The "Capricious Indulgence" of 2006 Krug Vintage Brut

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This weekend, Cinnamon and I had the chance to preview the soon to be released 2006 Krug Brut Champagne, and we were very impressed. This wine came on even stronger the second day, showing the enormous potential that the wine has for aging. Eric Lebel and the Krug team are comparing the style to 1989 and 2002, which seems dead on to me. They call this vintage “capricious indulgence” at Krug, given the very high percentage of Pinot Noir, the name is appropriate.

The composition of the wine is 48% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, and 17% Meunier. The terroir for the Pinot Noir includes not only the traditional mountain of Reims villages but also a significant proportion of Les Riceys—a village just three miles from the border of Champagne and Burgundy. I think that this might be where they find the capricious, complex, beguiling savor of which this wine has so much. Our bottle was Krug ID 118014, and most of the facts for this piece came from looking up the wine on the Krug website, which sets the standard for transparency and content for the world of Champagne.

We paired this wine with Cinnamon’s stuffed mushrooms, and I think that an earthy, savory dish like this is ideal for this wine. While this is a large-scaled and powerful Krug with lots of brioche, some caramel, and Bing cherry Pinot fruit, it is also one of the highest acid 2006s that I have tasted. I was very surprised by the focus, minerality, and drive of this wine, and the Chardonnay comes to the front in with white fruit and chalky cut. Although this is being released at thirteen years old, this is still a young Krug vintage and will benefit greatly from cellaring.

When we checked in on it again the next day, the chalky corners of the wine had rounded out beautifully. The freshness and back-end snap were still there, but the mid-palate texture had developed into luxurious, seamless, even almond-like excellence. I think that this great Champagne will be a welcome addition to the holiday table this season, but an even better one in years to come for those who cellar a few.

If you are interested in the 2006 Krug Vintage, you can add yourself to the waiting list here. We are expecting it before the end of the year.

A toast to you!

 —Gary Westby