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It all started with a dream. Joseph Krug had a vision of creating the finest champagne every year, regardless of variations in climate.

In 1843, he created the House of Krug’s first Grande Cuvée. This generous expression of champagne was composed of various wines from different years, resulting in a symphony of flavours and aromas that form a harmonious blend. To honour his dream, a new Édition is created annually and only once a year. It is symbolised by a number that also represents the years since the first Grande Cuvée was created.

The Grande Cuvée 170ème Édition

175 years have since passed and this year’s tribute release is the magnificent Grande Cuvée 170ème Édition. A total of over 20 years of craftsmanship went into the blend. Its creation focused on the harvest of 2014: a turbulent year for champagne with hot dry spells and cool rainy periods. Despite the erratic climate, the contrasting weather offered optimal conditions for harvest, as the freshness was preserved, and resulted in greater diversity of plots throughout the region.

Krug Cellar Master Julie Cevil’s challenge was to spotlight the wines of 2014 with an array of varying plots’ reserve wines from 11 other years. The result is a perfect marriage of 195 wines from 12 different years – spanning 1998 to 2014 – that forms the remarkable composition of 51% Pinot Noir, 38% Chardonnay and 11% Meunier. Approximately seven years in the cellars, with a total of over 20 years of craftsmanship, birthed a truly elegant expression.

True to tradition, the Krug Grande Cuvée 170ème Édition is a lush champagne. Golden in colour and crowned with fine bubbles, its aromas capture the essence of bloom, ripe, dried and citrus fruits, and gentle layers of baking spices found in marzipan and gingerbread. A sip reveals refined flavours of hazelnut, nougat, barley sugar, and even brioche and honey. Richly textured, further sips will uncover grilled notes and flavours of almond paste and quince. Culinary pairings are endless: Serve as an aperitif with aged cheese to accompany grilled seafood or flavour-packed food, and even with desserts.

Per Krug signature, careful attention was given to the vines and the character of each plot. Individuality is, after all, the cornerstone of the house’s savoir faire.

To pay tribute to this philosophy, the house holds an annual gastronomic event to honour a humble Single Ingredient, to show that much like each plot of vines, it is worthy of celebration. This year’s star is Rice, a culinary powerhouse and a symbol of global diversity, nourishment and vitality.

Krug x Rice

The seventh anniversary of Krug X Single Ingredient sees collaborations with modern British restaurant JAAN, Japanese establishment Hashida and fine-dining restaurant Zén. Happening from 11 July to 10 August, diners will be able to experience uniquely crafted rice dishes paired with a glass of Krug Grande Cuvée 170ème Édition at JAAN and Hashida, or the Krug Rosé 25ème Édition at Zén. Each guest will also receive the Krug x Rice cookbook when they experience the special pairing menu at either of the restaurants.

Chef ‘Hatch’ Kenjiro Hashida

At Hashida, chef Kenjiro ‘Hatch’ Hashida has created the Kinmedai Kiritanpo Soup, which features scorched rice beautifully juxtaposed with sweet leeks in a simmered chicken broth. This is topped with aged sea urchin.

Chef Kirk Westaway of Jaan

At JAAN, chef Kirk Westaway serves up Roasted Langoustine and Truffle Rice for a summer tribute to the Krug Grande Cuvée 170ème Édition. At the two restaurants, diners can simply switch the rice dish on the existing menu to the aforementioned dishes when they order a glass of Krug Grande Cuvée 170ème Édition (S$72). At Zén, chef Tristin Farmer’s buttery and umami Abalone Rice is complemented with a glass of the Krug Rosé 25ème Édition (S$100).

Krug Rosé 25ème Édition

Want an insider perspective of the Krug X Rice dinners? Hear from chef Kirk Westaway of JAAN and chef Kenjiro ‘Hatch’ Hashida of Hashida, both of whom are Krug’s Ambassades, on their first impressions of the Grande Cuvée 170ème Édition and their special rice creations.

What have been the most rewarding aspects of your journeys as Krug Ambassades?

Chef Kirk: Connecting with like-minded individuals, chefs, restaurateurs, Krug ambassadors and lovers from around the world. I’m fortunate to be able to enjoy and share Krug champagnes in the restaurant, but a highlight is meeting amazing people from around the world. It’s like Krug has its own community. I love what it does for everybody.

Chef Hatch: Likewise, Krug gives me the chance to meet other people. I get to share champagnes as an ambassador, exchange experiences and meet a lot of other chefs. It’s nice when we work closely and collaborate, like tonight’s Krug x Single Ingredient opening dinner with JAAN.

Tell us your first impression of the Grande Cuvée 170ème Édition.

Chef Kirk: Very fresh, light, clean and crispy. At the time of launch, it’s perfect, but it’ll be interesting to see how it evolves in the coming months and seasons.

Chef Hatch: It’s very elegant and classic.

Chef Hatch’s Kinmedai Kiritanpo Soup

How did it inspire the menu today?

Chef Hatch: Rice is a very familiar ingredient, especially for Asians and for myself since I’m a sushi chef. When thinking about pairing rice with the champagne, I remembered the Kiritanpo dish. It’s something like hotpot eaten in the winter season. A farmer would usually cook the rice, dry it, mash it and knead it. Then, he’ll cook it again, and turn it into a soup. To me, the process is similar to that of champagne-making with squeezing the grape, ageing and the waiting time. These similarities are why I chose the Kiritanpo method for my dish.

Roasted Langoustine & Truffle Rice by chef Kirk Westaway

Chef Kirk: I first designed the dish a few seasons ago, but I’ve added summer violin courgettes to it. The idea was to keep it light, sweet and elegant, just like the champagne. The courgette is crunchy, airy and delicious and brings the dish to a new summery dimension. In the dish, it’s lightly blanched and barbecued. With the citrus, roasted langoustine and truffle, it’s the perfect marriage. The influence and inspiration behind this dish was the freshness of the seasons and the sparkling citrus notes of the champagne. Paired with the freshness of the Grande Cuvée, it makes the ideal combination.

Is the rice used in the dishes of a particular provenance?

Chef Kirk: Rice is not a staple in the UK so to implement it in menu was a bit more of a challenge. We had to find a way to incorporate it in a light style. We found a Korean rice. It’s a rice that a supplier gave us a couple of years ago. I remember this rice as being very sweet, rich and luxurious. We cook it very simply. We mix it with some soft British cream from Devon, with a little bit of citrus and lemon. It makes it light, fluffy and super tasty. The roasted langoustine and the rest of the ingredients make the dish a perfect combination for the summer season.

Chef Hatch: I’m using rice from the Akita prefecture, where the Kiritanpo dish originated from.

Could you share the strongest memory you have of Krug?

Chef Kirk: The first time I tasted a Krug champagne was when I came to Singapore for the first time 10 years ago. It really reminded me of rich golden luxury. It was obviously delicious but there was something very magical about that moment. That was when my first time in Singapore, first time in JAAN and first time tasting Krug. I had landed in Singapore just four hours before, but there I was with my glass of Krug and all these ‘firsts’. It’s a memory I’ve carried along with me in my heart.

JAAN by Kirk Westaway: Lunch from S$138++ per guest; dinner from S$318++ per guest

Hashida: Dinner from S$450++ per guest

Zén: Lunch and dinner S$580++ per guest

The Krug Grande Cuvée 170ème Édition and the Krug Rosé 25ème Édition retail for S$355 and S$498 respectively at Moomba.

The post Krug celebrates its new Grande Cuvée 170ème Édition and honours this year’s Single Ingredient of Rice with special menus at Jaan, Hashida and Zen appeared first on Prestige Online – Singapore.