x
  • Country ranking ?

    175
  • Producer ranking ?

    6
  • Decanting time

    15min
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • 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 50 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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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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Wine Information

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

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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
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

40 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

Krug 1995 seemed rather austere and surly when I tasted it earlier this year and one might have expected the combination of Krug reticence and the record high acidity of the 1996 vintage to produce something extremely difficult to appreciate at this relatively early stage.  But not a bit of it – this is one of the most expressive champagnes to have come my way recently. It is notably deep gold and on the nose I found notes in the truffles/mushrooms spectrum. Only on the palate does 1996 acidity rides to the fore and shows that there is still enormous life and vivacity in this wine with its great density and many layers. Bone dry, this should have a glorious future although it’s difficult to imagine where that quite evolved nose nose will go.

 

Olivier Krug told me that he and their chef de cave Eric Lebel have a little bet on the relative evolution of the 1996 and 1995. Lebel thinks the 1996 will do a sort of switchback whereas the 1995 will continue to bloom in a linear fashion whereas OK thinks the reverse. I certainly look forward to seeing the 1995 come out of its shell a little more.

  • 96p
Good looking magnum size bottle.
- (Tasting note created by Tb's AI)
  • 93p
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
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
  • 95p
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.
  • 95p
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
  • 95p
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Information

Origin

Reims, Champagne

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

None

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Grande Cuvee 163th edition

Grande Cuvee 164th edition

Grande Cuvée - 165ème Édition

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Grande Cuvée 167ème Edition

Grande Cuvée 168éme edition

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Vintage

Inside Information

Wine & Spirits / 100 points

It's hard to imagine how a wine of this power can sustain perfect balance What is now a more nonchalant intensity in the aromas was, in fact, too much to handle when we tasted this last year, as if the wine had no time for mere humans with their limited sense receptors. If you stop to taste ripe pear, ginger spice, apple blossom and butterscotch the wine leaves you lost in random flavor descriptors as it soars off into a vinous glow that lasts for minutes. This may well be the greatest vintage wine of Henri Krug's career (unless it is challenged by 2002). It is impossible to predict how long this wine will thrive in the bottle, though considering the current fine conditon of the 1959 Krug, the first 50 years are a given.

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Highlights

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