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Like many ‘85s today in regular bottles the expressive and strongly yeast-inflected nose plays right on the edge of oxidative notes though it stops just short of it and this allows the wonderfully complex aromas of baked bread, apple pie (including the cinnamon hints!) and soft citrus elements to shine. There is equally good depth to the utterly delicious and full-bodied flavors where the supporting mousse remains firm though not aggressive, all wrapped in a tangy, cool and wonderfully long finish. For my taste this is as good as it’s going to be and should probably be drunk up over the next 5-ish years or so unless your taste runs to post-mature aromas and flavors. Tasted twice recently with consistent notes. Drink now
|Score: 94||Allen Meadows, Burghound.com (60), October 2015|
Krug Clos du Mesnil, a very rare Champagne, showcases the unique character of a single plot of Chardonnay, harvested in a single year. Our 1.84-hectare vineyard overlooked by the village church has been protected by walls since 1698. The vineyard is located in the heart of Mesnil-sur-Oger, one of the most iconic villages for Chardonnay in the Champagne region. Krug Clos du Mesnil has an expansive generous personality enhanced by the finish which powers through with extreme precision.
The vineyard was secretly replanted over eight years, and it was not until 1979 that the first harvest was deemed to fulfil expectations. When the wine was tasted, it proved so outstanding that the Krugs decided to bottle it on its own. There would be no "assemblage” – a bold decision amply justified by the exquisite quality of the single ingredient.
The story of Clos du Mesnil started in 1698 when a 1,85 ha plot in the outskirts of the village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger was sealed with walls for reasons unknown. The village grew in size and in 100 years the vineyard plot was surrounded by housing. The walls protected the vineyards from being dug up and from being used for housing purposes. The plot landed in the hands of the Krug family, when the brothers were searching for new vineyard acquisitions in the 1975s. A property was being sold in the Côte de Blancs, and as vineyard land was fiercely sought after, the brothers bought the plot without really seeing what they had bought.
When they first saw the Clos du Mesnil, they became very excited by the idea of producing a single vineyard wine. As the plot was not in good condition, Krug had to take the decision to replant it. Therefore, the first vintage of Krug Clos du Mesnil dates back to 1979 when the vines were old enough to produce good wine and when the unique quality of wine from the plot was realised. The Clos du Mesnil is produced in a similar way to the vintage. The plot comprises 6 individual parcels of varying vine ages. Each is picked and vinified separately. Enhancing terroir attributes is the guiding philosophy throughout vine growing and vinification. Rémi Krug stresses that it was not the single vineyard concept that was fascinating in itself. Instead it was the uniqueness of the parcel and its wine; “a diamond one wishes to show on its own”. The Krugs always insist that the Clos du Mesnil is a unique wine, but never better than the vintage or the Grande Cuvée. In this massive volume vintage the Clos du Mesnil is however a true diamond of a wine.
Severe winter temperatures and spring frosts did great damage, leaving many in the region unhopeful of a good year. The destruction was excessive especially in the northern Montagne de Reims, in the hillside vineyards west of Reims and in the Aube. The early summer weather did not raise the hopes, but finally fine September weather came to the rescue and yields ended up being better than feared (albeit tiny, 6,827 kg/ha) when picking commenced on September 30th. Champagnes from 1985 are typically beautifully balanced and intense with great length and character that is still improving today. Dom Pérignon, Charles Heidsieck Champagne Charlie and Blanc des Millénaires, Krug Vintage and Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque excelled, to name a few.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|1 611€ +10.6%||1 456€ +11.1%||1 311€ -4.3%||1 370€ +34.1%||1 022€ +119.3%||466€|