Krug 2002 is ‘like a purebred stallion’

Champagne house Krug launched its 2002 vintage in London last night, with cellar master Eric Lebel dubbing it “a purebred stallion” that needed to be reined in due to its “assertive” and “muscular” nature.

Krug 2002 will go on sale on 1 February

Crafted from 40% Pinot Noir, 39% Chardonnay and 21% Meunier, Olivier Krug was equally enthusiastic about the fizz, calling it “an ode to nature” due to its “abundance of pure fruit” and “audacious elegance”.

Unlike the unusually hot 2003 vintage, weather conditions were a winemaker’s dream in 2002, as Lebel explained to journalists at the London launch last night held at an artist’s studio in Shoreditch.

“It was a magnificent year and delivered everything you’d want in terms of sun and heat. There were no problems with hail or frost; the circumstances were close to perfect,” he said.

Eric

Cellar master Eric Lebel describes Krug 2002 as “a purebred stallion”

“When making the blend, each individual wine seemed as if it was a blend as the vins clairs were so generous and expressive – the wines had everything, from exotic fruit and citrus fruit to candied fruit, liquorice and honey – everything was in abundance.

“The wines were round, rich, robust and in perfect condition, dominated by fruit. Succeeding with the 2002 vintage was a question of balance and trying to keep all the different elements under control,” he added.

In terms of its ageing potential Lebel believes the wine’s “freshness, dynamism and energy” will see it live on “for a long time”. Last year Krug made the decision to release the 2003 vintage ahead of 2002.

“When we saw that the 2003 had reached maturity more quickly than 2002, it was an easy decision to present it sooner,” Lebel said.

“Making the 2003 vintage was more challenging than 2002. I enjoyed the task on an intellectual level but lost a few hairs in the process. The 2002 vintage was much easier and more of a ‘hello, I’m here’ kind of wine, while I had to dig deep with 2003,” he added.

Krug 2002 goes on sale on 1 February at merchants including Berry Bros & Rudd, Bordeaux Index, Corney & Barrow, Farr Vintners; Fine+Rare and Goedhuis. A recommended retail price for the fizz has yet to be decided.

The Champagne will also be served by the glass at Claridge’s. Among the food pairings suggested for Krug 2002 are sole meunière; duck breast with roasted butternut squash; and citrus-based desserts.

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