1996 Cru Classé Pessac-Léognan

Grapes Cab Franc, Merlot, Cab Sauv
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Village Pessac-Léognan
Classification Cru Classé
ABV 13%

The 1996 La Mission Haut-Brion is an improvement on the previous vintage, though it remains a couple of steps behind the high point of the decade, which came two years later. This is quintessential 1996 Pessac, featuring scents of warm gravel and scorched earth on a nose that might be classic to some, but a bit dour to others with a penchant for more hedonistic wines. It's a structured 1996, drier and more austere than the 1998, but there is good grip and delineation, if maybe just a little leafiness toward the finish. Over the years I have found a bit of bottle variation, and this example falls between the best and worst. Overall, I expected more given the vintage. Give this a couple hours' decanting. Tasted at the Vinous 1996 horizontal at Berry Brothers & Rudd. Drinking range: 2021 - 2040 Rating: 93 Neal Martin, (May 2018)

*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles of wine (or 9 litre equivalent) or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified (4.5 litres) to get the discounted 'case price' for each bottle.

Fully mature, with a big, fragrant bouquet of damp earth, weedy underbrush, asphalt, Asian soy, and ripe plums and cherries, this medium-bodied 1996 appears to be on a fast evolutionary track. It reveals plenty of delicious fruit, soft tannins and enough acidity to provide definition. I was surprised by how open-knit and mature this wine has become. Anticipated maturity: now-2020. Drinking range: 2012 - 2020 Rating: 90 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, (Aug 2012)

This wine isn't currently part of a mixed case, but you can always browse our full selection of mixed cases here.
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