95 Points Robert Parker
Krug's 1998 Brut Vintage is an excellent choice for drinking today, as the classic Krug style is rich, alive and totally vivid. Honey, almonds, smoke, graphite and dried apricots are some of the many aromas and flavors found in this rich, enveloping Champagne. A wine of texture and depth, the 1998 impresses for its vinous personality and terrific balance. Lively veins of underlying acidity suggest the 1998 will drink well for many years to follow. This is one of the best bottles of the 1998 I have ever tasted. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2038.
Source: Robert Parker (Robert Parker Wine Advocate) by Antonio Galloni. October, 2012
99 Points Tyson Stelzer
A dramatic year made for a controversial Krug vintage. The hottest August since 1991 saw 40 ° C heat burning some vines and destroying 15% of the crop. Chardonnay held its freshness better than pinot, so this wine became the second in the history of the house to comprise predominantly chardonnay (the other was 1981). ‘Krug is all about pinot noir, but this wine is much more about chardonnay,’ Olivier explains. His father Henri declared, ‘This is not Krug!’ But to Olivier ‘every vintage has to taste as different as possible from the previous one, otherwise there is no interest. We do not try to force the vintage into the house style.’ I adore the way that chardonnay holds this wine, utterly transcending its 15 years, vitalising an air of lemon blossom perfume, a shard of fresh acidity and an ageless primary citrus note that rings in clear peals like church bells. The palate darts with all the fruit velocity and agility of its release many years ago, building ever-deeper complexity in layers of brioche, nougat and honey, intricately interwoven with peach and fig generosity and subtle flickers of nutmeg and mixed spice. It swirls into a river of minerality that flows deep and swift across the palate, frothing with whitewash of mouth-filling, salty minerality that lingers and splashes long and strong.
Source: Tyson Stelzer, The Champagne Guide 2014-2015.
The 1998 Brut Vintage is a gorgeous wine for near-term drinking, Warm, toasty notes lead to an expansive core of fruit that covers the palate. This isn’t the most complex Krug Vintage, but it also won’t take years or decades to offer its finest drinking. 2010-2020.
My visit to Krug earlier this year was fascinating, as I had a chance to taste a number of 2009s and reserve wines. A tank sample of the 2009 Clos du Mesnil was one of the most exciting, viscerally thrilling wines of the trip, and remained etched on my mind for several weeks. I also had a chance to glance over newly found, hand-written original records that document the exact village breakdown of all the grapes Krug purchased in each vintage going back to 1928. This year I tasted a number of fabulous wines from bottle. Unfortunately I can’t include my impressions on Krug’s NV Champagnes because of the house’s insistence on not providing disgorgement dates for those wines. I was reminded of the importance of this information when I tasted a fabulous, utterly spellbinding bottle of the NV Rose. It was a truly beautiful Champagne, but owing to its recent disgorgement it needed at least a few years on the cork. Of course Krug gives a general indication of the disgorgement dates for their wines on the corks, but by that time, readers may have opened a bottle that needs more bottle age. Without this information it is impossible to give readers any reliable indication of when the house’s NV wines might start drinking well. With a retail price over $300 a bottle, opening a bottle of Krug’s Rose can be a very expensive learning experience. Krug fans will want to keep an eye out for my upcoming article on Clos du Mesnil, featuring complete notes back to the inaugural 1979.
Wine Advocate #192