An Insider’s Guide to Krug Editions
Composed of more than 120 wines picked from more than 10 individual years, no two editions of Krug Grande Cuvée champagne will ever be the same. Read on to explore how detail defines each year’s astonishingly complex release.
When Joseph Krug founded his champagne house in 1843, he dreamed of creating the best possible Krug champagne, every single year. Vintages were wines of “circumstance”, he wrote, alluding to the variations in weather which can make or break a vintage. And from his vision of crafting “the most generous expression of Champagne” year after year, no matter what the harvest, Krug Grande Cuvée was born.
Each year since it began, Krug champagne has celebrated Joseph’s vision with a new Édition of its Grande Cuvée. Each Édition is distinctly, elegantly Krug. But made from a unique blend of wines, each has its own extraordinary taste, as Olivier Krug, Director of the House and sixth generation of the Krug family explains: “Every year since the foundation of the House, a new Édition of Krug Grande Cuvée is created, every year the inspiration will be the same, but the creation will be totally unique and different.”
An intricate art
As you might imagine, crafting a champagne which Krug describes as “beyond the notion of vintage” is quite a skill to possess. Each Édition is comprised of no less than 120 different wines, from at least 10 different years. It’s clear that creating such complex tastes and aromas would be nigh on impossible with wine from a single year.
It falls to Cellar Master Julie Cavil to create each Édition’s blend. Searching for the perfect balance, she and her team taste around 250 wines of the year, as well as 150 ‘reserve’ wines, from 14 different years (the majority of which each capture the essence of a single plot of vines). Julie records more than 4,000 tasting notes, before choosing the Édition’s intricate final blend. When it is finally bottled, it will spend around seven years in Krug’s cellars before it is ready to drink.
The rosé factor
It’s only relatively recently that Krug has been creating rosé champagne (although, let’s face it, most things count as ‘recent’ if your heritage stretches back over 175 years). And of course, Krug Rosé is inspired by Joseph Krug’s ideal too. The House’s fifth generation dreamed of a rosé champagne that could be recreated every year – and Krug has been following their vision in bold, elegant rosé Éditions for more than two decades.
If you’re a details person (as many Krug fans are), you’ll be thirsty to know more about your bottle of Krug champagne. And, celebrating the exquisite differences of each Édition, Krug is happy to share details which other champagne houses may not. Since 2011, each bottle has been labelled with a unique Krug iD number. Enter it into the Krug app, and it’ll tell you the story of the bottle, including exactly how many wines are in the blend and from how many different years. You can understand the balance of different grapes, discover the youngest and oldest wine the blend, when the bottle received its cork and more. You can also explore playlists and dishes tailor-made for pairing with your champagne.
Krug’s latest editions
For 2020, Krug shares its exquisite Krug Grande Cuvée 168th Édition – marking the 168th recreation of Champagne’s most generous expression. The champagne is composed around the 2012 vintage, which produced particularly rounded wines with pastry tones. Mindful of the vintage’s character, Julie chose reserve wines to complement its tastes – with Chardonnay wines for vivacity and Pinot Noir for tension. In total, the champagne contains an extraordinary 198 wines from 11 different vintages – which come together in the Édition’s floral, citrusy aromas, and nutty, honeyed tastes.
The Krug Rosé 24th Édition also showcases wine from the 2012 harvest. Ideal for bold, gastronomic experiences with distinctly savoury dishes, this rosé champagne owes its elegant fruity and spicy notes to a remarkable blend of 22 wines from seven different years. It’s perfect for drinking right now. And of course, like Krug Grande Cuvée 168th Édition, this champagne will only get better with time...