Noticeable brown to the colour; fully mature, with soft, elegant fruit, well rounded and with a good finish. Medium weight. If anything, this is starting to decline slightly. It is still very good, but will not improve.
1996 Bordeaux at RSJ (RSJ, Southwark): Enjoyed this very much even if my notes were becoming very sparse at this late stage in the evening - "lovely, spicy black fruit, long" ****1/2. My 2nd place/Group 4th=.
Pop and pour and followed for many hours. Needed a good 30-60 minutes to open up. Cassis, soil, plums, flowers, bay leaf, some aged barrel scents, and a little green tobacco on the slightly reticent nose. Cassis, earth, red cherries, plums, herbs, and a hint of oak on the palate. Tannins still abound but they are not too drying. Good acidity, very nice finish. I liked this wine. It's about what I was expecting and quite good with dinner. It lacks a little oomph in the mid and finish, but that could be the tannins taking over. It seems like it needs a bit more time.
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(Chateau Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc) This is an interesting opportunity to retaste this wine, which was so redolent of mushrooms when I tasted it at the domaine in 2006. Today it has a rather muted nose, but has a definite classic left bank style which the vintage often clearly shows. It has a lovely structure, perhaps a touch softer than I was expecting, but underneath there is a good grip through the midpalate and end. Good, but it still needs time. more importantly, it is certainly much better than last bottle.
(Chateau Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc) Tasted at dinner. Still a very dark colour. Deep, dense fruit. Mushroomy on the nose; a stale, mouldy aroma. Rather well described by one taster as le nez de torchon. Not at all typical of the vintage; the 1996 Sociando has a very good reputation. Nevertheless the palate retained all its fine texture and well defined lines. Indeed, past the nose, this is a fine wine. But this is not a representative bottle I am sure. My only query is why it wasn't withdrawn at tasting?
(Sociando-Mallet) This continues to impress. Dark purple color is followed by and intense nose of cassis, violets, minerals and blackcurrannts. Ripe and very concentrated in the mouth with dazzling purity and grainy-like tannins. A fruit-soaked finish with some hints of mineral and earth. Just a stunning wine for it's pedigree. Pretty open now too. Continued to grow aromatically more complex as it sat in the glass. Also continued to get more velvety as it breathed. One of my favorite '96 Left Bankers.
(Sociando Mallet) Great nose of cassis, tar, violets, even more cassis, mineral, cuban tobacco. Sappy, extremely dense palate with lots of fruit and tannin. In complete balance. Reminded me of the '00 with the super ripe fruit backed up by intense structure. Great now but will improve for many years.
(Sociando-Mallet) Great nose of cassis, tar, violets, even more cassis, mineral, cuban tobacco. Sappy, extremely dense palate with lots of fruit and tannin. In complete balance. Reminded me of the '00 with the super ripe fruit backed up by intense structure. Great now but will improve for many years.
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