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  • Country ranking ?

    29
  • Producer ranking ?

    1
  • Decanting time

    30min
  • When to drink

    now to 2040
  • Food Pairing

    Enjoy without food

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I suppose the 1996 Clos du Mesnil can’t get any better by my standards. It never fails to leave me speechless. The 1996 is a modern-day 1988 or 1979, which is to say a classic among classics; in fact the 1996 may very well be the greatest Clos du Mesnil period. Smoke, bright fruit, crushed rocks and smoke inform the kaleidoscopic, breathtaking finish. (AG) ) 

96 points Wine Spectator

 Offers fine depth and complexity, showing aromas of coffee, mushroom and candied citrus. This is laserlike on the palate, focusing its citrus, honey and mineral flavors and corralling them to a long finish. Still a baby, with great length and potential. Best from 2010 through 2030. 

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The Story

Krug Clos du Mesnil, a very rare Champagne, showcases the unique character of a single plot of Chardonnay, harvested in a single year. Our 1.84-hectare vineyard overlooked by the village church has been protected by walls since 1698. The vineyard is located in the heart of Mesnil-sur-Oger, one of the most iconic villages for Chardonnay in the Champagne region. Krug Clos du Mesnil has an expansive generous personality enhanced by the finish which powers through with extreme precision.

The vineyard was secretly replanted over eight years, and it was not until 1979 that the first harvest was deemed to fulfil expectations. When the wine was tasted, it proved so outstanding that the Krugs decided to bottle it on its own. There would be no "assemblage” – a bold decision amply justified by the exquisite quality of the single ingredient.

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Wine Information

The story of Clos du Mesnil started in 1698 when a 1,85 ha plot in the outskirts of the village of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger was sealed with walls for reasons unknown. The village grew in size and in 100 years the vineyard plot was surrounded by housing. The walls protected the vineyards from being dug up and from being used for housing purposes. The plot landed in the hands of the Krug family, when the brothers were searching for new vineyard acquisitions in the 1975s. A property was being sold in the Côte de Blancs, and as vineyard land was fiercely sought after, the brothers bought the plot without really seeing what they had bought.

 


When they first saw the Clos du Mesnil, they became very excited by the idea of producing a single vineyard wine. As the plot was not in good condition, Krug had to take the decision to replant it. Therefore, the first vintage of Krug Clos du Mesnil dates back to 1979 when the vines were old enough to produce good wine and when the unique quality of wine from the plot was realised. The Clos du Mesnil is produced in a similar way to the vintage. The plot comprises 6 individual parcels of varying vine ages. Each is picked and vinified separately. Enhancing terroir attributes is the guiding philosophy throughout vine growing and vinification. Rémi Krug stresses that it was not the single vineyard concept that was fascinating in itself. Instead it was the uniqueness of the parcel and its wine; “a diamond one wishes to show on its own”. The Krugs always insist that the Clos du Mesnil is a unique wine, but never better than the vintage or the Grande Cuvée. In this massive volume vintage the Clos du Mesnil is however a true diamond of a wine.
 

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Vintage 1996

Up to this point 1996 has been considered a fantastic vintage which produced classic wines; the best since 1990. A long, dry summer produced grapes of record ripeness with record acidity. Some, including myself, question how the 1996s are aging. The wines are generally characterized by a distinctive rather lemony acidity and very good attack, but some wines now seem terribly austere, while others already seem dangerously short of fruit. None of the subsequent vintages are quite as distinctive as 1996, which in the more successful cases should almost certainly be drunk after the 1999s.

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Average Bottle Price

2015 2014 2012 2010
1 204€ +9.9% 1 096€ -29.2% 1 549€ +57.6% 983€

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

47 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Light

ending

Long, Pure and Lingering

flavors

Coffee, Toasty and Mineral

recommend

Yes

taste

Concentrated, Well-structured, Complex, Focused and Elegant

Written Notes

Thursday night was at 11 Madison, some publications’ #1 restaurant in the world.  Sometimes being #1 isn’t enough, as they recently closed for a renovation, I think in July.  We kicked things off with a flight of the best Champagne on Earth, Krug’s Clos du Mesnil.  We had an inauspicious beginning with a less than perfect bottle of 1996 Krug Clos du Mesnil.  Usually this wine is in the 98 point territory for me, but this bottle seemed more open than usual, a bit shut down and not possessing its usual, blistering acidity.  I wasn’t sure what exactly was off about this bottle, but I’ve had it enough times to know this one wasn’t perfect (95A).

  • 95p
This legendary vintage was harvested on the 23 and 24 September, giving only the equivalent of 9,800 bottles to the whole, wide yearning world. It makes one feel vertiginous to know that the whole champagne world is waiting for this assessment, especially if I do not really feel that I can make any decisive assessment. This wine is assuredly as tough as the 96 Salon, but at the same time oily and opulent, which leads to conclusions that cry out for early drinking. Nothing could be more erroneous. If one wants to experience the entire spectrum one will have to wait for at least 15 years after the launch. The elegance is tremendous. Starting to be fantastic in 2010.
  • 97p
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Information

Origin

Reims, Champagne

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Satisfactory

Investment potential

Excellent

Fake factory

Be Cautious

Glass time

1h

Drinking temperature

6

Other wines from this producer

Blanc de Blancs

Clos du Mesnil Vinothèque

Grande Cuvée

Grande Cuvée 160ème Édition

Grande Cuvee 161st edition

Grande Cuvée 162ème Édition

Grande Cuvee 163th edition

Grande Cuvee 164th edition

Grande Cuvée - 165ème Édition

Grande Cuvée -166ème Édition

Grande Cuvée 167ème Edition

Grande Cuvée 168éme edition

Grande Cuvee 169th Edition

Grande Cuvée Edition 167

Krug Clos d'Ambonnay

Krug Collection

Krug Rosé

Krug Vintage

Private Cuvée

Private Cuvée Extra Sec

Rosé - 18ème Édition

Rose 21st Edition

Rosé 22 Edition

Vintage

Inside Information

In the Cellar #1110
Nov 2010
Antonio Galloni 100 Drink: N/A $2042-$2072
Once again I am completely floored by Krug’s Clos du Mesnil, which remains in my opinion the very finest wine to emerge from Champagne in 1996, and one of the greatest wines ever made in any region. The clarity, precision and focus of the fruit are simply breathtaking, while the overall sense of balance is phenomenal. The wine dances on the palate with the grace of a ballerina in a stunning display of class and elegance from start to finish. In a word: perfect.
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Highlights

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