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Peter Shakeshaft KrugIt sounds like a film that should star Audrey Hepburn but in fact refers to the end of vintage lunch at Krug’s legendary Clos de Mesnil vineyard attended recently by one of Decanter’s best writers. In a recent article she paints a wonderful picture of the attention to detail that Krug bring to the process of creating some of the best (and most expensive) and most sought after champagne in the world. Despite being owned by a luxury goods house their vision and patience epitomise how truly magnificent champagne should be made.

For instance they now use 198 different base wines (up from 150 in 2011) from 250 different vineyard plots whilst the chef de cave uses 5,000 tasting notes to suggest 3 potential blends which must be approved unanimously by the tasting committee ! In 2010 they discarded 30,000 litres of blended wine which was deemed to be not of sufficient quality for Krug, and this during the financial crisis. They have only owned Clos de Mesnil since 1971 and only made the first vintage in 1979 but still the precise timing of when to pick is crucial because the blending process starts in the vineyard. Finally a brilliant quote from a former Krug winemaker “Details don’t just count. They are everything”. For full article click below.


Cristal Remains The Jewel In Roederer’s Crown

Peter ShakeshaftWhy is Louis Roederer’s Cristal still in high demand by both drinkers and collectors ? According to a recent article it is because like all great winemakers they realise that their meticulous approach in the vineyard will ultimately pay off in the winery. They have six estates which are all managed differently according to terroir and grape variety. All their vineyards are designated as grand crus and the grapes for Cristal are only picked from the chalkiest mid-slopes as these give extra finesse and minerality. Furthermore these vineyards have vines which are older than 30 years and produce 30% less fruit.

In the winery they use stainless steel fermentation tanks for the riper grapes and oak vats for the leaner fruit. They are also the largest biodynamic vineyard holding in Champagne. This allows them to produce more mature, stronger and richer base wines, essential for eventually making classic vintage Champagne. Finally as a result of this dosage levels have fallen by approximately 25% whilst the same percentage of Cristal is now fermented in oak to give it a more rounded flavour. Louis Roederer have kept evolving to ensure that they remain at the forefront of iconic, vintage Champagne. To read full article click below.