Leoville Las Cases 1996
Tasting Notes Leoville Las Cases 1996
Having previously rated it nearly perfect, I was apprehensive of a letdown about tasting the 1996 Leoville Las Cases once it had been bottled, but that concern was quickly dismissed once I put my nose in the glass. A profound Leoville Las Cases, it is one of the great modern day wines of Bordeaux. This wine's hallmark remains a sur-maturite (over-ripeness) of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. Yet the wine has retained its intrinsic classicism, symmetry, and profound potential for complexity and elegance. The black/purple color is followed by a spectacular nose of cassis, cherry liqueur, pain grille, and minerals. It is powerful and rich on the attack, with beautifully integrated tannin, massive concentration, yet no hint of heaviness or disjointedness. As this wine sits in the glass it grows in stature and richness. It is a remarkable, seamless, palate-staining, and extraordinarily elegant wine - the quintessential St.-Julien. Despite the sweetness of the tannin, I would recommend cellaring this wine for 7-8 years. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2035.
Tasted at Roberson’s Las-Cases vertical. The 1996 is more masculine on the nose with graphite and tobacco, a touch of sea salt developing with time, an estuarine tincture that is refreshing and speaks of its place. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins, a saline touch on the entry, much more closed than the nose, obdurate as usual, quite austere towards the cedar and tobacco and mint dominated finish. Tasted February 2011.