Opaque purple/red with some red/brown at rim.
Intense mint and cassis nose with peppery oak, vanilla and plenty of alcohol.
Full bodied with soft, sweet cassis and plum fruit and tarry, oaky notes on the long finish.
Much more obvious than anything else tonight, and quite different in style, but superb.
Drink now and over the next 3-4 years.
[I had the unfair advantage of knowing what this was when I tasted it. To my amazement, the rest of the tasters were happy to class it as 1996 claret, and weren't willing to say that there was a significant quality difference against the Haut Brion! Note that it was preceded by four Merlot dominated wines, and that the '96 Haut Brion has an unusually high Merlot proportion (50%).]
Wine Tasting: Bordeaux 1996