1996 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac Wine Tasting Note

1996 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste  (Pauillac) 94

Even at 22 years of age, this needs either another 5 years in the cellar, or 2 hours in the decanter before the cassis, cedar chest, burnt wood, cherry and tobacco notes emerge. The wine is full bodied, concentrated, masculine and a bit stern. There is also there is a muscular, refined quality ti the tannins that is hard to miss. This is a super example, of a textbook Pauillac wine. With luck, I will hold on to my last few bottles for another decade or so. I would not be surprised to see this drinking well at 40 years of age.

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With 2 hours of decanting, the full bodied, concentrated wine starts to show. The nose, with its bend of cherry, cassis, cranberry, cigar wrapper, cedar and green pepper struts its stuff. On the palate, the wine serves up soft tannins and a red berry wine with bite, vigor and sweetness with a judicious amount of Pauillac strictness and fresh, peppery, cassis in the finish.

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Loads of Pauillac character here. Textbook cassis, tobacco and earthy notes, firm but polished tannins and a masculine edge. Still young, give it an hour or two of air, or another 5 years to continue to soften and develop.

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With 2 hours in the decanter, the nose reminds me of walking into a high end cigar shop shortly after someone spilled a bottle of cassis on the floor. Full bodied, classy tannins and sporting a long, cassis filled finish, this structured, masculine wine remained at this high level for at least another 3 hours. It would have continued to hold, but by then, every drop was consumed. 1996 is a sublime vintage for Pauillac and there is no other wine available with this much quality at such a low price in market.

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Textbook Pauillac here. If you're seeking a wine packed with cigar box, cedar wood, tobacco, forest floor and cassis, this is the real deal. Decanted 3 hours before serving, and tasted over the next 3 hours, every sniff and sip was a treat. Great texture, freshness and ripe fruits from start to finish with a hint of cigar and dark chocolate along with cassis in the finsh. Drink now, or wait another decade for even more complexity.

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If you are looking for a wine to discover the perfume of cassis, one sniff of this beauty will teach you everything you need to know about cassis. Toss in smoke, tobacco, cigar box and cedar and know you know what text book Pauillac is all about. Powerful, full bodied, concentrated and deep, what this lacks in elegance, it more than makes up it in style and substance. Still young, this is starting to show a lot of its essence and character. Decanted for 2-3 hours, this was a treat.

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From a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, this still tannic and youthful Pauillac delivered scents of tobacco, cassis,gravel, smoke, spice and forest floor. Concentrated, powerful and still tannic, this large scaled, broad shouldered, Bordeaux wine needs at least another 5-7 years before it softens and comes together.

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Dark ruby, this looks like a 5 year old wine. Cedar, cassis, earth, lead pencil and blackberry notes make up the perfume. This young Bordeaux is packed with thick layers of juicy, ripe Cabernet fruit that fills your mouth. Full bodied and intense, this beefy wine finishes with a blast of chewy, dark fruits. While not elegant in style, this classic Pauillac is still young and will additional complexities for decades.

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grandpuylacoste chateau Wine Tasting Notes, Ratings

When to Drink Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste needs time in the cellar before it is ready to drink. Young vintages can be decanted for an at least 2-4 hours, give or take. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume.

Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste is usually better with at least 12-20 years of bottle age. Of course that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste should off its best drinking and reach peak maturity between 12-35 years of age after the vintage.

Serving Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste with Wine and Food Pairings

Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.

Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste is also good when matched with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta.

Grand Puy Lacoste is a classic, age worthy, style of Pauillac. It's a full bodied, tannic, concentrated Bordeaux wine that ages well. This Bordeaux wine offers cassis, cedar, tobacco and truffle scents and a juicy mouth full of flavor

Interestingly, the wine became one of the first popular, non First Growth Bordeaux brands to sell in China and in other countries in Asia as well.

In part, their initial success in China had do with last word for the name of the chateau, Lacoste. The name Lacoste gave a memorable nick name to Grand Puy Lacoste, which was soon called the alligator wine in China, due to the name being the same as the famous sports clothing designer, with the crocodile logo.

The wine of Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste has not always been consistent. But clearly, some vintages, like 1982 and 1990, the wine can be as good as the Super Seconds. However, the estate has really been a roll starting with the 2005 vintage. 2009, followed by an even better 2010 Grand Puy Lacoste are really great wines. In fact, those 2 years could be the two best vintages ever produced at Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste!

If you ever get the chance to visit this beautiful property do not miss the stunning gardens, a lake with swans and greenery behind the house. And be sure to ask about the 2 full sized, plastic cows near the lake.

www.grand-puy-lacoste.fr