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The relatively mild winter with alternate dry and rainy periods was marked by a violent tornado, which struck in early winter, on 26 December 1999. A hail-free but rather rainy spring led to later budding than usual, but with sustained growth. Full bloom took place during the first fortnight of June 2000, and mildew appeared early that year.
On 2nd July a hailstorm of almost unprecedented violence and extent fell on nearly 4,000 hectares, representing some 13% of the appellation’s total area. The hailstones, some the size of a pigeon's egg, partially or totally destroyed the Pinot Noir grape crops north of the Montagne de Reims. A milder summer ensued, but still with some storms, thus leading to the feeling and hope that there would be a good harvest.
The first grapes were cut on 11 September 2000, and the harvest ended on 25 September. Despite the year’s minor problems, the terroir displayed the potential for a good harvest, due to the large size of the grapes. After various tasting sessions, we decided on an assemblage of the Trépail and Villers-Marmery (Chardonnay) plots where the notes of ripe citrus fruits would brace the great white grape varieties from various plots of Avize and Mesnil. We had a strong feeling that these whites needed to be tamed.
The base structure of this assemblage is very close to a great classic for the House of Krug with grapes coming from a number of well known plots of Ambonnay, Bouzy and Ay, the great Pinot Noir from the southern slopes of the Montagne de Reims. This blend would be unfinished without the presence of our Saint Gemme and Villevanard Meunier grapes, always present in our cuvees.
The final arrangement chosen for this assemblage offers a fine balance between the Pinot Noir (42%) and Chardonnay grapes (43%), with 15% of Pinot Meunier providing the final touch.
Unique to the House of Krug, every Krug Vintage is crafted to be different, to reveal the expression of a particular year. A year with character, a year with a special story to tell in a way that Krug alone can relate. To narrate this story, Krug has blended very expressive wines from a single year, enhanced by a stay of over ten years in the cellars. Krug Vintage is the story of a year as seen by Krug; there are as many stories as there are Krug Vintages.
Krug 2000 is rich, precise, complex and indulgent. The House of Krug wanted to create a vintage for the last year of the millennium, based on the unusual and climatically chaotic season. Known as Gourmandise Orageuse (Stormy Indulgence) this vintage brings together the complexity and the generosity of a very exciting year. Krug 2000 is one of the most intense, dramatic and romantic Krug Vintages ever made. It also has a very high ageing potential.
A warm and wet winter was followed by an equally wet spring. First, in May, came the seri- ous heat, which gave a fast owering around June 14. Chlorosis and mold growth were evi- dent. June and August were hot and dry. But if you were like me, and tried to have a July vaca- tion in Champagne that year, you noticed how cold and rainy it was. The weather was almost as bad as at home, with constant rain and local hailstorms.
Everything looked hopeless, but the good weather during harvest saved a decent amount of fresh grapes. Harvest started on my birthday—September 11—and ended in early October. Chardonnay and pinot meunier did better than the delicate pinot noir. The year will become sought after thanks to their magic number. The quality does not look too fancy yet though. The wines are quite light with short lives. However, it is a very enjoyable moment, with its intense exotic aromas of passion fruit and tangerine. I am delighted to recommend some romantic bottles of the successful pink trio William Deutz Rosé, Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé, and Pommery Cuvée Louise Rosé.
by Richard Juhlin/
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