It’s not often we get to taste wines at their peak. In part, because as Bordeaux wines age, they become harder to find and more expensive. It’s important to taste wines at different stages of maturity. Not just because it shows us how a wine is when it has reached it’s peak evolutionary stage, but it also allows us a glimpse into what we can expect as we age and cellar the current vintages of an estate. At 20 years of age, the 1996 Leoville Poyferre is really starting to show its stuff, proving that patience is a virtue.
Leoville Poyferre has been one of the most consistent wines of the St. Julien appellation since the property was taken over by Didier Cuvelier in 1979. Today, the Left Bank estate is also run with the help of Anne Cuvelier and things have never been better. As I mentioned, Didier Cuvelier took over in 1979. It took only 3 years until Chateau Leoville Poyferre was producing wines worthy of their lofty, Second Growth status. The 1982 is in beautiful shape today. When I said the estate has been a consistent performer, I was not kidding. Think about it. 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015 have all been winners! And the 1996 Leoville Poyferre, the wine of the week is certainly no slouch as you can see from the tasting note.
In color, the wine is showing some lightening at the edge. The perfume offers a smoky bouquet of scents with cassis, cigar box, cedar wood, blackberry, tobacco, coffee and forest floor all showing their essence. Full bodied, round, plush and really starting to soften, the finish is fresh, clean, smooth and delivers a sweet, dark cherry note that sticks with you. Close to fully mature, this bottle was popped and poured and probably enjoyed far too quick. But isn’t that one of the signatures of all the really great wines? The wine was produced from a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. 93 Pts