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Krug Vintage Brut 1988

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
  • WS98
  • W&S96
  • RP95
0% ABV
  • WS95
  • JS95
  • W&S92
  • WE100
  • W&S100
  • JS100
  • JS98
  • WS97
  • W&S97
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Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 98
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.
W&S 96
Wine & Spirits
RP 95
Robert Parker's 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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Krug
Krug, , France - Other regions
Krug
Since 1843, six generations of the Krug Family have been creating the finest and rarest Champagnes. Behind every precious drop of Krug stands the dream of a visionary. One man who, long before others, understood that the essence of Champagne is pleasure. So, over 170 years ago, Joseph Krug broke with convention to follow his vision: to create the most generous expression of Champagne every year, regardless of climatic unpredictability. Thanks to an uncompromising craftsmanship, a unique individual plot by plot approach from harvesting to blending, an unparalleled library of 150 reserve wines, and an exceptional cellar aging, Krug is the benchmark when it comes to the best champagnes in the world.

Krug Grande Cuvée is the flagship of the House and the archetype of Krug’s philosophy of craftsmanship and savoir-faire: a blend of more than 120 wines from ten or more different years. Its exceptional finesse is the result of a stay of at least another six years in the cellars. Over twenty years are needed to craft each bottle of Krug Grande Cuvee.

Every year since the foundation of the House in 1843, one creation, one blend, one bottling and thus one new Edition of Krug Grande Cuvée has come to life. The number of the Edition is now featured on the front label, and this year we celebrate the 164th Edition.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

LSB54094_1988 Item# 54094

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