1996 Bordeaux at RSJ (RSJ, Southwark): Ripe black fruit, vanilla oak still evident on nose. Slightly showy. Medium/full bodied, sumptuous, polished black fruit, vanilla, touch of earth, fresh acids but not quite so long on the finish. Nonetheless, very good. ***.
Very dark red in color. With a youthful appearance, nice but somewhat shy on the nose. Dark fruit, earth and minerality are on the offering though a bit light at this stage. Palate is rich, silky and very well balanced with satisfying senses of plum meat, stone, tobacco leaf and refreshing acidity leading to a smoky finish. The 96 Poyferre seems to have a good depth in it, but maybe not at the right time to reveal it all, perhaps more cellaring time will help.
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(Chateau Léoville-Poyferré St Julien) A dark red-purple wine. There are aromas of dense, sweet blackcurrant fruit, cherries and minerals on the nose. The palate offers plenty of sweetness and a full, rounded texture. There's a nice weight, lots of fruit and ripe tannins in the finish. Good acidity. This is nowhere near as hard and backward as when last tasted in April 2001, and is clearly coming out of its shell. Nevertheless I would recommend another two or three years before trying another.
(Chateau Léoville-Poyferré St Julien) A great, deep purple colour leads to a nose of cassis fruit, with a classic stony-mineral St Julien edge appearing, not present on last tasting. A fruit-packed palate, with lovely texture and impressive structure. Less austere than last time, but still a real keeper. Expect to cellar for 10 years or more.
(Chateau Léoville-Poyferré St Julien) A dense and dark wine. Powerful, dark blackcurrant fruit. Slightly hard and austere. Similarly austere on the palate, with deep, rich fruit and a good tannic backbone. A big yet balanced wine.
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