Krug 2003 vintage sells out in hours, say merchants

news  %tages Krug 2003 vintage sells out in hours, say merchants
Strong demand for the Krug 2003 vintage has led to several merchants selling out within hours of releasing their allocations.

Krug's winemaking team left it nearly a decade previous to deciding to make the 2003 vintage, which is the fruit of a notoriously hard growing season in Champagne.Only a small number has been produced and, following praise from several critics, buyers have been quick to pounce on merchants' offers - underlining not only Krug's popularity but also rising consumer interest in vintage Champagne. 'We got a excellent allocation and we sold out very quickly,' Joss Fowler, director at Fine & Rare, told Suitcases of six bottles went on sale at £785 in bond on 24 January and were gone within 24 hours.Initial facts show that those buying early and by the case have received a substantial discount on Krug's recommended retail fee of around £230 for an singular bottle. 'Demand was high and we sold out in a matter of hours,' said Gareth Birchley, buyer at Bordeaux Index, which sold suitcases of 12 bottles for £1,570 in bond, equating to around £130-a-bottle. 'Allocations were very forceful.' It was a similar tale at the Queen's official wine merchant, Berry Bros & Rudd, which also sold out quickly. 'We didn't do a general offer on it, we hand-sold it,' said Matthew Tipping, Berrys' fine wine sales manager. Berrys sold the '03 for £786 per six-bottle case. Sales have also been going well at Farr Vintners, according to one of its directors, Tom Hudson. 'We got a decent allocation,' he said. Farr has priced similarly to its rivals, selling at £1,570 per 12 bottles in bond.It remains unclear whether more supplies will be made available, and Krug has not released official production facts, but some merchants are hopeful. 'We are tiresome,' said Fine & Rare's Fowler.Speaking to in London ahead of the official launch today (31 January), Olivier Krug called '03 the most challenging vintage in his 26 years at the Champagne house.During that year, Champenois contended with April frost, extreme summer heat and the earliest harvest since 1822. Chardonnay was terribly hit and, as a result, Krug '03 contains just 25% of the varietal, versus 43% and 45% Chardonnay in Krug 2000 and 1998 correspondingly.The '03 also contains 25% Pinot Meunier, with Pinot Noir building up the rest.Krug said of the strong demand for '03, 'this is a high interest event, because no one will have expected Krug to produce a 2003. I reckon people are buying it both as an investment, but also for investing for their pleasure in a few years.'Krug's main focus is securing enough wine for its non-vintage Grande Cuvee, and it only produces a vintage in particular years.

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