Vegetal and herbal nose with hints of dark fruit and balsamic vinegar. In the mouth it is very acidic. Definitely a food wine; a wine to pair with something earthy and herbal like a bean stew. On the descent in terms of drinkability, but for people who like European-style wines with less ripe fruit and higher acidity, this wine should be drinkable for several years.
I drank this next to the 2009 du Tetre. I strongly preferred the 2009. The 1996 is a completely different wine--leaner, more acidic, more rustic. This is certainly due in large part to the age, but I think it's probably due to the vintage as well.
Let me be a little more clear: If you buy wines simply for pleasure and you're considering whether to buy this from K&L, the answer is no.
Nice and elegant 5th growth. Clear ruby color with narrow brown rim. Flower and red fruit bouquet after 1 hour of bottle breathing. 2nd nose of little earthy and plume in the 2nd hour. Silky tannin. balance acidity and fruitiness. medium finish. Already at peak window and going down.
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.
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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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