On the day that the Northern Hemisphere celebrates May Day, Krug introduces a very special Champagne, the Clos du Mesnil 2002
For our international readers who are not familiar with May Day, it is a national holiday and an annual celebration for the people of Great Britain. Much of the celebrations in Britain stem from Anglo-Saxon times and involve merriment and socialising coupled with traditional Morris Dancing, the crowning of a May Queen and the celebration of Spring.
Whether by design or coincidence, this is a great day for the introduction of Krug’s Clos du Mesnil 2002, a champagne that reflects the individuality, purity and intensity of a single walled plot of vines, a single grape variety, Chardonnay, and a single year.
“2002 was a very special year,” says Krug Cellar Master, Eric Lebel. “It was clement and generous, consistently warm, relatively dry, granting ideal conditions for grape maturation.
Both the generosity of the yields and the climate allowed for the maturation of beautiful grapes. Harvesting began on September 15th and ended on the 17th and as the grapes arrived at the press, they were in excellent condition. Clos du Mesnil gave birth to fruity, energetic, delicate and well-balanced wines.”
The legendary vineyard of Krug’s Clos du Mesnil, protected by walls since 1698, is located in the very heart of Mesnil-sur-Oger, one of the most renowned villages for Chardonnay in the Champagne region. Its privileged location and small size of merely 1.84 hectares (4.25 acres) makes the Clos a rare gem, producing only 13,278 bottles (75cl) and 500 magnums (1.5l).
The south-east facing plot of vines was acquired by Remi and Henri Krug, 5th generation of the Krug family, in 1971 and was initially intended to ensure a regular supply of Chardonnay wines to enrich the blend of Krug Grande Cuvée. However, the savoir-faire of the House of Krug revealed more. Year after year, as the wines were tasted, they were consistently excellent with unique character. In 1979, the Krug brothers decided to make a Champagne dedicated only to the Clos – flying in the face of conventions of the time, which concentrated on blend and assemblage.
In the words of Olivier Krug, “Krug’s Clos du Mesnil is the continuation of Joseph Krug’s nonconformist spirit. It illustrates the House’s obsessive attention to detail as the in-depth knowledge of each plot as an individual wine allows for the undisputed quality envisioned by the founder.”
The House of Krug was founded in Reims in 1843 by Joseph Krug, a visionary non-conformist with an uncompromising philosophy. Having understood that the true essence of Champagne is pleasure itself, his dream was to offer the very best Champagne every single year, regardless of annual variations in climate. Paying close attention to the vineyard’s character, respecting the individuality of each plot and its wine, as well as building an extensive library of reserve wines from many different years allowed Joseph Krug to fulfil his dream. With an entirely original approach to Champagne making, he decided to go beyond the notion of vintage to create the fullest expression of Champagne every year. He founded a House in which all Champagnes are of the same level of distinction, each illustrating a particular expression of nature. Six generations of the Krug family have perpetuated this dream, enriching the founder’s vision and savoir-faire.
Eric Lebel’s Tasting Notes
“Luminous golden colour of ripe wheat. On the nose, aromas of citrus fruits, white pepper and spices, lightly toasted nuts and brioche. On the palate, Clos du Mesnil 2002 is precise, pure and fresh with tension, vivacity and great balance. Notes of peach, orange, citrus fruit and liquorice are all enhanced by a very long finish.”
“The unique location of Clos du Mesnil and harvesting at just the right moment has resulted in great aromatic expression and richness combined with freshness, length, precision and the finesse that is so characteristic of this Krug Cuvée.”
Revealing the secrets of your bottle of Krug Clos Du Mesnil 2002 – The Krug ID and the Krug App
Each of the 13,278 bottles (75cl) and 500 magnums (1.5l) of Krug Clos du Mesnil 2002 is individually numbered and the Krug ID holds the key to all the information for every bottle. It gives details, for example, on the harvest and weather conditions in 2002, as well as tasting notes and other insights by Krug’s Cellar Master, Eric Lebel.
First introduced in 2012, the Krug ID is composed of six digits printed on the back label. The first digit refers to the quarter, the following two indicate the year the bottle left Krug’s cellars to receive its cork plus three additional digits identifying the bottle.
The Krug App is a fast, free and easy way to access all the Krug ID information via a mobile phone or tablet by scanning or typing the number into the relevant section.
Krug Clos Du Mesnil 2002 – Where and how
Krug Clos du Mesnil has an RSP £541 (euro conversion as at 26.4.16)