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1996 Chateau Leoville Las Cases (98+ Points RP) St.Julien 2eme Cru
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"Having previously rated it nearly perfect in the en primeur tastings.I was apprehensive of a letdown about tasting the 1996 Leoville las Cases once it had been bottled,but that concern was quickly dismissed,once I put my nose in the glass.A profound Leoville las Cases,it is one of the great modern-day wines of Bordeaux,rivaling what the estate has done in vintages such as 1990,1986 and 1982.The 1996's hallmark remains a sur-maturite(over-ripeness) of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape.Yet the wine has retained its intrinsic classicism,symmetry,and profound potential for complexity and elegance.The black/purple color is followed by a spectacular nose of cassis,cherry liqueur,toast and minerals.It is powerful and rich on the attack,with beautifully integrated tannin and massive concentration,yet no hint of heaviness or disjointedness.As this wine sits in the glass it grows in stature and richness.It is a remarkable,seamless,palate-staining and extraordinary elegant wine--the quintessential St-Julien made in the shadow of its next-door neighbour,Latour.Despite the sweetness of the tannin,I would recommend cellaring this wine for 7-8 years.Anticipated maturity:2007-2035". (98+ Points) Robert Parker. (Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide. Sixth Edition). "My tasting notes for this wine begin with the following words "wow, wow, wow!" I had been looking forward to retasting this 1996 since I had it in spring, 1997, and I was not disappointed by its evolution. The wine possesses an opaque purple color, and an attention-getting, staggering, sweet nose that offers the essence of black currant fruit, kirsch, and minerals as well as the essence of Leoville-Las-Cases's personality. It is fabulously concentrated, with the sur-maturite (over-ripeness) of Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the wine's most undeniable hallmarks. When measured, the tannin level is extremely high, but you would never know that when tasting this wine because of the massive amount of extract, purity, and virtually perfect equilibrium. Despite its rare combination of unbridled power and complexity, this wine has beaucoup de finesse, as well as a finish that lasts close to 45 seconds. A candidate for a perfect rating, it is a modern day legend in the making. Will it surpass the 1986 and 1982? Time will tell. Only 40% of the total harvest was used in the 1996, with the final blend containing a slightly higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon than usual. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2030". (98+ Points). Robert Parker. (The Wine Advocate. December 2003). "Served double blind, my first introduction to the wine was the strong perfume that was filled with crushed stone, tobacco, cassis, smoke, earth and blackberry. Powerful, intense, full bodied, tannic and deep, this Bordeaux wine combined concentration and finesse for a wine of First Growth quality. While the wine had ample stuffing and structure to age for generations, the tannins were so ripe and round, this was already approachable. Classy and stylish, with a long, pure, cassis filled finish, this is now my favorite vintage of Leoville Las Cases". (97 Points). The Wine Cellar Insider. (June 2011). No Buyer's Premium payable on this lot.
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