I imagine the MV Grande Cuvée 165ème will go down as one of the most profound and also perplexing Champagnes in Krug's history. The wine itself, based on the 2009 vintage, is positively stellar. Sensual and powerful, yet with terrific freshness for the year, the 165 is a total knock out. Bright citrus, floral smoke and mineral notes add freshness, tension and energy throughout. It is hard to believe today, but in 2008/2009 Krug went through a very challenging period. Because of the economic crisis, Krug bottled very little Champagne in what will surely be seen as a very shortsighted business decision, if it isn’t already. Production of the 165 is about 1/12th of normal, or the equivalent of one month’s supply, and Krug did not bottle any vintage Champagne. Consequently, the 165 was shipped to just 4-5 markets, including the Unites States, UK and France. Most countries will never see the 165. Readers who have a chance to buy it should not hesitate, as it is likely to become a collector’s item, along with the 2008. Once again, I am reminded of the many conversations I had at Krug about ten years ago. “No one cares about the base vintage in the Grande Cuvée,” numerous people there told me. That’s when I stopped reviewing the Grande Cuvée. How ironic it is that several recent releases have become precisely so coveted because of the base vintage. It is always a mistake to underestimate the consumer. (AG)
The NV Grand Cuvée 165ème Édition Brut (ID 416039 -- disgorged IV/2016) is a multi-vintage Champagne based on the 2009 vintage and includes a wide range of reserve wines from fine vintages going back to 2001. The 165th edition is comprised of 127 wines and opens with a beautiful, very clear and delicate bouquet that displays very fine toast, nougat, hazelnut, ripe and dried fruit (raisins), floral and concentrated (and refreshing) citrus fruit aromas. On the palate, this is a generously rich, mature yet fresh, highly finessed and elegant prestige cuvée with a long, complex, tensioned and beautifully mineral finish with tangy citrus flavors. Under perfect storing conditions, the 165ème Édition should gain even more depth and finesse during the next 10 to 15, maybe even 20 years. Tasted in Reims in April 2018. (SR)
Vivid acidity drives this richly expressive Champagne, while wild cherry, blood orange sorbet, lime blossom, spun honey and spice notes play on the fine, satinlike mousse. It’s tightly-knit and racy, with the lasting finish echoing the expansive flavor range. Disgorged fall 2016. (AN)
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