was an exceptional vintage in the Champagne region
of France. Richard Juhlin, the noted
book, "4000 Champagnes"
calls 1996 "one of the great vintages of all
goes so far as to compare 1996 with 1928, which
writers consider the greatest vintage
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.
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.