1996 Bordeaux at RSJ (RSJ, Southwark): A touch closed at first. Youthful, deep black fruit, touch of soil and mineral. Medium bodied, deep, intense black fruit, touch of mineral, tannins still a touch firm, attractive leafy edge, long,firm finish. Excellent ***(*1/2), in need of another 5 years. My 3rd/ Group 2nd.
Red currant, cedar, light worn leather notes. Perfect w rosemary/thyme scented lamb. Opened for 1.5 hours before drinking, was continuing to open up on the nose and gain weight. Hold or drink next bottle. Tannins well-integrated at this point.
Dark ruby color with a deep, opulent, brooding nose with notes of black currants, char, tobacco and gray slate. A thickly-textured, young wine still even at age 19 with rich flavors of blackberries, minerals and slate. Finishes still tannic and taut but with wonderful complexity lurking underneath. A great vintage for LB that still needs 5+ years to reach its peak. 93+
A lovely nose of fruit and pencil shavings. But after slow-oxing for 24h most of that fruit has disappeared. I am left with great cedar wood, but also with too much acidity... same as a year ago. I don't think this wine will get better.
Great mature left bank Bordeaux. Typical aromas with somewhat pronounced funk on the nose but palate more than made up for it with its elegance. I truly love when a wine can have such depth, flavor, complexity while still light on its feet.
Dark garnet with some ruby hues. Fantastic nose with cassis, cedar, pencil shavings, perfectly integrated noble animal scents, smoke and spice. Med+ bodied with firm but good quality tannins, vibrant fruit and balancing acidity. Long aftertaste. Unmisteakably left bank Bordeaux of top quality. Could improve even further over te next decade.
Red, mature colours. Nose: Maturing aromas of brown earth, industrial rubber and porty streaks. Mouth: Wide, fine, maturing Bdx. M body, M+ acids and M++ tannins. Balanced, fine tuned, sumi ink, long finish. The mouth feel is with a very strong presence on tounge, gums and teeth.
Still vigorous, but reasonably mature, with ripe blackcurrant fruit, discreet oak and some spicy/cedary notes. The acidity is quite noticeable, and should help to keep the wine fresh for some time yet, provided that the fruit holds up.
A Comparative Bordeaux blends tasting (France, NZ, US etc) with Peter: The wine of the flight for me. Aromatically complex with blackcurrant, cigar box, lead pencil, spicy and savoury elements on bouquet. There was also a cheesy, Elastoplast notes Peter identified as Brett, but I did not find these off-putting. On the palate, this was to most, including me, a serious, classy cellar wine. It had the structure, mid palate weight and power and stuffing to support long term cellaring. It had lovely balance and a gorgeous acid profile, one of the best in the tasting. The flavours were largely in the dark fruit spectrum with some minerals and tobacco. Even picking up Brett on the palate, Peter had this quality wine his best of the flight. Definitely drinkable now but would benefit from 5+ years in the cellar.
A much bigger framed wine than the 2004/06/08; more evolved, expressive and rumbustious with plenty of moving parts, red and black fruit, spice box, cedar, tobacco and minerals. Dense and powerful it is in the early stages of what is surely a long drinking window. Possibly lacks the exquisite elegance of some of the younger wines but fabulous stuff all the same.
2nd of 24, opened 45 minutes but not decanted, perfect cork and fill - as my June note but showing slightly more development; this is beautiful long haul "gentleman's claret" with outstanding length and grip. Very fine (18.5/20).
Drinking wonderfully now, and will for some time to come. Beefy, savoury, leather, cedar and spice box on the nose. Savoury and tobacco on the palate, with fine tannins and good levels of acidity. A beautiful wine.
Lovely nose, very classic and elegant. Cedar, graphite, dark fruit, spice box. On the palate quite evolved, open but still good texture, round and complex, fresh. Very long with a nice, slightly tart finish. Perfect to drink now, but there is no rush. A great wine. 92-94
Sunday roast - decanted half an hour beforehand. Still youthful colour, bit of bricking. Savoury blackcurrant nose. Classic claret in mouth and on palate, lovely with meal and to sip after as continued to open up.
Winebid bottle purchased in '09. Splash decanted and followed over several hours. Really didn't show well until it had a couple hours air. This was still quite youthful appearing in the glass; dark with no bricking. Very medicinal green nose. Palate is austere with chalky tannins, mint and tobacco to the forefront with some dark fruit in the background that opened up with air. Moderate drying finish. Big step down from prior bottle several years ago but was sensational with food. If this bottle is representative don't see improvement with time.
One of the more enjoyable wines of recent memory. Nose initially had some earthy funk that blew off after about an hour and a half. Decanted over 2 hours, and this wine just soared thereafter. Incredible balance, showing dark fruits, plum, blackberry, and tobacco. Tannins were nicely integrated. Extremely long finish. This wine should improve and may not have reached its peak.
Not quite mature yet, but developing very nicely. Drank over the course of three evenings and the last glass was the best. Thick layers of sweet, jammy fruits: strawberry, blackberry, plums, figs, cassis, cedar wood, tobacco and some nice medicinal, herbal notes. The palate follows the nose with full body, good acidity and a long finish. Not very elegant, but a very well made, classical and fully featured Bordeaux with a long, long life ahead.
Solid wine. Took an eternity to evolve though... The next day, the funk and tannins softened up to reveal rich dark fruit. This is a powerful highly concentrated offering. Paired it with a 375ml of 2011 - wow! Incredible difference. 2011 is like grape juice+, I'd avoid buying this vintage. Back to the 1996, solid wine, will live a long long life. I won't be taping the remainder of my bottles any time soon... Not sure if I should try my 1990s either at this point? Same thing happened with my case of 1999s. Drank the majority of them too soon, then 2-3 years ago, wow! Beautiful claret with nice structure, but not quite the depth as this 1996. Still was a lovely wine to drink, but the key here with Barton is time... TBD...
Weekend with friends; 8/2/2014-8/3/2014 (At Home): Big and burly. Decanted and drunk 2 hours later. Relatively quiet nose, but the palate is all there. Classic claret of pencil box, red fruit and tannic structure. Still has firm tannins and I'd guess still some development to come. Compared to the 96 Duhart - this is bigger and in need of more time, whereas the Duhart is more accessible now. Overall I think the LB will be the better wine
Impromptu dinner at home (Home): Decanted about 2 hours. That seemed about right for this bottle. Typical claret with cassis, pencil lead, cedar and black and red berries. The mid weight palate is beautifully balanced. I detected a hint of Brett here, to which I can be quite sensitive. However in this case it seemed to enhance the overall experience. ('Good brett' if there is such a thing). Leather, earthy, medium spice. Finishes long and gently.
1st of 24, decanted one hour, deepish garnet, purple rim, primary classy blackcurrant, just a little development starting, medium deep palate, classy fruit covering evident fine grained tannin, old style, excellent grip and persistence, nearly ready. Potentially very fine (18.5/20).
Swe-Aus blind tasting, Yokohama (Le Message, Gumyouji (Yokohama)): Blackish red. This nose is why we love Bdx: red berries, cedar, Bdx earth, sumi-ink and warm-wet-leaves. The mouth displays an awesome structure with the fruit in the center and tannins pulling its weight with the acids and perfect barrels to create a broad base. Snappy distinctness. Long finish. Very early maturity. A much better btl than previous one. Wife: 95p 8 btls to go: Next one after 2020.
Mini Lunch Offline with some Honey's (John's House, Mpls, MN): Very dark red-purple color, slightly cloudy with a 1 mm bricked meniscus. Decanted for 2.5hrs, drank two 3oz pours over 4 hours. Fantastic nose, NOTN, earthy, funky, horse, saddle leather, perfumed, floral, cassis, blueberry. The palate is a little leaner, slightly austere up front, but it takes on some weight and rounds further over another hour. The palate shows plenty of damp earthiness, leather, cherry, cassis, dark raspberry, graphite, medium-full bodied, smooth with medium grained tannins that are integrating, long finish. This wine is still relatively young and just coming into prime drinking. A generous decant is suggested. If the palate rounds out further this could be even better. 93+(+)pts.
Lunch Offline (Minneapolis, MN): Wonderful nose of funk, coffee beans, earth and leather. The palate features more of the same but is not as enjoyable as the nose which if it were the case this would be a 95 plus point wine. The second glass offered raspberries on the palate. Medium plus finish.
Low neck fill. Still young in color and constitution, but the nose is already in place.
Red color. A perfect Bordeaux nose that is oozing of earth, cedar, stables, sumi-ink and some etheric components on a firm foundation of clear red berries. Smashing! It fills up well throughout the mouthen path. The aromas on the nose are beautifully reflected on the palate. Acids M++ and tannins M+. What a fantastic wine! Old school but still very well made and will live long. With one of the great Bordeaux wines in the glass, there is very little need for other wines... Wife: 92p. (Perfect nose. Small complaint re slightly high acid level.) First btl out of our case, next btl ~2017. We need to stay healthy in order to be able to enjoy this wine at its prime... The sommelier's favourite wine, so we donated the last glass-and-a-half to him, made him very happy. At absolutely amazing La Rochelle 'Sanno' (Tokyo).
Edged out the 1995 for my taste. A bit softer, not as structured as the 1995, not at peak in maturity. Got mostly red cherry on palate with some forest floor. This is a big wine that is approachable. Hot damn.
Tannic, young and slightly on the austere, masculine side of the style range. The nose offers secondary notes of tobacco, earth and cedar, but on the palate the wine is still young, crisp and tannic. Give it another 5 years and it could soften. But it will always be a beefy, traditional style of Bordeaux wine.
Good clear ruby color. Intense nose of ripe dark rasberries, black currants, toasty oak and black truffles. Still pretty tannic but the fruit is lovely with delicious dark berry flavors along with notes of truffles and smoky graphite minerals. Lean and crisp with very firm and drying tannins on the finish which is still primary and not showing the complexity one hopes will come. I really like the '96 vintage but the wines are not fleshy and need time. 92+
wow. huge wine. had next to a 95 figeac and 96 clerc milon. this absolutely crushed the clerc milon - layers of fruit still, tannins are super grippy. this can and should age for another 3- 5 years before I try it again as the tannins will soften and it will gain more elegance. i really enjoyed this. it was a nice contrast to the 95 figeac. this was more classic tobacco, lead pencil, cabernet notes compared to the bright merlot notes of the figeac.
It's a Leoville Barton, therefore cold decanting was my first choice. A good choice. After 12 hours in my cellar I first tried it. Simply great. Just be aware that this is a tough wine. No ballerina, more of a Championship boxer. I expect this to further improve to 94/95 when it reaches it's prime drinking window. Right now the window just has opened halfway.
Tasted Dan's btl which he said was his first of his case. Lucky guy, I only have one. Very dark ruby. Great BDX nose. This is nearly a pleasure to drink now but not quite. It shows great purity of fruit and classic BDX flavors of; lead pencil, mineral, earth and cedar. It even has a bit of surprising richness. The tanins are little sharp yet on the finish. I really think this should not be opened before it's 20yrs old which is not my usual modus operandi. In fact, this one may actually be best @ around 25yrs in the Btl but I'll drink mine in 2017 when its fully 20yrs old. I'm not a believer that BDX or Burgundy automatically needs to be 20- 25yrs plus to enjoy but, some do need more than 15yrs and Barton is one. If I can maintain patience I'll wait till 2017. Hold till at least 2016/17.
Big wine with lots of tannins and wood on the nose and palate. Perhaps still young, it never really showed what I was hoping for. Give it time and try another bottle in a few years. Consumed over 2 days with consistent notes.
right after screwing the cork the Nose was just St. Julien - "man's wine" The taste was as a nailed down any bordeaux wine
After half an hour it turned out in TASTE: more open in giving a hint of what could be in this Wine - but not in this year - some little sweetness- but the harmony is missing .-- a little too much acid- not real good tannins .--- on next day it turns out more disappointing - NO GREAT WINE !°
I had this wine and Year several times ... I was always hoping it will turn any better - in earlier Time it was to nailed down .-.. and one could have imagine it will turn any better BUT never the less it is turning out to be with no any Barton charakter... and style .. a no name good Bordeaux wine worth 20 - 30 bucks .. no real enjoyment !
lovely st. julien nose. the wine is well developed and has a very good structure. the tannin is still a little to the fore and will take a further year or so to ameliorate. while this is very good, with plenty of stuffing, it is not in the class of the Montrose 96 tasted recently
NYC Dinner with Peggy, Jim, Jacques and Jill (Jacques and Jill Levy): Dark red core, almost no lightening at rim. Intense nose of cassis, coffee grounds and tar, with hints of mint and flowers and iodine. Full-bodied, ripe dark fruits, tannins starting to mellow, great balance and freshness, some developing complexity but hasn't yet reached the full-on tertiary stage yet. Destined for further improvement. Outstanding.
Also drank the '96 Cos and Pichon Lalande. Cos was a touch better, more complete. PL had an incredible nose and was starting to develop some tertiary notes, a bit closer to maturity than the others.
Drank on birthday at The Black Hoof. Probably the wrong pairing with that style food which is rustic northern French/Alsatian style. It didn't pair well, but was a very nice wine. Not very complex. It was well balanced, so not sure if it will get better yet.
Dark garnet color which is translucent towards the edges and more opaque down the robe. Pungent aromatics which need little coaxing are smoke, leather, currant, and black fruit. The tastes are mushroom, earth, espresso, currants, blackberry, dark spices, and hoisin. The tannins are like fine satin sheets accompanied by zingy acidity and a lengthy finish. This fine wine is complex and what Bordeaux is all about!
My Birthaday Party: Family, Friends, Food and Wine !!! (My home): Deep color. Leather and cherries in the nose. Nice sweetness but it cannot shine (yet) as the berry and dark fruit flavors are still covered by some tartiness. It is long and elegant but still on the young side. I guess it needs another 2-3 years to open up.
Nice perfumie nose little a bit hand bag with perfume nose, a hint of sour cherry nose. Starts out a bit flat. Tobacco nose and tobacco flavor. Black licorice nose. Open up well after 30 min. Hot tar, subdued raspberry bruised apple on the palette. A bit of prune and a little bit of gaminess on the nose. Some green pepper nose also coming out. A little less fruit than I was hoping for. Overall nice wine not sure if I would buy this vintage again.
Very nice, but short of excellent. Good blue/black fruit like blackberry and dark plum that appears soft and somewhat worn, integrating well into the softer tannin. Dried herbs on the palate. The feel is one of gentle and slow integration, yet there is still some underlying muscle here despite the wear. Definitely an old school Claret. Very good. With Randy at Rothmann's.
Perhaps expectation was rather high on the '96 vintage, thus came out with a fair bit of disappointment this time. Ageing sign was apparent with clear pinkish rim. The bouquet was lacking strength to it, blueberry, herbs, dark coffee, burnt wood notes took some coaxing to show up. On the palate, the spine of the wine was solid, though it seems tannins and acidity have out-lived the fruits. In fact, fruits were very difficult to find, on the nose or palate. Thought '96 should be maturing slowly and many of those primary notes would be there and give the wine an attractive appeal. Yet they are missing. Disappointed because a '95 bottle tried recently had a much stronger, complexed showing than this one. Hoping the next bottle will turn my head around.
Very classic primary nose of cedar, lead pencil and blackcurrants. Also some tertiary aromas of leather and forest. Thicker and sweeter mouthfeel than I remember from Lynch Bages and Pontet Canet in 1996, but perhaps it is just a great bottle!
One of the better vintages I've had. Nose of dark fruit, some caramel, earth and only a hint of that rubbery quality I usually get. The palate matched and was smooth and creamy with a nice sweetness. Medium finish
Poured a small amount and let rest slow-ox over the day. First impression of the small glass I poured after standing half an hour - slight bricking, lovely nose of sweet black currents, leather and earth. Surprised by acidity on the attack rather than fruit as expected from the nose. Tannins still present. The acidity continues to dominate through the mid and into the finish; the overall experience is austere and bit hollow, disappointing. But I expect it to have transformed by evening..... Two hours before dinner I lost my nerve, got the decanter out, not sure the slow-ox would be enough. After 2h in decanter I tried it again - nose the same (good), acidity had definitely retreated (good), but the quite austere impression still lingers.... I like the structure that this brings in general, but this is a '96, not a '95 - where is the fruit?? I know Barton likes to make traditional Bordeaux reds, and typically that is what I favour, but this is not how I like it. Perhaps just this bottle.
Great bottle of a classic textbook Bordeaux. Was brought over by a friend, could have benefited from being stood up for a couple days, a lot of fine sediment. Gave it about a 1hr decant and it had begun to open up. Enjoyed over the next 2 hours and it kept getting better and better (recommend a 2-3hr decant at least). On the nose, there were lovely aromas of cedar, dark cassis, menthonl/mint, old leather, and earth. Tannins were velvety smooth, round on the palate, and nicely integrated. Great fruit on the palate with a nice earthy character. Amazingly balanced wine. Will be hitting it's peak in a few years I think. 93+
SFWS tasting 11 Dec 2012 - Full red colour, clasic cedary nose, complex, lovely; soft entry, oodles of blackcurrent fruit in perfect harmony with acid / tannin. Still quite immature, lovely long finish. A great wine, will benefit from further cellaring.
Tuesday at the Papies (The Papies, Elizabeth St, London): Another consistent showing. To add to our previous note from 16th of Oct, the wine needs 2-3hrs plus to open up and evolve. After 1.5 hrs it still felt tight and restrained. Post the 2hr mark it evolved and opened up with a more giving nose, with herby, floral side appearing. The palate is a similar story and the tannin only loosens its grip on the wine after about 1-2 hours. A lovely wine and among the best LBs we have tried but requires patience at this stage. 92 and with a good life ahead.
Concur largely with Keith's note, especially with respect to the surprising maturity of the aromas on this wine and the distinctive iron component. In a sense it's almost a textbook, quality Bordeaux, with cedar being especially prominent, and it felt very classically proportioned but entirely too rustic to really blow my socks off.
Faultless wine that is a point at the moment. Textbook St. Julien wine replete with Spanish cedar, ripe currants, velvet texture and gorgeous balance. Gorgeous wine that is elegant yet does not lack for authority on the palate. Bottles in this condition are certainly ready to be looked at. For me a complete wine that convinces on clarity and balance more than power and ultimate complexity.
1996 Red Bordeaux (Medoc) , with Richard Brazier (Handford Wines, London): Light bricking on the rim and start to show some age. Another quite classic Bordeaux heavy on the cab sauv (96 was a great year for cab sauv on the left bank). Beautiful nose with more of a dark fruit feel, cedar, light floral/minty and light earthy probably the most secondary of our line up of 96s. Quite on the fruit, good tannin, classic ie a bit backward but this is a very good wine, probably the best LB we have tried and with good life ahead of it. We would also recommend the softer Langoa Barton 96 for now too. 92-3 and maybe more as it matures. Drink now but preferably wait a few years and with a goo life ahead of it.
Somehow over the last few years, this turned into a mature wine. Actually surprisingly mature -- the last '96 I had before this was Cantemerle, and that actually shows more primary gloss than this does. It opens with fairly expressive old-cabernet aromas of rusty earth, iron, and maybe even something truffly, and the palate takes that rusty-earth minerality and runs with it. This is still fairly full in body and heft, but there's not a bit of primary fruit left to it so almost all the stuffing here is in that earthy register. The tannin hasn't completely melted away but it's not much of a factor anymore. Maybe the texture will turn a little more slick with further development but the structure certainly isn't obscuring anything or leaving any dryness on the palate. Still, I have to confess to some amount of disappointment with this, as it has a sort of downcast and dreary (dare I even say stale?) tone to it, and it comes across seeming older than it is. Purchased by me on release and cellared under perfect conditions.
Vigorous, sweet currents and cherries on the nose, hint of cassis. Smooth and full-bodied with good balance and an acid long finish. It is very nice for sure, exactly the type of wine I like, and yet something is lacking. Perhaps this bottle has not been stored perfectly, but the fruit intensity is not quite as strong as I have had in other bottles, and the whole thing not quite as complex as it ought to be.
I think the rest of the notes on this wine summarize it fairly well. My only addition would be to say the bottle needed about 2 hours of air before it opened up. Very balanced, if a bit austere. Very pleasant aromas and flavor, exactly what I wanted when drinking a wine like this. Perfect with beef-based dinner. Feels very young, if I had more I wouldn't check back in for 5 years at minimum.
Dinner at The Bristol (The Bristol - Chicago, IL): Rustic nose that was really beautiful. Tobacco, cedar, leather, dark fruit and dried floral dominated the nose. The palate was considerable harder than the nose with more acidity and primary dark fruit. Probably would have taken some time for the palate to flesh out, but this was a pop and pour. This has great composition, complexity and balance...no rush in drinking this. Great stuff.
Dark ruby in the glass with slight bricking and haze. Nose of minerals, dark cassis and mint. Slight volatility as well. Still a bit tannic on the palate with good acidity and a fresh finish. Nice bottle of wine but short of outstanding.
Bordeaux 1996 (semi blind) (Wijnantiquariaat Amsterdam): One of my favorite 1996 Left bankers. Classic nose with herbs, some menure/ leather, graphite, 'stone' and cherries. Powerful tannins in the mouth, cherries and berries. Elegant wine. Developing slowly over the last five years when I regularly had a bottle, still getting better and not at its peak yet.
This wine is at a really nice stage of development. Expressive nose with layers of leather and tobacco together with the fresh red fruit profile. Palate also had very good intensity of fruit while displaying some tertiary notes. This is powerful and dense. Good overall grip with ripe soft tannins that give this wine a strong backbone. Very nice long finish. Not a very elegant wine but simply phenomenal strength! This can obviously age for another two decades given the balance and intensity of fruit.
This is now developing some fantastic mature flavours. Some maturity now evident on the rim. After a 3 hour decant gave up glorious cedar and black fruits aromas. Beautiful balance on the palate with layers of cassis, smoke and herbs. Still very vibrant with good tannins - I expect this to keep for further 10 years and really looking forward to the remaining bottles over that time. I am glad I bought these as an ex chateau offer from BBR. 93+
Classically style claret, with fine structure and power coupled to St. Julien aromatics. Tasted after five-hour decant. It's so beautiful but it's really at the beginning of its drinking window. If you can hold out, do. I couldn't wait, and while I loved what I drank, I rue what I missed had I waited.
From 375. Deep robe, disc just beginning to show faint signs of maturity. Awesome nose of cedar wood, tobacco, potent cassis and a little bit of the barnyard on opening. The palate shows the most concentrated cedar I've tasted in years - it's sumptuous.
After a couple hours, its head is barely poking above the parapet. Still young and from 750, touching this prior to 5-10 years from now would be a total waste. A recurring theme with the Bartons (Leoville at least). I'm reminded of how impenetrable the 1995 was two years ago but how beautifully the 1966 was drinking at 42 years of age.
This is a dark colored, voluminous Bordeaux that is just beginning to cross the threshold from raw and tannic to complex and velvety. There is perfect ripeness to the blackberry fruit with lovely notes of graphite, charred black earth and minerals. The tannins are beginning to ameliorate and this is delicious tonight with a juicy steak but really needs another 5 years to reach peak drinkability.
K&L Top Bordeaux Tasting (K&L, Redwood City): Deep red color; vegetal, tomato, pepper, hint brett; hint thin at the end but still tannic overall, needs 2-3 more years but approachable now, balanced palate, fruit hiding a bit now but great acidic structure; finish is medium-long. 92-93+
Best of Bordeaux, Including 1966 Pichon Lalande (K&L Wines, Redwood City, California): Deep core with some browning. Musty at first, but this is sound. Big, dense wine with an almost syrupy entry. Great ripe fruit without any artificial sweetness and an appealing mintiness for complexity. It is given shape by a long, dry finish. What this lacked in finesse compared to the younger Poyferre, it makes up for in material and power. One gets the sense that it needs every bit of 20 more years to develop complexity and fully express itself. After that, it probably has enough stuffing to be fantastic for another 20-30 years. A bruiser with tremendous potential.
Decanted for 1 hour. Secondary. Very classic bordeaux. Beautiful earthy nose with fruit on the back. Silky, round on the palate, no 1996 wall of tannins here and no harsh or out of tune note. Textbook? maybe but definitely a very nice wine now. 93 maybe be more. Seems to be at peak now.
Acker Merrall 1996 Left Bank Bordeaux Dinner (Balsan - Chicago IL): Blackberry and black currant aromas with some hints of liqueur. Dense fruit on palate but not as powerful as its start or aromas suggested. Moderate spice comes through in middle and finish along with some nice emerging earthy character. Give another few years before revisiting.
Beautiful and classical bouquet with a lot of dark fruits and also luxurious oak and graphite. Very juicy on the palate and quite much acidity. Very luxurious, complex and classical wine. Although CT says this wine should be drunk from 2007, I think it will improve with at least another 3 - 5 years of cellaring and will probably last a decade longer. Great wine! 94+
G6 (Kevin): No decant. Black in color. Green nose of blackberry and earth. Tasted of blackberry, currant, earth, and leather. Green mid palate. Chewy finish with some complexity. Not sure what to think about this wine and I'm not sure more time in the bottle will help. 12.5% alcohol.
part of a three vintage vertical (96, 00, 03). i have some concerns that this brute will never come around. needed an aggressive decant it did not get, but...not sure it would have helped anyway. i'm gonna give it a pass by saying it is closed. hold, or decant the bejesus out of it and hope.
Les Deux Bartons (Les Deux Salons): Less obviously blackcurrant nose. Denser, slightly leaguer and seemingly more Open on the nose. Leaner, slightly tighter palate though. Opens up a little in the glass but needs a few years yet. Seems to have tightened a bit in the last five years. **(**)
Our first bottle. Still youthful, but a very attractive youngster. Deep colour, clear nose of leather and tobacco, more tobacco, cedar and lead pencil on the palate. Excellent fruit, completely balanced, although tannin begins to show after an hour or two. Great length, but still reticent. Shows that characteristic slight lack of sweetness, which always distinguishes LB from LP and LLC. A wine of some gravity which will benefit from more time. Prospectively very fine.
Very, very nice. Pulled the cork and poured. At first it was a bit musty on the nose, but after about a half an hour it blew off leaving a bit of leafy mulch, graphite and dark fruit. On the palate - smoooooth tannins and loaded with dark rich fruit. Round and full in the mouth with a long finish. Many say this needs more time - and that may well be - but it's delicious now. Drink or hold - but if you drink now, you won't be sorry - unless it's your last bottle. This was my last '96, and I wish I had more!
Made with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot this estate is located between the towns of Beychevelle and Saint Julien. Deep purple in colour I found blackberry and herb characters on the nose. The palate is full bodied and elegant with layers of dark berry fruit and silky tannins.
IWFS Bordeaux 2nd Growth BYO (Blu, Shangri-La, Singapore): Good, but oh so young - in fact, the wine seems to have hardly moved from the last bottle I had two years ago. Tight on the nose. Some sweet plums, mulberries, dark cherries and loamy earth sprinkled with slightly wilted flowers and peppery spice. Quite pretty, but needs time to really open up and express itself. The palate had an unsual elegance for a Barton, with a firm but very nicely fine background and lovely fresh clean feel to its black fruit and gentle floral flavours. Good long finish too, but everthing still seemed tight and primary though. Everything seems to be in place, but this needs a lot of time yet. For the moment, the 1996 Cos d'Estournel on the same flight was way ahead in the opinion stakes.
no ullage. small solid sediment. decanted 4 hours before meal. very tannic at time of decanting. Bright clear red wine. not much nose. 4 hours later tannins less marked but still dominating fruit. I wonder if there is really a fruity wine hidden here and begin to fear there is not. Pleasant but nothing like so good as i had expected.
This particular bottle was good to go after an hour decant. Tannins fully resolved leaving a round and rich mouthful. Quite evolved here, but it was from a hotel cellar so not 100% sure of provenance. No issues though - generous and broad palate demonstrates nice purity of that 1996 fruit, now starting to show a few secondaries. Medium-bodied and really rather elegant with a grippy dry finish which could stand to be just a little longer. Drinking well now but no rush.
Decanted briefly. Typical profile of L-B at this stage - firm, promising, and not quite ready to unfurl. Those iron gates on the label are there for a reason. Became sweeter and richer, and tannins softened, with air. Needs another five years or so -- worth the wait, to judge from this outing.
Ruby core - fade at rim showing some age; Cassis, blackcurrant leaf. Great intensity. Very inviting. Excellent breed here. Elegant and smooth on the palate now - approachable but much more to give. Lovely nuances of flavour on the finish.
I dont own any of this but had it at good friend Tom with steak. We also had 96 Lynch Bages and 96 Pichon Baron. This wine was outstanding (best bordeaux I've had in a while) Big nose, big young fresh color and big on the palate, everything is there. Long long finish. will live for a long long time but drinkable now if you want to wow someone with a bottle.
– popped and poured – – tasted non-blind over 1 hour –
NOSE: expressive and intense; brie; dark fruits (cassis); graphite; hint of oak.
BODY: purple-garnet color of medium-deep depth; medium-full bodied; looked younger than its 14 years.
TASTE: leather with a juicy boysenberry/blackberry/plum mix going on; earthy; good concentration of fruit; tannins are still slightly drying; good acidity; no noticeable alcohol; well-balanced; long finish of moderate intensity; no crime to drink this now, but will improve with more time in the cellar: say, 5 - 10 more years.
This wine was tasted in double-blind fashion at Vintage Wines, Ltd. The bottle was kindly provided by Diogo Belo. Opaque garnet in color, it shows an intense and complex nose (after 1-2 hours in decanter) of lavender, bing cherries, tobacco and earth. Full-bodied on the palate, with medium acidity and medium, fairly supple tannins. The complex flavors are in line with the nose. The middle palate is full and leads to a very long and quite smooth finish. This wine is drinking nicely now and should continue to do so over the next decade. Drink now-12/20.
meraviglioso colore limpido con unghia leg. aranciata, naso frutta matura, mora ribes, spezie pepe, ginepro, cedro e un cesto di caffè accompagnato da qualche sentore pirazinico, bocca leggemente calda con un bellissimo tannino , sapido fresco e con un finale fruttato molto appagante.
Lovely nose of blue/black fruit, graphite, touches of sweet Bordeaux funk, clearly getting into some complexities. Palate shows black currants and the smoothness of some bottle age, without being at all worn, still young actually. Has lost its baby fat and plumpness of youth, the palate is more tapered, and I would like more stuffing in the midpalate; while enjoyable, it does show a bit thin. Needs more time in the cellar to develop secondary complexities and fill out more on the midpalate. Hold.
Decanted for 30 mins -what jumped out was the nose; it lit the room up w/ wonderful spicy aromas. On the palate it was very earthy (French country side on a late fall morning) and quite elegant. The wine had a silky smooth texture with a nice balanced finish. I love the LB experience - can't get enough of it.
Dark purple/black core, almost no lightening at rim. Intense nose of cassis, coffee grounds and tar, with hints of mint and flowers and iodine. Full-bodied, tons of ripe dark fruits, plenty of tannins, great balance and freshness, just beginning to give hints of the complexity that is to come, medium to long finish. Solidly outstanding and better than the 92 points RP gave it back when, it is verging on extraordinary already, with plenty of upside. A very young 14 year old, it will be hard to resist drinking through these, but this wine holds the promise of taking things to another level entirely as it develops true complexity over the next 5-10 years.
FIRETRUCK TASTE OFF volume 1 (Bob and Selma's Apartment): Wonderfully dusty nose of coffee, dried herbs, meat drippings, creamy cherry and cranberry. Took a little while to open up, but boy was this impressive. Good amount of soy sauce, coffee grinds, rose petals, and wet underbrush. I hold high hopes for my last bottle of this, but it's already drinking very nicely.
Wow, this was really quite a superb LB, possibly the best one I've had. Tons of graphite, blackcurrant on the nose with a hint of floral elements. Excellent structure - elegant yet firm, super-fine tannins and very persistent. Quite muscular for an LB, but with magnificent results.
Bordeaux, Italy and a Burg in Minneapolis: Nice wine with plenty of life left. Scorched earth, floral, coffee and gravel with a hint of raspberries. Good acidity and I would love to try this again in 5 years.
Lean and Mean. I enjoyed this more than last time. Indications that it is finally developing some secondary flavours. Great length with a fascinating herby final taste. It needed the full two hours plus and double decant - and was even better the next day, although tiring right at the end - or maybe my palate was just 'tannined out'.
At San Antonio vertical. Outside of 2000, a favorite of the night. This is a purple colored gem with notes of flowers and black fruits on nose. Palate is also tannic, although slightly less though than 2000 or 2002. Has very chewy palate with a touch of oak, deep black cherry fruit with some minerality and spice. The fruit in this vintage is really pristine and the finish nearly as long as the bold 2000. As the night went on, this wine got better and better.
This wine was consumed under seasonal June conditions in Maine, with temperatures in the mid-sixties, a little cooler on the coast, with a light wind from the southwest. No precipitation, although the weekend forecast called for showers on Saturday, turning heavier on Sunday. Threat of forest fire low. This was the best showing yet for this wine, consumed from half bottle. Very expressive on the nose from the minute it was uncorked. I've had this wine several times over the years and found it much more brooding and closed in the past, although, admittedly, no corresponding notes of the weather were recorded at the time the previous bottles were consumed. It is not a great wine but a solid classic Leoville Barton with ripe black raspberries and cassis. Very nice.
San Antonio Wine Geeks - Leoville Barton Vertical (Steve's house): Slow O'ed at cellar temp for 12hrs, then re-corked. Cedar spice and leather on the nose, and again with a hint of mint. Round palate, with red fruits – cassis and black cherry. Relatively resolved tannins, but those present were fine and slightly sweet. Leather, mocha, cigar box on the finish that really lingered on the palate. This was well balanced, open, and really showing well tonight. Flavor profile was very much like the ’89 but with a little more fruit and slightly less mint. Drinking well now and should age fine for the next 5-10yrs. My WOTN and several other’s favorite.
Not as good as last time I had it. Seemed thinner and a bit tired in comparison. Otherwise notes are consistent. The food pairing may have been too powerful- braised shortribs provencal- maybe shoulda pulled a rhone instead.
I tasted this a number of times on separate occasions in 2009. I typically bring it up from the cellar a day or two before the dinner. I find it presents at its best if I remove the cork about six hours before serving. A gorgeous nose and pure silky loveliness in the mouth. Most recently tasted blind alongside the 1996 Léoville Poyferré and the 1996 Clos du Marquis. Most thought the Barton won by a fraction, but they were three cracking wines. This doesn't have to improve, but boy if it does ...
Wine dinner with Chateau Leoville Barton & Langoa Barton during ProWein 2010 (Dusseldorf): A very nice surprise and, of all the wines, probably the most pleasure to drink now, even more than the 2000. I liked its cassis and licorice-infused nose, preceding a suave, medium to full bodied palate, with currant fruit and some leather aspects with some fresh earthiness. All very smooth on the palate, yet substantial and tannic, but not beastly. Will it get better? Not sure. It will certainly get more tertiary and will certainly stay on a (slightly rising) plateau for a while, given its structure. Very nice
YES. So, it not a great bordeaux (IMO) but it is very, very good. Brambly, with a degree of development that signals a good bordeaux, very dark colour. Not old bordeaux and I am not clear whether it will ever get to be same. Some others have mused on whether the tannins will last beyond the fruit. This may be a reasonable conjecture. I would drink up now and just have fun.
Decanted for 2-3 hours. This wine was very masculine in style. Dark fruit, some balsamic, licorice, and mild cedar on the nose; much more interesting on the palate; big tannins; the finish was very nice with some of the initial notes repeating themselves. I allowed this to sit in my glass for over an hour and enjoyed it with dinner - a prime ribeye. It worked very well with the food. I would like to re-visit in five years, however, I would be somewhat concerned about the fruit outlasting the tannins.
Last Offline of the Decade (MLV's & JC's): Medium body and acidity, with currant fruit and only hints of earth. This was very smooth and elegant, and I think drinking near its peak. That is a surprise to me as I normally think of Leoville Barton as a bigger, late maturing wine, rather than the elegant, early maturing one I tasted tonight.
i was completely impressed with this wonderful Bordeaux. Many beautiful dark fruits, spice box tobacco etc to be found. Since I haven't cracked my 2000 bottles yet I would say 3rd best bottle of red following a 2001 Ornelia in 1st and a 2001 Oreno in 2nd. Props to the Bartons for making such a wonderful, age-able Bordeaux. It had a beautiful mouth coating tannin as well as perfect acid balance, too bad I can't say the same for the '98 taitinger comtes blanc de blanc that followed a couple of hours later.
Mocha, tobacco and cherry on the nose. More of the same on the palate with unresolved tannins. My impression is that this bottle was opened too early and the '96 need at least two more years before getting into its main drinking window.
Decanted 2 hrs. Great nose with notes of cassis, dark fruit, graphite, damp earth. Shows complex dark fruit, roasted meat with dusty tannins and nice finish. Paired nicely with herb-rubbed filet mignon. Should continue to improve with age.
Fruit forward nose, cherry and leather. Very well balanced, medium sweetness with a taste of raisins and leather. Tannins still a little strong, but drinking nicely. Will get better. Light fruit and wood, barely getting anything on the nose. Dark fruit
This wine was horribly corked. Surprised somebody didn't pick up on it when decanting the wine.
On a side note: about an hour to two hours later somebody handed me a glass of wine double blind. I smelled it a couple of times but didn't taste it. I pronounced it the corked 1996 Leoville Barton that somebody has soaked in a plastic baggie to remove the TCA component. Sure enough, it was. Nice try guys. ;)
Angela's Birthday Party (Crown Wine Cellars, Hong Kong): Decanted for 2-3 hours beforehand. Dark, opaque colour but lightened to translucent blood red at the edge. Nose of fresh blueberries with lifted acid notes and pencil lead. Similar sensations on the palate with a sharp, precise, heavy and extremely long, resonant finish. Still rather young and tart but gorgeous. A bit thin on the palate compared to the other wines tonight. Could probably have done with longer decanting.
Still very dark core, barely showing any signs of ageing. Smoky tarry nose with black fruits. Masculine wine, tannins are overwhelming and taking over fruits. Finish is impacted by those drying tannins. I don't think this will improve.
Decanted for about 90 minutes prior to drinking with dinner. I always like to come back to a nice Bordeaux with a bit of age on it every once in a while just to remind myself why I love wine so much. This 96 Leoville Barton was singing tonight with notes of earth, a little barnyard, some leather, pencil shavings and cassis. Yes, that's a lot going on with the nose but you can pick each scent out quite easily. Showed nice vibrant fruit on the palate with a medium bodied mouthfeel and a dry, lengthy, and mildly tannic finish. A great match to herb crusted, pan seared centre cut chops with a thyme and rosemary marsala sauce over creamy polenta. This wine still has lots of life in the bottle. 92-94.
Decanted about 2 hours before consuming with grilled NY steaks. Nice aromatics of currants, a dollop of Bdx lether and barnyardy notes. Still seems a bit youthful, but on the palatee, is medium weight and show softening of tannins, yet good avidity. Has the strong currant note, with some secondary debelopment, yet one gets the impression the best is still yet to come. The gat in the steak balanves the acidity, and makes this a great match. Nice wine, its best years are ahead ot it.
Not much on the nose on this night. Tight and very backwards at this stage, but the power of the fruit on the palate cannot be denied. Very tannic, but not austere in any way. Just needs a lot more time.
1986 Bordeaux Night @ The Hawksmoor: dark color, almost purple/black. strong glass filling nose of graphite, cedar, dark fruit. this was the first of the wines that was a bit of a hussy, big dense meaty concentrated in the mouth, lots of minerals , some dark casis and a bit of pepper mixed in, surrounded by some nice solid tannins. this wine is still on the way up and should be for a while. it wasn't my highest rated wine of the flight but it was my WOTF as i really think ten or more years down the road this wine will be awesome.
At Wijn Antiq Amsterdam (blind tasting Left bank, nineties). Excellent wine, more complex than the Poyferre 1996. Herbs, fruits and sweet cacao tones. Long finish, lingering in the month. Nose has animal tones, graphite and bay leaves. Good for now and a long future.
double decanted, then drunk alongside the 94. Classic graphite, cedar and tobacco nose, with a hint of ripe cassis. generous palate presence, certainly plusher and deeper than its 94 cousin, though also slightly less giving in its aromatic profile at this stage. I'd hold for a few years on this, while the 94 seems more immediately ready to go at this stage.
Lo-hei dinner with the monthly group (Canning Room, Grand Park City Hall): An excellent wine, still young, but clearly moving into its drinking window. We decanted it for about half an hour - another hour or so would have done quite as nicely.The three words that come to mind with this wine are clarity, percision and cleaness. Still a dark, plush claret colour, it had a beautifully lifted and very expressive nose of green pepper, musky tobacco leaf, earth and a touch of cassis. Noticeably younger on the palate, it showed a wonderful fresh acidity and super-fine tannins that are well on their way to being resolved, adding structure without biting grip. All this made for a really clean and focused palate, with clear flavours of fresh cassis, cracked black pepper, green capsicum and leaf, all very lfted and fragrant. There was plenty of power to go around to, with the wine showing a nice persistence from the attack to the long finish dosed with a leathery whiff. Very enjoyable indeed.
Popped and poured. Wonderful expressive nose right out of the gate. Deep, dark colorful that may indicate a more youthful wine. Damp earth and cedar with a hint of barnyard. Probably needs a little time in the glass for the palate to match the expressiveness of the nose.
Wow--great nose of graphite, cassis and vanilla and deep garnet in the glass The palate offers plenty of fruit( more of a currant profile) intermingled with damp earth and cedar; a very nice wine with NY strips, oven roasted potatoes and cauliflower. Glad to have finally broken into my case; this vintage seems to just starting to show the "goods".
Lovely ruby red colour with a touch of maturity noticeable on the rim. Fresh vibrant nose of cherry. black fruits and oak. Flavours much more integrated than I recall from a year ago - perhaps a touch lean and with noticeable drying tanins - but then great fruit coming through and fantastic length. Very enjoyable today and look forward to following this though over the next 5 to 10 years. Very interetsed to compare this to the 96.Poyferre.
Very nice wine. Nice nose of blackberry and earth. Not expansive, but sweet and perfumed. Dark purple with no sign of maturity. Fine on the palate with integrated black currant, cherry, earth and lead pencil. Not decanted. Consumed over 2 hours. Last glass good as the first.
Tastes of blackberry, pencil lead, caramel, earth and black cherry. Layered mid palate with a very elegant and soft finish. Incredible balance with well integrated oak. Possesses some refined tannins. Textbook Bordeaux. Showing a little more age than only 12 years old. 12.5% alcohol.
I concur with the mulberry and blackberry. Tannins and acid not quite balanced by the fruit, although the fruit does expand with some open time. This suggests that waiting a couple more years would be useful. I'm not very experienced with brdx, so my rating goes with the others. My comparison is to the 96 Leoville-Poyferre, which is certainly more spectacular.
Decanted and drunk over 3 hours. Very good signs on opening: deep complex nose of blackcurrants, mulberries and earth. Dense and weighty palate - very youthful, still a bit beefy and inky around the edges but it has loads of ripe cassis fruit that seems to be the mark of Left Bank wines in this vintage - making them approachable young. Years to go till this is mature. After a couple of hours - less forthcoming, more awkward, fruit less showy - clearly not fully out of a slightly closed phase though by no means dumb. Opens out after a time in the glass but not as impressive as the first pour. If drinking now best to pop and pour, better to leave for another 5-10 years to see it really shine. Great potential for a classic Leoville Barton. 92 potential, 89/90 for now.
Heavy pencil led and earthiness. Drinking very well. Two days later, this had become a completely different wine. Huge florals and deep rich fruit emerged. Layered, and huge, this is a must 12 hour decant at this point.
Opened (not decanted) an hour before pour. Dark.purple plum. Very fine nose of black fruits, earth and leather. Nice palate of blackberries, earth, and lead pencil. Long finish. Another winner from Barton.
plump color. nose of pencil lead, cranberry, spice, soy sauce. the fist sip was devoid of fruit, tart. double decanted and 2 hours later- magic- lots of fruit, great balance, good complexity an earthy, spice. long finish. drank very nicely.
color is deep lush plum with a medium border, just a hint of sediment and a hint of brown showing its age. nose is amazingly complex. it evolved with bottle time. it is dominated by dark fruits, blackberry, lead pencil, cranberry and some mustiness rounded out in the latter portion by a real spicey pepperiness. the initial nose has some off-putting mustiness or barn yard quality. body is medium. on the palate again lush dark peppery fruits, lead pencil, graphite, mustiness. elegant and restrained. finish has a nice tannic grip and is extremely long with some nice lush sweet fruit, pepper.
i am a novice with bordeaux but i am starting to understand how complex a wine can be. when i concentrate on the nose, it evolved over time and i could actually smell many many different things but its hard for me to put my finger exactly on what they are. i wouldn't say this is a blockbuster but it is extremely elegant. again, what i am not used to is that this type of wine demands thought and attention in order to understand all it has to offer. it is missing the explosive fruit-type quality that i am so used to expecting or desiring in my wines, but my tastes are evolving with time.
I've enjoyed this wine a number of times over the last year and I've got to say this bottle seemed more alive than previous tastings. Subtle, yet well deliniated fruit, pencil led and fine tannins led the charge here.
Jeroboam Club: Ch. Leoville Barton Vertical (Averys, Bristol): Deep plum colour. Clean, fresh nose of slightly restrained blueberry fruit with a mineral complexity. Elegant and refined. Just a slight dustiness, with hints of fruniture polish. On the palate, quite austere (like the 98) with a distinct lead pencils / cranberry backbone. At present, a bit lacking in expressivity, with pronounced (though refined) tannins. But the fruit does come through on the long, lingering finish. Not remotely ready, and maybe not showing its full potential tonight.
I expected and wanted so badly to be blown away by this and found myself underwhelmed. More decanter or lay-down time would probably have improved it (drank over 4-5 hours) but it just wasn't exciting for me. For $80 there's so many other things I could have bought instead.
Hart Davis Hart Wine Co Comparative Bordeaux Tasting Vintages 1995 & 1996 (Newberry Library, Chicago IL): Fist impression: Real nice nose. It reminded me of the 2004 vintage of this same wine that I tasted a couple of weeks before at the Tasting given by East Bank Wine Storage. Dark color. Lots of dark fruit (but with still a freshness). Oak notes, but not much in the way of vanillin - perhaps they did not char the barrels? If so, it certainly did not hurt this wine! Really nice and balanced. I want some for my collection (one day!).
Leoville-Barton Vertical (Nook): Inky nose. Surprisingly restrained tannin gives it a drinkable smoothness, with just a touch of astringency. The aroma gains pungency over time with an interesting nuttiness. It's a nice surprise how much of the tannin has resolved itself, but let's be clear that this is still a young wine. It's the first in the lineup to still show its oak influence with some charred, blackened flavors, not so radically that it feels like a style change rather than an artifact of its age, but it's a sign that it's worth waiting for more integration.
very nice wine- drinking excellent right from the start. Nice, complex, still a solid core of bright cherry and cassis fruit. Long finish. Drank at Campagne, which likely contributed to a point or two of score inflation. This wine reminds me why I love bordeaux.
1996 Bordeaux Horizontal (Custom House - Chicago, IL): Sluttiest wine of the night. Giving up tons of ripe, rich and sweet cherry fruit with smoke and earth on the nose. Palate is rich and well endowed with round, fleshy fruit with a burst of herbs and minerality on the mid palate. Suave tannins offer structure but this is about the singing, lush fruit. Delicious.
Perfect dark ruby color. Superb nose of tobacco, graphite, blackberries and a silk robe. The wine is still quite young but exudes the breed and class of a first growth with great flavors of Bordeaux earth along with tobacco, graphite, spicy blackberries and black licorice. Such a classically-styled Bordeaux with an ethereal and wonderful lightnes of texture combined with a regally and finely concentrated finish. This can be enjoyed now but should improve with a few more years. An underrated LB that is among the best prduced at this estate ever and a great Bordeaux that can still be acquired for a somewhat reasonable price.
A beautiful wine with lots of deep, rich fruit, wet stone and leather. Ruby red/purple with no visible signs of fading. It completely takes over the palate, expanding and unfolding, with a finish that seems to go on and on. Tasted next to the 1990 Gruard Larose, which is currently not showing nearly as well as this wine.
Perfect dark ruby color. Beautiful nose of graphite, tobacco, sweet blackberries and smoky earth. This is a pure example of austere but fabulous claret with full-bodied flavors of smoky black licorice, blackberries, slate and hints of complex tobacco. Palate staining and quite tannic on the finish but wonderfully balanced by deep, velvety fruit. Way young but a big, balanced, rich yet elegant Bordeaux that's just startng to drink. Purchased on release and stored perfectly. I honestly didn't know that Leoville Barton could produce a wine this fine. 94+
Rating witheld. Brought to a friends house to consume with dinner. Could not believe how backward this bottle was. Mouth searing tannins, Decanted for a couple of hours before serving and consumed over a period of two more hours. Never improved. Absolutely no nose. Hints of undescernable fruit, trying to get out from around a wall of tannin. Not sure this bottle would evere have come around. Glad not to own anymore. I know LBs tend to be slow agers, but his shocked me.
Poped one open last night but decanted it for 2 hrs before trying. Very dark extracted looking with great legs. The nose overwhelms you with cherries and other red berries. The first sip totaly coats the entire mouth with a great complex drink. It is very port like in that it is thick and viscous and leaves a great aftertaste of cherries. The finish is very long and I have to find more of these.The wine is years away from its drinking window but it was fun to see what it is today and think about what it will become in 5-10 yrs.
Christmas dinner 2006. Double decanted about an hour before dinner, pouring it back into the bottle from the decanter after cleaning. The last 1 inch of the bottle contained a lot of sediment that was poured off. Deep purple and black color. Classic nose of cedar, currants, some mint and a horsey/bretty note that is a little off putting. The wine evolved in the glass, losing some but not all of the horsey notes. Rich lush mouthfeel with extremely velvety tannins. Nice balance and spice on the mouth. Still youthful and primary, with mouth gripping tannins on the medium finish. My guess is that these need a further 10 years of bottle evolution, provided the brett notes don't take over.
SOBER (fka TWITS) Tasting (Mark's house): Nose of leather, earth, and gravel. Great texture on the palate. Good tannins which are currently a touch too prevalent. Big, thick, structured fruit. Big oak balanced with lovely fruit. Definitely seems like it's all there and in good balance, but clearly needs time. May be the best of the flight in the fullness of time, but the Pape Clement was drinking better tonight.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this wine except a general lack of intensity and flavour. It is drinkable and enjoyable, but lacks the character I expect from a Barton. On a lighter note, in the words of Ben Franklin: "Wine is a constant reminder that God loves us and loves to see us happy." Amen.
1995 / 19956 Bordeaux Offline (Alba, London): 95 or 96 Leoville B. Cassis and cedar. Slightly more rounded but mted than the other wine tis flight Similar but a little more poised. Prefer this. Best wine yet. Guess 1996 Leoville barton.
Deep opaque purple to the rim. Initially had a nose of red fruits, dill and pepper. Over time, the nose developed into a more dark fruit area, with lead pencil and some leather notes. Two days later, a leftover glass full had a pronounced red fruit/casis aroma. On the palate, initially it had a bright cherry/red fruit character that changed over time to more dark fruit aspect with slightly drying tannins on the finish. Overall, a tasty wine, but won't give any of my burgs or pinots a run for their money.
Full ruby red. Loads of iron and cassis on the palate. High tannins and acid, but balanced by the huge amount of extract and concentration. Very long finish. A big, delicious wine that will age beautifully.
Hints of earth,leather and black fruit with lots of tannins with a sour cherry finish....A closed Wine needs more time. I had the 1990 last week and that was outstanding.I hope that the 96 will become the1990 in a few years.
San Francisco Bay Area Leoville Barton Vertical (Moraga): Dark ruby red. A gradually expanding nose of Cuban cigar and damp clays and rock dust, and ripe cassis complements a palate that is at once spare and intensely flavored. In this regard, perhaps a classic '96er with its well delineated but very ripe and intensely flavored Cabernet profile. Steve Rigisich thought there was something flawed or out of balance in the wine, but most others considered this as one of the best of the evening, even if way too young to be consumed now. Still, the wine we drank was starting to show at least some secondary characteristics, and overall an impressive balance of ripe fruit, fine tannins, and acidity delivered with in a classic, beautifully delineated Bordeaux style. In terms of sheer potential, I would probably place this with the 1982 and 1989 as the top wines of the evening, certainly better than the less well balanced 1990. The level of extraction in this wine was striking, however, and the entire tasting group thought the style was otherwise similar to the other wines of the 1990s and 2000s tasted (including the 1994 and the 2000) and distinctly different from the style of the 1990 and earlier. Was there a change in wine making shortly before 1994 at Leoville Barton?
Opened a 375 of this tonight and let it breathe for a while before drinking. Earthy notes intermingled with mushroom and blackcurrants. Oak is well integrated, and there is some decent finish with tannins still very evident, but aromatics are somewhat restrained. Color is deep garnet with ever-so-slight bricking. Still probably too young.
Decanted for 3 and 1/2 hours. Color is a deep and dark red with just a hint of lightening at the rim. Nose is big, with leather, smoke and tobacco. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied with acidity and minerality being the strongest components, overwhelming the fruit. Tannins are still abundent, but not distracting. The palate doesn't fulfill the promise of the bouquet. Perhaps more age will allow this wine to gain some richness and depth.
Tasted at our November offline. Extremely tight and needs a few more years. Great structure and the hints of something great underneath, but even after 3 hours, was showing very little beneath the tannin.