A year like no other, 1996 in Champagne married the highest levels of sugar and acidity in living memory; the resulting wines are extraordinary in their concentration, yet perfectly poised in terms of structural definition. A seductive golden colour then a surprisingly forward nose which marries honey, acacia, brioche and truffle; it is on the palate that the identity of the year really starts to sing, with minerality providing a taut and still precocious texture. Beneath this the ripe fruit is slumbering; its ultimate manifestation will herald unparalled complexity and profundity. Similar to the 88 but I suspect it will, over time, be even better.
Simon Field MW, Wine Buyer