1996 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac

SKU #110394 91 points 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.  (4/ 1999)

90 points 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.  (6/ 1999)

90 points Wine Spectator

 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. (Web-2007)

Jancis Robinson

 Notably pale crimson. Nicely evolved nose. A real bouquet. Relatively light but very well melded. Much more advanced than some with a hint of roast chestnuts. Slightly tart on the end.  (9/ 2011)

K&L Notes

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."

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By: Chiara Shannon |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 9/21/2010  | Send Email
Right now the 96 is dark and brooding, very leathery and still pretty wound up. There is a lot of good stuff here- savory, meaty notes, dark fruit, minerals galore - but the wine still has a way to go before revealing its full potential. Resist opening this now - but it you must, plan for a half day (at least!) of breathing time.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Pauillac

- Pauillac is probably the most famous village in Bordeaux. Located between St. Julien and St. Estephe, it has more of the top ranked chateau than the other four appellations of the Haut Medoc. This area has three of the five premier cru classe wineries: Lafite Rothschild, Latour, and Mouton Rothschild. There are two of the top second-growths (Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron) as well as several outstanding fourth and fifth-growth chateaux including Lynch Bages. Because of the gravely soils and great drainage, Pauillac has the ideal conditions to grow great Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines from this village are some of the longest-lived in Bordeaux.