Last night, myself and 30 colleagues were treated to one of the most exquisite tastings of deluxe cuvee champagnes. Held in the glorious surrounds of Moet Hennessey’s office in London, we were faced with the unenviable task of comparing and contrasting two of the most prestigious Champagne ranges – Dom Perignon Vs Krug.
Round 1 Dom Perignon 2000 Vs Krug Grande Cuvee NV
Dom Perignon 2000 – this had a beautiful pale straw colour, and a wonderfully persistent bead of tiny bubbles. The nose was unbelievably fresh and decadent, with hints of lemon, white peaches and creamed honey. It delivers this and more on the palate, finishing long and very clean, maintaing purity and elegance. Whilst it was a stunning champagne, it will benefit greatly from 18 months or so in the cellar. I have always been of the opinion that Dom Perignon is released about 12 months too early. I am now drinking my 1998’s and my god are they good.
Krug Grande Cuvee – I make no bones about the fact that I am a die hard ‘Krug-ist’. I believe this to be one of the finest champagnes on the market. The Grande Cuvee is a non-vintage champagne that has been aged in oak, giving it a distinctively rich nose and palate. The bouquet makes you sit down and marvel at the explosive aromas of toast, yeast, dried lemon peel, and freshly roasted nuts. In the mouth this champagne really comes into its own. The wonderfully rich flavours are balanced by fine acidity, and a length that seems to go on and on. Simply put, this is possibly the finest champagne on the market! It is released ready to drink, but like the Dom Perignon 2000, by golly does it get better from spending time in the cellar.
Round 1 goes to Krug Grande Cuvee.
Round 2 – Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1995 Vs Krug Vintage 1998
Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1995 – This was the first time I had tried the Oenotheque 1995, and I hope that it wont be my last. In my humble opinion, I dont think Champagne really does get much better than this. It has the most beautiful pale golden colour, and a delicious nose of french toast, dried apricots, roasted nuts and nuances of flint and gunsmoke! Rich and rounded on the palate, it delivers flavour by the bucket load. There is such harmony here, as the minerally acidity pulls it all together and makes you pucker up for another helping!
Krug Vintage 1998 – For the DP Oenotheque 1995, I said that champagne doesnt get much better than this. Well clearly I was wrong, because the 1998 Krug is sublime! Much like the Grande Cuvee, the Vintage Krug is an absolute blockbuster of a wine, and anyone fortunate enought to have tried Krug that is 25+ years old, will know exactly what I mean. The 1998 is still unbelievably young. The colour is still very pale, and the nose still very tight and closed. Aromas of lemon, toast, green apples creep out of the glass rather than leap. There is a richness and concentration of fruit on the nose and the palate that remind me quite a bit of the 1996 vintage. That said, the champagne continues to evolve and open up on the palate, then it starts to sing, and ooh lah lah I like it!! This is most certainly one for the cellar.
Round 2 – Dead Heat.
Round 3 – Dom Perignon Rose 1998 Vs Krug Rose NV
Dom Perignon Rose 1998 – Currently at Majestic we still have some stocks of the 1996 Dom Perignon Rose, however the 1998 is also available. Deep pink in colour, the wine displays aromas of sweet cherries, hints of strawberry and there is an undelying tone of exotic spice. On the palate it delivers lashings of fruit flavour, with the delicate balance of tongue tingling acidity and . Still perhaps a little young, but a must for the connoisseur.
Krug Rose NV – Krug Rose is very pale pink in colour, but don’t let this deceive you into believing that it is a lightweight champagne. On the contrary, the champagne is packed with flavours of summer fruits, and a hint of cherry blossom. It dances around on the palate, and delivers just what you perhaps werent expecting. An abundance of flavour, exceptional length and the most morish finish of any champagne I can think of. Wow-wee, what champagne. Not cheap, but worth it! If currently unavailable to buy online in your local store – please contact your local store team or the St John’s Wood Fine Wine Centre and we will do our best to help.
Round 3 – goes to Krug Rose NV, but it was close.
Overall, the room was divided as to which champagne brand was the overall winner. The Dom Perignon being for those who want a lighter more delicate champagne that will win the affection of most. Krug on the other hand is a rich and powerful style of champagne that I personally adore, and it will always have a home in my cellar.