Krug Grande Cuvee 165

My spouse & I recently had the good fortune to have a Krug-themed dinner at L’Assiette Champenoise in Reims followed by a visit to Krug the next day. We got served an avalanche of Krug in 24 hours:

  • Krug Grande Cuvee base years 2004, 2007, 2008 & 2009
  • Krug vintage 2002 & 2004 (x2)
  • Krug Rose base year 2007

I did love the opportunity to compare 4 different years of Grande Cuvee, and was pretty struck by the clear and obvious differences between all four. Much has been written about the Edition 164 (i.e. base year 2008), and we don’t need yet another recapitulation of its virtues, but I haven’t heard much about Edition 165 (i.e. base year 2009).

In my opinion 165 is shockingly good, and I actually prefer it to 164. The nose is effusive - I get rich yellow fruit, touch of red fruit + toast; there’s a sense of powerful extract on the palate, but the wine somehow remains light and weightless; through it all there’s an energetic, zippy acidity that keeps it moving on to a long finish; finally there’s a pleasant note of honey that emerges with air. For me it is that wonderful balance of generosity and finesse of the 165 that tips the balance towards it today, although 164 might well have the potential to surpass 165 at some point in the future. All I know is, I’m backing up the truck whenever 165 appears in the US.

And if anyone is thinking about visiting the Champagne region, I highly highly recommend this experience (also the Taittinger cellars are spectacular but that’s another story)

2009 is a fantastic vintage that’s very ready to drink now.

Is this experience one you can just sign up for on a website? when i went, Krug was pretty much impossible without someone in the business helping you to get an appt…

Thanks for the report - sounds like a good time. I’ve been very impressed with '09 in Champagne – '08 and '09 are quite the duo and I’m hoping some '09 pricing is reasonable given the hype of '08. I’ve especially enjoyed '09 Cristal, and I’ll be trying '09 Dom tonight.

Seems like quite a bit of ‘09 Dom can be found for $149. It’s great.

What? I just spent my whole allowance on 164!

Got offered quite a bit at 130. Now thinking about buying

Drank a half bottle of 166 tonight (2010 base) and it’s frankly pretty poor. Will give it another two years or so, but on current tasting frankly very underwhelming.

I wonder whether Krug will end up regretting the decision to move towards clear cuvée numbers. May make the poor years like 2010 (aka “166”) a pretty hard sell…

Interesting. I was at Krug yesterday, and we had

Grand Cuvee (base years): 2002, 2004 and 2007
Vintage: 2002 and 2004
Rose: 2007 base year

The 2002 base year Grand Cuvee was exceptional, surpassing the vintage 2002 in complexity and richness at this stage. It was eye opening to taste the vintage and Grand Cuvee side by side in 2002 and 2004. I’m not a fan of 2004 champagnes in general and found both the vintage and Grande Cuvee 2004 lean and acidic. Maybe they just need time. The Krug staff was exceptional.

I would have loved to try the 2008 and 2009 base years. Not sure why they didn’t pour those as well, but trying the 2002 made up for it.

To answer a question above, we had a connection in the business.

Yes it is! It’s an all-inclusive package by L’Assiette Champenoise where you get a night in the jacuzzi suite, dinner at the 3* restaurant, and a visit to Krug. The absolute dollar price is high, but I think you get good value [cheers.gif]

We were first served the vintage 2004 at the restaurant (disgorged Q3 2016) and then another bottle of the vintage 2004 at Krug the next day (sadly I did not record the ID). The first was pretty good - lightweight but with an intensely honeyed character and a good amount of fruit. The second, tasted at Krug, was not great - as you described, thinnish and not very satisfying. Since there can’t have been a provenance or storage issue, I can only assume like you that the second bottle was recently disgorged and needed extra time

I agree that the 2002 MV base was awesome. I also preferred it over the 2002 vintage. I liked the lean acidity of the 04 though and actually preferred that quirk over the easier 2002.

Krug MV with age is killer stuff.

How do you know 165, 164 vs another release now?

It’s printed on the label.

As Russ said, you’ll see the 165 on the label. Side note - the 2004-base Grande Cuvee we tasted (Edition 160, disgorged Q2 2014) also had the 160 printed on the label

It is well worth exploiting a great connection like this! Wonderful notes. What fun. Krug is great. (Understatement of the week.)