Champagne Krug Vintage Brut 1998
Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
The 1996 vintage of this wine was ranked #10 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2007
Krug Vintage is a statement – Krug's definitive, one-off interpretation of the character of an outstanding year. The blend contains wines exclusively from that year.
Characterized by the warm glow of yellow gold and the fragrant aroma of flowers in bloom, Krug 1998 is an enchanting champagne of astonishing purity and precision. From its creamy, caressing texture, through its full, finely balanced flavors, to its extraordinarily long finish, it is a study in harmony, delicate, refined, and captivating. Think notes of red berries, stewed fruit, brioche, almond, gingerbread, and citrus.
Wine Spectator - "This harmonious Champagne offers luxurious texture, aromatic accents of spring blossom, crushed thyme and chai, powerful, focused acidity and rich notes of lemon meringue, hazelnut, black currant and fresh porcini mushroom. The full package. Impressive. Drink now through 2028."
Wine & Spirits - "If you are a Krug classicist, this is your wine. There's nothing like it, other than prior great vintages of Krug (and perhaps the 2002, when that breaks away from the cellar). My notes on this wine are extensive, but the one word underlined is Kruggy: It has the power and stodgy brilliance of Krug. The depth of the wine is hard to describe, with ethereal quince and sweet spice providing sunniness to counter the gravitas of the structure. It brought to mind the crostini topped with uni and lardo at Marea in NYC—a dish that would bring out the layers of lime, lemon zest and shellfish broth in this wine. It would also match well with rich Lyonnaise cuisine, a foie gras terrine, duck confit..."
The Wine Advocate - "Krug's 1998 Brut Vintage is an excellent choice for drinking today, as the classic Krug style is rich, alive and totally vivid. Honey, almonds, smoke, graphite and dried apricots are some of the many aromas and flavors found in this rich, enveloping Champagne. A wine of texture and depth, the 1998 impresses for its vinous personality and terrific balance. Lively veins of underlying acidity suggest the 1998 will drink well for many years to follow. This is one of the best bottles of the 1998 I have ever tasted. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2038. "
International Wine Cellar - "Bright gold. Ripe orchard fruits, peach pit, toffee, marzipan and dried flowers on the pungent, smoky nose. Broad and fleshy on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering palate-staining pit fruit nectar, apple pie and brioche flavors, enhanced by a toffeed quality. Closes spicy and very long, with resonating smoke and toasted hazlenut qualities."
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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.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review4.5 }div>4.6 out of 5 stars
- 5 Stars: 4
- 4 Stars: 0
- 3 Stars: 1
- 2 Stars: 0
- 1 Stars: 0
5 ratings, 3 with reviews51/3/2013A classic wine - incredibly complex. What a great Champagne to ring in the New Year.Drew Welter - Arlington, VA312/17/2011ambivalent - Dallas, TX510/23/2011Not positive that this is worth every penny but it's a very fine bubbly for certain and one of the best I've tasted.C-Bass - Shawnee Mission, KS511/19/2011Worth the money if you wait a couple years, and if you have money to spare, buy two cases. This will last for a very long time. Drink this with food, not as aperitif. Liked this better than the 1996 and 1995.Johnnie John - New York, NY57/29/2011
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.
- 5 Stars: