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Richard Juhlin has taken on his next big project – the book ‘Champagne hiking’.

CONCEPT by RJ

My 100 favorite Champagnes drinking outdoors are paired with my 100 favorite places on earth (but always with a beautiful view). Champagnes has to be on the market. Each Champagne may only participate once and no account is taken of different vintages.

SETUP The book begins with personal espousal text about my interest in geography, nature and the environment. I season it with my interest in sports and outdoor activities, and how much I love to enjoy Champagne and nature preceded by physical activity. Most preferably Champagne Hiking, a long trek to the bubbling goal. Then the general text of Champagne. Since detailed assessment of the conditions that should exist for a Champagne will be the most enjoyable. For example, I write about the conditions that affect the experience of Champagne as, temperature, sunlight, altitude, humidity, wind conditions, air quality, season, time of day, the smells of the place, gastronomy, glass, personal emotional state, picnic opportunity , hardship , company etc.

Then follows a philosophical analytical evaluation of what makes us enthralled by a certain place and a view. What is a view? Here I have a lot of new and interesting to convey hopefully. Then I motivate my personal site selection formed the suitability of the site from different aspects, the site’s beauty and interesting identity, self-perceived nostalgic memories, etc. The sites are a mix of restaurants, hotels and known and unknown natural places in the open. These aspects together lead to that there is a clear dominance of the European places and because of the climatic conditions, extremely few tropical or very cold places in the book.

champagne hiking no 18.0

Richard Juhlin in the center of the wonderful project champagne hiking. here with Lithuanias best champagne tasters at the magnificent Trakai Castle with 1989  Krug ’Collection’ by the magnum.

1989 KRUG ‘COLLECTION’

Krug (Reims) Vintage  Tested  PN  PM  CH  Score  Pot. 
Krug Collection 1989 201401 47 24 29 93 93
A wine I liked a lot for a long time but that obviously is going through a strange phase. The wine feels much more oxidative than that released in the 90s. Can not think of other than that this phase is temporary. Really hope so. Last bottle was lovely with mint chocolate tone from 1938.

Krug Logo

RICHARD JUHLIN ON KRUG For me, Krug is more than a Champagne. It is a word that stands for artistry, tradition, craftsmanship, and moments of pure pleasure.

The Krug family has used the same methods since the house was founded in 1843 by Johann-Joseph Krug from Mainz. It is hardly likely that the Krug philosophy will be abandoned in the foreseeable future, since it has brought so much success.

Put simply, that philosophy means that all the wines are fermented cru by cru in well-aged 205-liter barrels from the Argonne and central-east France. The wines are seldom filtered: they undergo just two rackings, by gravity, from cask to cask. Nor do they induce a malolactic fermentation, which is one of the reasons for Krug’s fantastic aging potential. None of the wines is disgorged before it is six years old, and the reserve wines are stored in stainless-steel tanks from the Swedish company Alfa Laval. The firm’s least costly wine, Grande Cuvée, is made from 118 wines from ten different vintages. Naturally the raw materials are also of the very highest class. Twenty hectares in Aÿ, Ambonnay, Le Mesnil, and Trépail are owned by the house, but above all it is the network of prestigious contracts with some of the region’s best growers that answers for the quality, as the growers consider it an honor to supply Krug with grapes.

Johann-Joseph Krug, the founder, learned his Champagne craft at Jacquesson and, when he regarded himself as qualified after nine years there, he set off to Reims to start his own house. After Joseph’s death his son Paul took over and built the powerful Krug dynasty, followed as he was by Joseph Krug II in 1910 and Joseph’s nephew, Jean Seydoux, in 1924. It was he, together with Paul Krug II, who created the famous cuvées, and it was only in 1962 that the legendary Henri Krug took over. Today the wines are made by Eric Lebel and Olivier Krug is the president.

They work undisturbed and independently, despite the fact that the firm is owned by LVMH. All Krug’s wines are small masterworks, and although Grande Cuvée may be lighter and fresher than its predecessor, Private Cuvée, after a few extra years in the cellar it outshines the competitors’ vintage Champagnes. Unfortunately I have to note a small question mark for the latest blend.

Clos du Mesnil is a charmer that combines the best Blanc de Blancs while simultaneously distinguishing the wine with the house’s own distinct style. For me, Krug Clos du Mesnil is he best wine in the world! The Clos d´Ambonnay is a shockingly expensive rarity that has only just been launched. The most costly young champagne in the world is worth 3,000 euros per bottle which does not seem to frighten away Krug fans since all 3,000 bottles are already booked up. The wine itself is fantastic most especially since it is clearly a brother belonging to the same sibling group in the Krug family. This wine is much more the breath of Krug than of Ambonnay, just as the Clos du Mesnil is in its own niche. It feels as though all Krug wines receive a last tiny squirt of Krug perfume that distinguishes them from everything else wherever their origins. It matters not if others copy the methods with old, small oak barrels, no malolactic fermentation, aging for 12 years and other technicalities. It is still impossible for them to copy Krug.

I think that the Clos d’Ambonnay is very reminiscent of the ordinary vintage and is astonishingly enough only marginally more full-bodied than the latter. A blanc de noirs with fantastic finesse far beyond all ungainliness. Its freshness and phenomenally long aftertaste are however the most striking things about this magnificent wine. The bouquet is richly creamy with a hint of hazelnuts and brioche along with papaya preserves and mango. The flavour balances between fairytale mellowness and a freshness that is similar to a 96. A new world-class wine has been born. The vintage Krug is now in competition with the Clos wines, but if we go backward in time, this is without doubt the best champagne of them all. The 1996 is pure magic and the 82 Collection is super. If the opportunity arises, never miss the chance to drink a Krug! Vintage Krug competes with today’s Clos du Mesnil, but if we go backward in time, it is without doubt the best Champagne. The 1990 is pure magic. If the opportunity arises, never miss the chance to drink a Krug!

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