1996 Red Burgs at 20...doing great

I just posted about a great experience with the 1996 Chevillon Les St. Georges this week.

I guess I’ve had a good number of '96 reds this year…more than I thought I had had.

Reading my notes, they all seemed to be superb wines for what they are…some villages, mostly 1er crus…only one grand cru…though have a Rousseau Mazy lined up for rib roast this weekend…so…(I like to leave grand crus to age more than the rest).

FWIW, those I’ve enjoyed in 2016 are as follows. My notes consistently say this vintage needs lots of aeration to “unbind” the wines’ great acidity. Some are still pretty acidic, requiring food. Others are near mature and drinking beautifully.

The following are maturing and need more time, IMO, but have great potential and, with lots of aeration (usually the second day) were wonderful to drink"

-Roumier Clos de la Bussiere
-Georges Mugneret Vosne village

  • Phillipe LeClerc Gevrey Combes aux Moines…very impressive but could use 5 years to peak
    -Daniel Rion VR Beaux Monts-- similar to the Leclerc
    -Daniel Rion Chambolle villages Beaux Bruns…a food wine
    -Hubert Lignier Chambolle Les Baudes
    -Hubert Lignier Chambolle villages
  • Robert Chevillon Nuits Les Perrieres

And, the top of the heap…memorable:

  • The Chevillon Les St. Georges
  • Chopin-Groffier Clos Vougeot
  • the Leclerc Combes aux Moines

On all of these the concentration of ripe fruit was dominant; the balancing acidities rendered some of them more “mature” than others…and some of them requiring food to show best.


Your experiences with 1996 in 2016?

1996 Chauvenet ‘Rue de Chaux’ NSG
1996 D’Angerville Volnay Clos des Ducs

After these wines, I swore to keep the rest of my 1996 in storage for at least 5 years more.

A 1996 Drouhin Beaune Greves earlier this year showed high acidity but was starting to drink very well.

My general impression was that it’s not a bad time to be opening it but a few years might yield additional benefits.

1996 Chevillon Perrieres
1996 Drouhin Clos de Mouches
1996 Leclerc Combe aux Moines
1996 Jadot Ursules.
All top notch to me in recent year. Gotta love the acid, though.

Three for me this year. Looks like I’ve been wading into '96 waters with less prominent producers:

Dominique Laurent Fixin 1er cru Clod de la Perrière
François Gaunoux Pommard Grands Épenots
Antonin Rodet NSG LSG

The latter 2 were very good to excellent. But the Pommard needed more than a day to sort itself out. Acidity pronounced but not unwieldy in either.

And a 1996 Gouges village NSG was tight as a drum. But, Gouges.

Have had a number, almost all courtesy of other folks–

96 d’Angerville Clos des Ducs
96 Trapet Chambertin
96 Pavelot SLB Dominodes
96 d’Angerville Caillerets
96 Chevillon LSG
96 A-F Gros VR Aux-Reas

You still hear disparaging comments about the vintage, but those who’ve been patient with their wines, and understand that the wines need air and food are being rewarded.

In the “early” years of this vintage…you had to “love the acid”, for sure. I had some doubts.

But, at this point, I think with sufficient aeration (which is a must) the acidity is not as prominent as it once was…and the fruit is lively and not dominated because of the acidity…as the tannins have mellowed.

Could you give this vintage 5 more years? Sure…and in some cases, you should.
The surprise for me is that it is now drinking beautifully and at the beginning of maturity, ie., you can experience the wine’s complete package at this point.

For me, the acidity is not all that prominent, though. OF course, I know the vintage’s history and think I understand what’s happening now.
Aeration, for me, is even more essential with highish acid wines than it is for tannic wines…to show well.

p.s. which Leclerc? Phillipe or Rene?

Had the Genot Boulanger Corton Les Combes earlier this year–lovely wine and in a really good place, very giving especially for a Corton. It surprised me as I had never encountered this producer before. Also the 96 H. Jouan Clos St. Denis drank well, though unlike the Corton, it could also easily be held.

Have a bunch, ok some, Jadot and Laurent GC that I have been waiting on–anyone open one of these of late?

F. Magnien Gevrey-Chambertin opened last week was showing very well.

Overall, been very happy with my 1996s, and have been tasting a few to see where they are going.

Jadot and Dujac made some glorious wine in 1996. The Chambertin CDB is extraordinary, and the Clos Saint Jacques is also extremely good. Chapelle was excellent in this vintage without the precision of the CSJ, and the real surprise from Gevrey, was how good the Estournelle was. The Bonnes Mares is also very solid, and I have enjoyed the Pommard Rugiens recently.

This vintage seemed to suit Dujac, my favorite being the Clos Saint Denis, followed by the Bonnes Mares and CDR. I had the Gruenchers earlier this year, which also showed very well.

Agreed on the acid. And Rene LeClerc.

Good to know about the Jadots, Mark,

Thanks. I have the CSJ (GC, only not in name), and also the Richebourg, which I will hold for a while.

Anyone care to compare this vintage with '08?

Very different in my mind. 08 is more like 01 in my mind than 96. 96 was a serious vintage with very engaging fruit but loads of acid. folks were saying it was a vintage for long aging and not sure it was ever going to come around (sort of like 86 Bordeaux). 08 is a less substantial vintage that, yes, has some acid, but is not expected to go for the long haul, and has a softer, different feel than 96.

Thanks, John. I ask because I love the few '08s I’ve had, but I’ve no experience with '96s. In general, my interest in Burgundy far outpaces my participation therewith; I’m slowly trying to change that. :slight_smile:

I had Fourrier CSJ a month or two ago and it was pretty acidic, but still enjoyable. Perhaps I should have aerated it more, as you suggest. Otherwise, I would say another 4-5 years for Fourriers (above villages) to come around.

I just posted in another thread about the acid of the '96s. Still too much for me. And it’s interesting, Stuart, that the acid mellows for you with air. My experience, even with bottles drunk over 48 hours, is that the acid stays at the very least constant, and in many cases becomes more pronounced.

1996 Jadot RSV was so so a couple of weeks ago. Brisk but not very complex. Everything I’ve had from Morey for 1996 has been lush earthy yummy and ready.

08 not expected to go for the long haul?? Not sure I’ve heard anyone say that before and my view would be the exact opposite.

On topic, I’m a big fan of 96s.