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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.
Krug 1996 is extraordinary indeed – an extreme, eccentric champagne that first caresses the senses with its rich aromas, firm texture and full, ripe flavours, then dramatically explodes into jubilant freshness. Rich, radiant gold illuminated by slender streams of bubbles, Krug 1996 already promises a masterful combination of maturity and acidity as its aromas tease the nose with the tartness of fresh pear and candied lemon, the roundness of ripe fruit and nougatine. Then, even as the taste buds are revelling in the smooth, mellow flavors of honey, gingerbread and mocha, this astounding champagne unleashes its exuberant crescendo of freshness that is at once totally unexpected and utterly Krug.
The release of a Krug Vintage is always an inspiring moment. Only in outstanding years does Krug declare a vintage, and to earn that prized definitin a harvest must demonstrate not only very high quality, but also exceptional character. For Krug Vintage is a statement - Krug's definative, one-off interpretaion of the unique personality of a single year, expressed with all the intensity and elegance of the legendary Krug style.1996 is widely considered to have been one of thevintages of the century in Champagne. A highly changeable summer, alternating periods of intense heat with spells of heavy rain, was followed, as harvest approached, by dry sunny days and unusually chilly nights, producing wines of contrast and character.This was a year in which the elements conspired with Krug's unique craftmanship- in particular the first fermentation in small oak casks- to elevate the intense contrasts that define the taste of Krug to unprecedented extremes. Krug 1996 is exceptional - an eccentric champagne that first caresses the senses with its rich aromas, firm texture and full, ripe flavours, then dramatically explodes into jubilant freshness.A rich radiant gold, Krug 1996 already promises a masterful combination of maturity and acidity while its aromas tease the nose with the tartness of fresh pear and cadied lemon, the roundness of ripe fruit and nougatine. Then, even as the taste buds are revelling in the smooth, mellow flavours of honey, gingerbread and mocha, this extrodinary champagne unleashes its exuberant crescendo of freshness that is at once totally unexpected and utterly Krug
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.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
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