“The ultimate pleasure experience in Champagne. The most generous Champagne in the world with exceptional finesse” (Krug website in regards to Krug Grande Cuvée)
The term vertical in regards to wine tasting is usually used when one specific wine is tasted from several different vintages. However the Krug Grande Cuvée (GC) is non Vintage (NV) Champagne and is a blend of around 120 wines from ten or more different vintages, some of which may reach 15 years of age. Blending so many vintages gives Krug Grande Cuvée its unique fullness of flavors and aromas, its incredible generosity and its absolute elegance – something impossible to express with the wines of just a single year. Its excellent finesse is the result of a stay of at least another six years in the cellars. Over twenty years are needed to craft each bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée: the first prestige cuvee re-created each year, beyond the very notion of vintage.
A friend of mine had been able to collect all different labels released/used for Krug Grande Cuvée during all years.
Krug now also supports a feature called “ID Code” where you can use the ID code present on the bottle (however not available/present on all released Krug GC labels) to determine (through the Krug website) which vintages have been used in the blend for the Grande Cuvée.
Therefore the word vertical, in its purest implication, is a little bit misleading but since we had all labels released of Krug GC (and also its predecessor Krug Private Cuvée) and also a good understanding of the vintages used we called it a Krug Grande Cuvée “vertical” tasting…
And yes we also had some Krug Rosé included in the tasting (I think those bottles also contained all different varieties of Krug Rosé)… In planning the tasting my friend was also in contact with Mr Krug and he gave a recommendation for what he thought was the best order to taste the Champagnes, which we followed:
- Krug Grande Cuvée ID#311028 (2012)
- Krug Rosé ID#410015
- Krug Grande Cuvée (cork V751) (2004-2012)
- Krug Grande Cuvée Magnum (cork V55) (2004-2012)
- Krug Rosé
- Krug Rosé (1990)
- Krug Grande Cuvée (1994-2004)
- Krug Grande Cuvée (1982-1994)
- Krug Grande Cuvée Magnum (1982-1994)
- Krug Grande Cuvée (1978-1982)
- Krug Private Cuvée (1960/1970)
- Krug Grande Cuvée ID#211024 (2012)
My personal favorites were the “yellow” label (#10 in the list above) and the first GC Magnum (#4 in the list).
After the Krug GC “vertical” tasting we also tasted some bonus wines and among them a Krug Vintage (1985) which was interesting to compare with the GC ones. The bonus wines tasted were:
- Krug Vintage 1985
- Aljibes 2008
- Clos de l’Obac 2004
- Billecart-Salmon rosé half bottle (early 1990’s)
- Tour St Christophe 1990
- Moulin Touchais 1949
- Orpale 1998
- Veuve Clicquot Vintage Rich 1999
- Veuve Clicquot Vintage Brut 1999