90-94 / 100
90-94 / 100
What most characterizes the climate of 1996 is its great regularity. In summary, an average summer dotted with some good periods.
Château Haut Brion 1996 is a good wine overall, ample, with a good structure and good harmony.
CHÂTEAU LA TOUR HAUT BRION 1996
DOMAINE FOREY Père et Fils 1996
Medium-deep with rich legs; nose packed with fruit, fragrant; sweet, fairly full body masking the tannin and acidity, complete, lovely flavour.
Gorgeous aromas of crushed berries, cigar box, black licorice and tanned leather. Full-bodied, with fine silky tannins and a medium to long finish. Seems a little tight right now. But refined and pretty. Nice for the vintage.
The backward 1996 Haut-Brion was bottled in July, 1998. Even administrator Jean Delmas was surprised by how closed it was when I tasted it in January. Only 60% of the crop was utilized in the final blend, which was 50% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 11% Cabernet Franc. Out of barrel, this wine exhibited far more forthcoming aromatics as well as a sweeter mid-palate than it revealed from bottle. I had expected it to be more forward, and thus slightly down-graded the wine, although I am thrilled to own it and follow what appears to be a slow evolution. It will be a potentially long-lived wine. The 1996 exhibits a deep rubypurple color, and a surprisingly tight bouquet. With aeration, notes of fresh tobacco, dried herbs, smoke, asphalt, and black fruits emerge ... but reluctantly. It is tannic and medium-bodied, with outstanding purity and a layered, multidimensional style.