Perfect bottle,excellent level,well into the neck.Decanted for 3 hours,opaque almost black colour.Very classical nose of black currants,tobacco,cedar and truffle.Full-bodied,powerful with great structure,excellent balance,silky tannins and a long rich finish.Drink it now - 2030-2035,hard to imagine this is already 20 years old. 94+
Nutty nose at first, then strong hints of dark cherry and blackcurrant. Full bodied, rich and spicy, with notes of Xmas cake and black cherry jam, but very prominent tannins which suggest this needs a little longer still. Very impressive nonetheless and probably destined for greater pleasure in another three years. Sleek and classy.
Very lovely nose developing of grilled nuts and black currants. With a 2-hr double-decant it remains a lean and structured St. Julien with a silky texture and fine black fruits. The finish is complex with notes of Asian spices and charcoal. I would give this more time. 92+
2.5 years since my last bottle. Blackberry nose with touches of sweet graphite on the nose, transitioning to the palate. Light band aid notes. James says this is "correct", but to me, somewhat under-fruited and reticent. Some smokey notes to the blackberry palate. '96s are drinking well now, but this was lacking in richness. This saw air at the office and then in decanter at the restaurant. Amali with James and Fernando.
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(Chateau Léoville-Barton St Julien) A chance to reassess this wine which seemed opulent and atypical when last tasted in April 2001. The colour is youthful although, unlike all the other wines in this flight, it has the faintest tinge of maturity. A classic nose - minerals and blackcurrant fruit, and an impressive palate - dense, sweet, intense fruit. Lovely texture, ripe tannins and correct acidity. This displays more typicity than when last assessed. Needs two or three years in the cellar.
(Chateau Léoville-Barton St Julien) Similarly dense and dark, a feature that had me mark these two wines as the pair of 1996s. Closed on the nose. Strange, very sweet pastille fruit on the palate. Good tannic structure, but not at all austere. Seems opulent and a touch New World in style. Will be interesting to see what happens to that sweet cassis fruit.
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