1996 Haut-Bages Libéral, Pauillac SKU #110567


RP 90
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Professional Reviews

Staff Reviews

  • Steve Bearden
    By: Steve Bearden
    K&L Staff Member
    This super consistent under the radar 5th Growth seems to be quietly snatched up by in the know connoisseurs looking for classic Pauillac that doesn't break the bank. This starts with aromas and flavors of pencil lead, cedar closet, dusty cherry and red plum that blends in with notions of milk chocolate. The middle is firm and clean with a lingering finish of mineral and persistent sweetness.
  • Gary Westby
    By: Gary Westby
    K&L Staff Member
    This great bottle of Pauillac is perfect for a special occasion. If you don't want to settle for anything less that the real deal, the Haut Bages Liberal is an excellent choice; this wine has the pencil lead breed, the powerful dark fruit, the completely integrated tannins and the long finish that top 1996's are famous for.
    Drink from 2018 to 2026
  • Alex Schroeder
    By: Alex Schroeder
    K&L Staff Member
    The bouquet opens with very pretty notes of crushed brambly fruits, violets and just a hint of old school barnyard and toast. The fruit is concentrated and rich on the palate, with great structure from the velvety tannins that seamlessly mell into the soft but structured acid driven finish, which has just a hint of minty green pepper, a classic hallmark of the great ’96 vintage. This is a beautiful wine and would make the perfect steak accompaniment.
  • James Bradshaw
    By: James Bradshaw
    K&L Staff Member
    Many of the 1996s from Bordeaux are showing beautifully, and the Haut-Bages Libéral is no exception. Exhibiting the softer side Pauillac, this smooth and supple red seduces with nuance rather than power. Aromas of spice box waft from the glass and are followed by a distinctly floral touch. On the palate, it joins delicious ripe, cherry fruit with wood spice and hints of savory herbs. While the flavors work together impeccably, it's this 1996's texture that steals the show. Soft and plush, it effortlessly glides across the palate, while the finish leaves you with a delicate dusting of tannin. Always one of the finest values out of Pauillac, you'd be hard pressed to find another bottling this good under $100. An exceptional representative from a celebrated vintage. Don't miss it!
  • Clyde Beffa Jr.
    By: Clyde Beffa Jr.
    K&L Staff Member
    We tasted this wine in Bordeaux last year. A great value 20+ year old Pauillac. Still lively with a modern touch of toasty oak and red berry fruit flavors. This property is next to Latour and Pichon Lalande so the terroir is fantastic. Decant and serve with rack of lamb. Still has five plus years cellar life ahead.
    Drink from 2018 to 2025


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