Ladies and Gentlemen,
One of the greatest figures in the world of Champagne, Henri Krug, passed away last week. The man had lived a full and satisfying life. I put that in because, although family and friends are grieving, this man brought generations of wine drinkers to a new appreciation of exclusive, high end, top quality bubbly. So much so, that the most recognized of houses, Moet and Chandon and Veuve Clicquot realized this decades ago, and took the estate under the wing of the LVMH conglomerate, but left the property much under its’ own control and destiny. Ironically, last weekend, I got to look at a Ernies’ wine list from 1968. Now closed, this venerable San Francisco restaurant had been featured in the 1955 Hitchcock movie, Vertigo, and was one of the greatest dining spots in California. I noted that it was a value, cheaper than Dom Perignon.
That is no longer the case. These wines are considered the most expensive and luxurious bubblies around. A great deal is due to Henri, who ran the house from 1977 until 2002. I wouldn’t be remiss in saying Clos de Mesnil (which he purchased), is the cru vineyard in the Cotes de Blancs, and defines Chardonnay as a sparkling wine. In fact, the growers of Champagne that are put into the Krug Grand Cuvee and other bottlings consider it a true honor.
I know that I am one of many across the world that are writing of his passing. I would say, given the breadth and depth, a fitting tribute.