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Spotlight On: Krug Clos du Mesnil 1995 vs. 1996

The 1996 is selling for three times the price of the higher-rated 1995

Nick Suarez
Posted: November 19, 2008

Krug's Clos du Mesnil had been the venerable Champagne house's premier cuvée until the arrival of the Blanc de Noirs Champagne Clos d'Ambonnay 1995 this year. But the $3,500 price tag for the Clos d'Ambonnay—surely the most expensive newly released Champagne in the world—makes the Clos du Mesnil now look like a bargain in comparison. And at auction, some vintages, such as the 1995 (98 points, $776 release price, $560 current auction price), look even better than others for value hunters.

Compare the 1995 vintage's track record at auction to the 1996 (96 points, $800 release, $1,655 current). As recently as the fourth quarter of 2007, both vintages hovered around the $1,100 price range per bottle. The 1996 is now up 106 percent from its release price after only one year on the market. It currently sells for roughly three times as much as the 1995 does, which is now trading 28 percent below its release price.

The price disparities could be a result of the reputation of the vintages. The 1996 vintage in Champagne overall has a rating of 96 points, while the 1995 vintage scored 94 points. But savvy collectors will note that the 1995 Krug actually scored higher than the 1996 Krug.

This data comes from the Wine Spectator Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions. This chart shows the average auction prices of Krug Clos du Mesnil 1995 and 1996 from the second quarter of 2007 to the third quarter of 2008.

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