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A Bubbly That Makes an Impression

Krug Brut Champagne Grande Cuvée NV
James Suckling
Posted: September 15, 2009

Last weekend, I had dinner with my girlfriend and her mother in Siena, in the restaurant Tre Cristi, which has excellent fresh fish. I wanted to make a good impression, or "la bella figura," so I ordered a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Rosé Champagne to start. But it was corked!

Corked bottles of Champagne are a real rarity; I can't think of the last time I had one. But it happened, and it was sort of embarrassing. The restaurant didn't have another bottle of the rosé already chilled, so I wasn't sure what to order.

I thought to myself: "La bella figura, James, and you only live once."

"Okay, we will take a bottle of Krug non-vintage," I said in Italian. I didn't remember the price, but I knew the bill afterwards was going to hurt.

The gold-labeled Krug arrived immediately, and was poured into our Riedel tulip glasses. It was outstanding. I hadn't had the non-vintage Krug in a while. It was very dense and rich, yet remained fresh and delicate. I loved the biscuit, subtle apple and dried tropical fruits on the nose and palate. The bead was fine and creamy. I gave the Champagne 92 points, non-blind. It was (ouch!) $280 on the list.

It didn't matter. It was a wonderful night. The food and service at Tre Cristi were excellent, and the company and conversation beautiful. members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Champagnes, along with our quick list of Top Values among all sparkling wines.

Member comments   1 comment(s)

Tom J Wilson — Canada —  September 15, 2009 5:11pm ET

In Siena my bubbly will be Cuvee Annamaria Clementi from Ca' del Bosco, or Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore....

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