Krug   Clos du Mesnil

1996 Clos du Mesnil

By Krug

1996 Clos du Mesnil from Krug

Deeply embedded in the crown of the revered Champagne region is a notorious single vineyard: Clos du Mesnil. Its very soil has been nurturing exceptional Chardonnay grapes, and in turn creating rapturous blanc de blancs since 1698. A name that effortlessly reverberates throughout the world of fine winemaking is indubitably Krug, the meticulous caretakers and craftsmen of these prestigious vines.


A virtuoso performance of the climatic twists

The real magic of a great vintage stems from the union between a fickle mother nature and the measured craft of human intervention. The 1996 Clos du Mesnil from Krug is certainly one such theatrical display. Telling tales of a year marked by fascinating weather patterns wherein an unusually cool winter was chased by a sweltering summer, this generous season brought vigor and depth to the classic Chardonnay strain.

The intense bouquet unravels in waves; the quintessential brioche and citrus ripened under an unusually sunny Champagne sky teases the senses, followed by lingering whispers of white-fleshed fruits and honey. A precise acid structure brings out this ballet of flavors in sharp relief against a backdrop of elegant minerality.


A vintage that brings promise for the investors

Although investing in fine wine entails an expected period of patience, it can prove an evoking testimony to time’s alchemy on one's portfolio. The 1996 vintage, especially within the Champagne region, has already accrued hearty plaudits for age-worthiness, building anticipation among collectors. The 1996 Clos du Mesnil from Krug, with its impeccable balance and longevity, stands tall amidst these exciting contenders.

With a magnum of potential to age gracefully further, this wine serves as an enticing prospect for those seeking diversification in their fine wine investments. This Krug masterpiece reflects not just the vibrant dance between climate and terroir but also carefully preserves distinct attributes soaked from the theatrical 1996 weather playhouse.

Indeed, Krug's 1996 Clos du Mesnil is a pedigreed embodiment of its climatic palm prints, a truly exceptional chapter in Krug's diary - worth every intimate sip or discerning wine investment narrative alike.

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Scores and tasting notes


As if there were any doubts, Krug’s 1996 Brut Blanc de Blancs Clos du Mesnil reaffirms its position as one of the greatest – if not the greatest – Champagne of this historic harvest. I have had the privilege of drinking the 1996 Clos du Mesnil a few times over the last year and it has always been breathtaking, as it is again today. The wine sparkles on the palate with a brilliant, pointillist expression of fruit, showing surreal detail, depth and polish. Like a finely cut gem, each impression reveals a different and unique shade of nuance. The 1996 Clos du Mesnil coats every inch of the palate with endless layers of perfumed fruit and a chiseled, minerally finish that lasts forever. The oak seems a touch pronounced in this particular bottle, something I have not encountered previously with this wine. If forced to drink only one Champagne (assuming budget was not an issue) I might very well choose Krug’s 1996 Clos du Mesnil. This profound Champagne is as good as it gets. No disgorgement date provided. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2036. My tasting this year with Olivier Krug was fascinating as I had the rare opportunity to taste all of the house’s 1996’s side by side, a comparison that yielded very interesting results. Importer: Moet Hennessy USA, New York, NY; tel. (212) 251-8200

Antonio Galloni - The Wine Advocate, 21 December 2009

Vintage performance