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95 Points, Zachys Buying Team: "We have retasted this wine several times over the years and it is a consistent crowd favorite and WOTN. This is the way that classic Bordeaux should be experienced - with age and perfect provenance. While pulling the cork, without it even out of the bottle, the stunning and intoxicating aromatics can be found. One of the most striking noses of the year and it is echoed on the palate. This is not rustic Saint-Estephe, this is in fact an elegant Saint-Estephe expression from the late Madame Gasqueton, plenty of ripe, succulent red fruit, a touch of crème de cassis, sweet tobacco, sandalwood, coffee, herbs and drying tannins on the finish. This is a perfect bottle of Bordeaux to enjoy now and over the next ten years. The team had a hard time putting this one down as it is one of those wines you want to keep sniffing and drinking over the course of a meal. Perhaps even better than the 1995 - who needs scores when the pedigree, vintage, and provenance are all here? In a word - Awesome. While it is tempting right out of the bottle - a two hour decant serves well here."
92 Points, Robert M. Parker, Jr., Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 1996 may not be as profound as I had predicted from cask, but it is an exceptional wine. Dark ruby-colored, with a complex nose of dried herbs, Asian spices, and black cherry jam intermixed with cassis, it possesses outstanding purity, and considerable tannin in the finish. This classic, medium to full-bodied, traditionally made wine improves dramatically with airing, suggesting it will have a very long life. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2028." 04/99
93+ Points, Stephen Tanzer, Vinous: "Saturated ruby-red. Pure, highly perfumed aromas of black cherry, currant, plum, minerals, tobacco, leather and fresh herbs. Very ripe, suave and spicy; at once subtle and gripping. Lovely cabernet character dominating today. Very firm, long finish is youthful but not hard-edged. Showing extremely well." 07/02
92 Points, John Gilman, View from the Cellar: “Along with the 2001, the 1996 vintage at Calon-Ségur is one of my favorite from the merlot-centric era at the estate, probably because the vintage favored cabernet sauvignon so clearly in the Médoc and a bit more of this grape was included in the blend at Calon in this vintage. The bouquet is deep, vibrant and youthfully precise, wafting from the glass in a mix of cassis, dark berries, cigar ash, dark soil tones, a touch of curry and a gentle framing of cedary wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and impressively tangy, with a fine core of fruit, currently a quite tightly-knit personality, well-integrated tannins and very, very good length and grip on the focused and still quite youthful finish. This is going to be a lovely wine in another eight to ten years’ time and should prove to be quite long-lived. I love to imagine what the current team at Calon would have done with a vintage such as 1996 today! (Drink between 2020-2050)” 02/14 Issue #49
92 Points, Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com: "Fully mature and drinking wonderfully well, the 1996 Château Calon Ségur has a classic nose of green tobacco, cedarwood, currants, and sous bois. Playing in the medium-bodied end of the spectrum, it has a wonderful sense of purity, polished tannins, solid mid-palate depth, and outstanding length. This is classic, focused, old school yet pure, balanced Bordeaux goodness. It has another two decades of prime drinking ahead of it. The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, brought up in 50% new French oak." 08/21