1996 Domaine Comte de Vogüé Bonnes Mares Grand Cru

SKU #140255 92-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I loved this medium-to-dark ruby-colored wine. Earthy aromas of stones, minerals, blood, and blueberries can be found in this medium-to-full-bodied, tightly wound, sensual, and seductive wine. Seemingly unending layers of black raspberries, cherries, wild blueberries, tangy red currants, and fresh herbs can be found in this complex, rich, silky-textured, and profound wine. Its sublime finish, which provides the taster with yet another opportunity to witness this offering's gorgeous purity of fruit, has a firm yet supple backbone. An extraordinary Bonnes Mares! (PR)  (8/1998)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good fresh dark red. Flamboyant nose combines blueberry, blackberry, licorice and Cuban tobacco; distinctly blacker aromas than the '97. Great sweetness and penetration on the palate; flavors are given thrust and grip by a strong spine of acids and tannins. Quintessential grand cru intensity without excess weight. Extremely long, noble finish. Fascinating Bonnes-Mares, and likely to be very long-lived. 93+ points. (ST)  (3/1998)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 Dense and intense black fruit with plenty of character is followed by rich, big, tannic flavors that are robust, indeed almost rustic. This displays lots of backbone if not much finesse with a nice note of finishing complexity. In short, the '96 Bonnes Mares delivers solid if not truly exceptional quality in a package that will age for many years to come. Consistent notes.  (10/2005)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Big red, with lots of mineral, toasted oak and compacted fruit; seemingly ungenerous for now, it's a terroir-driven Pinot that's hibernating and will need time. But all the pieces are there, including a racy quality. (PM)  (5/1999)

Jancis Robinson

 Quite deep ruby with some evolution. Very intriguing nose. Real lift and balance. Great energy together with depth of fruit. Quite severe but admirably so. Great line. Needs food, of course, but this has the body to compensate for the acidity of this vintage. Long and complex. 18/20 points. (JR)  (4/2017)


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Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
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.
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.