Médoc and Graves, 1996

1996 was a great Bordeaux vintage for the left bank (the northern Médoc in particular), with many sensational wines showing why it is the finest winemaking district on earth: powerful, full-bodied Cabernets that require considerable ageing to reach their full potential. Although similar in quality to 1995, the 1996 vintage produced more sensational wines at the top end of the hierarchical system.

On the other side of the Gironde, Saint-Émilion and Pomerol also produced some very good wines, yet were much more irregular. This was mainly due to heavy rains around harvest time, with a cool, damp August and showers in September. Meanwhile, the Médoc experienced a rather windy September, which helped dry out any moisture on the vines and consequently concentrated sugar content.

Opening prices for the 1996 vintage broke all records and were up by 50%+ on 1995, setting the trend for the current market. There were also some very good dry whites from the elite growers of the Graves, while Château d’Yquem really shone in Sauternes. 

The wines

1996 was a stunning year in the Médoc, particularly in the north which was spared heavy rains and subsequently produced healthier more concentrated grapes and a mountain of rich, ripe, concentrated Cabernet-based blends with wonderful balance and structure for ageing. The Graves also produced some great whites with good balance of ripe fruit concentration and acidity.

Médoc and Graves, 1996

1996 was a great Bordeaux vintage for the left bank (the northern Médoc in particular), with many sensational wines showing why it is the finest winemaking district on earth: powerful, full-bodied Cabernets that require considerable ageing to reach their full potential. Although similar in quality to 1995, the 1996 vintage produced more sensational wines at the top end of the hierarchical system.

On the other side of the Gironde, Saint-Émilion and Pomerol also produced some very good wines, yet were much more irregular. This was mainly due to heavy rains around harvest time, with a cool, damp August and showers in September. Meanwhile, the Médoc experienced a rather windy September, which helped dry out any moisture on the vines and consequently concentrated sugar content.

Opening prices for the 1996 vintage broke all records and were up by 50%+ on 1995, setting the trend for the current market. There were also some very good dry whites from the elite growers of the Graves, while Château d’Yquem really shone in Sauternes. 

The wines

1996 was a stunning year in the Médoc, particularly in the north which was spared heavy rains and subsequently produced healthier more concentrated grapes and a mountain of rich, ripe, concentrated Cabernet-based blends with wonderful balance and structure for ageing. The Graves also produced some great whites with good balance of ripe fruit concentration and acidity.

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  1. Château Calon-Ségur, 1996

    Château Calon-Ségur, 1996

    Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux, France

    Optimum Drinking: 2017-2035
    Reviewer Rating: 93 - Stephen Tanzer

    "Pure, highly perfumed aromas of black cherry, currant, plum, minerals, tobacco, leather and fresh herbs. Very ripe, suave and spicy; at once subtle and gripping." Stephen Tanzer

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    £85.00
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  2. Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, 1990 - Cadman Fine Wines

    Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, 1990

    Pauillac, Bordeaux, France

    Optimum Drinking: 2017-2030
    Reviewer Rating: 96 - Robert Parker

    "...a hedonistic offering from one of the most underrated top Pauillac producers." eRobertParker.com

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    £199.00
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  3. Château Latour, 1996 - Cadman Fine Wines

    Château Latour, 1996

    Pauillac, Bordeaux, France

    Optimum Drinking: 2017-2050
    Reviewer Rating: 95 - eRobertParker.com

    "...veering on perfection. A wonderful Latour." eRobertParker.com

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    £640.00
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