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Your next glass of 2008 Krug champagne should be served with the beautiful musical notes of RYUICHI SAKAMOTO. Here’s Suite for Krug in 2008.

This is not about your usual champagne pairing. No 10-course menu of seasonal ingredients. No sommelier’s recommendations table-side. Well, it could be, and it would be an excellent addition to your evening. But not when speaking of three Krug vintage champagnes from 2008.

To clarify, it’s not to say that Krug shies away from traditional gastronomic pairings – the revered French house has its yearly Krug X Single Ingredient edition. Rather, it’s a testimony to an overarching philosophy the maison has subscribed to since its founding in 1842: Each plot of vines across the rolling landscape of Reims is worth celebrating on its own – and in its own way.

And these 2008 labels – Krug Clos du Mesnil 2008, Krug 2008, and Krug Grande Cuvée 164éme Édition – were destined to be paired with music.

Krug has always been about music. Perhaps it’s become more apparent with Olivier Krug, the house’s sixth-generation representative, but has always existed within Krug’s extended discourse: Plots of vines are referred to as “performers”; grapes, “instruments”; and the champagne itself, a melodious piece of “music”. As for Krug’s cellar master, Julie Cavil, who’s the “conductor”, her discerning role entails choosing, comparing and cherry-picking – “auditioning”– the best of every season for a “masterpiece”, also known as the Krug Grande Cuvée.

Because to Krug, a bottle of champagne goes further than the irreverent spray in swanky nightclubs or celebratory dinners. It’s about enjoyment and shared experiences that spark inspiration. And how to showcase specific aromas and flavours in ways a single sip cannot.

It’s the same foundation that connects Krug’s star-studded roster of ambassadors, involving artists, musicians and artists endearingly known as Krug Lovers. One of whom is award-winning Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Some may recognise Sakamoto’s emotive scores, featured in notable films that include Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence (1983), The Last Emperor (1987), The Sheltering Sky (1990) and The Revenant (2015). Of his 40 original pieces – from pop albums to classic compositions – Sakamoto has won two Golden Globes and an Academy Award. Creating music, then, is what Sakamoto knows best. So, when a certain experience with Krug in New York involved a music pairing, he was intrigued.

“I was surprised to discover that a champagne house uses music to speak of its craftsmanship,” Sakamoto says. “This idea, a bit unconventional yet very simple, appealed to me. I studied ethnomusicology and have always believed that music can bring people together. Krug understands the universal power of music to dialogue and share its stories.”

If you remember, 2008 was a special year for Krug. The season was near-perfect; the coolest of its decade, which left a stress-free environment for the grapes and vines to develop. From a bountiful harvest of 250, Cavil singled out a Chardonnay plot from Clos du Mesnil – the “virtuoso soloist” – located in the region of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, which has been protected by stone walls since 1698. This was Krug Clos du Mesnil 2008.

With her team, Cavil measured out the best of the season – the “ensemble” – a handful of grapes reflecting the wonderful circumstances of the year’s harvest, nicknamed “classic beauty”. That was Krug 2008. And for the third “grand finale” of the Krug Grande Cuvée, a long-standing house tradition, the 164éme Édition in 2008 was a blend of 127 wines from 11 years.

When it was Sakamoto’s turn to create his Krug symphony inspired by 2008, he chose to listen. Beyond the pop of a cork or a gentle trickle from bottle to crystal flute, to the deafening silence of cavernous Krug cellars. He also observed: from the effervescent bubbles to elegant golden hue that twinkled under sunlight. Eventually, he completed a three-movement symphony: Suite for Krug in 2008.

“I know three creations from one single year are unique in champagne, and a symphony in three movements to tell the story seemed obvious to me,” Sakamoto explains. “The jobs of Julie and mine are different at first glance, but as time passed, the more I saw that things are quite similar,” he adds. “Like Julie, who doesn’t have a recipe for Krug champagnes, I don’t have a particular method. Melody and precision are key, and each creation is a challenge. I start with notes; she works with wines. We have a common vision to create something unique that, once it’s born, no longer belongs to us.” Performed by a live orchestra of 36 musicians selected by Sakamoto, Suite for Krug in 2008 reflects each champagne’s character, beginning with a piano solo, followed by a string ensemble, and with the final crescendo of a full orchestra. Accompanied by a mesmerising light display, it completes the immersive 3D experience.

Listen close with a full glass in hand and you might just discover a renewed perspective in appreciating both Krug and music, which brings us back to Sakamoto’s journey of “seeing sound, hearing Krug”.