Intriguing to compare this directly with the Richebourg 1996 from Leroy: two different styles, both virtuous. Firstly, the DRC appears more mature than Leroy, with a more distinct tawny, brick red rim. The nose is closed at first, and then develops into a lovely, 'warm' bouquet of wild strawberry, hot bricks, cherry and a touch of black coffee. The palate is a reluctant extrovert, bashful at first but then evolving into a stunning; rich wine with ripe cherry, raspberry, plum and cooked meats, all with a refreshing citrus edge. Very good acidity. For me, this is just a little more engaging than Leroy’s Richebourg. The persistency on the finish augurs for a long-lasting wine. Drinking 2010-2035. Tasted November 2006. (NM)
Full-bodied, showing gorgeous fruit, this is very intense. It holds your attention as it settles its foundations into the palate, tightening its grip with seductive cassis, blackberry, fresh acidity and terrific floral character. A tamed monster. Drink now through 2026. (PM)
The 1996 Richebourg from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is a very good wine in the making, but this still needs a good stretch in the cellar to blossom more completely. The promising bouquet offer sup scents of plums, black cherries, chocolate, venison, a good base of soil tones and spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, nascently complex and rock solid at the core, with ripe tannins, tangy acids and good focus and grip on the long, well-balanced and still fairly youthful finish. Give it a bit more time. (Drink between 2025-2075)
Good deep red-ruby. Wild but rather opaque on the deeply pitched nose; hints at cassis and leather. Gives an impression of higher acidity than the foregoing wines and comes across as a bit disjointed today. With less fat showing today, the tannins are a bit tough. But this wine is hiding more than it's showing today. (ST) 93+
A gorgeously spicy and expressive nose consists of mostly black fruit and floral aromas that are beginning to display some secondary character. There is good richness but also good precision to the still relatively tight medium full and still noticeably structured flavors that possess an impressively long though slightly edgy and austere finish. While this could certainly be drunk now I would strongly recommend decanting it for at least 30 minutes first. Better still would be to allow this another 5 to 7 years of bottle age as the '96 Riche easily has 20 year+ potential though I have my doubts as to whether this is ever going to completely harmonize, indeed I would go so far as to bet against it. Try from 2021+
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