Most people like to purchase a wine and drink it immediately. That being said, it can be fun to get into a winery’s vintage library. Charles Krug recently celebrated 75 years with a round of masterclasses in select cities. New York was on the list where a class was hosted by Peter Mondavi Jr. at the Mandarin Hotel.
Charles Krug is Napa Valley’s oldest winery and longest-running tasting room. Wine has been made on their property since the days 1861 as in when Abe Lincoln was president. The winery took a turn in 1943 when Cesare and Rosa Mondavi bought the property from the Krug family. The winery quickly became known for Bordeaux-varietal wines and winemaking techniques.
The tasting included releases from ‘64,‘66, ’83, ’91,’ 98, and ’03 of Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon along with the current ‘15 vintage and sample of the ‘16 vintage.
Mondavi Jr. did a demo on how to open an older bottle of wine. It’s important to remember that as a wine ages interesting things can happen with the cork. Sometimes a cork can get crumbly which is why using a two prong corkscrew is ideal. He used, The Durand, which is the perfect wine gadget for removing fragile corks.
It was interesting to go on a journey of the wines through the years and see how they changed for the better or worse. The ‘64 changed quickly as it opened up as did the ‘66. I was a fan of the ‘98 which was said to be a very good year. The 2016 was a lovely and will age nicely .
Some of the wines from library the tasting will only be available to members of the Charles Krug Wine Club. If you are a wine collector the club might be the way you want to go. Clearly bold reds are their main focus, but the winery does produce Chardonnay, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc.