Olivier Krug: ‘2004 is a vintage with outstanding potential’

Olivier Krug described the Krug 2004 as a vintage with outstanding potential at its launch in London this morning.

Krug 2004 is a blend of 39% Chardonnay, 37% Pinot Noir and 24% Meunier. Unusually for Krug vintages, it contains more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir

Addressing press in east London today, where he presented the 2004 vintage of Krug, Olivier expressed his confidence that this latest expression from the brand would have a long life.

“2004 has so much potential, we disgorged it three years ago, but it has only been since January that it has been revealing itself, it has outstanding potential,” he said.

In fact, Olivier said that Krug 2004 had been disgorged as long ago as spring 2014, because the house had thought it may release the vintage expression before Krug 2002, which was launched in February last year.

However, the 2004 has taken longer than the house initially thought to open up and express its appealing aromas, which range from “ginger, candied citrus and quince”, according to the house.

Indeed, Olivier said today that the “2002 is more in your face, you could see the muscles from the beginning, and you know that it will expand.”

In contrast, he said that the 2004’s evolution would follow “a direct line for the next 30 years.”

Continuing, he described the latest release as “so Krug, it has so much the elegance of Krug, and it reminds me a bit of the 1998.

“There are lots of similarities between the two vintages, both were big crops and both were dominated by Chardonnay – although there was only a little bit more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir, which is unusual at Krug.”

He then added, “But 1998 was more on the side of 2002, it has this power, while 2004 was more on the elegant side of Chardonnay, which our oenologist Julie Cavil calls ‘luminous freshness’, and this is the nickname we have given this vintage.”

In terms of weather conditions, Olivier described 2004 as “good news after 2003” – a vintage with extremely low yields due to a “huge frost” in mid-April, which wiped out 30-40% of the potential harvest for that year, and up to 90% in some villages, such as Avize.

However, due to “beautiful conditions” during the rest of 2003, the vines were able to produce plenty of buds for the following year, meaning that the potential harvest in 2004 would be large, and, due to a good – if late – flowering in 2004, this potential was realised.

Further benefitting 2004, which, due to a late flowering would see ripening delayed, was “beautiful weather” in September, with plenty of sun, but, because this wasn’t allied to the heat of August, the berries retained a high level of acidity in this “generous” crop.

The 2004 release completes a trilogy of vintages from Krug, and Olivier told the drinks business that there would definitely be no 2005 from the house.

The last trilogy from Krug was made up of the 1988, ’89, and ’90 harvests.

With the Krug 2004, the house has also released a limited edition six-bottle case comprising three bottles of Krug 2004, and three bottles of Krug Grande Cuvée 160ème Édition, which has been created around the harvest of 2004.

Krug 2004 will be available commercially from 7 September, with an recommended retail price in the UK of £220 to £250 from all major fine wine retailers, while the limited edition Les Créations de 2004 wooden case collection will be available with an RRP around £900.00.

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