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Krug Vintage Brut (scuffed label) 1996

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
  • W&S100
  • WS99
  • RP98
  • WS95
  • W&S100
  • JS100
  • WE100
  • W&S97
  • WS97
  • RP93
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4.5 1 Ratings

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 100
Wine & Spirits

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.

WS 99
Wine Spectator

Number 10 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2007!

A powerful, majestic Champagne. Deep and compelling, with aromas of whole-grain toast, coconut and dried citrus that draw you in. Lean and racy on the palate, with a creaminess that's yet to be integrated. A classic '96, with ripe, exotic aromas and a steely structure. Still a baby, with the long, resonant finish confirming its potential. Best from 2009 through 2040.

RP 98
The Wine Advocate

The 1996 Krug Vintage is explosive on the palate, as layers of aromas and flavors meld together in a stunning display of elegance and power. This pure, sensual beauty is utterly rapturous. The relatively generous style of this wine makes it hard to resist today, but it will age for decades. This is a brilliant wine in every way.

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Krug
Krug, , France - Other regions
Krug
Since 1843, six generations of the Krug Family have been creating the finest and rarest Champagnes. Behind every precious drop of Krug stands the dream of a visionary. One man who, long before others, understood that the essence of Champagne is pleasure. So, over 170 years ago, Joseph Krug broke with convention to follow his vision: to create the most generous expression of Champagne every year, regardless of climatic unpredictability. Thanks to an uncompromising craftsmanship, a unique individual plot by plot approach from harvesting to blending, an unparalleled library of 150 reserve wines, and an exceptional cellar aging, Krug is the benchmark when it comes to the best champagnes in the world.

Krug Grande Cuvée is the flagship of the House and the archetype of Krug’s philosophy of craftsmanship and savoir-faire: a blend of more than 120 wines from ten or more different years. Its exceptional finesse is the result of a stay of at least another six years in the cellars. Over twenty years are needed to craft each bottle of Krug Grande Cuvee.

Every year since the foundation of the House in 1843, one creation, one blend, one bottling and thus one new Edition of Krug Grande Cuvée has come to life. The number of the Edition is now featured on the front label, and this year we celebrate the 164th Edition.

Home to some of the world’s finest and longest-lived sweet and dry white wines, the Mosel is a region of Germany formerly known as Mosel-Saar-Ruwer—named thusly for the three rivers that flow through its dramatic valleys. Geology, climate and topography are paramount here, and the wines produced communicate a distinct sense of place. In addition to being prized for their heat-retaining properties, slate-based soils lend a stony minerality to the wines, contributing to some of the most recognizable terroir in the world. Cool temperatures necessitate the use of the region’s rivers to reflect heat onto the vineyards, and the best wines are made from sites with south or southwest facing slopes to receive sufficient direct sunlight for ripening. The breathtakingly steep slopes that straddle the river banks cannot be worked by machine, contributing to a high cost of labor (and treacherous working conditions).

Riesling is by far the most important and prestigious grape of the Mosel, grown on approximately 60% of the region’s vineyard land—typically the sites that provide the best combination of sunlight, soil type, and altitude. These wines, dry or sweet, are distinguished by marked acidity, low alcohol, and intense flavors of wet stone, citrus, and stone fruit. With age, a pleasing aroma of petroleum often develops. The lesser plots are mainly planted with lower-maintenance but relatively neutral varieties like [Müller-Thurgau] and other German crosses, but Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) can perform quite well here.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.

In the Glass

Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

MVV91190_1996 Item# 91190

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