96 Krug Clos d'Ambonnay

The wine is really, really good. Better than the 95 and my favorite of the 96 Krugs although the Clos du Mesnil would be my choice for current drinking and I think the Vintage will live forever and be the last to come around. This is a dense, concentrated, and haunting wine. It isn’t cheap, but I still think Krug deserves some credit for lowering the price vs. the 95 vintage especially when this is a better wine. For a Blanc de Noirs (which can be problematic in 1996), Krug did better than I expected.

I LOVE Ambonnay Champagnes, and how I would kill to try this one…

Thanks for the note, Brad. It is fun to read about this bottle of bubbles for plutocrats!

I just hope it does not lead too many others to discovering the gems of Ambonnay, like um… um… cannot seem to think of one.

. . . .



For better or worse (better for producers, bad for you) it probably will happen to some degree. Clos du Mesnil did a lot to raise awareness for Le Mesnil-sur-Oger wines including raising the profile of Salon. Krug’s Clos d’Ambonnay is likely to have a similar though smaller affect. Combine Ambonnay already having some buzz with the fact that there is more awareness now than there was in the mid 1980s when Clos du Mesnil was launched with the 1979 vintage and I think that more and more consumers will be looking for wines from Ambonnay. I’ve already seen it with some folks referring to other Ambonnay producers wines as Clos d’Ambonnay (this same thing happened and still happens with Clos du Mesnil).

I’d love to try this wine! So thank you for the note. it is the closest I will get.

You’re too kind. The '95 was priced at the height of the bubble for wine and everything else, and all the retailers I’m aware of that ever offered it still have it. If Krug is asking less for the 1996, it’s just a concession to reality, not any kind of altruism to the consumer for which I’d give them credit, particularly since I imagine the price is still insultingly high.


I agree it is high and a price decrease probably makes complete sense to many, but how often do other wine producers actually lower the price when the wine is clearly better. Almost none. I think Krug deserves at least a mention for doing this because they didn’t have to. You are free to disagree, but at least Krug listened to their consumer base for this wine and responded accordingly. More could learn from this.

Kinda hard for me to have this discussion without knowing what the price is, but am I correct in guessing it’s still 4 figures and probably $2,000 or more a bottle retail? $2,500? Whatever it is, I doubt it makes the wine accessible to anyone who couldn’t afford it before. So it isn’t as if they are making any effort whatsoever to get the wine in the hands of more people who might appreciate it - they simply can’t soak their existing customer base to quite the degree they did in the bubble days. The price philosophy of this wine was never anything more than “Because we can.” Well, now it’s not clear they can. Lowering the price of a product that can’t sell through might technically qualify as “listen[ing] to their customer base,” but not in any fashion that’s worthy of any public praise or gratitude - it’s just business. I imagine if they could have tripled the price and sold it all, they would have.


I think Krug probably could sell about the same amount whether they lowered the price or not. There was clamoring to lower the price from those who were interested and bought the 95 so they have lowered it here in the US. I’m not sure what they are doing in other countries. When you mix the status of the 96 vintage and the strength of the Euro, they could have easily at least held the pricing line. I expect to see the 96 sell better than the 95 which I agree is still rather easy to find. I’m not sure if the official release price for this has been set, but from what Krug’s US Team was thinking, the price will be closer to $2,000 rather than the original close to $3,000 price of the 95.

My point is that I really don’t think they had to lower it, but they still did.