Deep bright ruby. DD + two hours. Full rich black fruits. Touch of redcurrant too. Medium plus body. But dances not pushes through. Just getting into its secondary phase. Some fine sandalwood. Very decent fine grained tannins. Medium length. Long time ahead still.
Medium light body. A nose of graphite, plum, and game. With little fruit and much secondary development, the '96 is past prime, but still drinking well. The remaining tannin delivers a welcome sharpness, which in this experience helped cut through bites of crispy duck skin, but it is largely resolved. Pencil lead and game were the main notes. The structure was unimpressive. Despite the aged palate, the wine was sort of delicate and an easy drinker. This was a prototypical aged Margaux. Delicate and earthy. It lacked fruit, though.
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(Château du Tertre (Margaux)) This takes three hours to really open up, but it is worth the wait. In the glass this wine still has plenty of red pigment and a nice depth of colour, so there is certainly no great suggestion of age here. The nose is evolved, although it shows only early secondary development, nothing advanced or involved. There is even some really bright blackcurrant fruit behind it all still, a touch of cranberry too, although these fruits are not the most prominent aromas, as fresh scents of pencil lead, cedar, bay leaf and a little iron filing come to the fore. Lively flesh on the palate, not fat or modern but with enough flesh to fill out in the mouth, supported by plenty of savoury structural components, slightly bitter tannins which I like, and a lovely, fresh, stony structure underneath the weight of the wine. Overall this is very classically defined, pithy, and just at the start - for my palate - of its drinking window. It has decades ahead of it yet, though, as evinced by its tannin-infused and subtly fading finish. Very good indeed.
(Chateau du Tertre Margaux) Delicious looking, glossy sheen to this wine. A serious, stylish nose, with notes of graphite. Slightly hard and austere tannins on the palate, but these underpin a luscious, creamily textured body of fruit. Good acidity completes the picture. Should age nicely.
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