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12/07/2019

Krug, Cheese Donuts and Dizzee Rascal

by Sonal Sagar (Guest Blog)

The Champagne house of Krug is synonymous with perfection. When I was invited by BI to a Krug dinner at none other than the genius Adam Handling's outpost – Frog by AH, Covent Garden, I knew I was in for a treat. 

The evening started with a beautiful glass of Krug Grande Cuvee 160th Edition in Jeroboam as an aperitif. A blend of 120+ wines, the champagne was well balanced, perfectly ripe and with an extremely complex nose. The palate had a lovely taste of red and green apples and strong hints of stone fruit. It was drinking beautifully. The GC was well paired with some snacks, including the famous chicken butter, Cheese doughnuts and smoked cod with caviar - all made more fun when we were encouraged to use our fingers! 

We then moved onto the Krug Vintage 1996, the wine of the evening for me. It had strong notes of brioche, honey, and ripe stone fruit. The champagne was singing on the palate with a long and lingering finish. The pairing was perfect - an unlikely vegetarian course - celeriac, date, apple and truffle.

Next up was the Krug 1998; much younger than its predeccessor but interestingly much more mature on the nose and palate. The wine was well balanced and the finish long but it was lacking the freshness of the 1996 which I found myself going back to again and again. The vintage champagne was paired beautifully with another cracking vegetarian dish - mushroom agnolotti with black garlic.  

We then moved to the 2000 Clos d'Ambonnay, another killer champagne from the minuscule 0.68 hectare Pinot Noir plot. The wine was fresh and refreshing yet rich and opulent. Paired wonderfully with a meaty cod and Kohlrabi dish.

I normally turn my nose up at rosé champagne but I was blown away by the last wine of the evening. The Krug rosé 23rd edition was a revelation. The notes of strawberry and rhubarb were crisp and clear, accompanied with brioche, caramel, toast and sweet spice. What a treat, and accompanied with a beautiful duck and peach main course.

The champagnes were wonderfully introduced by Jerome Jacoillon, winemaker for the Clos de Mesnil site (although we unfortunately didn't try these - next time!)

The evening was well hosted by the BI team with conversation flowing seamlessly from how the wines are blended, ageing methods, harvest timings and some Dizzee Rascal lyrics thrown in for good measure. An unforgettable evening in every respect.