|Score: 96||Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (4), December 2003|
I tasted the 1996 Ducru Beaucaillou on four separate occasions from bottle in January. The 1996 is long, with a deep mid-palate. It also reveals tannin in the finish. This wine is remarkable. It is muscular, concentrated, and classic. Bottled in late June, 1998, it exhibits a saturated ruby/purple color, as well as a knock-out nose of minerals, licorice, cassis, and an unmistakable lead pencil smell that I often associate with top vintages of Lafite-Rothschild. It is sweet and full-bodied, yet unbelievably rich with no sense of heaviness or flabbiness. The wine possesses high tannin, but it is extremely ripe, and the sweetness of the black currant, spice-tinged Cabernet Sauvignon fruit is pronounced. This profound, backward Ducru-Beaucaillou is a must purchase. It will be fascinating for readers who own the 1996 to follow the evolution of this exceptional vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2035.
|Score: 96||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (122), April 1999|
This extraordinary wine may be the most complete Ducru Beaucaillou I have ever tasted. For now, let's call it the finest wine made at this estate since 1982. Moreover, it is developing in such a manner that it may even eclipse that renowned vintage. The 1996 boasts an opaque black/ruby/purple color, as well as a glorious, complex nose of lead pencil, licorice, weedy cassis, and subtle pain grillé notes. Exquisite rich fruit is presented in a medium-bodied, undeniably elegant yet gloriously intense, pure format. The wine, which coats the palate with glycerin and intense fruit, displays a floral quality that suggests both blueberries and blackberries in its flavor profile. There is copious tannin, but it is largely overwhelmed by the wine's glycerin, fruit and overall presence in the mouth. The 1996 Ducru Beaucaillou is a surreal beauty that should age effortlessly.
|Score: 95/96||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (115), February 1998|
The 1996 Ducru Beaucaillou was picked from 23 September until 8 October, a blend of 25% Merlot and 75% Cabernet Sauvignon. It has evolved a very pure bouquet, almost Burgundy-like, with macerated red cherries and red plum, tobacco, leather and bay leaf. This 1996 seems a little more forward than others, perhaps more 1995 in style, but it is bestowed one of the most seductive and sensual aromatics of the vintage. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, crisp acidity, moving firmly into secondary stage with hints of leather, game and allspice. This is a Ducru Beaucaillou that has resolved to give pleasure at 20 years and not sooner. Hints of Hoisin develop on the finish with Chinese Five-Spice and leave you wanting more. Enjoy this now and over the next 15-20 years. (Incidentally, Bruno Borie poured another bottle that had been decanted and it was astonishingly different. The decanted version, perhaps against expectation, seemed firmer, sharper and more masculine, more "1996" if you like, perhaps revealing the true Ducru Beaucaillou.) Drink 2016-2040.
|Score: 93||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (227), October 2016|
First bottle: Transparent ruby - looks unusually developed. Oxidising on the nose. Very hard work indeed. The fruit seems to have been left somewhere???
Second bottle: Much fruitier. My mark is for this second bottle which is quite beguiling. Drink 2006-16
|Score: 16||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, September 2006|
|Score: 16-||Farr Vintners, 1996 Bordeaux Blind Tasting 8/9/2006, September 2006|