Investment Tips - Champagne - 30. November 2023

Invest In The World's Most Exclusive Champagnes From The Cult 1996 Vintage

With Clos du Mesnil and Clos d'Ambonnay, Krug is behind two of the world's most exclusive Champagnes - and in the 1996 cult vintage, it hardly gets any better.

It Does Not Get Any Greater In Champagne...

There is sparkling wine and then there is Champagne. There is non-vintage and vintage Champagne. But for the ultimate Champagne experience, you must look to single vineyard Champagnes - and Krug is behind the biggest and most exclusive ones.

This means that there are certainly small, local single vineyard Champagnes produced on a smaller scale, but when elements such as quality, prestige, brand, and limited production are taken into account, it simply does not get any better than this in Champagne.

For some time now, we have been buying up Krug's two single vineyard Champagnes Clos du Mesnil and Clos d'Ambonnay from the cult 1996 vintage, which you now have the opportunity to invest in.

Dive into each sublime wine below and understand that we are dealing with something very special.

Krug Clos Mesnil & Krug Clos Ambonnay

1996 Krug Clos du Mesnil: The Greatest Of The Greatest

Right in the centre of one of Champagne's most iconic villages - Mesnil-sur-Oger - lies a 1.84 ha vineyard that has been surrounded and protected by its classic stone fence since 1698. Here, Krug grows only Chardonnay, which in vintages considered good enough, becomes the sublime Clos du Mesnil. But this is not just a romantic story about a small vineyard in a small village. No, this is also an extremely exclusive Champagne reserved for the few and the lucky - whether we are talking about the big Champagne aficionados or the passionate collector.

This is what you need to know about Clos du Mesnil and the 1996 vintage from an investment perspective:

  • Krug Clos du Mesnil has been released in 20 editions to date, with the first vintage being 1979 and most recently 2008.
  • If it says Krug on the bottle, you know the level of quality is sky-high - if it also says Mesnil or Ambonnay, "sky-high level" is a historical understatement:
    • Of all Clos du Mesnil rated by all three main critics, the 1996 vintage has the highest average score of 99.3 points, topping all other vintages.
    • Vinous gives it a perfect 100 points, while Richard Juhlin and Wine Advocate give it 99 points. Note that Juhlin has only once given a Champagne the perfect 100 points (1928 Pol Roger Vinotheque)
    • Clos du Mesnil is, along with Salon, the best 1996 Champagne rated by Wine Advocate.
    • Get the full overview of scores in the chart below.
  • Very limited production: Over the last four vintages, Krug has produced an average of about 12,500 regular bottles and about 600 magnums per vintage. From the 1996 vintage, according to Juhlin, only the equivalent of 9,800 bottles were produced!
  • The 1996 spent about 14 years in the cellar at Krug and has had a long time in the market since its release but is still considered to have a long life ahead of it. Wine Advocate and Vinous both estimate that it is in its optimal drinking window until the latter half of the 2030s.
  • According to Liv-ex, the last 10 vintages of Clos du Mesnil that have been on the market for at least five years* have yielded an average annual return of 14.4% - almost doubling its value in just five years!
  • It is not just the last five years that the price has increased. reports that the average asking price of the 1996 Clos du Mesnil has increased by 210% over the last 10 years.
  • The cheapest 1996 Clos du Mesnil on is currently priced at €2,500*. Your investment price is €2,375*.

Clos du Mesnil is in a class of its own - a class where not even Cristal or Salon can compete with the 1996 vintage when it comes to quality. Therefore, it is easy to make the ultimate conclusion that the 1996 Clos du Mesnil is not only some of the very best Champagne from the 1996 vintage, but probably also the finest blanc de blancs ever produced.

If this is something for you, you now have one of those rare opportunities. But wait until you have also read about Clos d'Ambonnay.

* Vintage 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Scores - Clos du Mesnil.png RJ: Richard Juhlin WA: Wine Advocate VI: Vinous AVG: Average score

1996 Krug Clos d'Ambonnay: Champagne's Answer To Romanée-Conti

Despite the might of Clos du Mesnil, Krug's other single vineyard Champagne, Clos d'Ambonnay, takes things to new heights in terms of prestige, exclusivity and, not least, affordability. In the centre of Champagne's pinot noir stronghold - Ambonnay - lies the 0.68 ha stone-fence-lined Clos d'Ambonnay - the birthplace of Krug's blanc de noir of the same name, Clos d'Ambonnay. It is not without reason that this gem is called Champagnes Romanée-Conti. It shares several characteristics with Burgundy's most famous jewel.

This is what you need to know about Clos d'Ambonnay and the 1996 vintage from an investment perspective:

  • If you thought Clos du Mesnil sounded exclusive, check this out: Only six vintages of Clos d'Ambonnay have been released since the first one in 1995.
  • According to Krug, only 27,175 regular bottles and 1,240 magnum bottles have been produced over these six vintages - this is truly Champagne for the few.
  • The quality is undeniable here too, although Wine Advocate and Vinous are not quite as enthusiastic, giving it 95+ and 95 points respectively. However, Champagne guru Richard Juhlin gives it 99 points, which is the only time he has ever given this to an Ambonnay, while also commenting "absolutely magnificent and best of all 96s".
  • Krug Clos d'Ambonnay is highly exclusive by nature, but this is even more pronounced with the cult vintage of 1996. The 1996 vintage is the smallest Ambonnay vintage with only 3,000 bottles produced. A quantity that is undoubtedly massively reduced today.
  • Clos d'Ambonnay, somewhat surprisingly, has not performed as impressively as Clos du Mesnil, averaging 46.8% over the past five years across the five vintages that have been on the market during this period. This also means that the gap between Ambonnay and Mesnil has never been smaller either.
  • Good timing for investment - according to, the average asking price of 1996 Ambonnay has fallen by 12.3% since its peak last summer. So, this is a rare opportunity to buy cheaper.
  • Cheapest price on right now is €3,000*. Your investment price is €2,850*.

Krug's Clos d'Ambonnay is simply something special and provides Champagne lovers with some of the most exclusive characteristics that in the wine world are almost exclusively found in the greatest wines from Burgundy. To put the exclusivity even more into perspective, since the first Clos d'Ambonnay was released in 2007, and only 27,175 bottles have been released since then, approximately +65,000 bottles of DRC Romanée-Conti have been released. Intriguing.

*1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002

**Price per bottle, ex tax, VAT and duty, in whole cases and perfect condition

Krug-1996-Clos-d'Ambonnay-600x600 01.png RJ: Richard Juhlin WA: Wine Advocate VI: Vinous AVG: Average score

RareWine Invest's Opinion

1996 is a benchmark and cult vintage in Champagne and will always be something that Champagne lovers around the world will look back on with nostalgia. But this is not just any Champagne - it is the finest of the finest. Two of Champagne's greatest jewels and Krug's most exclusive Champagnes.

If you believe in the potential of the rarest, most exclusive, and luxurious, if you believe in the general Champagne case, and if you believe that the world has not seen its last upswing - then the case of Clos du Mesnil and Clos d'Ambonnay is ideal for you. Thankfully, the world has not seen the last of either Mesnil or Ambonnay, but the opportunity to invest in mature cult vintages like this is by no means guaranteed in the future.

Invest in 1996 Krug Clos du Mesnil And Clos d'Ambonnay

Contact us via the contact form at the bottom of the page if you want to know more about your investment options or order the wines directly through the form.

1996Krug Clos du Mesnil750Loose€ 2.400
1996Krug Clos d’Ambonnay750Loose€ 2.850
*All prices are in EUR ex. customs duty, tax, and VAT for delivery to a bonded warehouse. Prices including customs duty, tax and VAT can be sent on request. The wines are only sold in whole cases unless otherwise specified and the price is per bottle. Minimum order size € 2,500. Assumes a total minimum investment of € 10,000. Prices may have changed since release of this article. Reservations are made for errors.

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