1996 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Montrachet Grand Cru

SKU #1322300 96-99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Harvested at a whopping 14% potential natural alcohol, Lafon's mind-blowing 1996 Montrachet is brilliant. Sublime mineral, stone, smoke, and toasted nut aromatics are followed by a wondrous, concentrated, extracted, and sublimely classy personality. Oily layers of liquid minerals, red berries, anise, hazelnuts, and white flowers can be found in this massive, full-bodied, mouth-coating, and palate-saturating wine. Incredibly, just when the taster believes the palate has realized the brunt of this explosive gem's assault on the senses, it expands to even greater heights. The wine has a compellingly long finish. This is a tour de force! (PR)  (2/1998)

95-98 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deeper-pitched, less forthcoming nose currently dominated by resiny oak and sheer ripeness. Huge, minerally and sweet on entry, then dense and remarkably intense; whereas the Perrieres is bright and consistent, this is simply a powerhouse today and totally unevolved. But extremely long and strong. (ST)  (9/1998)

98 points Wine Spectator

 Amazing fruit and power. Ripe and thick, with lots of lemon and toasted oak--a Chardonnay given the full Burgundian treatment. There's a chewy, chalky, buttery, intensely tropical side to this full-bodied wine. Needs years to show it all. Best from 2010 through 2020. (PM)  (5/1999)

97 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 The initial hints of secondary development are now beginning to manifest themselves yet this remains youthful and still largely primary on the fantastically complex nose that offers up an explosive mix of white flower aromas, spice hints and ripe citrus notes that continue on to the vibrant, muscular, dense and exceptionally powerful flavors that possess flat out incredible detail, all wrapped in a racy, elegant and gorgeously pure finish. This is a jaw-dropping combination of superb punch yet this remains a wine of nuance and it seems as though the length just won't quit. While this is certainly an amazing, even dramatic wine already, I would leave it be for another 4 to 8 years, depending on how cool you keep your cellar. A great Lafon Montrachet. Note that the most recent bottle played right on the edge of evident oxidation and for my taste was on the verge of cracking.  (11/2008)

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
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:

Burgundy

- The province of eastern France, famous for its red wines produced from Pinot Noir and its whites produced from Chardonnay. (Small of amounts of Gamay and Aligoté are still grown, although these have to be labeled differently.) The most famous part of the region is known as the Côte d'Or (the Golden Slope). It is divided into the Côte de Beaune, south of the town of Beaune (famous principally for its whites), and the Côte de Nuits, North of Beaune (home of the most famous reds). In addition, the Côte Chalonnaise and the Mâconnais are important wine growing regions, although historically a clear level (or more) below the Côte d'Or. Also include by some are the regions of Chablis and Auxerrois, farther north. View our bestselling Burgundy.