The new release, a blend of 47% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay and 17% Pinot Meunier, is based on the 2011 vintage, in which Krug experienced its second-earliest harvest since 1822.
The 2011 base wine was blended with reserves from 12 other years, the oldest being from 1995. In total, 191 different wines went into the new Grande Cuvée.
‘I selected some wines from behind the Montagne de Reims Nord, in Mareuil-sur-Ay, for their surprisingly beautiful, ample and fruity expressions,’ explained cellar master Eric Lebel. ‘Then I added Pinot Noir wines from Ambonnay, Ay and Bouzy which I chose for their structure’.
Lebel said that the reserve wines came instead from plots in Verzonay, which ‘bring finesse and mature elegance’; Sainte-Gemme ‘for the fruit expression of their Meuniers’; and from Chardonnay vineyards in the Côte des Blancs, Chouilly and Oger, to lend character and body to the blend.
The cellar master went through around 250 wines from the 2011 harvest, and 140 more from different vintages. Once blended, the wine underwent seven years of bottle maturation before disgorgement.
According to the producer, Krug Grande Cuvée 167ème Édition pours pale golden in colour and delivers aromas of blossom, marzipan, gingerbread and a wide array of fruit characters, from dried fruit to citrus. On the palate it shows clear signs of maturation, with flavours of hazelnut, almonds, nougat, barley sugar, candied and citrus fruits, brioche and honey.
Krug Grande Cuvée 167ème Édition, RRP £140.00, www.krug.com