The 1996 Leoville-Poyferre has been a wine that has delighted and vexed in recent years. Now reaching its 20th birthday, the bouquet does feel a little disjointed with a tarry, herbaceous note that does not sync with the fruit. The palate is slightly better and the acidity is well judged. Yet that herbaceous, almost charred note comes through again and the finish feels dry and austere and a little bitter. Certainly compared to other Saint Julien wines, this is a Leoville Poyferre that falls short. Didier Cuvelier has numerous, much more successful wines to his name following this 1996, not a wine I would immediately reach for. I will resist scoring based on this bottle and seek to re-evaluate in the future. Tasted July 2016.
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