Why Does Krug Champagne Cost North of $2,000 a Bottle?


Krug Champagne, a French champagne house founded in 1843 announced that it may release a new vintage of its Clos d’Ambonnay in 2015 for an estimated $2,000 a bottle. Experts cite three reasons for the extravagant price tag: single vineyard, single grape, and single vintage. Apparently, it’s an extremely rare occurrence to find all three elements in one champagne seeing as the combination creates a consistency that brings out the unique characteristics of the soil in which the grapes are grown.

The grapes for some of Krug’s most luxurious champagnes come from a 300-year old, 4.5-acre vineyard that the Krug family bought in 1971, while the grapes for this particular $2,000 champagne come from an even smaller 1.7-acre plot that supposedly makes the wine that much more valuable. Most champagnes are a blend of different grapes from different sites, but the Krug Clos d’Ambonnay is made from a single variety of grape–all Pinot Noir–picked during the same year. With a limited supply of only 4,760 bottles and a strong demand for the rare Clos d’Ambonnay, collectors and luxury consumers are bound to pay the four-figure price without even thinking twice.

Founded by Joseph Krug in 1843, Krug Champagne is based principally in Reims, the main city in France’s champagne region. Krug produces mainly Krug Grande Cuvée, while the rest of its current lineup consists of Krug Rosé, Krug Vintage 1998 and 2000, Krug Collection 1989, Krug Clos du Mesnil 1998 and 2000, and Krug Clos d’Ambonnay 1996 and 1998. On the nose, Krug is characterized by toasted, grilled, pastry, or almond notes born from at least six years of aging, while on the palate, Krug is characterized by notes of fresh fruit–particularly citrus–and a freshness linked to grape selection.

Krug does not suppress malolactic fermentation, nor does it provoke it, with the majority of its wines not undergoing the process. The champagne house also produces an array of usually dry wines, utilizing all three champagne varieties–Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.  Today, the champagne house is majority owned by the multinational conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton S.A., simply known as LVMH, whose portfolio includes other well known wine brands such as Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, and Ruinart. Despite LVMH’s majority ownership, the Krug family is still actively involved in all the key decisions of the house, but does not manage the day-to-day operations. LVMH currently has a market cap of $69.12 billion.

For more information on Krug Champagne, visit krug.en and check out a video below with the U.S. Director of Krug on “how to do champagne right,” courtesy of Forbes’ YouTube channel.

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