Krug 2002 comes from a vintage where 'everything went right' and will likely be consistently good for the next three decades, says Champagne expert and author Michael Edwards after a first taste.
Our lucky party invited to a sneak preview trekked through the drizzle to Studio One in the Hackney Road, East London. As we gathered, chef de caves Eric Lebel told me of Krug’s intricate parcel-by-parcel approach, as strong now as for Joseph Krug in 1843.
Last autumn, as an illustration, the team made 26 wines of Villers-Marmery their favourite Montagne Chardonnay and 30 of Ambonnay Pinot Noir as a first pre-selection for a dream 2015 harvest- echoes of 2002.
Yet of equal fascination was Eric’s account of problematic 2003 in the Saharan heat of the earliest August harvest since 1822, when grapes burnt on the vine.
Ever observant. Eric noticed there was a surprising freshness in 2003 Meunier,so he held his nerve and delayed harvesting till October proving that Cinderella M (25% of the blend)was the saviour of the day at Krug, the vintage now drinking well with a miraculous delicacy and softness.
The Krug 2002 is in another league. Everything went right in a perfect season – warm, with gentle rain at the right moments to bring freshness and finesse to the inherent density without heaviness that resulted in perfect ripeness under a continental sun – Nature’s bounty.
It is the sort of very great Champagne that will likely taste good with no ups and downs for a further decade or three.
A release price for the Krug 2002 has not yet been confirmed.