Krug Brut 1998 #412045 (3.0L)
Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions
98 WS / 95 WA / 95 VM / 19.5 JR
This harmonious Champagne offers luxurious texture and powerful, focused acidity, showing aromatic accents of spring blossom, crushed thyme and chai, with rich notes of lemon meringue, hazelnut, black currant and fresh porcini mushroom. The full package. Impressive. Drink now through 2028. - Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator
The 1998 vintage has a very alluring nose of brioche, crushed stones, allspice, peaches and fresh pears plus a hint of praline. The palate is still very tight and youthful with a fine acid backbone, commendably persistent bubbles and a long minerally finish. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate
Krug's 1998 Brut Vintage is an excellent choice for drinking today, as the classic Krug style is rich, alive and totally vivid. Honey, almonds, smoke, graphite and dried apricots are some of the many aromas and flavors found in this rich, enveloping Champagne. A wine of texture and depth, the 1998 impresses for its vinous personality and terrific balance. Lively veins of underlying acidity suggest the 1998 will drink well for many years to follow. This is one of the best bottles of the 1998 I have ever tasted. - Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
Very, very fine bead. Very discreet and beautifully constructed. Very dense. Like a ship, constructed bit by bit. Dry finish. Needs food! A great rarity: a Krug with more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir. - Jancis Robinson
This jeroboam left the Krug cellars to receive its cork in autumn 2012. This is the last step after over 14 years of ageing in the cellars gaining finesse and elegance. As it is a jeroboam we wait longer even, until the Champagne is ready to be fully enjoyed.
Krug 1998 was created and crafted to be different, to be the full expression of the year 1998. A year with character, a year with a special story to tell in a way that Krug alone can relate. Krug 1998 is the story of this year captured by Krug; there are as many stories as there are Krug Vintages. Krug decided to create a vintage for this year, the last Krug Vintage of the 1990s, as a tribute to the beautiful Chardonnay grapes of the years harvest. The Krug Vintage is nicknamed homage Ê Chardonnay Ò tribute to Chardonnay, and a Krug Vintage with a predominance of Chardonnay is an absolute rarity for the House, making this story even more special and unique.
The creation of the expression of the year 1998 according to Eric Lebel, Chef de Caves, Maison Krug
The weather in 1998 was somehow classic, very contrasted as it often is in Champagne; we also had a particularly hot August, breaking a record set in 1962. We watched nervously as days where the temperature crept up to 39¡C started to grill the leaves in the vineyard, creating damage of between 5 to 10% of the potential harvest. Then at the end of the month, heavy rains caused more consternation as to how this would affect the grapes, so it was with relief that by early September dry, mild weather cheered everyone up. Perfect conditions for harvesting in the third week of September, and despite sharp climatic contrasts, 1998 will be remembered as a year of quantity as well as high quality grapes.
First tastings immediately showed wines had been affected by the extremely hot August. The challenge was to capture the circumstance of the year in our blend while looking for the necessary ageing potential. This is where the Chardonnays of the year, especially those from the beginning of the harvest, from the C«te des Blancs and also those from our vineyards in Tr'pail played a key role in calming the opulence of the other wines of the year by re-injecting the necessary dynamism to guarantee good ageing potential. By the time we completed our blending proposition to tell this story of 1998, it was clear the Chardonnays were shining stars (46%). Almost all the Pinot Noirs (35%) were selected from the southern Mountain of Reims, which explains the solid foundation of Krug 1998, and finally the Meuniers (19%), mainly selected from the left side of the Marne Valley, Leuvrigny, less sunny than the right side gave the final touch and unique freshness.Ê
This was my first vintage at the House of Krug and I remember when the blend was proposed by Mr Henri Krug, I made all the calculations, and after reading so many documents at the house I knew Krug Champagnes were always driven mainly by Pinot Noirs. So when I commented on this predominance of Chardonnay, Henri Krug quickly responded by saying that in a year where the winners were the Chardonnays, the story should be a tribute to that winner. It was only the second time the house had written such a similar story, the first being back in 1981.
For the tasting committee, Krug 1998 shares the round and warm characteristics of 1989 as well as the extreme elegance and freshness of Krug 1988. Krug 1998 is a story of astonishing purity, precision, elegance and a very long finish.
Eric Lebel, Chef de Caves, Maison Krug