1973 Krug Vintage & Krug Collection


It is always illuminating to taste the original release of Krug’s Vintage Champagne next to the late release. For this fun, informal tasting, the bottles were covered so as to remove any preconceived notions about the qualities of the two wines, but that turned out to be an unnecessary exercise, as it was plainly evident to all which wine was which. 

Nineteen seventy-three is a heralded vintage in a decade that blessed Champagne with a number of sensational vintages. The year is remembered for its warm, dry growing season and rich, textured wines. Both of those elements are very much on display in these two stunning Champagnes.

Elegantly burnished by the slow passage of time, Krug’s 1973 Vintage is now fully mature but at a glorious peak of expression. Apricot jam, honey, spice, hazelnut and orange zest show off the Krug oxidative style at its very best. The 1973 is rich and vinous in the glass, with fabulous depth and resonance in all of its dimensions. I don’t see much upside from cellaring bottles further, although the 1973 is likely to drink well for at least another handful of years to come. 95/Drink now.

Tasted next to the Krug Vintage of the same year, the 1973 Krug Collection is a real head-turner. Extended time on the lees has resulted in a slightly reductive character that adds notable complexity as well as freshness. And that is the key word on the 1973: freshness. Lemon confit, white flowers and orchard fruit all take shape in the glass. The Collection is more linear in style than the Vintage, with very few, if any, of the oxidative notes that are found in that wine. Invigorating and refreshing, the 1973 Collection is utterly irresistible. Readers lucky enough to own it can look forward to another decade or more of pure drinking pleasure. 98/Drink 2017-2027.