1996 Pichon Baron
By Chateau Pichon Baron
1996 Pichon Baron from Château Pichon Baron, Pauillac, Bordeaux
The 1996 Pichon Baron from Château Pichon Baron encapsulates the very essence of what stellar Bordeaux vintages stand for, a testament to a year that navigated the tightrope of Bordeaux's mercurial weather patterns with grace and vigor. This exceptional red, unlike its forebears or successors, emerges from the well-documented exceptional conditions of the 1996 growing season—a year when Pauillac found itself kissed by climatic serendipity.
A Voyage Through Time and Terroir
As I revisited this visionary concoction that is the 1996 Pichon Baron from Château Pichon Baron, swirling hues of deep garnet danced in the glass, broadcasting the wine's sustained vitality. This heraldic journey began with a vibrant bouquet captivating the nose with hints of cassis, smoldering embers, and a whisper of aniseeds—an aromatic narrative spun from the unique terroir of one of Bordeaux's finest appellations.
The palate speaks volumes about this wine's glorious life—ripe tannins curtsey gracefully to a structure that is profound yet impeccably balanced. We encounter here a quintessential Pauillac boldness with sumptuous layers of blackberry, underlying earthiness, and an exquisite finish that continues to echo long after the first sip.
A Cornucopia of Investment-worthy Characteristics
In discussing wine investment, spotlighting the 1996 Pichon Baron becomes not just prudent but mandatory. Here we have a vintage with both age-worthy potential and current drinking delight—a dichotomy that is a beacon for investors and connoisseurs alike. The synthesis of climate, craft, and the château’s inherent capacity to transcend ordinary vintages renders this particular year an opportune investment—a bottle whose narrative is as rich as its taste.
As one contemplates the intricacies of investment in fine wines like this paragon from Château Pichon Baron, what becomes evident is that the specificity and distinction of the 1996 season plays an instrumental role in appraising value and significance—not merely an addition to one's cellar but a cornerstone.
In conclusion, those seeking to embellish their portfolio or personal collection would do well to covet the 1996 Pichon Baron—a vintage expressive of its auspicious year, a beacon among its peers worthy of adoration and examination.
Current market price
Scores and tasting notes
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.
Neal Martin - Wine Journal Mar 2012
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.
Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #122 April 1999