Wine Details for 1990 Krug
|Type of Wine||
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
: “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.
Wine & Spirits | 98 W&S
An aristocrat. Big-boned and intense, yet with finesse and complex flavors of coconut, whole-grain bread, ginger, citrus and honey. Waves of flavor saturate the palate and the long finish picks up a mineral and smoke note. Very harmonious from start to finish. Drink now through 2020. 1,700 cases imported.
Wine Spectator | 97 WS
(Krug Brut Champagne/Sparkling) 1990 is one of my favorite vintages ever for this storied cuvée because while the vintage was on the riper side the high yields allowed the fruit to retain a very good level of acidity which made for balanced and ageworthy wines. While I have had the pleasure of tasting the ’90 on a number of occasions since its release, the last time was alongside the 1985 and the 1988, and as admirable as those two vintages are, the 1990 is head and shoulders above them to my taste. The fantastically complex nose is comprised of an abundance of yeast and toast characters that don’t completely dominate the essence of apple, pear, citrus, spice, acacia blossom and discreet orange peel scents. There is equally good depth to the delicious, full-bodied and powerful flavors that possess a lovely sense of vibrancy thanks to the still firm but fine mousse that shapes the delineated, delicious and impeccably well-balanced finale. In my view 1990 is one of the greatest vintages for this wine of the last 25 years and one that is still drinking well. While there is no additional upside development to be hand, neither is there any rush to drink up as this should continue to hold effortlessly for years to come. (Drink starting 2015)
Burghound | 97 BH
I loved the 1990 Krug, which shows the richness and power this cuvée is known for. Offering a medium gold color and rich, full-bodied notes of brioche, toasted nuts, and crème caramel, it’s deep, concentrated, and evolved, and ready to go.
Jeb Dunnuck | 95 JD
At its finest, the 1990 Vintage is superb, revealing a slightly oxidized style, but a full-bodied, rustic, rich personality with the body of a red wine, but loads of character. I cannot recommend the 1989 Vintage as three bottles tasted were all oxidized, possibly from bad storage, but who knows?
Robert Parker | 95 RP
A bit dark in color and lacking in bubbles, but when it comes to aromas and flavors it’s out of this world. Vanilla, cinnamon, almond and apple scents are ethereal and mature as can be, while the palate deals layered apple and spice in multiple layers. Runs a mile long but soft on the finish. Unique in style; not the least bit zesty.
Wine Enthusiast | 95 WE
(Krug Vintage Brut (Tasted May 2005)) The 1990 Krug is a big, old-fashioned and powerful vintage of Krug that is just beginning to drink well, but clearly still has decades of life ahead of it. The deep bouquet offers up notes of rye dough, apple, lemon, caraway seed and kaleidoscopic minerality. On the palate the wine is very full-bodied, crisp and rock solid to the core, with a firm girdle of acidity, great focus, and a very, very long, minerally and palate-staining finish. While the wine is blossoming at age fifteen, it clearly will continue to improve with further cellaring, and really would be best off with another four or five years of hibernation before tackling it with gusto. (Drink between 2010-2030)
John Gilman | 95+ JG
The 1990 Vintage, tasted from magnum, was remarkable for its opulent and exuberant personality and incredible finesse.
Antonio Galloni | 94 AG