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Krug "Grande Cuvée" 168 ème Édition Brut Champagne

SKU #1453980 96 points Decanter

Outer quote mark 52% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, 13% Pinot Meunier. A gentle gold with discreet yet persistent mousse and aromatics of spring meadows, lemon sherbet and barley sugar; the wine is pure and softly powerful, youthful energy finely poised, somewhat cautious after so many years in the chalky cellars. The reserve wines, Pinot Noir from Verzenay and Chardonnay from Avize especially, are subtle in support, vivacious despite their relative maturity, contributing to an ensemble which is hitherto dominated by red fruit, courtesy of the superb Pinot Noir, and a colourful tension. Behind that there are whispers of honey, quince and posset… and with so much more to come; but the finish, happily in these days of privation, takes one to wherever one may wish to go. Drinking Window 2020 - 2037 (SF) Inner quote mark (5/2020)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Krug's NV Grande Cuvée 168ème Édition is a classic in the making, wafting from the glass with aromas of dried fruits, pear, toasted nuts, orange zest, honeycomb and freshly baked bread. Medium to full-bodied, generous but incisive, it's deep and elegantly fleshy, with a beautifully refined mousse and an enveloping core of fruit that's complemented by the characteristic Krug patina of nutty complexity imparted by barrel fermentation. Even if this is more open out of the gates than the 2011-based 167ème edition, the 168ème edition is also the more concentrated and intense of the two. It's based on the 2012 harvest, complemented by fully 42% reserve wines—a blend of 198 wines from 11 different vintages dating back to 1996. (WK) Inner quote mark (5/2020)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark In line with the producer’s practice of numbering each bottling of its flagship Grande Cuvée, this is the latest release. Following the house style, there is some marvelously impressive Pinot Noir in this rich, full blend. That gives the Champagne its luxurious feel, contrasting with the tension from the dryness and minerality. This bottling, which shows maturity, is ready to drink. (RV) Inner quote mark (12/2020)

95 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark A seamless Champagne, effortlessly integrating a powerful spine of racy acidity with the detailed range of crème de cassis, raw almond, toasted saffron and candied ginger flavors. This is fine and silky in texture, with a tang of salty mineral and rich hints of coffee, toasted brioche and mandarin orange peel expanding on the finish. (AN) Inner quote mark (9/2020)

93 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Krug’s NV Grande Cuvée 168éme Édition is based on the 2012 vintage. Apricot, chamomile, lemon confit, hazelnut and lightly honeyed notes resonate in a super-expressive, inviting Grande Cuvée that will drink well right out of the gate. The natural radiance of the year comes through beautifully. This release is a blend of 52% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 13% Meunier across a staggering 198 different wines from eleven vintages going back to 1996. Already quite expressive, the 168éme shows plenty of the signature Krug toasty notes in a style that offers tons of immediacy. Some recent releases have been more inward at this stage, but the 168éme is ready to go. Disgorged winter 2018/2019. Krug ID: 119001. (AG) Inner quote mark (8/2020)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Notably intense aroma with crème pâtissière dominant. Masses of extract and remarkable acidity underpinned by great depth of flavour and beautiful balance on the finish. I think this is going to be a really great, glamorous Grande Cuvée that will continue to develop in bottle for many years to come. I suspect it will be even more enjoyable from the end of 2020. The length on the palate is remarkable. This is magnificently precise, a great tribute to the work of the old cellarmaster Eric Lebel, who is still in the background, and a wonderful welcome to his successor Julie Cavil, who has been learning from him since 2006. (JR) 19/20 Inner quote mark (5/2020)

K&L Notes

William Kelly in Wine Advocate: "As readers will know, the concept behind Grande Cuvée is to draw on the maison's unrivaled library of reserve wines to complement the base yielded by each successive vintage, supplementing any deficiencies and tempering any excesses. Each 'Édition' of Grande Cuvée typically contains considerably more than 100 different wines and is the result of six months of intensive tasting by the Krug team. The aim, as Cellar Master Eric Lebel describes it, is not to produce the same wine each year, but to produce the best possible wine each year, so every rendition of Grande Cuvée is different—differences that are now highlighted by Krug's laudable decision to enumerate each successive release. A lengthier visit shortly after this issue goes to press will delve deeper into the secrets of the maison that many—the present writer included—would denominate as Champagne's greatest house, but for now, all the wines reviewed here evidently come warmly recommended, and they are striking testimony to Krug's remarkable consistency." (4/2019)


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Product Reviews:

By: Jennifer Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/18/2020 | Send Email
Made from 190 discreet base reserve wines, this amazing Krug is set at 12.5% alcohol and tastes very similar to the 2012 Bolinger. In fact, when you first pop open this bottle, you can tell it's quality just from the fragrance that pours out of this beautiful champagne. Quality, integrity and perseverance paid off to produce this creamy, luscious and elegant champagne that is hard to come by. Definitely worth the wait and you won't be disappointed!

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/18/2020 | Send Email
Krug pulls out all the stops for their Grande Cuvee editions and the 168 is no exception. The base wine is from the 2012 vintage, but there's older reserve wines included going back to the mid 1990s. The results are delicious and complex with a nose of apple skins, spice, fruit pie, and a toasty nuttiness. There's so much texture and softness to this Champagne! The palate possesses lovely richness combining fresh green apple and grapefruit with buttermilk, warm honey on bread, and buttered toast.

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/18/2020 | Send Email
There are not too many bottles of wine over $150 that I would describe as particularly good values. This is definitely one of them. It is made from multiple vintages spanning back to 1996, with 2012 being the base wine. It is then aged on the lees for 8 to 9 years. I would pay the money for the aromas alone, but the texture on the palate, the intermingling of age and freshness and the utter complexity of flavors make this one of the most memorable drinks I’ve tasted recently.

By: Aaron Hughes | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/16/2020 | Send Email
I recently had the good fortune to taste both the 168 and the 167 back to back and I have to say that I finally understand the hype. Krug has been spoken about in hushed and reverent tones for years and I've never had the opportunity to avail myself, and gosh I really have been missing out, haven't I? This highlights the blending art of the winemaker, with the goal being to create consistency and greatness every year from the tools that are given to them. The 168 is based on the highly lauded 2012 vintage and comes out of the gate swinging with a deep and intense nose with pretty floral edges. The palate is amazingly clean with a soft and voluptuous mousse-y mouthfeel and that mineral finish that we have come to crave from Champagne. Buy this and share it with someone you love.

By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/14/2020 | Send Email
Absolutely fire. One of the most immediately gratifying bottles of wine we've had the pleasure of tasting here recently, the 168 takes richness to its logical end, with vanilla, toasted almond and toffee meeting the peach and cherry fruit notes perfectly in the middle of the cream dominated palate. The depth of the reserve wine shows itself in the finish that never quite ends and the quality of the base 2012 vintage is as clear as ever in the rounded, perfectly integrated lines. Iconic in any edition, perfect in this one.

By: Muriel Sarik | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/13/2020 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full
I believe Krug is the King of champagne! The Maison is meticulous and patient in making each bottling. We had a recent tasting of this wine and I think time in the bottle has made it richer and more delightful. This cuvée or blend is based on 2012, with adding enough reserve wines, going back to 1996 to make it superb. It's like adding spices or herbs to enhance a dish. AND they can age even longer!

By: Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/12/2020 | Send Email
Krug slays once again with the 168 edition of the Grande Cuvee. But what really stands out about this blend in particular is it's a blend of vintages over a period of 11 years, and one of the dominant ones is the miracle vintage itself 2012. It's crazy to think just how much history comes along in a bottle of Krug's Grande Cuvee, and it's always a great expression of why champagne is always king of the sparkling! I'm definitely going to need a bottle of this for the next big special occasion in my life.

By: Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/12/2020 | Send Email
As with all Krug I have tasted, this 168 release did not disappoint. This wine is based on 2012, with 10 vintages of reserve wine going back to the mid 90's. It's brilliantly blended with over half Pinot Noir, a third Chardonnay and a bit of Pinot Meunier. It has a full mid-palate with nuttiness, citrus and lees, then finishes dry with tons of minerality. This is Champagne that will age beautifully in your cellar, or drink now for any special occasion!

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/7/2020 | Send Email
I loved this wine from the moment I stuck my nose in the glass, and I find it the most extroverted release since the 165 Ème Édition. Cinnamon and I had it with two starters- jamon Iberico and pistachio paté. The way that the subtle white flower aromas are intertwined with warm baguette toast reminds me of the best wines of Avize. In the mouth, it is clean and bright at first blush, but layers of complexity lie just underneath with spicy, savory red cherry Pinot Noir character. With the pistachio paté, it also showed hints of tropical exoticism from the Meunier, while the Jamon brought out the firmer savoriness of the Pinot Noir. This is a wine that has a tremendous amount of hidden power, with only the finish showing obvious concentration at this point. The finish has everything I want in Krug: immense chalky drive and a review of the savory mid-palate that becomes almost Burgundian at the end.
Drink from 2020 to 2045

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