Had a splendid afternoon with extended family today. Brother-in-law Beavington was kind enough to open two clarets (three bottles, we got through two of the VCC) from the 1996 vintage. It’s a vintage that is in a good place at the moment, it seems. Also, it reinforces the fact that you have to treat each wine on its merits, without filtering perceptions through knowledge of the vintage and producer.
Vieux Château Certan 1996 Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Very aromatic and quite developed with cherries, herbs, sweet berries and some spice and undergrowth notes. The palate shows supple fruit with fine-grained chalky structure. Stylish, elegant and balanced with real finesse. Drinking perfectly now, with no need to hold any longer. Right bank isn’t supposed to be great in this vintage, but this wine is in a good place now, and is delicious. 95/100
Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 1996 St Julien, Bordeaux, France
Grainy, chunky and spicy with lovely black cherry fruit and spice, as well as a savoury earthiness. Showing nice evolution and drinking well now, with good focus and structure. 93/100
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