wine bottle

1996 Chateau Cantemerle

By Chateau Cantemerle

1996 Château Cantemerle from Château Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux

Delving into the esteemed 1996 Château Cantemerle from Château Cantemerle, one scrutinises a vintage that is continually celebrated for its precision and balance. This particular year in Haut-Médoc bestowed a remarkable combination of climatic favourability and technical prowess, imparting a vivacious agility to the wines cultivated on these revered soils.


Refinement and Maturity: The Hallmarks of Investment-grade Wine

The bouquets exhaled from a glass of 1996 Château Cantemerle speak eloquently of its journey. With two decades and a half in the bottle, tertiary aromatics interlace with earlier notes of cassis and tobacco leaf. Subtle hints of leather converge with a suggestion of dried violets, bearing testimony to the dexterous ageing that the Médoc terroir underwrites.


The Elegance of Evolution: A Promising Horizon

In the panorama of wine investment, the 1996 Château Cantemerle stands as an exceptional muse. This vintage has often been shadowed by other more lauded years; yet, therein lies its allure for the astute collector. It offers a symphony of structured tannins and enduring fruit profile, suggestive of prolonged potential in careful cellaring. The palate revels in layers of fulsome fruit tempered by an earthy complexity, with a reliable acid backbone that enlivens each sip and nods to longevity.

Vintages like the 1996 carry the narrative of Bordeaux's climatic narrative—a somewhat cooler, steady growing season allowed for meticulous phenolic development and balance. This afforded the wine from Château Cantemerle a commendable structure and finesse that connoisseurs admire and investment portfolios desire.

Curating contentment from cellar to glass, one reflects upon this distinct vintage from Haut-Médoc as not merely a testament to the artisanal endeavours at Château Cantemerle but also as a prudent addition for investors seeking diversity within their oenophilic pursuits. In summation, it is a vintage that resonates with elegance, promising continued finesse with each ensuing year—a jewel in the Bordeaux crown awaiting its deserved recognition.

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Scores and tasting notes


I had hoped this wine would turn out closer to outstanding, but it is an excellent Cantemerle, if not quite as stunning as I had expected. The wine offers a dark ruby color, and a sweet nose of black raspberries, subtle new oak, and acacia smells. There is fine sweetness and solid tannin in this elegant, symmetrical wine. It is more forward and lighter than it was from cask, but it is a stylish example of Cantemerle. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2015.

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 22 April 1999

Vintage performance