On my last trip to Hong Kong, I was fortunate to sit down to a late dinner where only Krug was served, centered around a trio of 1996s, including the recently released Clos d’Ambonnay. New CEO Maggie Henriquez was in town, and we celebrated the then upcoming lots sourced directly from Krug’s cellars with some Krug, of course.

The 1996 Krug Clos du Mesnil was intense and deep like an abyss in its nose. Minerals, rocks, light citrus, wet earth and wheat aromas were present. There was still elegance in what could be called its sadistic nose, its power whipping my senses over and over again. The palate was lightning in a bottle; there was enough acidity for University chemistry courses. Someone remarked, ‘1996 is a 10/10 vintage for its acidity and alcohol.’ It would be tough to argue that this is not the Champagne of the vintage (98+).

The 1996 Krug Clos d’Ambonnay was more perfumed and sexier than the Clos du Mesnil. It was softer and more tender in its aromas, exuding hints of lime and ‘lemon soap.’ It was still quite deep and expansive. On the palate, it was elegant, and tender came to mind again. Its smooth and satiny style charmed me while its vim and spice picked my pocket. While classy and stylish, it was still powerful and possessed tremendous acidity. Decadent flavors of bread soaked in oil emerged. Tasting side by side with the 1996 Mesnil, they struck me as the perfect husband and wife, with the d’Ambonnay being all woman, and I say that with only the best connotations in mind (97).

The little ol’ ‘regular’ 1996 Krug wasn’t too shabby, either. It was clean, fresh and classic, quite zippy itself and noticeably special, even after the two monarchs that preceded. The palate was long, spicy, edgy and longgg. It will be fascinating to have these three together for the decades to come (96).

It was a youngie but a goodie night, as any night when Krug is served is. There is Champagne, and there is Krug”¦

In Vino Veritas,

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