1996 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Pichon Longueville Baron's 1996 has turned out to be even better than I thought from cask. The high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend (about 80%) resulted in a wine that has put on weight in the bottle. An opaque purple color is accompanied by beautiful aromas of tobacco, new saddle leather, roasted coffee, and cassis. It is dense, medium to full-bodied, and backward, with moderately high tannin, but plenty of sweet fruit, glycerin, and extract to balance out the wine's structure. This well-endowed, classic Pauillac should be at its finest between 2006-2022. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good full ruby-red. Roasted plum, leather and smoked nuts on the nose. Silky and layered in the mouth. Sweet and suave, with a complicating mineral quality. Suggests solid extract but ultimately a wine of very good rather than outstanding intensity. Finishes with fine tannins and persistent, slow-building flavor. (ST)
Gorgeous aromas of crushed blackberries, currant and citrus fruit. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a fruity, herbal aftertaste. A little hollow on the midpalate. Ready to go. (JS, Web-2007)
Lead-pencil nose but very slightly scrawny and taut initially. Not especially sweet nor generous but fine-boned and correct. A medium-weight classic that fell away slightly on the finish. 17/20 points. Drink to 2025. (JR)
94 points Neil Martin's Wine Journal: "Tasted at Roberson’s Pichon Lalande/Pichon Baron vertical. It is a number of years since I have tasted this outstanding expression of a great Left Bank vintage. It has a sublime nose, slightly melted in character with pencil lead, blackberry, pencil box and some tertiary notes, moving more towards secondary aromas quicker than the Pichon Lalande ’96 tasted alongside. The palate is medium-bodied with a touch more piquancy than the Pichon Lalande, perhaps not quite the harmony or complexity, but fresh and lively with notes of tar, cedar and brambly black fruits. I like the citric acidity threaded through this wine, lending so much vivacity and freshness. Very good ageing potential. Not in the same class as Pichon Lalande, but a thoroughly enjoyable Pauillac. Tasted September 2010."