This fabulous 1996 was tasted three times from bottle, and it is unquestionably the finest wine produced by this estate since their blockbuster 1990. Medium to full-bodied, with a saturated black/purple color, the nose offers notes of cedar, jammy black fruits, smoke, truffles, and subtle new oak. In the mouth, there is impressive fruit extraction, a tannic, full-bodied structure, and a classic display of power and finesse. The longer it sat in the glass, the more impressive the wine became. Backward, and massive in terms of its extract and richness, this should prove to be a sensational Leoville-Poyferre for drinking over the next three decades. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2028.
The colour is starting to take on the brick-edged ruby that fully mature Bordeaux reaches and retains for decades in the best cases. Freshness is still very much in play, along with tobacco, cigar box and eucalyptus. 1996 was a brilliant vintage in the Médoc and it shows. This is a near perfect 20-year-old Bordeaux; there is the generous signature of Léoville Poyferré wine but at this point St-Julien balance and finesse has taken over, just relax and enjoy the results.
Wine Spectator 90
Blackberry, mineral and citrus fruit aromas. Full-bodied, with slightly angular tannins, but fruity, with a pleasant tobacco undertone on the finish. Just coming around.