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Krug and Bollinger

Two nice bottles of fizz recently tasted. And consumed with pleasure, in each case. I can’t say I add bottles at the Krug price level to the cellar very often these days, so it’s good to pull one from the bottom stack. Each time I do so it does deplete my dwindling stock just a little more though. Still, I suppose it also makes room for a few more bottles of the Pétillant Réserve from Domaine Huet; so maybe every cloud really does have a silver lining.

The Krug is non-vintage – no, sorry, sorry, multi-vintage – and it has the later-style label (are people still interested in that, or has everybody drunk up their older bottles of Krug now?). Looking at my records it was one of several bottles purchased in 2005 and 2006, and so it has seen 7-8 years in the cellar before popping the cork. You wouldn’t guess this from tasting it. The Bollinger was bought a year or two ago, and still has many years ahead of it yet.

Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année 2000: Intense golden hue, still bright and clean though, not suggestive of age or a particularly oxidative character. Pure nose, no less intense than ever, with desiccated fruits, lightly dried and concentrated, and little tinges of honey and cashew, the wine showing the perfect balance between concentrated citrus character and notes of richness. The palate is bright, open, expressive, very harmonious despite the deep concentration. A very fine and forward bead, fresh acidity, lifted and definitely a step ahead of the Grand Années of old. Almost creamy, and yet bright. A clean and long finish. This is superb. 18.5/20 (June 2013)

Krug Champagne Grande Cuvée NV: A pale golden hue, a plentiful bead, although it soon settles in the glass, and is very fine. The aromatics are remarkably fresh, as although there is a honeyed twist to it, and rich notes of praline and brioche too, all sprinkled with flakes of dried fruits, there is also a bright orange citrus freshness to it. It feels firm, with a supple quality to the palate though, along with honeyed brioche fruits, but there is also a remarkably bright vigour to it, helped by a rather crisp mousse. This is fine, savoury, slightly warming, rich and full of character. Long and tingling. An excellent wine. 18/20 (June 2013)

Suffice to say I would take the Bollinger over the Krug, although I wouldn’t turn my nose up at either. Now, where’s that Huet……

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