Krug Clos d'Ambonnay 1996

Per Bottle
£2,750.00
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Description & Technical Information
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In 1991, just two years after Olivier joined Krug, a Clos surrounded by a protective wall since 1766 was found in Ambonnay, Krug's favourite village and largest source of Pinot Noir. The tiny 0.68-hectare site was purchased in 1994 and the first vintage was produced in 1995. Kept an absolute secret until its release in 2007, Olivier revealed: "We even kept it a secret from Moët for some years!" Clos d'Ambonnay is an extremely rare and exclusive champagne produced only in the very best vintages. Just 4,594 bottles of Clos d'Ambonnay were produced in 1996, each individually numbered.

Weather: Extremely wide temperature variations as the grapes were coming to the end of the cycle in the vineyard combined with warm, sunny days and very cold nights resulted in ripened grapes with an extremely high freshness. This weather pattern exalted the finesse of Clos d’Ambonnay’s Pinot Noir grapes. The 1996 season is to become a year that will go down in Champagne’s history books.

Technical Information:
Vineyards: 100% Grand Cru | Clos d'Ambonnay
Grape Varieties: 100% Pinot Noir
Ageing: 12 years on the lees
Drink: Now to 2022

Tasting Note: Light gold colour with slight hints of violet, recalling its Pinot Noir origins. Sumptuous aromas of plum tart, brioche, hazelnuts and citrus fruits emerge. The palate is incredibly concentrated, lots of autumn fruits, an amazing freshness enhanced by very fine bubbles and a very long finish. This 1996 is still early in its development and will continue to age for many years before it nears its peak, probably in the early 2020s.
Champagne Krug Overview
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Expert Reviews
97+/100
Antonio Galloni
“This flight of 1996s provided plenty of context. The 1996 Clos d'Ambonnay is very similar to the Clos du Mesnil in this vintage. It has the same piercing purity and minerality with the heft of the Pinot still to fully emerge. Hints of menthol, spices and berries wrap around the eternal finish. Clos d'Ambonnay, from a single, walled-in parcel in the village of Ambonnay, is in many ways the red equivalent of Clos du Mesnil. ”
98+/100
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
“Medium straw in color, the nose is profoundly scented of apple tart, lightly toasted hazelnuts, orange blossom, brioche, and granola with subtle nuances of crushed stones, musk and honeycomb. The palate is incredibly concentrated, crisp and taut with great richness matched by very fine bubbles and a very long, steely finish. There's definitely a lot more to come from this wine but it's looking very fine now.”
94/100
Essi Avellan MW
“Overt and expressive nose of toast, honey, red apple, earthy spiciness and finely integrated touch of oak. Some oxidative nuances too. Explosively fruity palate that is lifted by a remarkable acidic back bone. Great vivacity, intensity and near-eternal length. The palate takes the oak very well, merging it into the seamless complexity of super intense flavours.”
99/100
James Halliday
“This is an intensely aromatic champagne, with a spiced plum, citrus and vanilla bouquet leading into what at first seems an astonishingly fine (almost to the point of delicate) palate. On re-tasting, the explosive power on the back-palate and finish takes over, with a pyrotechnic display of the racy acidity of the ‘96 vintage. It is at the opposite end of the universe to the Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises, also 100 per cent pinot noir. If kept in a humidified 12ºC to 14ºC cellar, d’Ambonnay will live for 50 years, and will need not less than 20 to start to display all its secrets.”
News Articles
  1. Krug Grande Cuvée & Vintage Vertical Tasting: 2000-2010

    Krug Grande Cuvée & Vintage Vertical Tasting: 2000-2010

    October 22, 2018

    At our most recent tasting at 67 Pall Mall, guests blind tasted Krug Grande Cuvée Editions 162-166 NV (2006-2010), and Krug Vintages 2000-2004, including Krug 2000 from magnum. Find out which champagnes were the highest rated on the evening here.
  2. Jancis Robinson: Krug vintage vertical back to 1988

    Jancis Robinson: Krug vintage vertical back to 1988

    January 31, 2018

    Read Jancis Robinson’s report of our outstanding Krug vintage vertical tasting last November. "This would have been a dream tasting anyway, but I particularly love tasting a group of wines blind."
  3. Krug: A Visit to Clos du Mesnil & The New Krug Maison

    Krug: A Visit to Clos du Mesnil & The New Krug Maison

    September 4, 2017

    We visited Krug over August bank holiday weekend with Jancis Robinson MW. With an unexpected visit to Clos du Mesnil, a tour of the new Maison, a mini-vertical tasting and dinner at the house, it was well-worth the long drive!
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