I think that your mistake would be looking for something in the style of Krug. That is probably a silly approach unless you have maybe drank someone's Krug and now want to play an elaborate hoax ala Northern Exposure.
If quality is all that you are after, I would suggest looking to a local retailer or an online vender if allowed in your state and looking for a "grower" (read: small independent producer) Champagne, which, in my small experience, often have wonderfully distinctive character.
If this is not a possibility in your market or if you want something more readily available, then there are many here who can offer you advice as to the best and do so with more authority than me.
Personally though, Pol Roger is a good bet. Though once again, not in a "Krug Style".
Let me know if it is somehow the hoax b/c i would be interested to know how that turned out.
In the end, Krug is truly unique, but I'd recommend the Lallement NV Brut Reserve, if you can get it. Small production, 100% Grand Cru, the NV is usually actually a vintage wine - just not labeled as such (the '98 was killer!), and it's in a very assertive, full-bodied style. Will you fool someone experienced with Krug? No, but this is the closest thing I've found... still miles away, but great bubbly IMHO.
There are a few I like under $100 that while not Krug are enjoyable in their own right. But if it needs to be like Krug in density, then look for 1995 Joseph Perrier Champagne Cuvée Josephine. Retails for under $100 (around $80), comes with a hand painted bottle and a nice box too but the stuff inside is very nice.
quote:
Originally posted by The Economist:
I've never had Krug Champagne - what is it about the Champagne that makes it so special and such a standout?


It's the same thing that makes any top wine such a standout. It's well-made wine with the highest quality raw materials. Not exactly sure what you're asking here...
quote:
Originally posted by BRR:
quote:
Originally posted by The Economist:
I've never had Krug Champagne - what is it about the Champagne that makes it so special and such a standout?


It's the same thing that makes any top wine such a standout. It's well-made wine with the highest quality raw materials. Not exactly sure what you're asking here...


To rephrase, how does the taste differ from other top notch bubblies?
quote:
It's the same thing that makes any top wine such a standout. It's well-made wine with the highest quality raw materials. Not exactly sure what you're asking here...


That much I do already know - my question pertains to the perceptible characteristics of the wine. I'm wondering if it is Biblically concentrated, has an unusually appealing and expressive nose, if it tastes like sex & candy, etc...

Thanks again,

The Economist.
Fut's on the right track here.

There is no better way to describe wines such as these. They have a very distinct 'style' that is unique onto their own.

"Unusually appealing and expressive nose"? YES. ALWAYS.

"..if it tastes like sex & candy.." Some MAY refer to wines like this as such. To each their own. The common denominator indeed is the unique/special qualities that these wines contain/display, indeed. Nothing else quite like them.

To experience them is to TASTE them. Their is no possible way to experience these wines vicariously. You MUST open one and taste.

People start to attempt to compare Chateau d'Yquem in this manner. Again, the same rule applies. Not all vintages are great, and certainly none two the exact same. However..... I believe you get the point.
There really isn't anyone quite like Krug, but a couple that are somewhat similar are:

Alfred Gratien's entire line:
Give the NV 5 years of aging and it is a very nice wine that at least tastes like a discount knockoff of the real thing (Krug NV). The tete de cuvee Cuvee Paradis is nice on release, but the NV with age just about equals it. Interestingly the best of the range is the vintage and that has some similarity to Krug, but not as much as the NVs IMO.

Henri Giraud's Fut de Chene:
Personally, I don't really think this tastes like Krug (richer oak and more fruit IMO), but many others do. It has the price tag to match too. Regardless of whether or not I think it tastes like Krug, it is very, very good.
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
...speaking of Krug. Smile

Perhaps it is just me, but I have found the more recent NV releases less than expected, and not very Krug like. Confused

I do hope I have just had a bad run recently.


Have to disagree on this one. While I do think recent releases taste younger now than it used to and do believe that a stylistic change on the NV cuvees did take place a few years back, I think the last 3 releases (2006-2008) disgorgements have been wonderful wines. Not quite as spicy or rich as the wines released 5+ years ago, but with an extra dimension of brightness and finesse that makes up for it although the wine is a little different.

Without going through notes, I can't recall which year's release was a bit green, but I think it was either 2004 or 2005 (corresponded with the label change).
quote:
...speaking of Krug. Smile

Perhaps it is just me, but I have found the more recent NV releases less than expected, and not very Krug like


What Brad said. To add to this I have some Krug NV that has been cellared since the release of the "new label" and it is now getting into the Krug groove (3+ years). I marked the bottles so I would know how long they have been in the cellar.

No concerns on Krug NV from my perspective. Hmm, now I know what to drink tonight! Cool

Sorry, didn't answer the question because there is no good answer. Krug is fairly unique. I've heard some people compare Vilmart to it but that comparison does not work for me.

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