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. 2020-2040
A blend of 198 wines from 11 different years, with the youngest the acclaimed 2012, back to a precious, powerfully aromatic lot of Verzenay Pinot Noir 1996. The final blend – 52% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 13% Meunier – was bottled in 2013 and aged for seven years in Krug’s cellars in Reims. Yields in 2012 were 20% lower than usual because of a succession of meteorological events including frost, rain, storms and hail in winter and spring 2012, followed by the driest ripening season since 1974. 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. Drink 2020-2035.
Grande Cuvee Edition 168 is built around the 2012 base wine. A vivid lemony colour with a fine mousse. There is a powerfully floral nose with smoky, toasty, roasted notes, a hint of brioche and plenty of citrus and melon fruit. Something reminiscent of Puligny Montrachet here too. Extremely appealing. Fine and smooth on the palate; elegant, lean, taut and mineral. This is a super complex Krug with wonderful tension between fruit and acidity and superb balance. Clean, focussed and multi-layered. Arguably more fine and feminine than the renowned Edition 164 but no less impressive for it. A fantastic enduring finish with wonderful precision. Incredible length. Undoubtedly an outstanding Grande Cuvee. Immediately irresistible but there’s plenty of everything here to make a great future guaranteed.