L’abus d’alcool est dangereux pour la santé. consommer avec modération
A Tribute to Chardonnay
Krug 1998 offers astonishing purity, precision, elegance and a very long finish. For Krug, a focus on Chardonnay for Krug’s 1998 vintage was an obvious choice due to the outstanding personality of Chardonnay grapes of that year. This vintage is known as our Hommage au Chardonnay as it is only the second Krug vintage, after 1981, where Chardonnay dominates.
This very rare bottle of Krug 1998 is one of the 435 bottles kept in the House of Krug, after this Krug Vintage was released, until 2015. This bottle received its cork in autumn 2009 and leaves the House after resting over 16 years in the Krug cellars gaining in complexity and refinement.
Krug 1998 was created and crafted to be different, to be the full expression of the year 1998. A year with character, a year with a special story to tell in a way that Krug alone can relate. Krug 1998 is the story of this year captured by Krug; there are as many stories as there are Krug Vintages. Krug decided to create a vintage for this year, the last Krug Vintage of the 1990s, as a tribute to the beautiful Chardonnay grapes of the year’s harvest. The Krug Vintage is nicknamed hommage à Chardonnay – tribute to Chardonnay, and a Krug Vintage with a predominance of Chardonnay is an absolute rarity for the House, making this story even more special and unique. This very special bottle of Krug 1998 belongs to the very few bottles of Krug Vintage kept in Krug’s cellar to follow their evolution and in a very exceptional way, are presented to the markets later.
The weather in 1998 was somehow classic, very contrasted as it often is in Champagne; we also had a particularly hot August, breaking a record set in 1962. We watched nervously as days where the temperature crept up to 39°C started to grill the leaves in the vineyard, creating damage of between 5 to 10% of the potential harvest. Then at the end of the month, heavy rains caused more consternation as to how this would affect the grapes, so it was with relief that by early September dry, mild weather cheered everyone up. Perfect conditions for harvesting (between September 18th and October 1st), and despite sharp climatic contrasts, 1998 will be remembered as a year of quantity as well as high quality grapes.
First tastings immediately showed wines had been affected by the extremely hot August. The challenge was to capture the circumstance of the year in our blend while looking for the necessary ageing potential. This is where the Chardonnays of the year, especially those from the beginning of the harvest, from the Côte des Blancs and also those from our vineyards in Trépail played a key role in calming the opulence of the other wines of the year by re-injecting the necessary dynamism to guarantee good ageing potential. By the time we completed our blending proposition to tell this story of 1998, it was clear the Chardonnays were shining stars (47%). Almost all the Pinot Noirs (37%) were selected from the southern Mountain of Reims, which explains the solid foundation of Krug 1998, and finally the Meuniers (16%), mainly selected from the left side of the Marne Valley, Leuvrigny, less sunny than the right side gave the final touch and unique freshness.
This was my first vintage at the House of Krug and I remember when the blend was proposed by Mr Henri Krug, I made all the calculations, and after reading so many documents at the house I knew Krug Champagnes were always driven mainly by Pinot Noirs. So when I commented on this predominance of Chardonnay, Henri Krug quickly responded by saying that in a year where the winners were the Chardonnays, the story should be a tribute to that winner. It was only the second time the house had written such a similar story, the first being back in 1981.
For the tasting committee, Krug 1998 shares the round and warm characteristics of 1989 as well as the extreme elegance and freshness of Krug 1988. Krug 1998 is a story of astonishing purity, precision, elegance and a very long finish.
Deep light golden colour announcing this unique contrast between freshness and maturity.
Expressive aromas of bread, hazelnuts, dried fruit, caramelised orange peel, then cocoa as it warms up, and finally pepper and gingerbread.
Flavours of crystallised citrus fruits, caramelised orange peel, dried fruits, pepper and gingerbread, with a soft, creamy texture.
Storing & serving
The richness of your Krug Champagne is fully revealed between 9°C and 12°C (49°F - 54°F).
Serving your bottle too cold would refrain the aromas’expression.
Krug has created The Joseph, a unique crystal glass whose shape enables the bubbles to reach their optimal expression and allows the discovery of the incredible bouquet of aromas.
If you do not have The Joseph glass, you may prefer a white Burgundy glass to a flute, to enable the expression of Krug Champagne’s flavors and aromas.
As a Prestige Cuvée, Krug Champagnes age beautifully, the time revealing their richness and elegance.
Your Champagne should be stored in a wine cellar, or in a cool (between 10 to 15 °C - 50 to 59 °F) dry and away from light place, the exact conditions of Krug cellars.
Krug 1998 could be enjoyed with fish with fine flesh
such as sea bass or turbot accompanied by lemon sauces
or citrus fruits, as well as spicy or exotic dishes
(Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Thai), with crystallised ginger and other spices.
"This harmonious Champagne offers luxurious texture and powerful, focused acidity, showing aromatic accents of spring blossom, crushed thyme and chai, with rich notes of lemon meringue, hazelnut, black currant and fresh porcini mushroom. The full package. Impressive." –AN
Wine Spectator 2012
Music pairing by Khatia Buniatishvili
I am not a professional, so it is hard for me to describe the different Krug Champagnes with the right words and precision – but I can feel them. Once I had explored the House of Krug and had the fascinating process of creating Krug Champagnes explained to me, I had the confidence to imagine their music and the ideal way to enjoy them with music I love.
You don’t need to be a professional to appreciate a great piece of music or love a painting; in the same way with tasting Krug Champagnes, I can express through music, my feelings and instincts, what moves me and what I feel. The emotions, pleasure and feeling of enjoying Krug Champagne is a wonderful experience open to anyone…
L’abus d’alcool est dangereux pour la santé. A consommer avec modération
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