1996 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe
This has to be one of the wines of the vintage. More deft and cedary than the bigger boned 1986 vintage (also tasted), this is light delicate and elegant. Again, ink and spice on the nose, with stunning cedar and blackcurrant fruit with a touch of undergrowth, graphite and cigar box. Beautifully fresh with sublime melting tannins. (JS)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Saturated deep ruby. Ineffable aromas of black fruits, minerals, licorice and Havana tobacco. Rich, dense and thick; powerful but harmonious. Layered texture over a strong backbone. Very long on the palate, with thoroughly ripe, noble Cabernet tannins. Superb.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Made from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot, this is a huge, backward wine. The 1996 possesses an opaque purple color, as well as pure aromatics consisting of cassis, grilled herbs, coffee, and toasty new oak. Massive in the mouth, and one of the most structured and concentrated young Cos d'Estournels I have ever tasted, this thick, structured, tannic wine has closed down significantly since bottling... It is a fabulous Cos, but patience is required. (RP)