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98 points James Suckling
Aromas of lemon sorbet, chalky notes and white flowers with toasted almonds, backed by a strong, stony mineral thread. Super acidity drive on the palate with a core of pure lemons and grapefruit. Long, smooth-tannin finish. This is both concentrated and elegant. A single location and single variety. Amazing quality here. Drink or hold.
98 points Vinous
The 2004 Clos du Mesnil captures all the pedigree of this epic Blanc des Blancs vintage. A soaring, majestic Champagne, the 2004 dazzles from the very first taste with its crystalline purity and brightness. In two tastings so far, the 2004 has been nothing less than a total showstopper. The vertical structure and pure, tightly-coiled power are the stuff dreams are made of. There is little doubt the 2004 is one of the very finest Clos du Mesnils in recent memory. Will it join the 1979, 1988 and 1996 as one of the all-time greats? Now, that is a tasting I would love to do! (AG) 98+
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.
Clos du Mesnil 2004, comprising 100% chardonnay from Krug’s single walled plot in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, is a true rarity. A year of exceptional conditions made the house of Krug declare this champagne a vintage early on – ideal weather leading up to the harvest resulted in characterful, mature grapes. Twelve years of aging in the cellars have added to its striking profile.
A great example of how large yields do not necessarily mean poor quality in Champagne. As a reaction to the previous year's low yields, the vines produced one of the largest crops on record. The growing season proceeded without major difficulties but the bumper crop called for bud thinning. August brought about cooler weather and some rains, increasing the risk of rot. The massive crop, averaging 13,990 kg/ha, was picked from September 18th onwards. The quality was a pleasant surprise; vibrant wines with appropriate intensity, refined charm and refreshing lightness. This vintage impresses me more and more, and I feel tempted to give it the full five stars. It comes with a rare balance of freshness, lightness, yet fine aromatic intensity. Post-release, this vintage has proven to be slow to age, and elegant wines are likely to keep on ageing gracefully. Dom Pérignon and Louis Roederer Cristal both excelled.
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