One of the most famous names in the ultra-premium Champagne sector, Krug needs little introduction. The house was founded in 1843 by Joseph Krug who had previously worked as Champagne Jacquesson’s accountant and bookkeeper. During the First World War German-born Krug was taken prisoner, leaving his wife Jeanne to run the estate. Today the original family is still very much involved in decision-making within the brand and have played a pivotal role in guiding Krug to its current position as one of Champagne’s top producers.
Even for the entry-level Krug Champagne each vineyard plot is vinified separately to capture the unique quality of the terroir. These lots are then carefully blended with complementary lots to compose the perfect cuvée for each of the house’s distinctive Champagnes. Any lot which does not meet Krug’s high standards is sold off to another producer.
A unique feature of Krug’s winemaking process is that the house vinifies all of their base wines in wooden casks, a technique which adds body, structure and complexity to the finished Champagne. This helps to create the signature Krug style of richly-flavoured and extremely ageworthy wines which can be kept in the cellar for decades.
Krug’s best known Champagne is the Grande Cuvée. Despite being the house’s most accessible wine, this complex Champagne is crafted from more than 120 different base wines from 10 different vintages. When the final blend has been decided the Champagne then spends at least 6 years maturing in the bottle until it is deemed ready for release.
For those looking for something special, Krug’s most sought-after Champagnes for collectors are the Clos du Mesnil and Clos d'Ambonnay, as well as the Krug vintage which can offer a more accessible entry point. Outstanding recent cuvées include Clos du Mesnil 2002 and 1996 as well as the Clos d'Ambonnay 2002which received a near-perfect score of 99 points from Robert Parker.
Krug Champagnes also perform very well as investment pieces, with Clos d'Ambonnay 1996 achieving 87.3% growth over the past five years. Krug is currently listed on the Liv-ex’s Power 100 and in 2017 the house jumped from 15th place from 58th place in 2016. Champagne has been one of the fastest growing regions for investment performance in recent years, and Krug is definitely one to watch for exceptional future gains.