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Krug 1996

Krug 1996 is undeniably an extraordinary champagne. it first caresses the senses with its rich aromas and its firm texture before exploding in a bouquet of freshness. Krug 1996 is the story of a very special year, said to be one of the best vintages of the century and often compared to the legendary 1928. a year with very high level of freshnes and very high level of maturity at the same time, very rare in champagne. 1996 will go down in champagne’s history books.

KRUG iD 407001

Received its cork
Autumn 2007
PN(48%), CH(31%), M(21%)
The oldest wine
The youngest wine
Eric Lebel
Chef de Caves, Krug
Serious Portrait of Eric Lebel
This very rare bottle of Krug 1996 is one of the 300 bottles kept in the House of Krug, after this Krug Vintage was released, until 2015.  This bottle received its cork in autumn 2007 and leaves the House after resting over 17 years in the Krug cellars gaining in complexity and refinement.

Krug 1996 was created and crafted to be different, to be the full expression of the year 1996. A year with character, a year with a special story to tell in a way that Krug alone can relate. Krug 1996 is the story of this year captured by Krug; there are as many stories as there are Krug Vintages.  1996 in Champagne was a very special year, said to be one of the best vintages of the century and often compared to the legendary 1928. At the House of Krug, even Paul Krug II, known for his strictly objective observations, also noted it may well have been “the next 1928”. Krug 1996 is also the last Vintage blended by three generations of the Krug family working together; Paul II, Henry and Remi, and Olivier. This very special bottle of Krug 1996 belongs to the very few bottles of Krug Vintage kept in Krug’s cellar to follow their evolution and in a very exceptional way, are presented to the markets later.

1996 has registered extremely wide temperature variations during the cycle, rainy winter, massive frosts in February, sunny and dry spring ending in a very dry month of September with warm, sunny days and very cold nights, the perfect conditions for a great harvest (between the 20th and the 30th of September). The result was ripened grapes with an extremely high freshness. The year 1996 is to become a year that will go down in Champagne’s history books

The wines resulting from the 1996 harvest revealed a very high potential, an extreme elegance and freshness. The wines were very incisive. They had in general a very high level of freshness and at the same time they were very balanced with good profile of taste and aromas. It was known as 10/10 year, very high level of freshness/very high level of maturity, very rare to have and totally related with the year and the right time of picking the grapes. Very promising still wines, hoping for a great Krug Vintage but patience was clearly required and for Krug time is an allied.  The story of 1996 captured by Krug is the result of a blend of Chardonnay (31%), Pinot Noir (48%) and Meunier (21%) coming from 17 different growths.

Contrary to what people can believe, 1996 was not an easy vintage, to deal with this extreme freshness is always a challenge. Today, Krug 1996 is a very charismatic Champagne, still very young.  It is like a ‘wild horse’, galloping between extreme maturity and extreme freshness and I am sure it will probably experience different stages and facets through its ageing.

Krug 1996 is undeniably extraordinary – a Champagne that first caresses the senses with its rich aromas and its firm texture before exploding in a bouquet of freshness.


Eric Lebel

Tasting notes

Krug 1996, with radiant, rich gold colour and resplendent bubbles, first caresses the sense with its rich mature aromas before exploding in a bouquet of freshness; it elevates contrast and character to unprecedented extremes. With firm texture, its full, ripe flavours are followed by fresh pear, candied lemon, ripe summer fruit, honey, gingerbread and hints of delicate mocha.

Storing & serving

  • Krug 1998 | 1
    The richness of your Krug Champagne is fully revealed between 9°C and 12°C (49°F - 54°F). Serving your bottle too cold would refrain the aromas’expression.
  • Krug 1998 | 2
    Krug has created The Joseph, a unique crystal glass whose shape enables the bubbles to reach their optimal expression and allows the discovery of the incredible bouquet of aromas.
  • Krug 1998 | 3
    If you do not have The Joseph glass, you may prefer a white Burgundy glass to a flute, to enable the expression of Krug Champagne’s flavors and aromas.
  • Krug 1998 | 4
    As a Prestige Cuvée, Krug Champagnes age beautifully, the time revealing their richness and elegance.
  • Krug 1998 | 5
    Your Champagne should be stored in a wine cellar, or in a cool (between 10 to 15 °C - 50 to 59 °F) dry and away from light place, the exact conditions of Krug cellars.

Food pairing