External Reviews for Krug Champagne Blend Champagne Brut
The 1998 Vintage is extremely primary at this stage. Today the wine remains mostly about pure, unadulterated expression of fruit, but the Krug house style is nevertheless present. This powerful Champagne needs time in the cellar to develop its full range of aromas and flavors, but it is impressive and should age quite well. The 1998 is only the third (and last) vintage Krug declared in the 1990s. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2028.
Although the aromas are toasty, the flavors are still so fresh, rich, complex. This is a wonderful expression of taut minerality, pure citrus zest and then a wood-toast character that gives the wine both richness and sophistication. Given the fresh, intense fruit, this will certainly age for many years.
The real surprise among Krug's 1996s is the 1996 Vintage, which is drinking beautifully, even among this rarified air of single-vineyard Champagnes. The 1996 Vintage is explosive and creamy, with just the right balance of power, richness and freshness. The mousse is perhaps just a touch less refined than in the 1996 Clos du Mesnil and Clos d'Ambonnay, but it is also perfectly measured with the wine's exuberant personality. This multi-dimensional, textured Champagne is at the early part of its drinking window and promises to deliver an incredible drinking experience over the coming decades. The take-away from this flight of 1996s from Krug is simple. Although the 1996 Vintage can't possibly be described as inexpensive, it shows exceptionally well next to its much more expensive brethren and clearly delivers a similar level of quality. Readers who have the opportunity to pick up this wine should not hesitate. It is a gem. No disgorgement date provided. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2036.
Bright true gold with a brisk bead. Deeply concentrated honey, pear skin, orange peel, peach pit, botanical herb and floral aromas are brightened by smoky minerals. Chewy citrus and pit fruit flavors stain the palate and are given a youthfully tangy edge by nervy acidity, gaining strength with air. Finishes with powerful grip and resounding echoes of honey and citrus pith. A serious, painfully young wine that needs patience; I wouldn't go near it for at least another six or seven years.
Shows gorgeous lemon, peach, toast, leather and spices. The attack is rich and forceful, backed by a racy structure that keeps this pure and drives the finish. Perhaps not as expansive on the aftertaste to match the attack, but long nonetheless, with spice and mineral notes lingering. Still needs time. Best from 2012 through 2035.
The deep golden color implies just how rich this wine will be. The 1995 vintage provided a baroque canvas of flavors that seems weightier and more robust than a classic Krug, but no less fascinating. The wine is downright huge, aggressive in its savory power, in its aching acidity and persistent minerality. Brusque and mouthcoating in its richness at 11 years of age, this will begin to mellow as it turns 15 or 20.
The beauty of the color is the easiest aspect of this wine to appreciate at the moment. The rest is sheer 1996 arrogance, all of its charm hidden for now. The power of the wine is aggressive, the minerality uncompromising. Acidity drives it forward, fast. One sommelier on the panel suggested decanting it. Even so, the wine would be too young to drink. This is one of the great Krug vintages of the last few decades; it will be a monumental wine when it has matured. No purpose is served by opening it before it's 20 years old, and it will live for decades beyond.