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Below is the December, 2006 Featured Wine for the Wines by Jennifer Cellar Club:


1996 Duval - Leroy Vintage Champagne

Champagne, France

1996 Duval - Leroy Vintage Champagne1996 was an exceptional vintage in the Champagne region of France. Richard Juhlin, the noted Swedish Champagne authority, in his new book, "4000 Champagnes" calls 1996 "one of the great vintages of all time." Juhlin goes so far as to compare 1996 with 1928, which most Champagne writers consider the greatest vintage ever.

What made 1996 so great for Champagne? Mother Nature was very generous for the Champenois, providing excellent weather throughout a very dry summer, with intense sunshine and very warm temperatures from mid-August through mid-September. It was a most unusual vintage in that the grapes combined great acidity with high sugar levels, a rarity in the region. A bountiful harvest took place at the perfect time, in late September.

Besides great acidity and extraordinary fruit, they have power and exceptional length on the palate - in other words, everything necessary for superb quality in Champagne. The one caveat, which is true of all great vintages, is that these 1996 Champagnes need time. For maximum drinkability, you should cellar the best of them for another 6-10 years.

Wine Spectator: 93 points

Highly Recommended

"A beautiful bubbly. Firm, dry and intensely flavored, offering candied berry, vanilla pastry, honey and hazelnut notes wrapped in an elegant frame. It releases the flavors in a well-defined, appealing manner. Fine length and aftertaste."


Wine Map of Champagne, France


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