To coincide with the memorial celebrations of the World War I centenary, director Olivier Krug, 6th generation of the Krug family, has announced what it calls the most exceptional tasting and life experience the House of Krug has ever proposed.
The experience for four people will include a tasting of Krug Private Cuvée 1915 (only 4 bottles of the champagne remain in the Caveau Collection in Krug’s cellars) and will be led by Olivier Krug, with Sotheby's master of wine, Serena Sutcliffe and two members of the Krug tasting committee.
Krug says the successful bidder will relive the life of Krug in 1915. With the help of the house historian, Olivier Krug will lead a tour of the vineyards focusing on some of the most important features of 1915. There will be a visit to Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, with a tasting of champagnes from Clos du Mesnil through five vintages and dinner at L’Assiette Champenoise, where young three-star chef, Arnaud Lallement, will prepare a specific menu around a tasting called: ‘Journey in the Krug Universe’.
On day two, a vertical tasting will be organised in the cellar itself and the highlight will be the opening, then tasting, of one of the four last bottles of Krug 1915.
At the end, the empty bottle will receive a replica of the original label and will be presented to the buyer in a tailormade oak box, with a dedicated photo album.
Krug history 1915:
From September 1914 to November 1918, Reims (only 1,200 meters from the front) suffered 1,151 days of heavy artillery bombardments. The Krug family shared the fate of millions of French people affected by the war. They supported their employees, their families and the community by opening the doors of their buildings, as shelter from the relentless bombing raids.
In some areas, in particular the Montagne de Reims, the grapes were harvested only a few hundred yards from the trenches and under heavy shelling.
At the time the House of Krug was being run by Jeanne Krug, after her husband Joseph Krug II was captured and imprisoned. With a skeleton staff, Jeanne maintained the activity of the House while helping with the war effort in Reims, working with the Red Cross and treating wounded soldiers.
Despite the unfolding devastation, the harvests in 1915 still allowed for the creation of a special vintage. A report on the progress of the 1915 harvest, sent to Jeanne Krug on September 22 1915, read: “The harvest is well under way and the beautiful weather helps and gives us hope to make a good wine in better conditions.”
Jeanne Krug informed her husband of the progress of the harvest and the quality of the wines, and even forwarded Joseph Krug II’s replies of recommendations to the chef de caves for supplies and blends.
Olivier Krug, Jeanne Krug’s great grandson said: “In our own small way, we make history by preserving it, and so I am proud and delighted to pass on this treasured piece of Krug’s past. One hundred years on, during two days, history will be alive, in the place where all started but now with much more joy.”
The auction will take place on September 25 at Sotheby’s Wine, New York. Starting bid: $15,000. Bids can be registered at: sothebys.com/wine.