1996 was an unusual year in Champagne, marked by alternating periods of cool weather and heat, drought and humidity. After a gentle, sunny start to the year, gray skies and freezing weather settled over the vineyards of Champagne. Spring frosts covered the region in March and May, but once again they spared our vineyards. Conversely, a record-breaking heat wave hit in April, with temperatures rising as high as 26°C on certain days.
The grapevines grew and began flowering in June when favorable weather arrived. Summer then fluctuated wildly between short cloudy periods and blue skies, and dry periods followed by rain. The first snips of the shears happened on September 16 for the earliest crus. The balances were widely considered to be exceptional. The grapes obtained a level of acidity that had never been seen before. They reached optimal maturity, creating wines with exceptionally rich aromas and beautiful intensity. The blend of this vintage is based on rigorously selected grapes from around twenty Premier and Grand Cru villages. As usual, Pinot Noir dominates at 59%, followed by Chardonnay at 33%, and a hint of Meunier at 8% to finish the balance between the three grape varieties. Faithful to the method created by Madame Clicquot in 1818, we add 15% red wine to this white vintage blend.
Nose: Powerful, full, fresh
Palate: Tension, complexity and substance GENEROUS PALATE, RICH AND STRUCTURED
Nose: Crystallized fruit, candied quince, Violets, acacia, almonds, honey, nougat Palate: Caramelized apple
Food Pairings: Orange peel and spices, with spicy, smoky notes