Champagne Krug Unveils 170th Edition of Grande Cuvée and the 26th Edition of Krug Rosé

The 170th Edition of of Krug Grande Cuvée 

Photo provided

The 170th Edition of of Krug Grande Cuvée

The 170th Edition of of Krug Grande Cuvée 

Photo provided

“It is the new baby of the house, the 170th Edition of Krug, created around the harvest of 2014,” said Krug’s cellar master Julie Cavil via video link from Reims, beamed simultaneously to the UK, Italy, Spain, Germany and Austria.

This 170th Edition is composed of 195 different base wines from 12 different vintages, the oldest being 1998. It is a blend of 51% Pinot Noir, 38% Chardonnay and 11% Pinot Meunier. 55% of the  base wines for this edition were from 2014, 45% were reserve wines. The dosage lies between 5-6g/l.

The memorable 2014 vintage

“It was an edition that marks you and made us remember that it really is nature that decides,” Cavil noted. “We faced alternating periods of dry and hot, rainy and fresh, but in fact all the critical stages of the development in the vineyard happened in optimal conditions. We had a marvellous flowering.” But Cavil also noted the “dramatic situation” of an attack of the dreaded fruit fly Drosophila suzukii, which turned Pinot Meunier fruit into a vinegary smelling mess in the vineyard. Sorting was of the utmost importance: “Fortunately nature was generous, so after sorting we obtained some very healthy and balanced grapes. In the tasting room after the harvest, we were surprised by the superb Chardonnay, very elegant with a lot of citrussy focus,” she said.

Challenges and patience

“What was the main challenge of this 170th Edition?” Cavil asked and proceeded to answer: “Probably a lack of structure, so we leaned largely on the 2013 vintage to bring back that structure. 2013 was a cool and late harvest of wines with great intensity, structure and freshness.” Referring to the fact that the oldest reserve wine in the blend was from 1998, she said “this means we needed 24 years to craft this 170th Edition of the Grande Cuvée. The first thing you learn when you join Krug is probably patience.”

Debuting pink 

Olivier Krug said that “Krug Rosé is the dream of the fifth generation of the family, so it is still a baby,” noting that for his father, Henri Krug, it would still have been “unthinkable to add a red wine to the richness of Krug.” While 170 Editions of the Grande Cuvée have been released, so far, the Rosé is only the 26th Edition.

Fruit, fruit, fruit

Cavil noted that the pink wine was “the most difficult cuvée to create year after year” and that it required “a completely different orchestration.” Referring back to the favourite Krug metaphor of musicians playing, she said: “If we have fewer wines in the orchestra, it means more of them have a bigger share of voice – so there is no compromise at all. We are looking for fruit – fruit, fruit. Fruit in all its forms, the cassis, redcurrant, summer fruit. We use terms like indulgence, like greediness, so we need fruit, but we also need a certain restraint of elegance, no heaviness at all, we need structure, but we also need lightness, you see, it is all about nuance.”

The composition

This 26th Edition of Krug Rosé is composed of 28 different base wines from 7 different vintages, the oldest being 2005. It is a blend of 44% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 26% Pinot Meunier. 67% of the base wines for this edition were from 2014, 33% were reserve wines. 11% of red wine turned the wine pink. The dosage lies between 5-6g/l.

To put the new editions into context, the Grandes Cuvée was tasted alongside five earlier iterations while the new Krug Rosé was tasted alongside two earlier iterations.

Read all the tasting notes here:




The 26th Edition of Krug Rosé

The 26th Edition of Krug Rosé 

© photo provided