One does not pass up a Krug invitation to taste their Champagnes – whether it means having to spend a couple of days in a blending session at their headquarters in Rheims, pictured above, or sitting at your computer, glass in hand, drinking along with people in the Marne Valley. Krug is class in a glass that can be enjoyed whatever the occasion.
On this week’s The Dozen, we will start with two Krug bubblies and then pick up with several other fine sparkling wines, and less-expensive ones, from Italy, the U.S., and Spain.
Krug is known for marching to its own beat. It uses oak fermentation in both its vintages and in its Grande Cuvee blends. Each starts with wine from a certain vintage and blends backward with older wines. However, Krug goes to great pains to explain its wines don’t taste oaky. And Krug’s Grande Cuvees are numbered consecutively so that you know whether the wine is the current release or an older one, although either is bound to be a great choice. Finally, Krug led in the production of pricey single-vineyard sparkling wines with its Clos du Mesnil and Clos d’Ambonnay, both elegant and very expensive.
But now, it’s time to drink, not talk!
NV Krug Grande Cuvée 169eme Champagne Brut plain ($190). Rich intensity with a lemon-peel minerality, lean but not spare, very long and clean on the palate. Just absolutely delicious.
2008 Krug Vintage Champagne Brut ($279). Very structured and elegantly assertive – crisp, almost puckery with light green acidity and lean minerality, all boding well for further maturation if you can hold onto it.
NV Vilarnau Barcelona Brut Reserva Cava ($15). Very pleasant – lightly fruity, lightly herbal, and somewhat delicate and restrained.
NV Zardetto “Z” Prosecco Brut ($15). Pleasant and fruity-pear creaminess, but with a fairly dry finish.
NV Guinigi Treviso Prosecco ($16). Gamey nose with fresh herbal and mild fruity flavors – long on the palate, and the finish cleans well.
NV Vilarau Barcelona Brut Reserva Cava Rosé ($16). Satisfying, with intense flavors and with fruit oil aromas, a bit like a Riesling.
NV Domaine Chandon California Brut ($20). Medium-bodied with apple fruitiness blended with light creamy, candied notes and good acidity.
2020 Pasqua Extra Dry Prosecco Rosé ($16). Tart strawberries and strawberries yet creamy in the finish.
NV Domaine Chandon California Brut Rosé ($18). Crisp strawberry flavors to start, some creamy mousse, but fades quickly.
NV Angels & Cowboys California Brut Rosé ($21). A lot like a Prosecco with its candied and floral fruitiness, yet fairly crisp at the end.
2020 Obsidian “Pezsgö” Carneros Sparkling Pinot Noir ($36). A pétillant naturel bubbly with very sharp acidity and flavors of strawberry puree with some light bitters in the finish.
Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com. As more wineries are now shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.