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1996 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe

SKU #110449 98 points Decanter

Outer quote mark 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) Inner quote mark (11/2015)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Tasted at the château, the 1996 Cos d'Estournel was aged in 65% new oak (unlike the 1995 which was 100%) and is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot. It has a straight down the line, intense and focused, graphite and melted tar bouquet. It is almost Pauillac in style, no surprise given its proximity. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh acidity, finer tannin than the 1986 Cos d'Estournel tasted alongside, but sharing those same leitmotifs of black pepper and sea salt. I like the nonchalance of this Cos d'Estournel. At 20 years it is not an ostentatious wine, not determined to go out and impress, but its nuance, stylishness and classicism grow on you. Its virtues seem to register only after you swallow the wine and find yourself tempted back for more. Excellent. Tasted July 2016. (NM) Inner quote mark (10/2016)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark 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. (ST) Inner quote mark (5/1999)

93 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 1996 Cos d’Estournel has a fragrant, Pauillac-tinged bouquet with the melted tar and graphite leitmotifs that I remarked upon in previous encounters. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy-textured tannin. I feel that the 1996 shows a tad more maturity than a few months ago, with undergrowth and peat-like notes surfacing with aeration and then a dash of white pepper streaking across the finish. However, it evinces fine persistency and embraces the classic tropes of the 1996 vintages. (NM) Inner quote mark (10/2018)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark At first there was a slightly green note on the nose but then on the palate the fruit was rich, dense and rather glorious. As it opened up in the glass I got the slightest suggestion of brett on the nose, followed by a hint of ashes. It's pretty good stuff but not nearly as thrilling as the 1989 served alongside it. (JR) 17/20 Inner quote mark (4/2015)

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Price: $229.99
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