1989 Krug Collection

96
JG
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1989-krug-collection

Wine Critic Reviews for 1989 Krug Collection

(Krug Collection Brut) The 1989 Krug Collection is absolutely brilliant Champagne and one of the best bottles of wine I have had the pleasure to taste this year. The totally à point nose soars from the glass in a regal blend of baked apple, buttered almonds, a touch of crème patissière, a beautiful base of minerality, brioche and a gentle topnote of smokiness. On the palate the wine is deep, pure and magical on the attack, with a great core of fruit, flawless focus and balance, refined mousse, brilliant complexity and a very, very long, crisp and vibrant finish. This wine is fully mature aromatically and flavor-wise, but still retains the structural bounce and grip of a relatively young Champagne and still has decades and decades of profound drinking ahead of it. A great, great wine at its magical summit. (Drink between 2013-2040)

John Gilman | 96 JG
Krug’s 1989 Brut Krug Collection represents their most recent in a long-running series of late-releases that feature a vintage they have decided is especially expressive after entering what they refer to as its “second life.” In theory, if you have ideal cellar conditions and bought Krug’s initial disgorgement of the 1989 vintage when it came on the market around a decade ago, then you have essentially the same wine today, though I have never been lucky enough to make the relevant direct comparison. Given the relative infrequency with which a vintage is “declared” by Krug, their “Collection” bottlings represent the remnants of an already elite band. But this 1989 represents the first re-release from the only series of three consecutive vintage bottlings – 1988-1990 – in Krug’s history. The mingling of saline, nutty, and caramelized notes in the nose – adumbrating this wine’s entire performance – is gorgeous. Butter-toasted hazelnuts, dried wild mushrooms, kelp, and cocoa mingle in a silken, mouthwateringly saline and savory matrix reminiscent of oyster liquor laced with fresh lemon juice (because, there is still a youthfully citric store of energy here). This finishes with correspondingly pronounced umami and with tangy vibrancy of citrus and salt. After a day open, the nutty elements become more piquant and walnut-like, but the smoky hints of oxidation remain balanced by citric and mineral elements and positively integrated into a mysteriously diverse show. The palate becomes plusher (perhaps in part due to diminishing mousse) and creamy in an almost whipped-cream fashion, yet the long finish continues to offer uncanny refreshment. Certainly this can be safely held for at least a few more years and perhaps in an ideal cellar will “plateau” (or continue to).

Krug – part of the Louis-Vuitton-Moet-Hennessy luxury goods empire since 1999 – continues to release wines fully worthy of their house’s exalted reputation that reflect inter alia the effects of micro-vinification in barrel and an (in the best sense) laissez-faire and leisurely attitude toward elevage and bottle-aging. (Although – for what little this may be worth – count me among those who find the metalicized labels that now adorn their bottles glitzy, and as such slightly incongruous with their contents). Director Olivier Krug represents his family’s sixth generation, assisted by veteran cellarmaster Eric Lebel and oenologist Julie Cavil. Most Champagne lovers will realize that each bottle from Krug nowadays comes with an identification number enabling the consumer to research its approximate disgorgement date – and sometimes other details specific to the bottle in question – via the house’s web site; but in keeping with the convention established for my reports, I have only referenced this number for the purpose of disambiguating non-vintage cuvees.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RP
Shows a lovely interplay between the creamy bead and rich notes of almond financier, apricot preserves, treacle and cardamom, with finely cut, persistent acidity and flavors of pastis, raspberry puree, fennel seed and fleur de sel. Offers a refined, lasting finish, with a push of saline-tinged minerality. Drink now through 2029.

Wine Spectator | 96 WS
The 1989 Krug Collection is a wine with an uneven track record. This bottle is one of the finer examples I have had. Fully mature flavors of hazelnut, tobacco, smoke, licorice and dried fruits all make an appearance, while some of the more mushroomy elements found in some bottles are, thankfully, missing. At its best, the 1989 is a delicious Champagne, but it is not built for too much more aging from here on out.

Antonio Galloni | 94 AG

Wine Details on 1989 Krug Collection

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: Words fail us when trying to adequately portray France's place in the world of wine. It's downright impossible to imagine what wine would feel and taste like had it not been for France's many, many viticultural pioneers. Fine wine is the blood of France's vigorously beating heart, and it finds itself in many aspects of French culture. With a viticultural history that dates all the way back to the 6th century BC, France now enjoys its position as the most famous and reputable wine region on the planet. If you have a burning passion for masterfully crafted, mouth-watering, mind-expanding wines, then regular visits to France are probably already in your schedule, and for a good reason.
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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