|Score: 95||Robert Parker, Hedonists Gazette, July 2008|
|Score: 93+||Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (4), December 2003|
Made from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot, this is a huge, backward wine reminiscent of the 1986 Cos d'Estournel. At the chateau, they claim the 3 vintages I love, 1982, 1985 and 1990, are less ""classic"" than in years such as 1986, 1988, 1996, and 1998. The 1996 possesses an opaque purple colour as well as pure aromatics consisting of cassis, grilled herbs, coffee and toasty new oak. Massive in the mouth and one of the most structured and concentrated young Cos d'Estournels I have ever tasted. This thick, structured, tannins wine has closed down significantly since bottling. It requires 7-8 years of cellaring and should last for 30-35 years. It is a fabulous Cos, but patience is required. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2030.
|Score: 93||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (122), April 1999|
A fabulous Cos d'Estournel, along with the 1995, the 1996 is the finest wine produced at this estate since sumptuous 1990, and it represents the essence of Cos d'Estournel. From its saturated black/ruby/purple color, to its knock-out nose of asian spices, licorice, tobacco-tinged cassis fruit, and plum-like jam, this full-bodied, extraordinarily pure wine will enjoy an immensely impressive future. Approximately 66% of the crop made it into the final blend, which includes a slightly higher percentage of Cabernet- Sauvignon than usual (65% CS and 35% M). While the 96 is similar to the 86, the fruit and tannin in the former wine are sweeter and more abundant. It is a massive example of Cos, but neither heavy nor overbearing in view of its immense size.
|Score: 94/96||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (115), February 1998|
Tasted at the château, the 1996 Cos d'Estournel was aged in 65% new oak (unlike the 1995 which was 100%) and is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot. It has a straight down the line, intense and focused, graphite and melted tar bouquet. It is almost Pauillac in style, no surprise given its proximity. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh acidity, finer tannin than the 1986 Cos d'Estournel tasted alongside, but sharing those same leitmotifs of black pepper and sea salt. I like the nonchalance of this Cos d'Estournel. At 20 years it is not an ostentatious wine, not determined to go out and impress, but its nuance, stylishness and classicism grow on you. Its virtues seem to register only after you swallow the wine and find yourself tempted back for more. Excellent. Tasted July 2016.
|Score: 94||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (227), October 2016|
Lively, dancing, nose with lots of development. Sweet, concentrated, quite dry, takes no prisoners style. Very correct. No rough edges and no excesses, but worth waiting for. Drink 2009-19
|Score: 17||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, September 2006|
|Score: 16.5+||Farr Vintners, 1996 Bordeaux Blind Tasting 8/9/2006, September 2006|