exhibiting the uniqueness of the year. It was brought to life in a composition marked by the beauty, complexity and elegant structure of 2008.
“Due to the cool and balanced climate of 2008, which made for an outstanding vintage, the grapes could take their time to mature in tranquillity, ultimately exhibiting beautiful freshness upon harvest. Surprisingly, despite these mild and constant conditions, we observed great heterogeneity from plot to plot. The beauty of this contrast was the inspiration to blend complementary flavours from different plots including Aÿ, Bouzy and Ambonnay. Krug 2008 is a great classic of the House.” – Julie Cavil, Cellar Master, House of Krug
Krug 2008 – Classic Beauty
Krug 2008 is a story of harmonious intensity, complementarity and contrast, nicknamed “Classic Beauty” by the House’s Tasting Committee members.
For Krug, the year 2008 gave birth to a great classic Krug Champagne balancing structured freshness and diverse flavours. Krug 2008 exhibits both power and elegance with a textured and intense mouthfeel very characteristic of the year’s wines, which uniquely reconciled intensity and quality.
To tell the story of 2008, a selection of Pinot Noir plots’ wines constitutes more than half of the blend (53%) coming primarily from Krug’s emblematic plots of the Montagne de Reims Sud, including Aÿ, Mareuil, Bouzy and Ambonnay. Meunier plots’ wines (25%) bring tension and citrus, while aromatic Chardonnay plots’ wines (22%) imbue the blend with fruit.
The extraordinary profile of Krug 2008 comes after 12 years in the cellars, gaining in expression, harmony, and finesse.
At first sight, an intense and brilliant golden hue. Krug 2008’s nose is expressive and very complete with round aromas of honey, liquorice, menthol, orange peel and grapefruit. On the palate, notes of quince, candied fruits and citrus, yellow kiwi, star fruit, honey, apple tart, butter cookies, orange peel, peony and fennel, with floral and menthol undertones. It has a long, balanced and precise finish with astounding structure.
The Krug musical composition of 2008 is powerful and harmonious at the same time, contrasted with pulsating sounds, like a piano score by Tracy Chapman. As all Krug Champagnes, Krug 2008 will continue to gain with the passage of time.
“Krug 2008 will beautifully accompany a variety of delectable dishes from sea to earth, including oyster tartare with a lobster emulsion, tagliatelle with mussels and basil, rabbit terrine with sorrel, or dishes prepared using aromatic herbs such as oregano and thyme. It will also pair nicely with any dessert that contrasts vivacity and roundness, such as a passionfruit lemon meringue.” – Julie Cavil, Cellar Master, House of Krug
About The House of Krug
Krug has always lived up to its reputation as the first and still unique Champagne House to create only prestige Champagnes every year since its foundation.
The House was established in Reims in 1843, by Joseph Krug, a visionary non-conformist with an uncompromising philosophy. Having understood that the true essence of Champagne is pleasure itself, his dream was to craft the very best Champagne he could offer, every single year, regardless of annual climate variations. Paying close attention to the vineyard’s character, respecting the individuality of each plot and its wine, as well as building an extensive library of reserve wines from many different years, allowed Joseph Krug to fulfil his dream.
With a very original approach to Champagne making, he decided to go beyond the notion of vintage to create the most generous expression of Champagne, every year. Thus, he founded a House in which all Champagnes are of the same level of distinction.
Six generations of the Krug family have perpetuated this dream, enriching the founder’s vision and savoir faire.
“For centuries, my family has been defying conventions, which is why today this non-conformist spirit lives on in everything we do.” – Olivier Krug, Director of the House of Krug and sixth generation of the Krug family
The edition is available on Clos19.com: Krug 2008 for 295€ (RRP).
Source: Moët Hennessy Deutschland GmbH