Vinification is the process that transforms the grapes into wine. The process of vinification differ from region to region, financial state of the winery and the grape types. The harvesting time and the type of oak used for aging are based on the region in which the wine grapes are grown.

Wine making process involves the following stages:

  • The first step in wine making process is Harvesting or Picking. Grapes should be harvested at the right time in order to make good wine. Harvesting can be done either mechanically or by hand.
  • The process of separating the grapes from the stems and cluster parts is called Destemming. Some of the wine makers keep some fragments of the stem to increase the wine tannin.
  • After destemming the grapes are crushed to extract the juice from the skin. This is done before the fermentation process begins. In the olden days bare feet is used to extract the grape juice, now a day machines like crushers are used.
  • Separation of grape juice and the skin is named as pressing. After crushing the grape juice will flow freely, selected wineries use pressers to make sure maximum juice is released.
  • Once the grapes are pressed they are introduced into the process of fermentation. During this process the grape juice are converted into alcoholic beverage. The yeast interacts with the sugar in the grape juice and converts them into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
  • Once the wine is purified and refined, they are preserved with sulfur dioxide or potassium sorbate. During the natural process of fermentation a minimum amount of sulfites are produced, but more is added for the use of commercial preservation.
  • Wines are aged for a particular amount of time to get more welcoming wine. Once after purification, the wines are moved to wooden barrels for aging. Metal vats, concrete vats and glass carboys are also used in some cases to increase the flavor.
  • After aging, the wines are bottled. During the process of bottling a final dose of sulfite is added to the wine to prevent it from uninvited fermentation in the bottle. The bottles are then sealed with cork and screw caps.

Champagne expert and Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Chair, Richard Juhlin, has been fortunate enough to have sampled the vintage collection of Krug’s famous blanc de blancs, Clos du Mesnil, on two recent occasions. Here's what he thought of the wines...

Krug Clos du Mesnil vertical

Our expert rates Krug Clos du Mesnil Champagnes...

The post Krug Clos du Mesnil Champagne tasted: 1979 to 2003 appeared first on Decanter.


Champagne expert and Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Chair, Richard Juhlin, has been fortunate enough to have sampled the vintage collection of Krug’s famous blanc de blancs, Clos du Mesnil, on two recent occasions. Here's what he thought of the wines...

Krug Clos du Mesnil vertical

Our expert rates Krug Clos du Mesnil Champagnes...

The post Krug Clos du Mesnil Champagne tasted: 1979 to 2003 appeared first on Decanter.

Champagne expert and Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Chair, Richard Juhlin, has been fortunate enough to have sampled the vintage collection of Krug’s famous blanc de blancs, Clos du Mesnil, on two recent occasions. Here's what he thought of the wines...

Krug Clos du Mesnil vertical

Scroll down to see our Krug Clos du Mesnil ratings


Why Clos du Mesnil deserves a place in Champagne’s hall of fame

In 1971, the Krug family bought and revived a small 1.87 hectare walled vineyard in the village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, known as Clos du Mesnil.

The first eight vintages of its Chardonnay were included in the blend of Krug’s non-vintage Grande Cuvée, but in 1979 its sheer class and personality persuaded the family to bottle it separately – and a legend was born.

For me, there is nothing more beautiful on the palate than Clos du Mesnil’s velvet smoothness, fragrant nobility and citrus-fresh length, thanks to fruit from Champagne’s most distinguished grand cru in combination with brilliant winemaking from one of the finest and most prestigious Champagne houses of them all.

Clos du Mesnil  has very distinct similarities to the mountain-stream-pure Salon and the mandarin-dominated Pierre Péters Les Chètillons, both also from Mesnil-sur-Oger. However, Krug combines these two with an almost indescribable and unmistakable fragrance of nobility.

It is only made in miniscule quantities when quality is considered to be outstanding, with an average of 12,000 bottles per vintage.

The grapes are divided into six parts and barreled individually at the Clos these days. This contributes to the wine’s innate complexity and identifies the unique significance of this tiny, perfect piece of vineyard.

Clos du Mesnil vertical – the ratings:

Please not that the 2002 vintage was not tasted. Click on the wines to see full tasting notes and stockist information for US and UK, where available. 

Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, 2003

Even in this bad-tempered vintage, the earth-shaking minerality of Krug’s single-vineyard Clos du Mesnil could not be dampened. It utterly...

Points 97

Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, 2000

At first, this exhibited alluring tropical passion fruit notes. But five years ago, it was transformed into a more honed and classical Clos du...

Points 97

Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, 1998

From the very start, everything was perfectly in place in the 1998. It remains; complex, developed, generous, rich and smooth – a magnificent...

Points 96

Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, 1996

An extraordinary champagne. Profoundly intense and complex with a fabulously opulent texture and nougat infused depth. A dazzling effort...

Points 97

Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, 1995

Great purity, acidity and a charming apple fruitiness with almond and walnut oil notes in the background. But it lacks the sumptuous...

Points 93

Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, 1992

Clos du Mesnil is defined by its all-enclosing high walls, without which this would be an ordinary piece of ground. Anyone who...

Points 95

Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, 1990

At first, slightly bitter and one-dimensional. But after 15 minutes, it comes to life, with a clear and surprising scent of spice, juniper...

Points 96

Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, 1989

The '89 is one of the richest and most delicious vintages ever produced from Clos du Mesnil. Purists may say that the wine is a little over ripe...

Points 96

Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, 1988

Still extraordinarily young, taut, pure, silky and mineral fresh. This dances and darts across the palate like a ballerina, yet there is also a...

Points 99

Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, 1986

Still remarkably youthful, delicate and fine-tuned. It’s also fully mature with a deep, classic walnut oil character, broad buttery depth and...

Points 95.5

Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, 1985

This is the absolute epitome of elegance, pleasure and sophistication. The balance, complexity and length here leave me...

Points 99.5

Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, 1983

Mature, and the essence of Chardonnay. A vibrantly attractive limey citrus attack is supported by a lively acidity which is very much...

Points 95

Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, 1982

This was and is the wine of the vintage, which I find more Krug-like than Mesnil-like. The nose is exotic with oriental spice, toffee,...

Points 98

Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, 1981

Early in its life this had a shy scent, pale colour and delicate citrus flavour. Today, thanks to its terroir and Krug’s savoir faire, it has...

Points 96

Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, 1980

Only the second vintage of Clos de Mesnil, it staggers me how good and long-lived this remains. I’ve experienced some bottle variation, but...

Points 95

Krug, Clos du Mesnil, Champagne, France, 1979

Brilliantly crafted by Henri Krug this remains a near perfect blanc de blancs. The ultra-refined nose leans more to finesse than richness...

Points 99

Originally published in the June 2017 issue of Decanter magazine


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Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.