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Krug Grande Cuvee 168eme Edition Champagne
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- ABV 12.5%
- Closure: Cork
This is Krug's signature champagne, and while these Edition wines are non-vintage, Krug prefers to call them multi-vintage given they use a large proportion of reserve wines in the blend. Krug view this wine as their prestige cuvee, and it's the most important wine they produce each year. The 168eme Edition is a staggering blend of 198 wines from 11 vintages back to 1996, with the base wine hailing from the excellent 2012 vintage. The varietal mix of the base wine is 52% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 13% Pinot Meunier, and comprises 58% of blend, while 42% of reserve wines are used from 10 older vintages stretching back to 1996.
Krug's NV Grande Cuvée 168ème Édition is a classic in the making, wafting from the glass with aromas of dried fruits, pear, toasted nuts, orange zest, honeycomb and freshly baked bread. Medium to full-bodied, generous but incisive, it's deep and elegantly fleshy, with a beautifully refined mousse and an enveloping core of fruit that's complemented by the characteristic Krug patina of nutty complexity imparted by barrel fermentation. Even if this is more open out of the gates than the 2011-based 167ème edition, the 168ème edition is also the more concentrated and intense of the two. It's based on the 2012 harvest, complemented by fully 42% reserve wines—a blend of 198 wines from 11 different vintages dating back to 1996.
William Kelley - Wine Advocate (May 2020)
Krug’s NV Grande Cuvée 168éme Édition is based on the 2012 vintage. Apricot, chamomile, lemon confit, hazelnut and lightly honeyed notes resonate in a super-expressive, inviting Grande Cuvée that will drink well right out of the gate. The natural radiance of the year comes through beautifully. This release is a blend of 52% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 13% Meunier across a staggering 198 different wines from eleven vintages going back to 1996. Already quite expressive, the 168éme shows plenty of the signature Krug toasty notes in a style that offers tons of immediacy. Some recent releases have been more inward at this stage, but the 168éme is ready to go. Disgorged winter 2018/2019. Krug ID: 119001.
Antonio Galloni - Vinous
This is the latest cuvée launched in the UK in May 2020 but has already been available in the US and Japan. A blend of 198 wines from 11 different years, with the youngest the acclaimed 2012, back to a precious, powerfully aromatic lot of Verzenay Pinot Noir 1996. The final blend – 52% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 13% Meunier – was bottled in 2013 and aged for seven years in Krug’s cellars in Reims. Yields in 2012 were 20% lower than usual because of a succession of meteorological events including frost, rain, storms and hail in winter and spring 2012, followed by the driest ripening season since 1974.
Notably intense aroma with crème pâtissière dominant. Masses of extract and remarkable acidity underpinned by great depth of flavour and beautiful balance on the finish. I think this is going to be a really great, glamorous Grande Cuvée that will continue to develop in bottle for many years to come. I suspect it will be even more enjoyable from the end of 2020. The length on the palate is remarkable. This is magnificently precise, a great tribute to the work of the old cellarmaster Eric Lebel, who is still in the background, and a wonderful welcome to his successor Julie Cavil, who has been learning from him since 2006.
Jancis Robinson MW
52% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, 13% Pinot Meunier. A gentle gold with discreet yet persistent mousse and aromatics of spring meadows, lemon sherbet and barley sugar; the wine is pure and softly powerful, youthful energy finely poised, somewhat cautious after so many years in the chalky cellars. The reserve wines, Pinot Noir from Verzenay and Chardonnay from Avize especially, are subtle in support, vivacious despite their relative maturity, contributing to an ensemble which is hitherto dominated by red fruit, courtesy of the superb Pinot Noir, and a colourful tension. Behind that there are whispers of honey, quince and posset… and with so much more to come; but the finish, happily in these days of privation, takes one to wherever one may wish to go.
Simon Field MW - Decanter