Tasted at the château, the 1996 La Conseillante has always been a good performer in what is a Left Bank vintage. Although there is noticeable bricking on the rim, there is plenty of freshness on the nose, quite floral with crushed strawberry, cranberry leaf and a touch of tomato vine, which after ten minutes turns into black truffle (typical trait in Pomerol). There is good vigor here for a 20-year-old Pomerol. The palate is medium-bodied and here you could argue that it is more advanced than the aromatics. Yes, there is good weight and balance, perhaps a little rustic compared to recent vintages, but there is plenty of enjoyable ferrous fruit, white pepper, sage, black truffle and spice notes liberally sprinkled over vestiges of red fruit. Clearly this is a La Conseillante that is à point and I would probably broach bottles over the next decade. (NM)
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