2000 Krug Clos du Mesnil: "Is There a Better Wine in this World?"

Posted by Robert Schagrin

"For me, Krug Clos du Mesnil is the best wine in the world!"

- Richard Juhlin, 4,000 Champagnes

The critical press takes a different tone when addressing Clos du Mesnil. Richard Juhlin, perhaps the most respected Champagne taster in the world, writes about the 88: "I am delighted to the point of hearing angels sing."

Regarding the 90 he declares, "the last sips were like rekindling an old love in a new body."

Poetry aside, there is really only one line to reckon with, also Juhlin's, and it is this: "Is there a better wine in this world than Clos du Mesnil? I doubt it."

This is a Champagne, a wine, without rivals. It's that simple.

Part of the fascination, the allure, the siren call of Clos du Mesnil is the juxtaposition of the Krug style with the specificity of this wine. Krug has built their immense reputation on their skills and affinity for blending, yet the Clos du Mesnil is the antithesis of that philosophy. This is singular Champagne in every way: single-vineyard, single-varietal (blanc de blancs), single-vintage Krug.

The Clos du Mesnil site itself is a 1.84-hectare parcel set in the heart of the elite Côte des Blancs Grand Cru village, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Acquired by Krug in 1971, the site needed some work getting back into shape, but Olivier Krug says that it soon became clear there was something very special about this vineyard, about the way it so purely and eloquently portrayed the very essence of Chardonnay. The decision to bottle wine from here separate from vintage Krug or their Grande Cuvée was a result of its uniquely outstanding character.

Of course, the "very essence of Chardonnay" here also speaks with a Krug accent. The 2000 Clos du Mesnil is finessed and persistent, amazingly concentrated and with a vinosity that's hedonistic and markedly Krug. Lines of smoke and chalk outline the incredibly bright, vibrant green and yellow orchard and citrus fruit - especially crisp green apple, fresh lemon and lime zest and rich lemon curd - whispered over with notes of baking spice and toasted nuts.

You may have guessed that Krug's signature style of soaring power bound with impeccable finesse was a perfect fit here. The 2000 is an incredible Clos du Mesnil.Dazzling is a word that seems to come up often when describing the Clos du Mesnil. Overall, the style of the vintage is of more broad, expansive and rich fruit, yet the best wines in 00 coordinated that generosity within a firm architecture, a tight frame of acidity and a contrasting background of chalky minerality.

Typical predictions on drinking windows tend to be silly underestimates when it comes to Clos du Mesnil, but I'll say that cellaring this for a few cool decades surely wouldn't be a mistake. If you're thinking shorter term, another 6 to 10 months on the cork will develop the aromatics considerably. Expect fireworks.

For the serious collectors, I'd urge you to go as long as you can while this pricing lasts.

Robert Schagrin

Managing Partner
Crush Wine & Spirits