x
  • Country ranking ?

    775
  • Producer ranking ?

    35
  • Decanting time

    15min
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Enjoy without food

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. 

 

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The Story

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.

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Vintage 1996

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.

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Average Bottle Price

2015 2014 2012 2010
321€ +6.3% 302€ -17.3% 365€ +26.7% 288€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

29 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Full

ending

Long and Lingering

flavors

Vanilla, Apricot, Toasty, Mushrooms and Mineral

nose

Open, Complex and Refined

recommend

Yes

taste

Balanced, Well-structured and Dry

Written Notes

A wine from the foremost vintage from the foremost producer can of course not be other than fantastically good. It is however easy to be disappointed when expectations have been raised too high. I was offered my first bottle of this stately but immature wine by the Danish wine-loving couple Peter and Torun Kirk during an unforgettable dinner at their villa in Copenhagen. We drank it side by side with an absolutely wonderful bottle of 1988 Krug that out-classed the 96 in the degree of pure pleasure. It must however be said that the 96 is going to be a heroic wine though it still has a very long time to go yet. It is reminiscent of the 28 and also partly of the 61 in its compact costume and with its youthfully peevish acid. A monumental construction still at the model stage. Store!!!!
  • 95p
Deep golden color.Harmonious, integrated red fruit nose with toast, wax and lemon. Brisk acidity, juicy palate with massive fruitiness. Long with significant wood impact A near-eternal Krug
  • 95p
,"Fresh yet creamy. Fine bubbles, nose of brioche, yeast. On the palate nice tropical fruit yet quite snappy acidity. Does this need more time?"
  • 92p

Information

Origin

Reims, Champagne

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

None

Other wines from this producer

Blanc de Blancs

Clos du Mesnil Vinothèque

Grande Cuvée

Krug Clos d'Ambonnay

Krug Clos du Mesnil

Krug Collection

Krug Rosé

Private Cuvée

Inside Information

Wine Advocate #186
Dec 2009
Antonio Galloni 98 Drink: 2009 - 2036 $361-$648 (300)
The real surprise among Krug’s 1996s is the 1996 Vintage, which is drinking beautifully, even among this rarified air of single-vineyard Champagnes. The 1996 Vintage is explosive and creamy, with just the right balance of power, richness and freshness. The mousse is perhaps just a touch less refined than in the 1996 Clos du Mesnil and Clos d’Ambonnay, but it is also perfectly measured with the wine’s exuberant personality. This multi-dimensional, textured Champagne is at the early part of its drinking window and promises to deliver an incredible drinking experience over the coming decades. The take-away from this flight of 1996s from Krug is simple. Although the 1996 Vintage can’t possibly be described as inexpensive, it shows exceptionally well next to its much more expensive brethren and clearly delivers a similar level of quality. Readers who have the opportunity to pick up this wine should not hesitate. It is a gem. No disgorgement date provided. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2036. 

My tasting this year with Olivier Krug was fascinating as I had the rare opportunity to taste all of the house’s 1996’s side by side, a comparison that yielded very interesting results.
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Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

95p
 Richard Juhlin / The number One champagne expert in the world, Pro (Sweden)  tasted  Krug Vintage 1996  ( Krug )

"A wine from the foremost vintage from the foremost producer can of course not be other than fantastically good. It is however easy to be disappointed when expectations have been raised too high. I was offered my first bottle of this stately but immature wine by the Danish wine-loving couple Peter and Torun Kirk during an unforgettable dinner at their villa in Copenhagen. We drank it side by side with an absolutely wonderful bottle of 1988 Krug that out-classed the 96 in the degree of pure pleasure. It must however be said that the 96 is going to be a heroic wine though it still has a very long time to go yet. It is reminiscent of the 28 and also partly of the 61 in its compact costume and with its youthfully peevish acid. A monumental construction still at the model stage. Store!!!!"

11m 24d ago

95p
 Cashile Pienaar / Sommelier, Pro (South Africa)  tasted  Krug Vintage 1996  ( Krug )

"Deep golden color.Harmonious, integrated red fruit nose with toast, wax and lemon.
Brisk acidity, juicy palate with massive fruitiness. Long with significant wood impact
A near-eternal Krug
"

1y 5m ago

92p
 Georg Linde, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  Krug Vintage 1996  ( Krug )

","Fresh yet creamy. Fine bubbles, nose of brioche, yeast. On the palate nice tropical fruit yet quite snappy acidity. Does this need more time?""

2y 2m ago

95p
 Totte Steneby, Sommelier (Sweden)  tasted  Krug Vintage 1996  ( Krug )

"Krug 1996

A closed and touch oxidative nose at first with danish pastry, mustard seeds, spices and very ripe apples and cloudberries. Turns towards more mineral with air but really takes time to open up.

Medium bodied with vary racy acidity that cuts through the palate, making it feels almost disjointed with the fruit at first, however with serious aeration it comes together and delivers a very ripe fruit with apples and cloudberries with toasty notes and spice. The finish builds to become very long, roasted and with lots of minerality.
I can’t look away from the fact that this wine feels a touch to evolved for the moment, on the verge of oxidation at points. Still it’s an exceptional wine that is probably just in a faze right now.
2020-2040
95p"

3y 10m ago

95p
 Juha Lihtonen, Sommelier (Finland)  tasted  Krug Vintage 1996  ( Krug )

"Intense, yellow colour. Pronounced, complex and intense nose with toasty, citrus, brioche and coffee aromas. Dry and crisp on palate with vivid acidity, elegantly toasty and concentrated minerality. A long and lingering aftertaste with great dose of pure citrus flavours. A flawless champagne that will show its ultimate greatness in 10 to 15 years. "

4y 2m ago

94p
 Markus Kihlström, Wine Blogger (Finland)  tasted  Krug Vintage 1996  ( Krug )

"Fresh, citrus, green apple
Crispy acidity"

4y 3m ago

95p
 Essi Avellan MW / Editor of the Champagne magazine, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Krug Vintage 1996  ( Krug )

"Deep golden colour. Harmonious, integraptes red fruit toastuy nose., no oavert oaky nuances. Wax and lemon, quite expensive, long, slightly unintegrated acidity. Brett at the end. Juicy, mouthwatering, shgerrybarrels. I lovethe acidity, bnot the fruit so much. why that f...g sherry barel"

4y 4m ago

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