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Krug, en Magnum…Run, don’t walk.

N.V. Krug Champagne Grande Cuvée Brut

When the opportunity arrises to taste Krug, my advice is get there early.

When it is Krug from magnum (1.5 liters, equivalent to 2 bottles), I suggest running…

From Magnum. Disgorgment date unknown.

Golden.

Lovely and dense autolytic character, no shortage of rich but judicious oak notes of toffee and spice before a satisfyingly heavy aromatic profile presents gingered apple, hazelnut skin, bacon and butterscotch. This is where I find Chardonnay exhibited in the Grande Cuvée. Hints of briny and dark mineral reside as well as baked honey profiteroles.

Massive but lithe palate balanced with screaming acidity that pulls the richness of the wine along into a perm solution and butter creme finish. Flavors follow the nose with more golden brioche, cherry skin, sweet porcini and dried floral notes, perhaps a hint of dosage adds to the richness. This is where the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier shine, for me. Light mousse, almost cotton candy-ish as the wine almost vaporizes before you can swallow. Long persistence and exquisite complexity.

I love the duality of Krug: tightly coiled acids from blocked malolactic fermentation balanced with heavy, almost golden, richness of barrel fermentation in 205 L barrels from the Argonne.

NV Krug Grande Cuvée consistently demonstrates phenomenal assemblage: sometimes as many as 50 wines from 10 vintages and 25 villages go into NV Grande Cuvée. Slight variations are to be expected, due to different disgorgment dates, which can be found on the cork. Yet the hallmarks of Grande Cuvée and house style of Krug are said to be unmistakable: bracingly taut acids with heavy, honeyed aromas.

Regardless, it is an experience everyone should have.

Moral of the story: Run, don’t walk, to the next magnum of Krug.

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