Where 1996s are good

1996 was such a great vintage in Champagne. All that acidity which causes so many problems in wines from other regions really works a treat here.

Grand Millesime 1996, Gosset

This still smells quite youthful, lots of fruit here. It also has a toasty character and more than a hint of cold cocoa. There is a real intensity to the nose, very vivacious. The palate is incredibly intense; massive acidity, great fruit, density of flavour and a really exciting texture to it. Bags of complexity, this is properly classy Champagne, alright. I bloody love this, will age for years to come.

  • Ed

    Never had a bad 96. It has to be said that the Krug and Salon are amazing. And the standard Pol is a jolly good effort too. Buy as much 96 as you can find and leave for another ten years. I am told that the Clos de Goisses is unbelievable.

  • Jeremy

    Perhaps not outright bad, but I thought that the Bollinger Grande Annee was quite advanced when we had it last August, Ed, and I’ve heard from a reliable source who drinks lots of Champagne that he felt that some 1996s were aging quite a lot faster than might have been expected. Premature oxidation exists there too, albeit to a lesser extent. But I agree that the overall level is excellent.

    As a heads up, you guys should seek out Diebolt-Vallois Fleur de Passion 2002 which falls into the category of “great” rather than merely good. Stupid Juhlin has been driving up the prices and demand on that wine though.

  • David Strange

    Diebolt-Vallois Fleur de Passion 2002 costs a pretty penny, the cheapest place I can find being your local Vivavin, which sadly does not cater for my ‘buying individual bottles’ requirement. In a move of sheer brilliance they do not list their agents on their website.

    Did you try Vilmart in your mass 1996 tasting? I’d be interested to know how that is ageing. Coeur de Cuvee has quite a reputation to live up to.