1988 Krug

98
RP
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Product ID
1988-krug
 

Wine Critic Reviews for 1988 Krug

Krug's 1988 Brut has long numbered among my very favorite vintages for this house, with the best bottles flirting with a three-digit score. Offering up complex aromas of apricot, citrus oil, candied peal, toasted brioche and honeycomb, it's full-bodied, concentrated and incisive, with a deep, layered and tightly wound core, racy acids and a searingly chalky finish. If on release the 1988 got less attention than the more immediate, head-turning 1990 and 1989 vintages, with time it is proving itself the most serious of those three consecutive releases.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RP
A superb Champagne and still youthful. Honey, ginger, lemon confit, coffee and mineral aromas and flavors come to mind, all kept focused by a firm, tightly wound structure. The finish is where its pedigree shines through, lingering like warm gingerbread and coffee. Drink now through 2015. 5,000 cases made.

Wine Spectator | 98 WS
The 1988 Krug makes for a fabulous start. Tasted from a perfect bottle, the 1988 remains bright and focused, with all of the energy of this great vintage very much on display. Time has naturally softened some of the contours and added a good bit of nuance, but the 1988 Krug remains a Champagne of crystalline precision. I loved it.

Antonio Galloni | 97 AG
No written review provided | 96 W&S
I have always very much admired the '88 vintage in Champagne because it produced wines that tended toward austerity when they were young and they have aged exceptionally well. The nose here is consistent with this because even though it is fully mature and highly complex, there is a certain calm restraint that accompanies the attractively fresh citrus, cooked apple and toasted bread elements. There is equally good punch and freshness to the powerful and concentrated flavors that possess impressive mid-palate density before concluding in a mouth coating and strikingly long finish. One thing that the '88 Krug is not however is especially refined and in this regard the '85 is finer. In Champagne though rarely is one element able to exist in isolation from another and in terms of potential longevity, at this point I would rather own the '88 than the '85 even if the '85 is a better overall wine. I say this because the '85 appears to be on the edge of a graceful decline whereas the '88 should continue to hold for years to come. (Drink starting 2015)

Burghound | 93 BH
There were two magnums of the ’88 Krug served at this particular tasting, and there was a rather dramatic difference between the two. Once was quite advanced, but I assume that this was simply the storage conditions of the wine before it arrived in the host’s impeccable cellar, rather than indicative of any serious variation between different bottlings of the ’88 Krug. This note reflects the better and less advanced of the two mags. The bouquet is a fine blend of apple, pear, brioche, a touch of sour dough and a lovely base of stony minerality. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and rock solid at the core, with a lovely tension between the minerality, the snappy acidity and the core of fruit. The finish is long, complex and racy, with excellent grip and pinpoint bubbles. (served from magnum) (Drink between 2008-2025)

John Gilman | 93 JG
Incredibly sophisticated from the bouquet's first full toast, apple, thyme, meal, orange, even meaty notes. The fine steady bead, mouthcoating, creamy feel and deep vanilla, apple and earth flavors comprise a very complete statement about age-worthy Champagne. It's mature, and shows subtleties youthful wines can not, but it's still lively, and displays a wealth of life and spirit through the tangy flavored but smoothly textured finish. Drink now-2012.

Wine Enthusiast | 93 WE

Wine Details on 1988 Krug

More Information
Producer Krug: “One cannot obtain a good wine without using good elements and good terroir” – Joseph Krug, founder of Krug Champagne. He was insistent on this vital combination stating that it was possible to obtain seemingly good cuvees through the use of unremarkable elements and wines but should not be relied upon. In other words, it was a risk that could potentially allow the process to fail and their reputation ruined. Krug’s passion for winemaking was remarkable, taking the traditional Champagne blending beyond the bounds of what was customary and creating an unmatched quality bottling. This was the inception of the very first luxury Champagne.

Krug has a rich and successful history in Reims dating back to 1843. The house enjoyed early success due to Joseph Krug’s passion and determination to produce the highest quality wines, rivaling the already existing powerhouses at the time. Though Krug was sold in 1999 to LVMH, it is still comfortably in the hands of the seventh generation family member, Olivier Krug, who is insistent on maintaining the house’s reputation and consistent style.

Each year the dream of Joseph Krug is recreated through their many cuvees including the Grand Cuvee, Rose, Clos Du Mesnil, Clos D’Ambonnay, and the Collection series, however the Grand Cru is the staple to this continued vision of excellence, in memory of its founder. Each cru is vinified separately with no malolactic fermentation with two rackings done solely by gravity. The wines are then placed in stainless steel tanks.

All three Champagne varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are utilized, though their mainstay of Grand Cuvee and their flagship Clos Du Mesnil consists entirely of Chardonnay. Production is incredible considering the minute plots of each; with the Grand Cuvee having an annual production rate of 384,000 bottles, while the Clos Du Mesnil comes in at 504,000 bottles respectively.

Krug wines offer exceptional beauty and poise which tell the story of the plot’s grapes and rich history. One lucky enough to obtain a bottle or two may have the distinct challenge of whether to uncork the bottle or to cellar. Either way they are partaking in a piece of history dating back to 1843 of exceptional vision, unrivaled quality and success.
Region Champagne: The sharp, biting acidity, cutting through the richness; the explosive force that shatters the bubbles as they rise to the surface; the intense flavor and compelling, lively mouthfeel; these are all hallmarks of a good Champagne. Most wines are made from a combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, but there are pure-Chardonnay variants and ones that blend only Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. As a result, most wines come with a feeling of familiarity, if not nostalgia. Each Champagne house has its own unique style, so different bottles of Champagne may not resemble each other outside of the core varietal strengths. The soil composition of the subregion is characterized by belemnite and chalk, which lets it absorb heat during the daytime and release it at night. This terroir helps create the feeling of airy, playful lightness of fine sparkling wine.

These wines were originally marketed towards royalty, and you can feel a hint of that elusive blue-blood elegance and confidence while drinking one. A good Champagne carries you away like a hurricane carries small debris, and you can feel the powerful life force in each bubble even. The characteristic Champagne "pop" has become a staple at parties and celebrations around the globe - when you hear it, good times are right around the corner.
Country France: Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.



For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.



France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.



France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.



With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.

Type of Wine Champagne: Nothing like a refreshing, vivacious glass of fine Champagne during a hot summer afternoon. Typically combining Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, each Champagne house has a distinct style. Whether you want to sample a single varietal (such as the 100% Chardonnay blanc de blancs) or a tasteful blend, no region can compete with Champagne.
Varietal Proprietary Blend: Proprietary Blend is a general term used to indicate that a wine is comprised of multiple grape varietals which are either “proprietary” to the winery or is blended and does not meet the required maximum or minimum percentage of a particular varietal. This also is the case for the grape’s place of origin, especially for region, appellation or vineyard designated wines. There are endless examples of blended wines which are labeled as “Proprietary Blend” and in conjunction with each region’s stipulated wine laws and regulations makes for a vast blanket for wines to fall into. Perhaps the simplest example is California; if a wine is to be labeled as Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, it is required to have at least 75% of the varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon) and 85% of the fruit must be cultivated from the Napa Valley wine district. If the wine does not meet the requirements, it is then labeled as Proprietary Blend.

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