November 29, 2013

Secret
recipe

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Krug champagne is like no other. Ever since 1843, the House of Krug has transcended the traditional tenets of champagne-making by building up a vast "library" of reserve wines from which to create the richest and most elegant expression of the king of wines each year: Krug Grande Cuvée.

Therein lies the true secret of blending according to Krug: this is not a set recipe reiterated year after year, but rather an art that invents itself anew after each wine harvest through a long, elaborate process which takes more than six months (October through April) to orchestrate all the elements that go into each unique blend. This time-honored ritual spans several stages.

During the tasting period from winter to spring, when the most expressive wines reveal key facets of their characters, the Cellar Master and Tasting Committee sample all the current year’s wines from some 250 separate vineyard plots, as well as the 150 reserve wines.

Tapping into this unique library of bouquets and flavors, the Cellar Master prepares three blends, rather like a painter picking and mixing pigments to achieve the most consummate colors. Each year, the reserve wines contribute to the creation in a subtly different way: some impart acidity, others add depth, rebalancing contrasts, strengthening weaknesses, and magnifying the legendary richness of Krug Grande Cuvée.

Then comes the masterpiece moment: the crucial time when just one of the three blends crafted by the Cellar Master is selected for production. Each member of the Tasting Committee casts a single vote. Their decision is quick, collective and unanimous. At the same time, the Cellar Master and the Tasting Committee decide whether or not to produce a Vintage Krug, which is made only in years when the wines are sufficiently eloquent.

The art of blending by Krug is exceptional on multiple levels: the number of wines that go into it, the time it takes (at least 6 years aging for a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée) and the fact that it reinvents itself, year after year, thus making each and every Grande Cuvée a unique work of art.

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