In focus, by Richard Sagala
KRUG 2000 –Gourmandise orageuse – Stormy indulgence
This how the producer calls this wine: “Gourmandise orageuse – Stormy indulgence”
Does “stormy indulgence” sounds a bit over the top to you?
Well, I should add that “Gourmandise orageuse” in French sounds even worse to me… so lets leave it there please.
No worry, this didn’t coloured my appreciation of the wine though… (I discovered it after having written my tasting note).
What attracted me to this wine initially was to see how a first class producer dealt with the challenging growing conditions of the year 2000 in Champagne.
To give you an idea, here is an excerpt of the story of this wine taken from the Krug website:
” This bottle left the Krug cellars to receive its cork in autumn 2011. This is the last step after over 11 years of ageing in the cellars gaining finesse and elegance.
Krug 2000 was created and crafted to be different, to be the full expression of the year 2000. A year with character, a year with a special story to tell in a way that Krug alone can relate. Krug 2000 is the story of this year as seen by Krug; there are as many stories as there are Krug Vintages.
Krug decided to create a vintage for this last year of the millennium and named it gourmandise orageuse – stormy indulgence, to relate the infinite indulgence provided by this unusual and climatically chaotic year. The creation of the expression of the year 2000 according to Eric Lebel, Krug’s chef de caves.
The relatively mild winter with alternate dry and rainy periods was marked by a violent tornado, which struck in early winter, on 26 December 1999. A hail-free but rather rainy spring led to later budding than usual, but with sustained growth. Full bloom took place during the first fortnight of June 2000, and mildew appeared early that year.
On 2nd July a hailstorm of almost unprecedented violence and extent fell on nearly 4,000 hectares, representing some 13% of the appellation’s total area. The hailstones, some the size of a pigeon’s egg, partially or totally destroyed the Pinot Noir grape crops north of the Montagne de Reims. A milder summer ensued, but still with some storms, thus leading to the feeling and hope that there would be a good harvest… The final arrangement chosen for this assemblage offers a fine balance between the Pinot Noir (42%) and Chardonnay grapes (43%), with 15% of Meunier providing the final touch“. (more on the Krug website: link)
If you read between the lines, Krug were challenged by what happened that hot summer and had to summon all their skills to reach their quality standards. Because they didn’t use any “vins de réserve” (all the grapes came from the year 2000) they worked on provenance of the grapes and a judicious blend.
Their weapon of choice in the end was to let it age eleven years before putting the cork on it
How does it taste?
Pastry shop aromas of biscuits (speculoos style), apple and hazelnut on a lemon curd base aromas and flavour are coming to the fore. What strikes most though is the mid-palate weight and plenitude of this champagne followed by a never ending finish that lingers and lingers some more. Imposing; one has to show respect.
Am I thinking of this wine as being an elegant Krug?
No, especially if you compare it with the Krug Grande Cuvée which consistently delivers it in spades.
So, do I recommend to cellar a few bottles?
Yes, if you want a champagne with heft and vinosity, a well grounded wine that sings with a deep tone of voice and that you may savour with food (or a cigar) this is your man.
Looking at the Krug wine pairings suggestions on their web page I see that they have sized it up well:
“Caramelised scallops with pineapple, spicy sauces, rich gravies, squab, confit of vegetables or citrus fruits, sweet-and-sour sauces and even spices”.
Caramelised..spicy…rich gravies… sweet and sour sauces.
I rest my case.
In Vino Veritas!
Krug technical sheet: here