What is the best champagne of all time? In my opinion, this is a question for which there is no one answer. And yet so many wine magazine articles written by so many wine experts still try to find the ultimate answer year after year.


It’s a question that seems to have a different “right” answer every time, depending on who is doing the questioning and when. 

This is a question whose reasonableness—or even necessity—might have numerous points of view.  It is also a question for which, I believe, no one else but the person asking it could possibly provide the right answer. The answer you invariably find is entirely subjective – all others are virtually meaningless. 

In my own case, I found that ultimate answer in a cosy showroom at the Krug champagne house, where I was privileged to join Rémi Krug for a taste of one of the world’s most rarest and most famous champagnes - the Krug 1928. The champagne was perfection itself, quite likely the finest champagne I have ever tasted. But is it the best champagne of all time? For me it most certainly is! 

The tasting alone put the Krug 1928 at the top of my personal list, and when this experience was further expanded and deepened by  the many chapters of the Krug 1928’s history, told to me by Rémi as we savoured this ambrosia, there was no room for any doubt. 


Surplus Krug

“In those days Krug’s primary market was England—especially for Krug Vintage—and England’s top wine merchants usually ordered and paid for an allocated amount of Krug Vintage at an early stage;–that is to say, right after bottling and long before delivery. This is largely the same practice used today with en primeur purchases in Bordeaux. Indeed, English merchants purchased the 1928 vintage at a very bad time, just when the economic crash of 1929 affected livelihoods and there was even the threat of war looming on the horizon. The high expectations that experts had for this rare vintage, the Krug reputation, the lack of good vintages from the beginning of the 1920s and the limited availability of the Krug 1928 made it a major commercial success.


When war broke out in 1939, our cellars still held a large quantity of lots already paid for by the English, so my grandfather Joseph very wisely decided to buy them back in order to save them from falling into German hands. When the war ended, he offered the wines he had saved to the original buyers, but some of them no longer wanted the entire quantity of this vintage, instead opting for a partial or whole substitution with a later vintage (1937). So, my grandfather kept the “surplus” (what a strange word to use for a Krug!) for himself. This is why we’ve been able to enjoy this one-of-a-kind vintage and follow its development!”

Tiny glasses

Rémi was also kind enough to tell me a bit about his own, personal recollections of the 1928 Krug:

“I got my first taste of the 1928 at my grandfather’s house, where each of the five grandchildren took turns visiting for lunch every week, each on our own day. My day was Thursday. Because the middle of the week was free at that time in France, I got to stay at my grandparents’ house after lunch and listen to stories about their lives, our family, the town and the wars - this was something about which they had a lot to say!

At lunch I always got a small drop of Krug in a tiny children’s champagne flute as well as Bordeaux – this is how I found most of the Bordeaux I adore. The Krug was, naturally, a Grand Cuvée, but once or twice a year we got to enjoy the famous Krug 1928 – I can still remember the rich, tender, enchanting magic in those few drops of divine nectar from my childhood.

Later, when I started working for Krug in 1965, I was allowed to join my father and Henri on those special occasions, when a bottle was opened and shared with guests. This might have happened once a year, so these occasions were not to be missed - or forgotten. On one such occasion, we were tasting two bottles of Krug 1928 with Serena Sutcliffe and David Peppercorn; one of the bottles was from my grandfather’s stores and it was corked before the war in 1939. The other bottle’s second corking was done at the end of the 1940s. The tasting was completely blind – we didn’t even say what Krug we were drinking. Naturally Serena and David recognised these as being the same wines, and found a bit more vivaciousness and passion in, as it turned out, the wine whose bottle had been corked before the war; yet another demonstration of our long-standing "apathy" regarding the importance of a second corking. 


To the last drop!

I’d like to close with a very personal and cherished anecdote: At the end of the 1960s, when my grandfather, Joseph Krug, was approaching the venerable age of 100, he summoned Henri and me to ask how much Krug 1928 he had left in his personal stores. When we told him, he proclaimed: “Well boys, I know I’m supposed to be cutting down on my drinking, but when I turn 100 we are going to have a big party and drink all of that Krug 1928 – right down to the last drop!” I was stunned, but overjoyed by this proclamation! Here was a man who was very old in years, but very young at heart, still possessing such joie de vivre that he was prepared to give up this extremely valuable wine in one fell swoop, while most people hold on tightly, guarding their treasures jealously as they aged. What a lesson in youth it was for us all! This reinforced my belief that even the most magnificent wine is nothing if it can’t be enjoyed and shared, that the only things worth collecting and keeping are the memories of those epiphanous experiences when the magic of a Krug, just like the magic of an Yquem, a Pétrus, Shakespeare, Mozart or Charlie Parker, transforms a transient moment into an unforgettable memory.        

The sad part of this story is that we never did get to have that big party – my grandfather passed away a few months after this, just shy of his 99th birthday, thus leaving us those precious bottles to enjoy. But I shall never forget that moment and what it really meant."

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Vintage Report

The 1928 vintage was excellent for Latour. Weather conditions were encouraging during the whole summer. Big heatwave before and during the harvesting of the very sound and fully ripe grapes. At Latour they made 85 casks of wine. This was for a long time infamous for being an overly tannic wine. However it has mellowed marvellously now.

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Vintage Report

Bordeaux Vintage Report by Château Margaux / 1928 and 1929, what a fabulous pair of vintages! To find successive years of such high quality, we had to wait about sixty years until 1989 and 1990; though, at Margaux, we could also mention 1982 and 1983. The wines made in the 1928 vintage were, right from the start, incredibly powerful and concentrated, often even hard and austere, which explains why 1928 was overshadowed by 1929 which had an almost immediate attraction.
Château Margaux 1928 is an outstandingly great wine and is today perhaps superior to the 1929, since it has, on the whole, aged better. There is more consistency in the bottles, the wine has lost its hardness, but has kept an absolutely extraordinary freshness and richness. It may not have the great finesse of a bottle of 1929, but its freshness is far greater.

It was marvellous weather, practically from the flowering to the harvest, which allowed the grapes to attain an outstanding level of concentration as well as ripeness. (The picking began 25th September)

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Beloved children's cartoon character Mickey Mouse makes his first appearance in "Steamboat Willie." Steamboat Willie was one of the first successful films to feature synchronized sound in an animated cartoon film. It was produced by Walt Disney and premiered in New York on November 18th of 1928. The short cartoon was quite popular and Disney began producing more films featuring the iconic mouse. Merchandise and fan clubs came soon after, making sure that the mischievous rodent would earn a permanent place in popular culture.


Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in and changed the world of modern medicines by introducing the age of antibiotics and his discovery of penicillin has, and still, saves millions of people.

Home Pregnancy Test is first introduced which tests for the presence of hCG which doubles every 48 hrs during early pregnancy and is checked using a urine sample. Introduced by Selmar Aschheim and Bernard Zondek

The Summer Olympics are held for the first time in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

On March 12th the St. Francis dam collapses causing a massive wave into the San Francisquito Canyon in California flooding the towns of Castaic Junction, Fillmore, and Bardsdale and killing an estimated 500 plus although the exact number is not known.

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The best wines of the 1928 vintage

Name Tb Producer Location
1 Pol Roger Vinothèque 100.0 Pol Roger Champagne, France
2 Château Beychevelle 99.0 Château Beychevelle Bordeaux, France
3 Krug Vintage 98.0 Krug Champagne, France
4 Château Latour 97.6 Château Latour Bordeaux, France
5 Vintage Champagne 97.4 Bollinger Champagne, France
6 Krug Collection 97.3 Krug Champagne, France
7 Latour-à-Pomerol 97.0 Château Latour-à-Pomerol Bordeaux, France
8 Vintage 96.7 Louis Roederer Champagne, France
9 Montrose 96.5 Château Montrose Bordeaux, France
10 Château Margaux 96.4 Château Margaux Bordeaux, France
11 Château Suduiraut 96.4 Château Suduiraut Bordeaux, France
12 Vintage 96.0 Moët & Chandon Champagne, France
13 Marques de Riscal Reserva 96.0 Marqués de Riscal Rioja, Spain
14 Sigalas-Rabaud 96.0 Château Sigalas-Rabaud Bordeaux, France
15 Château Coutet 96.0 Château Coutet Sauternes, France
16 Vieux Chateau Certan 96.0 Vieux Château Certan Bordeaux, France
17 d'Yquem 95.8 Château d'Yquem Bordeaux, France
18 Léoville-Las Cases 95.0 Château Léoville-Las Cases Saint-Julien, France
19 Château Calon Ségur 95.0 Château Calon-Ségur Bordeaux, France
20 Chambertin 95.0 Domaine Armand Rousseau Burgundy, France
21 La Tâche 95.0 Chevillot Burgundy, France
22 La Tâche 95.0 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France
23 Charmes-Chambertin 94.5 Ch. & Ed. Jantot Charmes-Chambertin, France
24 Château Palmer 94.4 Château Palmer Bordeaux, France
25 Château Gruaud-Larose 94.3 Château Gruaud-Larose Bordeaux, France
26 Château Haut-Brion 94.3 Château Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
27 Livadia White Muscat 94.0 Massandra Crimea, Ukraine
28 La Mission Haut Brion 94.0 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Bordeaux, France
29 Pétrus 94.0 Château Pétrus Pomerol, France
30 Pommard Epenots 94.0 Dr.Barolet Burgundy, France
31 Vintage 94.0 Perrier-Jouët Champagne, France
32 Château Ausone 93.5 Château Ausone Bordeaux, France
33 Pol Roger vintage 93.3 Pol Roger Champagne, France
34 Clos Fourtet 93.0 Clos Fourtet Bordeaux, France
35 Shiraz Port 93.0 Yalumba Winery South Australia, Australia
36 Château L´Evangile 93.0 Château L´Evangile Pomerol, France
37 Vintage 92.8 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne, France
38 Château Cos d'Estournel 92.1 Château Cos d'Estournel Bordeaux, France
39 Château Smith Haut Lafitte 92.0 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Bordeaux, France
40 Domaine de Chevalier 92.0 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac Leognan, France
41 Cheval Blanc 92.0 Château Cheval Blanc Bordeaux, France
42 Dom Pérignon 91.8 Moët & Chandon Champagne, France
43 Château Mouton-Rothschild 91.0 Château Mouton-Rothschild Bordeaux, France
44 Reserve de Wermacht 91.0 Pol Roger Champagne, France
45 Salon 91.0 Salon Champagne, France
46 Château Pape Clément 91.0 Château Pape Clément Bordeaux, France
47 Vintage 90.0 Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, France
48 Cordon Rouge vintage 90.0 G.H. Mumm Champagne, France
49 Imperial Gran Reserva 90.0 C.V.N.E /Cune Rioja, Spain
50 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey 90.0 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Bordeaux, France
51 Château Desmirail 89.5 Château Desmirail Bordeaux, France
52 Château Brane-Cantenac 89.5 Château Brane-Cantenac Bordeaux, France
53 Brut Impérial 89.0 Moët & Chandon Champagne, France
54 Gran Reserva 88.3 Federico Paternina Rioja, Spain
55 Lafite-Rothschild 86.5 Château Lafite-Rothschild Bordeaux, France
56 Château de Rayne Vigneau 86.0 Château de Rayne Vigneau Bordeaux, France
57 Château Angelus 86.0 Château Angelus Bordeaux, France
58 Château Guiraud 86.0 Château Guiraud Bordeaux, France
59 Château Filhot 82.0 Château Filhot Sauternes, France
60 Château Bastor-Lamontagne 80.0 Château Bastor-Lamontagne Sauternes, France
61 Château Yon-Figeac 79.0 Château Yon-Figeac Bordeaux, France
62 Vosnée-Romanée Les Malconsorts 0.0 A. Vougeot Burgundy, France
63 La Grande Année 0.0 Bollinger Champagne, France
64 Blanc de Blancs 0.0 Diebolt-Vallois Champagne, France
65 Barbaresco Santo Stefano 0.0 Bruno Giacosa Barolo, Italy
66 Verdelho Reserva 0.0 D'Oliveiras Madeira Madeira, Portugal
67 Les Gaudichots 0.0 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Burgundy, France


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