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Pitcher (Champagne)

The in Mainz born German Johann-Joseph Krug (1800-1866) was from 1834 in a leading position for Adolphe jacquesson worked in his champagne house and married in 1841 his sister-in-law (but there is no relationship to the Californian wine-growing pioneer Charles jug ). Together with the wine merchant Hippolyte de Vivès 1843 was the founding of the company Krug et Cie. in Reims. Initially, it was trading with champagne and other Champagne wines. Two years later, the production of champagne started. After the death of Jean-Joseph, the company was distributed to the widow, Hyppolite de Vivès and son Paul Krug (1842-1910).

Shortly thereafter de Vivès retired, Paul Krug took over the management. Under his leadership, the company developed into a major champagne house. From 1898 to 1910 he was also president of the Syndicat du commerce des vins de Champagne. In 1910 his son Joseph Krug succeeded him as one of ten children. Under Paul Krug II (born 1912) with his cousin Jean Seydoux, the house's leading position was consolidated and the estate increased by the purchase of first-class vineyards. In 1999 Krug was from the group LVMH bought up. The shops are still managed by the family. These are Henri (born 1937) as Director-General and his brother Rémi Krug (born 1942). Their children Olivier and Caroline are already in the sixth generation also active in the company.

The products of the house count to the absolute top quality and are considered in professional circles as a quality standard for champagne. Special lovers of this brand even describe themselves as "Krugist" (French krugiste, English Kruggist) and think that there is no better champagne there. In terms of the extreme quality criteria, it is indeed a very special champagne. This starts with a selective selection of the grapes. Up to 70% of the grapes offered by grape growers are rejected and only the very best materials are accepted. Also in the own vineyards one proceeds with rigorous selection. The single location "Clos du Mesnil" in the Grand Cru community Mesnil-sur-Oger covers only two hectares and is 100% planted with Chardonnay.

The reading of this tiny amount often takes four to five days, as only the ripest grapes are taken in one go. Only the must of the first grape pressing (Cuvée) is used. For the (first) fermentation are exclusively pièces used, these are small oak barrels with 205 liter volume. About 3,300 sometimes 30 years old barrels of this kind are in use. The aging in old barrels causes a special smoothness. Around 10% of these are exchanged annually, which are first cleaned with hot water and used for up to three years before they are used for champagne production. The effort is enormous, the exact procedure but one of the many Krug quality secrets.

The company has always been a master in assemblage. The wines are stored for a long time on the yeast. As a rule, champagnes are not suitable for storage and should be enjoyed relatively quickly. Not so with pitcher - these are ideal for long storage and are treated like big wines. Another novelty is that the champagne, which is normally drunk at 8 to 11 degrees Celsius, can have a few more degrees with pitcher products and this has a positive effect on the taste. Therefore, they are also an excellent food companion to many dishes. The "Grande Cuvée" is the standard product of the house and covers 65 to 80% of the production quantity. For him, 50 to 60 wines from up to 25 layers and six to ten vintages are used. The house avoids the usual term "sans anée" (vintage) and calls it "multi-vintage champagne". This champagne should be opened after delivery after two years, some even only after ten years.

The varietal blend of vintage vintage champagne "Vintage Brut" and "Millésime" produced only in special years varies. They store at least 7 to 15 years on the yeast. The 1990 vintage came on the market in 2003. Only since 1983, a rosé is produced. It is composed of around 50% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier and 25% Chardonnay plus added a quiet Pinot Noir red wine from Aÿ and is much lighter than other rosé champagnes. The first produced in 1979 Cuvée de Prestige "Clos du Mesnil" comes from the single location mentioned above. This top blanc de blancs is made from 100% Chardonnay and is aged 12 to 15 years before being marketed. Only about 10,000 bottles are produced annually. The best vintages include 1979, 1982, 1985, 1988 (Century Champagne) and 1990.

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