Vinous – 94+
Pure, precise aromas of lemon, butter and clove; strong impression of citricity. Dense, sweet and very rich, with powerful lemony acidity framing and carrying the fruit. Very tightly wrapped but obviously rich: the perfect formula for a vin de garde Very classy Meursault many years short of its peak drinkability. Should be long-lived.
Robert Parker – 93
Lafon segregates the grapes from his Meursault Charmes’ youngest vines, blending them with his village Meursault cuvee. The most intense and concentrated berries are ear-marked for his premier cru bottling. His dedication to quality is evidenced by the 1996s tantalizing floral, white peach and toast aromas. Medium-to-full-bodied, thick, and yet feminine and gracious, this superb offering combines power with lace-like definition. Ripe white peaches, flower blossoms, and traces of anise are found in this precise, pure, and ageworthy beauty. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2010. The rating, with the range of scores in parentheses, indicates the wine was tasted from cask, not bottle. Dominique Lafon performed more batonnage than usual on his 1996s, “to give them more richness,” he said. However, unlike some other vignerons, Lafon abandons the practice when the malos start because he wants his wines to be protected by the carbon dioxide gas that is a by product of a wine’s malo-lactic fermentation. Lafon’s yields were between 35 and 45 hectoliters/hectare, demonstrating his dedication to quality in this potentially high-yielding vintage. Importer: Classic Wine Imports, Boston, MA; tel (617) 731-6644.
Anticipated maturity: 2003-2010
Jasper Morris – 93
A gorgeous wine from first pour. The colour is a fresh pale gold with still a touch of green at the edges. The first nose told me we were in for a treat with a wealth of fruit under some ephemeral toast and biscuit notes. These vanished rapidly as expected to leave a suave generous deep white fruit in possession. With time a little honey joined the fray, but not so as to threaten the impeccable balance. The acidity is now totally integrated into this wine which is in a really good place to drink now.