Krug releases Clos du Mesnil 2002

Krug, the LVMH owned luxury Champagne house, has released its 2002 vintage Clos du Mesnil blanc de blancs

Krug offered its Clos du Mesnil 2002 to guests during a special dinner at Clos du Mesnil itself during the Krug World Festival.

The 1.84ha, Chardonnay-planted, Clos du Mesnil vineyard produced 13,278 bottles and 500 magnums of the 2002 vintage.

This month’s launch follows the release in January of Krug 2002, described by Champagne expert Michael Edwards as ‘in another league’.

Also revealed for the first time last week was the Krug Collection 1990. Collection wines are released by the house’s chef de cave, Eric Lebel, when they have ‘entered their second life’ from extended bottle age. Just 1,000 bottles of this fêted vintage are left.

The 2002 Clos du Mesnil (like the 2002 vintage) was released a year after its 2003 counterpart due to its superior ageing potential, the house said.

Krug’s suggested retail price for Clos du Mesnil 2002 is £541 for a 750ml bottle, but with the Clos du Mesnil 2003 already retailing at £600-£960, it’s likely this price will escalate.

Prices have already risen above the estate’s recommendation with some merchants. Millesima in the UK was offering the Clos du Mesnil 2002 for £700 per 75cl bottle. In the US, it was being offered by Sotheby’s in New York for $945 excluding sales tax, and by K&L Wine Merchants in California for $899.

Lebel said 2002 was one of the best Champagne vintages since 1990 and 1996, and the best in its decade. ‘It was a year of serenity, when everyone had a smile on their face,’ he said.

His tasting note describes it as being ‘precise, pure and fresh with tension and vivacity, with aromas and flavours including citrus fruits, white pepper, toasted nuts and liquorice’.

Guests at the Krug World Festival were also the first to discover the blend of the 171st edition of Grande Cuvée. Based on fruit from 2015, it will be released in 2022 after seven years on its lees.

The backbone is 45% Pinot Noir, bolstered by 36% Chardonnay and 18% Pinot Meunier. It has 58% of 2015 fruit with the remaining 42% from 131 reserve wines from 12 different years, the oldest being 2000.

Krug released the fourth edition of Clos d’Ambonnay, this time from the 2000 vintage, in July 2015. Just 5,158 bottles were made and priced – if you can find them – at £1,200-£2,000 a bottle.

Krug was founded by Joseph Krug in 1843. It remained a family business until 1999 when it was bought by luxury goods company LVMH, which also owns Champagne houses Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot. Olivier Krug, son on Henri Krug, became director of the house in 2009.