What sumptuous pleasures await those who purchase either the 1996 or 1995 Pichon Lalande. It is hard to choose a favorite, although the 1995 is a smoother, more immediately sexy and accessible wine. It is an exquisite example of Pichon-Lalande with the Merlot component giving the wine a coffee/chocolatey/cherry component to go along with the Cabernet Sauvignon's and Cabernet Franc's complex blackberry/cassis fruit. The wine possesses an opaque black/ruby/purple color, and sexy, flamboyant aromatics of pain grille, black fruits, and cedar. Exquisite on the palate, this full-bodied, layered, multidimensional wine should prove to be one of the vintage's most extraordinary success stories. (RP)
Offers a juicy, lively core of plum, cassis and blackberry, studded with anise, violet and singed vanilla notes. Everything pulls together seamlessly on the finish, with a well-embedded graphite spine. Sneakily long. (JM, Web only-2014)
Deep red-ruby color. Currant, loam, tobacco and smoky oak on the nose. Silky, sweet and tender in the middle palate; leather, game and chocolate notes add complexity to the wine strong currant component. Showing slightly less harmoniously than the '96, perhaps due to the bottling, but this thoroughly seductive wine has all the components for future greatness. (ST) 92+
In contrast to the 2015, this vintage has a larger percentage of Merlot in the blend, along with 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc. The colour shows no sign of age, although the nose has less aromatic force than one would have expected. It does show charm and elegance, however. The attack is fresh and limpid, and the moderately concentrated fruit is backed by firm tannins. There's plenty of grip here, but it lacks a little punch and persistence. Still highly enjoyable and finely balanced. (SB)
Mid bright crimson. Low key but very classy nose. Nothing out of place. Very sweet with luscious tannins -- much less fierce than in most other 1995s. A very attractive gamey wine with perhaps quite a high proportion of Merlot. Polished finish -- sweet but not tarty. Very persistent. 18/20 points. (JR)
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