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Originally this cuvee has been a private reserve for the Dampierre family and released only in the best vintages. It always comes closed with a hemp thread of French origin. The Chardonnay grapes for this superb champagne come from Oger (50%), from Mesnil-sur-Oger (40%) and Cramant (10%). Family Reserve is a grand cru champagne and a “blanc de blancs”.
Traditional style tying: noblesse oblige
This craft-man’s work dates back to the XVIIIth century. Traditional tying symbolizes French luxury and sets off the elite vintages: Family Reserve and Cuvée Prestige.
A twine seal rather than a metal hood!
When de Dampierre ancestors started to sell their first bottles of great cuvees, they were sealing the corks onto the bottle by mean of a locally produced twine, made of hemp. This tradition had long ago become part of the Dampierre unique identity.
“Ficelage” is the ancestral method of tying the cork to the bottle with twine and is an ageold tradition that requires immense skill: concentration and finesse are essential in the art of tying as in many handicraft, time is here of the utmost importance.
Even an expert only completes 50 corks in an hour. The “ficeleur” ties intricate knots whilst the twine is still attached to the ball and then cuts both ends; this process is repeated twice, forming a cross on the top of the cork.
The next most exceptional vintage since 2008. A truly difficult growing season saw severe frosts in the winter. March brought warmth but early budbreak made the vines vulnerable to spring frosts. Overall, the early growing season was wet, and mildew became a serious issue. However, conditions improved dramatically in the later summer months. An August heatwave resulted in a rapid accumulation of sugar, but fortunately the nights remained cool, which helped to preserve acidity. Although yields were low (averaging at 9,210 kg/ha) due to frost, hail and disease early in the season, the 2012 harvest was exemplary in its maturity, acidity and grape health. A rare high acid, high sugar September harvest with impeccable concentration of flavour and refreshing vibrancy. Pinot Noir is the superstar of the vintage, though Pinot Meunier excelled too. A vintage that promises great longevity for the finest cuvées, it was widely declared by producers. However, Krug decided to invest in its reserve wines on this great year, and no Vintage was produced. The quality of 2012 is universally high, with the greatest releases so far including Louis Roederer Cristal and Cristal Rosé, Bollinger La Grande Année and La Grande Année Rosé, as well as Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé.