The much-awaited Krug Grande Cuvée 169ème Édition has just been released by the House of Krug in a tradition started by its founder, Joseph Krug, in 1843. Krug’s dream was simple, although not necessarily easy to achieve: to craft the very best champagne he could, regardless of annual variations of weather. While vintage champagnes are high on any connoisseur’s wish list, a good grande or prestige cuvee is also a coveted choice. While vintages are reliant on a good harvest for a particular year, a Grande Cuvée is the result of the blend of wines from the house’s different plots and their reserve wines. The Krug Grande Cuvée 169ème Édition is one of the House’s most painstaking productions, a blend of some 146 wines from 11 years between 2000-2013. Will Western snobs ever take Asian wines seriously? To create this edition, cellar master Julie Cavil focused on the harvest of 2013, and looked to accentuate the year’s fullness and aromatic elegance with the wines from 10 other years. Careful attention was given to the vines and Krug’s respect for the individual character of each plot enabled the breadth of expression of this edition of Krug Grande Cuvée. “After two challenging years, the harvest of 2013 gave the house’s oldest plots the conditions they needed to shine. In this edition of Krug Grande Cuvée, you will find beautiful wines from our plots in Ambonnay and Ricey. The chardonnays of the year were magnificently fresh and pure, with great intensity and length. The pinot noirs were powerful and long with discreet fruit, while the meuniers added structure, tension and vivacity,” says Cavil. Reserve wines from the house’s collection make up 40 per cent of the final blend, which comprises 43 per cent pinot noir, 35 per cent chardonnay and 22 per cent meunier. Seven years in the cellars imbued it with a distinct expression, with a nose of flowers in full bloom, and citrus fruits, marzipan and gingerbread. “To complete the blend, different plots’ wines were selected from throughout the first decade of the millennium, including meuniers from Saint-Gemme, which contributed warmth, opulence, and texture, contrasting with the chiselled meuniers of 2013.” Krug’s cellar masters recommend this champagne as an aperitif, paired with Jabugo ham and the sharp and nutty notes of mature Comté, or served to accompany seafood, Indian or Moroccan food, and even desserts such as carrot cake, tarte Tatin and cheesecake. Purists who prefer to hold out for a vintage must wait until September when the house releases Krug 2008, largely considered a stand-out year with critic Robert Parker giving it 99 points. Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .