The Clos du Château des Ducs is a terrific 1996 that is beginning to stir from hibernation on both the nose and palate, but it remains a wine that I would still keep buried in my cellar for a handful more years. The nose is beautiful and still a tad primary, as it offers up scents of cherries, raspberries, spice tones, woodsmoke, incipient notes of sous bois, great minerality and a touch of cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, tight and beautifully balanced, with a fine core of pure red fruit, lovely soil inflection and plenty of length and grip on the tangy and dancing finish. Much of this wine’s mid-palate generosity is still hidden behind its acidity, but it is clearly in evidence and only needs a bit more time to really start singing. A lovely bottle. (Drink between 2016-2040) 93+
I hadn't tried a bottle of this in a very long time and it has aged extremely well as the nose, while now fully mature, is still fresh with dark berry fruit and earth aromas that display plenty of secondary character (though no sous-bois). There is lovely detail and punch to the medium weight flavors that offer better concentration than the average '96, all underpinned by excellent length where the finish exhibits a hint of dryness that is just enough to detract from the overall sense of balance. The supporting structure has largely, if not completely resolved and the usual bright '96 style acidity is present though not to excess. For my taste this has arrived at its peak though it should hold here for a long time to come.
Medium red. Redcurrant, cherry and spice on the nose. Sweetly insinuating flavor and pliant texture in the mouth. This has the stuffing to support its firm tannins. Finishes with persistent, subtle, cherry-flavored fruit. (ST)
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