1996 Pauillac, 1er Cru Classe, Bordeaux.
The Chateau Lafite-Rothschild vineyard stretches over 112 hectares, divided in three zones. The vines are between 38 and 45 years old on average. This 1996 Pauillac 1er Cru Classe is a blend of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The year was marked by good climatic conditions resulting in a very rich, well-structured and very complex wine. The elegance of the 1953 vintage as well as the strength of the 1959 are felt. The 1996 Chateau Lafite Rothschild is marked by lovely citrusy notes. This excellent wine has a great ageing potential.
Parker : 98 / 100
J. Suckling : 97 / 100
Wine Advocate-Parker :
The 1996 Lafite-Rothschild was remarkably deep in color considering that it is now 20 years in age. The bouquet is classic Pauillac with pencil shavings and sous-bois infusing the black fruit, masculine and a little aloof, yet focused and very well delineated. The palate is very well balanced with crisp blackberry and boysenberry fruit, spicier than I recollect, a crescendo of flavors so that it seems understated at first but fans out with a sense of confidence towards the finish. I think this still has more to give so cellar it away for another 5-8 years if you can, but otherwise this is an exemplary Lafite-Rothschild that I can envisage getting better and better in bottle, if not quite as enthralling as either Mouton-Rothschild or Château Margaux. Tasted July 2016.