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The year 2003 was truly unique with particularly challenging circumstances, an eventful year for Champagne.
We had a dry winter and spring, an early bud break followed by two serious frosts which meant significant losses, especially of many Chardonnay grapes. Then August was a record-breaker with average temperatures of 28.5°C, ten degrees above the seasonal average! We had our first harvest on August 23rd, the earliest since 1822, but the extreme variations in ripeness throughout the plots meant we could not set harvest dates for each village, as is usually the case in the Champagne region. Thus, the harvest continued in waves until early October. A year of three such extremes was unheard of in living memory…
At the end of harvest we had small yields, healthy grapes, an expected over-ripeness but also an unexpected under-ripeness; the vines protected themselves from the intense heat by stopping their maturation. We discovered this because we respect the individual expression of every plot; nature’s beauty and strength at work in the fields. Nurturing this individuality meant we found surprisingly fresh, aromatic and balanced wines with very vivacious fruit.
Personally, I am delighted with the varied blend of Krug 2003 because it tells our story; it reflects the challenges we faced. It includes a higher quantity of wines from black grapes than usual and thus also a smaller amount of Chardonnay (29%); these were used discreetly because they gave plenty of aromatic richness. Expression and vivacity comes from the wines of the parcels of Meunier (25%) from villages such as Sainte Gemme, Villevenard and Courmas. The Pinot Noirs (46%) with their lovely structure and body - from the south and north-facing slopes of the Montagne de Reims - add balance and freshness.
After a decade gaining finesse in the cellars, Krug 2003 can be enjoyed now or for many more years to come. As with all Krug Champagnes, Krug 2003 has a very high ageing potential and will gain with time.
Eric Lebel / CHEF DE CAVES, KRUG
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.
Our expression of the year 2003, revealed by Krug as a story of vivacious radiance
The 2003 vintage was a year of many circumstances: dry winter and spring, very premature blooming, two serious frosts and a summer of scorching heat. With small yields, healthy grapes, extremely varied levels of maturity and over and under-ripeness, it was Krug's respect of the individual expression of every plot that produced surprisingly fresh, aromatic and balanced wines. Krug decided to create a vintage for this particular year and named it "Vivacité Solaire" (Vivacious Radiance).
Vineyards: 100% Grand & Premier Cru | Pinot Noir: Montagne de Reims | Chardonnay: Côte des Blancs | Pinot Meunier: Courmas, Saint Gemme, Villevenard
Grape Varieties: 46% Pinot Noir, 29% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Meunier
Ageing: 9 years on the lees
Disgorged: Winter 2012/2013
Dosage: 6 g/l