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Krug Vintage Brut (scuffed label) 1996

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
  • W&S100
  • WS99
  • RP98
0% ABV
  • WS95
  • JS95
  • W&S92
  • WE100
  • W&S100
  • JS100
  • JS98
  • WS97
  • W&S97
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4.5 1 Ratings
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4.5 1 Ratings
0% ABV

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
Robert Parker's 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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

MVV91190_1996 Item# 91190

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