Champagne Krug Vintage Brut 1988
Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
Established in 1843, Krug has specialized solely in prestige and exceptional champagne. Dedication to quality takes precedence over quantity of production. Krug is the only Champagne House still fermenting all of its champagnes the age-old way, in small oak casks.
Krug releases vintage wines in only truly great years. The release of Krug 1988 marks the first time in Krug's 158-year history that its vintage chronology has been reversed. The Krug family decided to present the tender, warm and mature 1989 vintage first, and hold its 1988 vintage in Krug's cellars to realize its full potential.
Today, after more than a decade of bottle aging, Krug 1988 explodes on the palate with tremendous depth and complexity. The first impression is intense, yet it develops in the glass with delicacy, revealing lightly spiced notes of dried figs and ripe quince. Underlined by a superb structure, this wine maintains a remarkable freshness for its long aging.
Wine Spectator - "A superb Champagne and still youthful. Honey, ginger, lemon confit, coffee and mineral aromas and flavors come to mind, all kept focused by a firm, tightly wound structure. The finish is where its pedigree shines through, lingering like warm gingerbread and coffee. Drink now through 2015. 5,000 cases made."
International Wine Cellar - "Ineffable yeast autolysis aromas (biscuit, meal, nuts) virtually resist characterization; reminded me of a great Chevalier-Montrachet. A wine of extraordinary depth of flavor, vinosity and class, thanks to penetrating but perfectly harmonious, lipsmacking acidity. Quite dry but with wonderfully ripe fruit. Very firm and youthful on the finish, but already displays explosive flavor. A great vintage for Krug. 96(+?)"
The Wine Advocate - "Opulent hazelnut, brioche and apple strudel aromas on the nose with a faint whiff of chalk dust. The palate is restrained and notably taut for Krug with high acidity and tightly wound roasted nut, stone fruit and toasted croissant flavours. Fine, frisky bubbles and a long praline finish. Drink now – 2020. Tasted January 2009."
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Champagne Krug Winery
Since 1843, with unique single-mindedness and sense of purpose, the Krug family has proudly cultivated the markedly individual character of their exceptional champagne. Theirs is a living legend, a certain idea of excellence that has been quietly redefined through six generations without a break.
Krug's founder, Johann-Joseph Krug, was a maverick who turned his back on a comfortable position in an established champagne house to strike out on his own. He had not only the vision, but also the talent, to achieve his ambition of creating a champagne with a taste quite unlike any other.
Subsequent generations of the Krug family not merely honored his achievement, but amplified it, bringing genuine pride and passion to their craft. From meticulous grape selection, through the birth of the wine in small oak casks, to the intricate process of "assemblage", followed by long years of aging in the cellars, Krug champagne is the culmination of painstaking care and unrivalled craftsmanship. View all Champagne Krug Wines
About ChampagneView a map of Champagne wineries Champagne is both a region and a method. The wines come from the northernmost vineyards in France and the name conjures an image like no other can. An 18th Century Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon is said to be the first to blend both varietals and vintages, making good wines not only great, but also special and unique to their winemaker. Today, nearly 75% of Champagne produced is non-vintage and made up by a blend of several years' harvests.
All Champagnes must be made by a strictly controlled process called "Méthode Champenoise." The grapes are pressed and fermented for the first time. The blending phase follows and the wine is bottled and temporarily capped. Then comes the second fermentation, a blend of sugar and yeast is added and, this time, the carbon dioxide is kept inside the bottle. This process leaves a great deal of sediment that is extracted through a process of "racking" or "riddling." The bottles are progressively turned upside down until all the sediment is collected in the neck. The necks are then frozen and the sediment is "disgorged." After this phase, the winemaker may decide to add sugar to sweeten the wine. Finally the wine is corked. Some wines move through this process in a couple of months, while others are aged after the riddling phase to build greater complexity and depth.
Champagnes range from dry, "Brut," to slightly sweet, "Demi-Sec." Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used in Champagne blends, but "Blancs de Noirs" is made entirely of Pinot Noir and "Blancs de Blanc" is made from only Chardonnay grapes. The high acidity achieved by the northern location is crucial to the balance and structure of these wines.
Not every year is a "vintage" declared. In years when it is not, the wines are blended with the produce from other years to create the non-vintage blend, the house style that remains constant from year to year. But in a great vintage year, champagne houses will bottle by itself the unblended year's produce, and use other portions as "reserve" wines to supplement and enrich the non-vintage blend. A vintage champagne can age quite gracefully, and gain complexity just like any other great still wine.
Mild cheeses like gruyere and shellfish pair nicely with Champagne. Also, oysters and Champagne is a popular combination. A full-flavored vintage Champagne can go with almost any meal.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.