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.
(186, The Wine Advocate 22nd Dec 2009)