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
The 1996 Vintage is magnificent. A towering, explosive Champagne, the 1996 delivers the house’s signature breadth in a full-bodied, structured Champagne with enough pure density and acidity to age well for decades. Warm nutty and spiced overtones add nuance on the finish. The 1996 is just beginning to enter the early part of its mature stage, where it is sure to remain for several decades. Krug's Vintage is one of the truly epic wines of the year. Drink 2014 - 2026.
|Score: 98||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, October 2014|
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.
|Score: 98||Antonio Galloni, RobertParker.com, January 2009|
The 1996 Vintage explodes from the glass with heady aromas that lead to a richly-textured expression of fruit. There is superb depth and richness, as endless layers of candied apricots, quince, pears, spices and toasted nuts continue to emerge from the glass. Later on, notes of almonds and lemon peel make an appearance, adding further complexity. This powerful, remarkably complete Champagne offers tremendous balance and the potential to continue to develop in bottle for two decades, if not considerably longer. Those fortunate enough to own this wine should be thrilled! Anticipated maturity: 2010-2026
|Score: 97||Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (180), December 2008|
|Score: 98||Antonio Galloni, Hedonists Gazette, December 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 1996, with ripe, exotic aromas and a steely structure. This is still a baby, with the long, resonant finish confirming its potential. Best from 2009 through 2040.
|Score: 99||Bruce Sanderson, WineSpectator.com, May 2007|
Pale and youthful. Extremely clean and fresh on the nose. Elegant but with creamy generosity. Classic Krug character - Burgundian like fruit with nutty and smoky fullness. Beautiful minerality too. On the palate this is big and generous but with searingly clean cut in acidity. Plenty of steely minerality and tension. Very 'tight' and youthful but packed with concentrated ripeness which will unravel with time. Great champagne already and has a wonderful future ahead. 19/20 Farr Vintners
| ||Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, June 2007|
Very, very fine bead. Very discreet and beautifully constructed. Very dense. Like a ship, constructed bit by bit. Dry finish. Needs food! A great rarity: a Krug with more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir.
|Score: 19.5||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, November 2011|
Light gold. Remarkably perfumed nose projects an exotic bouquet of deep, leesy yellow fruit, minerals, honeycomb, smoked meat and flowers, with Asian spices building expanding in the glass. Almost painfully concentrated, offering a surreal parade of orchard and pit fruits, smoked meat, toasted brioche and marrow braced by intensely salty, stunningly incisive minerality. Imagine a Frankenstein's monster of Chablis Le Clos and Clos Ste. Hune-but one with perfect balance, of course-and you get an idea of what I found in my bottle. The energetic, stony character builds exponentially on the finish, which didn't seem to, well, finish. The best analogy I can come up with for the intensity, focus and clarity of this Champagne is liquefied barbed wire. Utterly hallucinatory and one of the most amazing wines I've ever been fortunate enough to drink. At the risk of sounding completely out of touch with reality, this is a value.
|Score: 99+||Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, November 2007|
It has been a while since we met, but the Krug 1996 is unequivocally a brilliant slice of champagne – the nose cut from some slab of limestone that must of plummeted into the Champagne countryside from outer space. The palate is rapier like acidity, life-affirming mineralite and a focus and freshness that is nothing less than thrilling. Krug is one of life’s great pleasures and this is one of their finest vintages. Tasted November 2012.
|Score: 97||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, May 2013|