1996 Fleury Brut Vintage Champagne

SKU #1005048 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Yellow-gold. Highly complex, pungent scents of poached pear, yellow plum, brown sugar and singed orange, with smoky lees and honey notes in the background. Fully mature, palate-coating orchard and exotic fruit flavors are complicated by notes of cherry pit, toasted nuts and bitter orange. The finish is clinging, smoky and very long. Intriguing stuff, with the depth to handle rich white meat or poultry dishes, maybe even washed rind cheeses.  (12/2010)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Fresh and floral, with a smoky undercurrent enriching flavors of apple pie filling, quince paste, honey and orange granita on the lightly grained palate, while racy acidity provides juicy focus through to the spiced finish. Drink now through 2021.  (12/2011)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 Fully mature, this mouthwatering wine delivers an acid impression that is milder than the 1995 Extra Brut's, yet still potent. Savory scents of toasted nuts and taffy show its maturity; fresher notes of green apple, sage and lime focus it on food. For sage-rubbed pork loin.  (12/2010)

K&L Notes

One of the last available of this great vintage--maybe the greatest in a generation from one of K&L's favorite Champagne producers. An recently disgorged (RD) release; it is STUNNING. The 1996 vintage blends 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay fermented in stainless steel and measures a very high 6% total acidity, even after full malolactic fermentation. The sur lie aging takes place on a cork rather than a steel cap, and all the bottles are hand-disgorged. The color is like dark hay and the nose reminds me of the fresh brioche that I have been treated to all too often on my trips to Champagne. It also has a fruit confit element that does not detract at all from its freshness. It is INTENSE on the palate and tight and still tight at 17 years old. The surest sign of its quality is the finish, which expanded like a peacock's tail, fanning out to become stronger after the wine had left my mouth. It would not quit! This is not cheap or plentiful, but this is GREAT Champagne! (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)

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Price: $89.99
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Staff Image By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/10/2009 | Send Email
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Yes, this is a pricey selection but I've had other Champagnes that cost twice as much and are only half as good. This is a classic 1996 vintage that is high in Pinot Noir content (80%) and exhibits the classic nuances from this vintage and this varietal. Brioche and cherry fruit, bread dough, vanilla and, due to its youth (at 13 years, yet!), minerality and citrus on the long, long finish. A perfect candidate for the cellar (consider the magnum for even longer ageing). Fantastic stuff!
Drink from 2009 to 2019

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Alcohol Content (%): 12