Krug Grande Cuvee 169eme Edition Champagne
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 169eme Edition is a staggering blend of 146 wines from 11 vintages back to 2000, with the base wine hailing from the excellent 2013 vintage. The varietal mix of the base wine is 43% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 22% Pinot Meunier, and comprises 60% of blend, while 40% of reserve wines are used from 10 older vintages stretching back to 2000.
Based on the 2013 vintage and complemented by some 40% reserve wines dating back to 2000, Krug's newly released NV Grande Cuvée 169ème Édition is showing very nicely, unfurling in the glass with notes of citrus oil, buttered toast, dried apricot, warm biscuits and marmalade. Medium to full-bodied, deep and incisive, it's a tauter, more chiseled rendition of Grande Cuvée by comparison with the richer, more textural and more demonstrative 168ème Édition (based on the 2012 vintage) that preceded it; but its bright spine of acidity is nicely cloaked in fruit. Concluding with a long and sapid finish, this is a very classically balanced Champagne that will reward bottle age. Drink 2021 - 2050.
William Kelley - Wine Advocate (Sep 2021)
Krug's NV Grande Cuvée 169ème Édition is brisk and finely cut, with terrific energy driving the citrus, floral and light tropical notes. Even with all of its energy, the 169 balances the vibrancy of the late-ripening 2013 vintage it is built on, with the depth that the reserve wines added to the blend. The 169 drinks well now but clearly has the potential to age. The 169 is a blend of 146 separate wines back to 2000. Krug ID: 120003. Drink 2022 - 2042.
Antonio Galloni - Vinous
Instantly recognizable aromatic depth and complexity here. The DNA of Grande Cuvée looms large on the nose with fresh-baked brioche, crushed almond, subtle baking spices and stony notes, as well as an array of stone fruit. The palate delivers a wide spectrum of citrus, from lemon to orange to grapefruit and beyond. The chardonnay really impresses in a long, concentrated mode. 43% pinot noir, 35% chardonnay and 22% pinot meunier. It contains 40% reserve wine and is composed of 146 different components from 11 different vintages, the youngest being 2013 and the oldest 2000. Drink or hold.
Nick Stock - JamesSuckling.com
Great intensity and drive combine with a rich and complex palate, where truffle and woody notes develop as the wine breathes. This feels very youthful and, although it is non-vintage and designed to be drunk on release, I think this will gain more complexity with some extra time in bottle. Powerful yet refined – a very fine Krug based on the 2013 vintage, utilising wines from 11 different years, of which the oldest is 2000.
Andy Howard MW - Decanter
ID 120001. Blend of 146 wines from 11 different years, the youngest of which is from 2013, while the oldest dates back to 2000. The final composition is 43% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 22%. Disgorged early 2020.
Deep copper gold. Tiny, tiny bead. Much more obvious acidity, age and (lightly oaky?) savour on the nose than Cristal 2013. Aérien with blossomy notes with a little mandarin. Very marked acidity on the palate. A real wake-up call! Sleek and fresh and truly spring-like with a light yeasty note on the very long finish. The most pleasure to be had initially is in the nose and the finish. The palate is still a bit of shock. This should have a long life. Bone-dry finish and playing the intellectual card. Throbs on the palate with all its vibrancy. Long. Tighter than the 168ème Édition. Structure dominates fruit.
Jancis Robinson MW
What can one say? Magnificent; all this power with all this finesse, elegance and freshness, from the first whiff to the aftertaste. Apple, grapefruit blossom, dried and fresh fruits and spicy pastry. One glass is never enough, with or without food. 169ème Édition; 146 wines, 11 different years ’00-’13; 43/35/22% pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier.
James Hallidays Top 100 2021