Proprietor Comte de Neipperg is doing everything possible to elevate this estate's reputation. Readers should take note as prices are sure to rise once the world discovers just how sumptuous recent vintages of Clos de l'Oratoire have been. The 1996 is even better out of bottle than it was from cask. The wine boasts an opaque plum/purple color. Intense aromas of Asian spices, espresso, roasted meats, and sweet, exotic cedar and blackberry fruit soar from the glass of this exotic, ostentatiously-styled St.-Emilion. It is medium to full-bodied, with moderate tannin, a sweet mid-palate (always a good sign), and a dense, concentrated, long, powerful finish. (RP)
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