First Growths

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Vint Description Cl ? Cs Bt Cs (£) Bt (£) +
1996 Mouton Rothschild, Magnums 150 IB 1 0 4850 -
1996 Haut Brion Blanc 75 DP 0 1 - 540


75 DP 0 3 - 520
Tasting Notes for Margaux, 1996:
99 points. The 1996 Chateau Margaux, which was bottled in September 1998, is undoubtedly one of the great classics produced under the Mentzelopoulous regime. In many respects it is the quinessential Chateau Margaux, as well as the paradigm of this estate, combining measured power, extraordinary elegance and admirable complexity. I tasted this wine on three separate occaisons in January and in short it's a beauty. The colour is opaque purple. The wine offers extraordinary pure notes of blackberries, cassis, pain grille and flowers, gorgeous sweetness, a seamless personality and full body with nothing out of place. The final blend (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc) contains the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon since the 1986. Both Corinne Mentzelopoulos and administrator Paul Pontallier claim they prefer it to the 1995, which is saying something given how fabulous that wine has turned out. When tasted side by side, the 1996 does taste more complete and longer, although just as backward. My instincts suggest this wine will shut down, but at present it is open-knit, tasting like a recently bottled wine. The fruit is exceptionally sweet and pure and there are layers of flavour in the mouth. I posed the question last year as to whether it was capable of surpassing the quality of the 1995, 1990, 1986, 1983 and 1982? Time will tell. Personally, I prefer the opulence and viscosity of the 1990 from a purely hedonistic standpoint, but I do believe this wine will develop an extraordinary perfume and possess the same level of richness as the most concentrated vintages Margaux has produced. It is one of the strongest candidates for the wine of the vintage. Anticipated maturity 2005 - 2040. Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate 4/99.
Parker Points: 99
Drinking Period:  -

Haut Brion ( owc 6-packs )

75 DP 1 0 3840 -
Tasting Notes for Haut Brion ( owc 6-packs ) , 1996:
The backward 1996 Haut-Brion was bottled in July, 1998. Even administrator Jean Delmas was surprised by how closed it was when I tasted it in January. Only 60% of the crop was utilized in the final blend, which was 50% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 11% Cabernet Franc. Out of barrel, this wine exhibited far more forthcoming aromatics as well as a sweeter mid-palate than it revealed from bottle. I had expected it to be more forward, and thus slightly down-graded the wine, although I am thrilled to own it and follow what appears to be a slow evolution. It will be a potentially long-lived wine. The 1996 exhibits a deep ruby/purple color, and a surprisingly tight bouquet. With aeration, notes of fresh tobacco, dried herbs, smoke, asphalt, and black fruits emerge ... but reluctantly. It is tannic and medium-bodied, with outstanding purity and a layered, multidimensional style. However, the finish contains abundant tannin, suggesting that this wine needs 5-8 years of cellaring.Wine Advocate # 122 Apr 1999
Parker Points: 92
Drinking Period: 2008-2030
Wine List Last Updated: 20/02/2018 17:26:04