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Clos d’Ambonnay from Krug: for High Rollers Only

In April of this year, prestigious Champagne house, Krug, released the 1995 Clos d’Ambonnay Champagne, the house’s first new release since its rosé which was launched 25 years ago. The Champagne is made entirely from Pinot Noir and is Krug’s first blanc de noirs.

Krug purchased the Clos d’Ambonnay vineyard in 1984, and has been adding the wine from vintages prior to the 1995 into its Grande Cuvée. The very tiny, walled, single vineyard Clos d’Ambonnay is located in Montagne de Reims and is about 1.25 acres. The inaugural Clos de’Ambonnay yielded only 14 barrels, or 3,000 bottles (one half of the production of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee Conti).

Because of its rarity and price ($3,000 or more) it instantly became a collector’s item and the world’s most expensive wine release. At Zachy’s first commercial auction in Las Vegas, a six-pack case sold for $26.000.8

Krug dates to 1843 when it was founded by Johan-Joseph Krug, a German immigrant from Mainz on the Rhine. Currently, Henri Krug and Eric Lebel are responsible for the winemaking decisions. The house is now part of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH).

Krug utilizes Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay in their Champagnes. They control 40% of their vineyard sources and purchase 60% from long-term contract growers who consider themselves part of a longstanding prestigious group that openly reveal Krug as the destination of their grapes.

Krug Champagnes all undergo complete barrel fermentation which is unusual in Champagne now. Also, they employ extended lees aging. The result is a noticeable nuttiness and oakiness in Krug, making it quite distinctive among French Champagnes.

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