2002 Krug – the wait is almost over

2002 Krug.  After a plethora of Champagne releases over the past year or two, the big one is now on the table, or at least on its way.  The Daddy of the champagne houses and, whilst I really do rate 2004s, the Daddy of this century’s vintages.

No one does marketing quite like the Champenois and when I was lucky enough to be invited to the UK’s first look at this potential icon, I was looking forward to it immediately.

As with most Krug launches, more than one wine is on show, and this opportunity is what it is all about.  Last night we tasted the current  release of Krug Grande Cuvée – edition 163, 2003 vintage Krug, 2002 Krug and Grande Cuvée edition 158, which is the Grande Cuvée based on the 2002 vintage.

The current release of Grande Cuvée is fresh, lively and inimitably Krug, which is the whole idea.  In addition to the Krug id system, Grand Cuvée now has each “edition” on the label.  Edition 163 is based on the 2007 vintage and is quite delightful.  As with all Grande Cuvée, it will age, and age very well, though it was just perfect on the evening as our aperitif, getting us into gear for the big show.

Then 2003 Krug.  I’ve liked this wine from the start.  Controversial might be too strong, but when Krug released their 2003, there was some surprise.  But the best 2003s – DP is an example – are excellent and this bottle of 2003 Krug was just that.  There is a silky fattiness to the wine that makes you (or certainly me) want to drink more and more of it.

Then came the headline act: 2002 Krug.  My note:

“Clearly brighter than the 2003.  This even looks steely.  Am I being seduced already?  This is 13 years old, and whilst it doesn’t look like a puppy, it doesn’t look much older.  Very, very, Krug in style on the nose: biscuits, cream and that inimitable Krug muscle.  It gets better in the mouth.  Meaty.  Taut.  Poised.  And, whilst we’ll all talk about its potential for the cellar, this is ready to go now – there is a touch of maturity to this, and that voluptuous side that to me is all about 2002: that chunky seduction.  This may well be sold as a young wine but to me it is already on the way up: it’s not a baby, not a boy, it’s an adolescent, and a punchy one at that.  And – this is the real mark – there is a depth to this that matches grand cru white Burgundy (either the steeliness of Corton-Charlemagne from a cool plot, or maybe just Chevalier-Montrachet).  Seriously good, and has to be touching 97 or more if I’m going to score it.”

This is clearly a salesy note, and maybe I was a little seduced by the surroundings (not always easy in Shoreditch) but I think it’s fair to say that 2002 Krug will be worth the wait.  It is exceptional wine, one that I’d happily drink now, and no doubt one that will get better and better with time in the cellar.

The wine will be released in February and allocations will be very, very tight.  If you do have interest in 2002 Krug then please do let us know and we will do our best.

In the meantime, thank you to the chaps at Krug for the kind invite.