Choosing any one wine, out of a year's worth of incredible experiences, is a daunting task.
Though in a way, this year is a bit easier for me. I've been a passionate drinker/collector of Champagne since I first began my adventure into wine over 17 years ago. 2007 is unquestionably the year Champagne came of age, both at the retail level and at auction. Collector/investor interest in top cuvees is at an all time high - Champagne has now joined the ranks of Bordeaux and Burgundy as one of the most sought-after and collectible wines in the world, with Krug and Dom Perignon leading the way.
With this in mind, my wine of the year came into sight as the obvious victor. This is a wine that takes tremendous amounts of time, care, labor and materials to produce - yet year in and year out it is consistent and complex. The 2007 Krug Grande Cuvee is the Crush Wine of the Year!
Yet still I struggled with choosing a Wine of the Year north of $100 dollars, because not everyone wants to invest in a triple-digit bottle of wine. The tipping point for me was when I realized that Krug's Grande Cuvee is one of the few luxury cuvées available in half-bottles, making our Wine of the Year available for everyone to try.
This is a wine I have enjoyed on so many occasions throughout 2007 and each and every time it has consistently proven itself to be on another plateau. Only Dom Perignon seems to titillate my senses the way Krug can - see my complete tasting note below.
Krug will be the first to admit that the Grande Cuvee is not only the wine they are most proud of, it's also the most difficult wine they make - an incredible fact when you consider the estate produces bottles priced over $3,000 on release. (See April 2008 release of the blanc de noirs 1995 Clos d'Ambonnay.)
At Crush, we speak constantly of the importance of terroir - today I'd also like to talk about the art of blending.
Dig this: The Grande Cuvee is composed of up to 90 different wines, from 7 to 10 different vintages which are between 6 and 20 years of age. (Got all that?) Incredibly, the base wine for the 2013 release of Grande Cuvee will be the 1990 vintage Krug! Talk about planning!
The final result is an almost inconceivable tapestry of wines woven together to form year in and year out a seamless wine with a unique and mesmerizing signature. Only the great Hermitages of Jean-Louis Chave come to mind as wine that undergoes such a complicated and masterful blending process.
The Grande Cuvee is the ultimate expression of Krug; the wine the Maison considers their "Sun," around which all other satellite bottlings orbit.
Considering the time, care, labor and materials that go into each and every bottle of Grande Cuvee, I believe it represents one of the greatest wine values in the world.
Perhaps this extreme attention to detail has come to be expected from Krug - after all, Krug is the one estate in Champagne that ONLY produces prestige cuvees. Though the house is inexorably associated with luxury, there is also a craftsmanship and artistry at Krug that is acknowledged even by the most discerning of connoisseurs.
What makes this offering very special for me, is that this is the first time we're able to offer a Wine of the Year in four formats, priced so that nearly everyone can experience the magic of Krug at least once - from the "Ultimate" four-glass pour Krug Grande Cuvee half-bottle to the cellar-trophy Jeroboam (very limited).
Please click below or call the store at (212) 980-9463 to secure your bottles as soon as possible.