Champagne of the year: Krug
Published:  27 August, 2008

For the past two years Champagne Krug has been quietly revamping its range in sumptuous style and filling gaps in its portfolio while maintaining the impeccable standards of the liquid inside the bottles. Indeed, the year kicked off with the release of the new Krug Rosť half-bottle, which has proved popular with both on- and off-trade alike in all Krug's key markets.

Later came releases in the vintage reserve Krug Collection series - 1985 in bottles and 1981 in magnums - while at the other end of the timescale, June saw the release of the latest vintage of Krug's single vineyard Clos du Mesnil, the 1996. In one of the smallest harvests recorded at the 1.8ha walled vineyard, only 8,607 bottles and 602 magnums were available worldwide. Finally, the explosively rich and impressive Krug Vintage 1996 was also released in the summer.

Part of the LVMH luxury goods empire, Krug has identified a niche and is very effectively exploiting its positioning as the choice of the wealthy and knowledgeable individualist. The Krug Picnic Trunk typified this approach. Holding three bottles of Krug, an ice bucket, a picnic table and 88 designer accessories, only 30 were made, hand-crafted by French atelier Pinel & Pinel, priced at an impressive US$45.000.

In the gifting sector, a Krug hatbox is now available, on sale at Sherry-Lehmann in New York for US$479.75 and designed to hold three bottles or two gift box cartons, while Fortnum & Mason in London has a commemorative tercentenary luxury hamper available for delivery by horse and cart for £20,000.

Lastly for the Krug collector, it teamed up with designer David Linley to produce a limited edition of up to 50 hand-made wooden trays. Each is fashioned from Crown English oak and red leather and the 45cm diameter circular shape represents the ends of the wooden casks used in the production of Krug's Champagnes.