Friday, June 21, 2013

Krug Collection 1989 Champagne--Wine on Friday


"You've never had good Champagne." That was response I gave to someone who told me they didn't like Champagne. Because there's a big difference between low end sparkling wine and decent sparkling wine and Champagne. Sure enough, once he had a glass of lovely Nicholas Feuillatte bubbly he changed his mind. Typically I can find good Champagne and sparkling wines in the $30 - 50 range, retail. But this is not about good sparkling wines or Champagne, this is about outstanding Champagne, namely Krug

At a recent tasting and lunch hosted by Krug, I got a chance to try various offerings including their non-vintage Grand Cuvee and their lovely Rosé, but there was one Champagne that really stood apart from the rest and that was the Krug Collection 1989. It has haunted me ever since. If you read reviews of this Champagne here are some of the flavors that are used to describe it:

cardamom, tea rose, freshly ground coffee, honeycomb, kumquat, oyster shell, dried apricot, chalk, truffle, brioche, spice, tropical fruit, honey, white fruits, slightly browned apples, high-toned flowers, yeast, nuttiness, pear, green apple, citrus fruit marmalade, fresh figs, mineral 

I would say yes, it's all in there and somehow even more. It's extremely rich and yet still bright and vibrant and has a finish that lasts and lasts and then lingers for weeks in your mind. Like a great film, it's easy to get lost in this Champagne, each flavor like each scene, leading to the next and taking you somewhere else. 

I tend to favor smaller grower producers over the big houses because the big Champagne houses strive for consistency which can eventually be a bit boring. Krug may be an important Champagne house, but it's still fairly small and it seeks to create excellent Champagne every time, not just consistently good Champagne. Much care and consideration goes into tasting from every single plot. 

Personally speaking, I want a Champagne to thrill me, with the unexpected as well as the familiar. I want technicolor and 3D and surround sound, and believe me, Krug Collection 1989 delivers. At $549 a bottle, the experience was bittersweet, because I have no idea when I shall be able to experience this epic adventure in a glass again…

Disclaimer: I was a guest at a tasting and lunch hosted by Krug, I was not paid to write this or any other post.