Krug Bottles Cave


Craftsmanship meets philosophy

Krug has remained a Champagne House on a human scale, preserving its savoir-faire and defending its unparalleled quality by choosing to offer a limited number of bottles. By overturning conventions and establishing its own rules, Krug divulges all the exuberance and expression of its Champagnes. Making Krug Champagnes arises from a long, painstaking and very human process; an art.

Depending on the talents and intuitions of a precious few, Krug's obsessive approach to details is the key characteristic of its savoir-faire which is based on three principles: - the individual selection of the plots and the careful following of each wine, - the art of blending and the creation of Champagnes by Krug’s Chef de Caves Eric Lebel and the Tasting Committee, and - the essential mastering of time, stretched to an unfashionably slow pace.
KRUG Bottles blending
Reserve wines with stickers
Reserve wines

Capturing individuality

At Krug, individuality means distinction, uniqueness, originality and singularity: everything that is expressed by Krug Champagnes. It is also the pursuit of character. This begins with the meticulous, individual selection of each plot of vines. Owing to this exceptionally individual attention, the Chef de Caves gives Krug Grande Cuvée its unique personality and reveals the sublime in each Krug Champagne.

It continues with the vinification of the grapes coming from each plot in separate oak casks. Contrary to popular belief, this is not to lend a woody, tanin or vanilla flavour; oak casks are neutral and Krug vins clairs, or base wines, do not age in oak casks - they are simply born there. They spend a few weeks in these casks just after the grape harvest. During this very short but decisive period, the small volume of these casks gives the still wine the freedom to develop its character and maintains each wine’s individuality. This is vital for creating the blend. These special conditions present at the Champagne’s genesis multiplies rewards later, increasing the Champagne's high ageing potential, enhancing its freshness.

Lastly, its individuality continues with the separate conservation of each wine featured in Krug’s impressive repertoire of some 150 reserve wines. There are wines from 10 to 12 different vintages, some of which may reach up to 15 years of age. The wines are kept in small vats, allowing aromas and flavours to be preserved for long periods of time. This is a key element, which allows Eric Lebel to compose Krug Champagnes year after year.
Krug wine plots
Our philosophy is to select grapes from individual plots which will each express their characteristics, nuance and individuality. There is no hierarchy in our selection, no plot is considered better than another – some are no bigger than a garden. Each decision during blending of our wines takes into account the unique essence and character of each plot.

Eric Lebel

Krug's Chef de Caves

The Krug family has always orchestrated the blending of its Champagnes. It is this longstanding tradition that has allowed the living memory of wine years and tastes to remain vibrant. In 1999, in anticipation of his retirement, the visionary Henri Krug brought on board a Chef de Caves, a role admirably filled today by Eric Lebel.

Eric Lebel works closely with the other members of the Tasting Committee. These include: Julie Cavil, Director of Winemaking Operations, Olivier Krug, sixth generation of the Krug family and Director of the House of Krug, Laurent Halbin, Winemaking Operations Manager, Jerôme Jacoillot, Winemaking Development Manager, Alice Tétienne, Winemaker in charge of vineyard relations, and Isabelle Bui, Winemaker in charge of quality. Margareth Henriquez, President and CEO, House of Krug, and Rémi Krug, fifth generation of the Krug family, are permanent guests of this council of the wise.
Eric Lebel et Julie Cavil Assemblage Krug
Krug Black and White Winery
"Each year, we start from scratch to create the multitude of facets which endow Krug Grande Cuvée with its unique character. These facets do not rival each other in the mouth, on the contrary, they compose a perfect harmony."

Virtuoso blending

From the very first day of the grape harvest, Eric Lebel is already thinking about blends: just a simple grape, picked from the branch of a vine can give him an indication. Eric Lebel and the Tasting Committee taste and award marks to the wines of that year from some 250 plots, as well as the 150 reserve wines from previous years. These tastings take place during the winter and spring months when the wines can sometimes be more expressive or reveal other facets of their personality. Around 400 wines are thus awarded marks and comments two or three times over the course of the year by each of the members of the Committee. Nearly 5,000 tasting notes are collected and meticulously recorded in the big black ‘tasting book’.

At the end of April or the beginning of May, during the burst of creation, Eric Lebel composes the year’s Champagnes, guided by his intuition and talent. On the strength of the teamwork carried out with the Tasting Committee, he proposes three blends to re-create Krug Grande Cuvée. Of these, one is chosen and blended only once. This is the most important time of the year at Krug. Eric Lebel and the Committee also decide to create a Krug Vintage when they sense an interesting personality in that year’s wines during the tasting sessions, believing that Krug lovers will appreciate this tale of the year narrated and signed by Krug.
Krug champagne bottle bottom
Krug champagne bottle bottom
Krug champagne bottle bottom
Krug champagne bottle bottom
Krug champagne bottle bottom
From the selection of grapes to the ageing of our cuvées in the cellars, patience and an understanding of time are fundamental values we respect. Krug won’t be hurried. Time is one of our strengths.

Patience to perfection

For Krug, time is not a constraint, it is a strength. It is essential, for it is present at every stage of Champagne creation at Krug, from vinification right through to the extraordinary ageing of Krug’s cuvees. Time is one of Krug’s fundamental guiding forces.
The notion of time at Krug is different - take for example the oak casks. In addition to the 200 years needed to obtain a finely grained oak of high quality, due to the slow rate of growth in Haute Futaie, Krug requires that its coopers season the wood for a minimum of three years, in the open air, without the use of artificial acceleration techniques and without making any compromises.
Time’s ultimate contribution is in giving Krug Champagnes their unique fullness and elegance,
the result of a stay in the cellar that largely exceeds official requirements: - Krug Grande Cuvée, a blend of wines of more than ten different years, some of which are 15 years old, matures in the cellar for at least seven years, and Krug Rosé for at least five years. - Krug Vintage and the unique crus of Krug Clos du Mesnil and Krug Clos d’Ambonnay spend at least ten years in the cellar.
Patience, that most unyielding of tests, is priceless here. Time reveals those fine bubbles, sculpts the Champagne’s volume, unfurls its length, affirms its longevity and proves its unparalleled quality. Without this radical, uncompromising stance, it would be impossible to achieve the excellence of Krug Champagnes.
Krug Champagne Year 1982 bottles in the cave

Krug Stories

Krug App
Curious about your bottle of Krug Champagne? Download the Krug app and discover the story your bottle has to tell, via its Krug ID.
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