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Chateau Haut Batailley Pauillac 1996 750ml

Rated 91 - While this may be the most impressive Haut-Batailley I have ever tasted, I am reluctant to go out on a limb and give this wine a higher...
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Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 1996 750ml

Rated 96 - Incredible nose of ultraripe fruit, it's yet subtle and complex. Full-bodied, with very ripe, almost sweet fruit and a long, long...

1996 Pauillac

The commune consists of only 3000 acres of vineyards in the Haut-Medoc between the villages of Saint-Julien to the south and Saint-Estephe to the north, but is home to three of Bordeaux's five first growth wines: Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Latour, and Chateau Mouton Rothschild.

A classic Pauillac wine is rich, dense-coloured, full-bodied and profound with an elegant mix of black currants and cedary oak that is luxurious and distinguished when mature. There is a wide variation on this theme throughout Pauillac, in part due to the differing terrain across the region. This is shown within the 3 First growths where the Lafite is complex and elegant, the Mouton-Rothschild is voluptuous with power and the Latour is full yet refined. There are many other styles amongst Pauillac's Chateaux, ranging from elegant wines which are drinkable younger, such as Pichon Lalande to the more tannic, deep style of Lynch-Bages.

This commune, on the banks of the Gironde, has small hills which are unusual in the Medoc. The soil contains heavy gravel which is important to the wine growing as it reflects the sun and allows excellent drainage. It is differences in the subsoil that contribute towards each Chateau's style. Lafite has a limestone base which leads to a softer, aromatic flavour; Mouton-Rothschild has sand within its gravelly soil which produces its richness, and Latour enjoys a bed of predominantly gravel enabling it to be consistent even in wet years.

This region of Haut Medoc sets the standard for each Bordeaux vintage and is a wonderful and impressive representative. A great deal of pleasure awaits anyone exploring this wonderful appellation.