The 2002 Krug Vintage was released in February, but may not have appeared in all countries, since Krug usually makes their releases in batches. UK is usually first or very early in the release schedule. Unfortunately, I haven’t tasted it yet, so no tasting note this time. However, all tasting notes I’ve seen from pre-release tastings have been just so positive and enthusiastic as you could expect from a vintage Krug from a Champagne top vintage; see e.g. Decanter and their Michael Edwards as well as Champagne Guru.
It could be noted that the 2003 Krug Vintage was released two years ago, before the 2002, since the hot and ripe 2003 vintage was considered more fast maturing. This wasn’t the first time Krug released vintages out of order, since the 1989 Krug (another ripe vintage) was released before the 1988 Krug (a high-acid top vintage).
In connection with pre-release tastings of the 2002 Krug, informations also emerged about them doing minor changes of the labels for Krug Grande Cuvée, the non-vintage (or “multivintage” as they prefer to call it) version which is the most common Krug. They will add an edition number to the label from late 2016, and this number will make it possible to figure out the base vintage. They plan to release Krug Grande Cuvée with 2008 base vintage – also a top vintage in Champagne – in late 2016, and it will carry the number 164ème edition on its label. Today, newly shipped bottles are blended using the 2007 vintage base. It could be noted that it’s not uncommon to see bottles in wine shops with a year or more extra cellaring, which is usually a good thing if they’ve been stored properly. It might therefore be a good point to check the back label and use the ID code to figure out from which batch the bottle originates. This also means that not all bottles of Krug Grande Cuvée on sale in late 2016 will automatically be 2008 base vintage.
Special (re-)releases of older Krug Grande Cuvée will apparently also get edition numbers from now. At tastings of the 2002 Krug Vintage 2002, Krug has also shown Grande Cuvée 158ème edition, the one blended using the 2002 vintage.
These news has led me to update my blog post from November 2012, “How to identify the age of a Krug Grande Cuvée“. It is my most read blog post by a wide margin, so I thought it might be a good idea to keep all information in one place under its original heading. I also added some information about named special releases.
I will of course be back with a tasting note when I get around to taste the 2002. Until then I can report that the 1995 Krug was excellent in early February and paired wonderfully with butter-baked Jerusalem artichoke with Pergord truffle. 🙂