The Most Sacred Ground In Champagne

Everyday I say a prayer before I sleep: “God, pls keep the Grand Cru vineyards of France 🇫🇷 safe from any destruction.”

There is a slope in the Champagne district of France that is the holy grail of the prized cuvee that is famous the world over

Spanning 12 miles of chalk rich soils, the most magnificent Chardonnay grapes are grown in the Côte de Blancs and these are used to make Champagnes that contain only white grapes

Its all about the terroir: The chalk soil of the Côte de Blancs was once ancient seabed, and now it contains millions of small, fossilized creatures. The minerality and saltiness it imparts on Chardonnay translates into crisp, tight, well-balanced Champagnes with a pure and elegant aromatic intensity

There are 13 villages in the 12-mile stretch of the prestigious Côte des Blancs. Six of these are Grand Cru villages, which means, in theory, that they are the best winegrowing areas and command top prices for the grapes grown there

The village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger has the most balanced Champagnes. Elegant and firm when young, they can mature for decades. The village is home to the two greatest Blanc de Blancs Champagnes: Krug’s Clos du Mesnil, made from a walled vineyard right in the village, and Salon, which is only produced in great vintages

Krug’s 2002 Clos Du Mesnil Blanc de Blanc is a tight citrus 🍊 colored champagne that is packed with minerals. It has a ethereal bouquet of citrus 🍊 aromas interrwined with notes of brioche and chalk. This champagne will improve with age and I advise every champagne drinker to have at least one case in their cellar as this is truly liquid gold and can be cellared till 2030. Imagine the price per bottle by then! Truly a remarkable alternative investment

While the House of Krug is today owned by LVMH, the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, the Krug family is still actively involved in all the key decisions of the house but does not manage the day-to-day operations

The winemaking process at Krug begins with the individual selection of each plot of vines and continues with the initial vinification of the grapes from each plot in wooden casks, which – unlike tanks – are small enough to give the House the flexibility to hold a single plot’s wine and therefore avoid pre-mature blending. In the event that a plot’s wine is not up to the required level, it will leave the house as a bulk, never again to be labelled a Krug base wine

The pressing from each plot is vinified separately. A pressing contains 4,000 kilos and yields 20.5 hectolitres of first juice (the “cuvée”), which is poured into twelve oak casks chosen at random

Krug uses small 205-litre oak casks tailor-made from trees that are more than two centuries old in the forests of Hautes Futaies in Central France. Krug never use these casks immediately; during the first two or three years, they receive only second and third grape juices, with the goal of “tanning” the casks through the fermentation process, ridding them naturally of their woody aromas, making them well-seasoned and organoleptically inert. The average age of Krug oak casks is 20 years. They are retired after approximately 40 years of use

All Krug Champagnes are bottled during a single session, thirty weeks after the harvest. Once bottled, they are kept in the House’s cellars in Reims. Krug’s Clos du Mesnil is kept for at least ten years

Clos du Mesnil is only 1.84 hectares in size and to me, it is the holy grail of champagne. Only chardonnay grapes are planted here for the precious cuvee while Krug’s other walled vineyard makes a champagne purely from pinot noir and is known as Clos d’Ambonnay. Less than 3,500 bottles were produced in 2002 and the champagne was released last year in April

The House of Krug is known for its blending techniques and Krug’s single vineyard champagnes are icons for the terroiriste movement

The current price for Krug’s 2002 Clos du Mesnil is at $2,000 US Dollars, as of Oct 2019 while the Clos d’Ambonnay is offerd at $2,800 US Dollars. To me, its a very small price to pay for a taste of heaven

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