"When Krug is firing on all cylinders, there really is no substitute." -Antonio Galloni
Krug needs no introduction. It's without a doubt one of the greatest Champagne houses. If I were to list the best Champagnes I've tasted, Krug would dominate the list.
It's impossible not to begin with the small parcel of 1990 that's in pristine condition. 1990 is the youngest of the great triumvirate of vintages - 88, 89 and 90. The 1990 is simply an epic wine boasting the deep complexity of toasty, brioche notes backed by the powerful rush of citrus and acid that makes Krug so captivating. Finding old Krug is very difficult these days. I'm very excited to have scored this parcel.
The 1989 Collection is the "middle child" of the vaunted trilogy, but there is no "middle child syndrome" to speak of here, no sense of this being an outsider or wanting for attention. This bottle stands tall and proud, warranting due praise for its incredible balance, generosity and intense expressiveness. Galloni nails it when he writes: "The 1989 Brut Collection is all of the things a gorgeous, mature Champagne should be. Autumn leaves, tobacco, mint, licorice, dried pears and sweet, exotic spices all waft from the glass in this totally complete, layered wine." This comes direct from Krug's cellars - there's no better way to experience mature Krug.
To be honest, the 1998 vintage is easy to overlook in favor of more hyped vintages, but this is a vintage where Krug's mastery steps up front and center. 98 was a difficult year in Champagne with flashes of heat and then periods of rain. With this said, 98 is a beautiful example of vintage Krug. 1998 Krug will likely be remembered as the wine of the vintage. When you taste Krug next to other 98s, the distance between it and its peers is brutally clear. It possesses a lovely energy that nicely complements the rich, smoky, mineral-tinged texture. It's the most accessible and delicious young Krug I've tasted.
This is just a great trio of Champagnes. There's little more left to be said. If you're looking for examples of how profound, how sophisticated Champagne can be, there's no reason to look any further.
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Crush Wine & Spirits
Krug: 1989 Collection, 1990 & 1998
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Antonio Galloni: "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"
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Antonio Galloni: "The 1989 Brut Collection is all of the things a gorgeous, mature Champagne should be. Autumn leaves, tobacco, mint, licorice, dried pears and sweet, exotic spices all waft from the glass in this totally complete, layered wine. The 1989 is a big, huge wine, rather it is a Champagne that impresses with exceptional overall balance and total finesse. I have had the 1989 Collection several times, but this is by far the finest bottle I have run across. When Krug is firing on all cylinders, there really is no substitute."