1996 has registered extremely wide temperature variations during the cycle, rainy winter, massive frosts in February, sunny and dry spring ending in a very dry month of September with warm, sunny days and very cold nights, the perfect conditions for a great harvest (between the 20th and the 30th of September).
The result was ripened grapes with an extremely high freshness. The year 1996 is to become a year that will go down in Champagne’s history books.The wines resulting from the 1996 harvest revealed a very high potential, an extreme elegance and freshness. The wines were very incisive. They had in general a very high level of freshness and at the same time they were very balanced with good profile of taste and aromas. It was known as 10/10 year, very high level of freshness/very high level of maturity, very rare to have and totally related with the year and the right time of picking the grapes. Very promising still wines, hoping for a great Krug Vintage but patience was clearly required and for Krug time is an allied.
The story of 1996 captured by Krug is the result of a blend of Chardonnay (31%), Pinot Noir (48%) and Meunier (21%) coming from 17 different growths. Contrary to what people can believe, 1996 was not an easy vintage, to deal with this extreme freshness is always a challenge. Today, Krug 1996 is a very charismatic Champagne, still very young. It is like a ‘wild horse’, galloping between extreme maturity and extreme freshness and I am sure it will probably experience different stages and facets through its ageing.
Krug 1996 is undeniably extraordinary, a Champagne that first caresses the senses with its rich aromas and its firm texture before exploding in a bouquet of freshness.
Unique to the House of Krug, every Krug Vintage is crafted to be different, to reveal the expression of a particular year. A year with character, a year with a special story to tell in a way that Krug alone can relate. To narrate this story, Krug has blended very expressive wines from a single year, enhanced by a stay of over ten years in the cellars. Krug Vintage is the story of a year as seen by Krug; there are as many stories as there are Krug Vintages.
For many people, there are champagnes and then there is Krug; that is how legendary this house is. Established in 1843 by Johann-Joseph Krug, the house has for six generations admirably stuck to its quality principles, to its generous burnt style and to its fabulous ageing potential. After the retirement of the fifth-generation brothers Henri and Rémi Krug, the house has been looking for its place within the LVMH Group. After two years at the company’s helm, Margareth Henriquez has found a direction and new winds are blowing through Krug, in the form of a more open-minded outlook. An excellent example is the idea implemented by Henriquez of equipping bottles with an easy-to-read ID that indicates the wine’s age and corking date.
The winemaking team, led by sixth-generation family representative Olivier Krug, is youthful. Cellar master Eric Lebel believes that a wine is always better made by a team than by an individual, therefore both Henri and Rémi Krug are still involved in the blending.
Krug vinifies each batch of grapes separately in small oak barrels. Annually the house produces 200-250 different wines, which is a huge quantity compared to its size. This gives the winemakers an enviable palette to work from when considering the final blends. Krug’s treasures include extensive stocks of earlier reserve wines, some of them 15 years old.
In contrast with other houses, Krug begins its series with the luxury blend. Rémi Krug would always bristle if someone mistakenly called the Krug Grande Cuvée non-vintage: “Krug is not non-anything! The Grand Cuvée is multi-vintage, a blend of fine wines from several years.” Other cuvées are like “pinpoints in the Krug universe”. The single-vineyard wines, the 100 per cent Chardonnay Clos du Mesnil and the 100 per cent Pinot Noir Clos d’Ambonnay, provide a key to understanding Krug. After Henri and Rémi Krug first produced the Clos du Mesnil vineyard champagne in 1979, they began searching for a counterpart. After nearly twenty-five years they found it in Clos d’Ambonnay, and its first vintage, 1995, was launched in 2007.
Vintage Krugs are classics that leave room for the special characteristics of each year. The Collection series gives old vintages, stored in perfect conditions, a new life in the hands of collectors. Launched in late 2010, the fabulously honeyed 1989 is now at a perfect age for enjoyment. Krug resisted producing rosés for a long time, but the Krug Rosé NV, produced since the mid-1980s, is an enchanting addition to the Krug series with its vinous baked quality.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|321€ +6.3%||302€ -17.3%||365€ +26.7%||288€|