REIMS - To say that drinking Krug weaves a Kundry-like spell is something of an understatement – it can floor you! That, of course, would not be ideal for a member of Sotheby’s Wine Department but, metaphorically, we were ‘floored’ when we tasted some of the extraordinary Krug Champagnes that adorn a unique auction, taking place in New York on 1 December.

Arriving just before the vintage in September, Krug’s courtyard in the middle of Reims was completely covered with small barrels, a forest of fûts being moistened with water in preparation for welcoming the 2012 harvest. Krug is one of the few Champagne producers who effect the first fermentation in mature oak casks, while the all-important reserve wines are stored in stainless steel vats. It is this incredible source of the best Champagne material that is the key to Krug. Blending becomes an art, honed by knowledge and precision, giving complexity, longevity and a multi-dimensional profundity to each vintage and to the incomparable Grande Cuvée.

The Krug cellars in Reims.

The moment of pure lift-off for this confirmed ‘Krugiste’ was when the beauteous bottles of Grande Cuvée from the past were unveiled. Chez nous, we like to squirrel away some Grande Cuvée for rainy days (and sunny ones too), but here we had the rich panoply of creations composed of up to 120 wines and up to 11 different years, treasures that have long been slumbering in Krug’s cellars until the Krug team ‘stumbled’ upon them – maybe I should rephrase that. These wonders have such an array of scents and flavours that even sniffing the empty glasses was a heady experience. Grande Cuvée is a liquid mosaic, constantly changing as all the elements of the blend talk to each other in the bottle. I can assure you that the ‘conversation’ is fascinating.

The Krug cellars in Reims.

I once did quite a bit of judo, which comes in handy when twisting arms. However, this time, I just had to nudge and Krug came up with the brilliant idea of a never-to-be-repeated auction of their greatest gems, all direct from their cellars in Reims. There is Krug Vintage and Krug Collection, Clos du Mesnil and the ultra rare Clos d’Ambonnay, bottles, magnums and Jeroboams, plus two amazing visits to Maison Krug in Reims, with all the trimmings – download the catalogue without delay!

Me? I am going to trot home now and seek out a venerable Grande Cuvée – I deserve it!