The 1996 vintage surprised us in many ways : normal budding, early, rapid and regular flowering around June 10 auguring an uniform ripeness and good yields. A beautiful summer and the cool nights of August and September gave us perfect conditions to pick a wonderful crop.
The wines are bursting with red, black and even exotic fruits enhanced with spicy touches. The riped tannins express the harmony of great Pinots Noirs.
Perhaps an ideal vintage ? The purest expression of a grape and the terroirs it is issued ? Wines to drink young, on the fruit, wines to keep with their superb support of tannins and acidity. We decided to not fine and filter the wines to respect their generous and harmonious nature.
The Vine – Clive Coates – Mars 1998 : young vines.
Bourgogne Blanc 1996 : First year of harvest. Pretty, gently oaky. Not bad at all. From 1998.
Bourgogne rouge 1996 : Lovely fruit. Round and rich and with sophisticated tannins. Fat and ripe and very attractive. Another fine generic example. From 2000.
Chambolle Musigny 1996 : Village appellation contrôlée again. Splendid colour. Lovely nose. This is quite substantial for a Chambolle. Fragrant, balanced. Very good tannins. Very elegant and very long. Excellent fruit here and nicely fat and plumb as well. Even better than the above. Very good plus. From 2003.
Vosne Romanée 1996 : The Vine – Clive Coates – Mars 1998 : Good colour. Lovely nose. Pure and elegant. Well structured but no hard edges. Very good depth. Just the right sort of oak. Very long. Very stylish. A fine example of a village wine. Very harmonious. From 2002/2003.
Clos Vougeot 1996 : Full colour. Impressive nose. Rich, fat, full and concentrated. A lot of depth here. Very lovely fruit and all in splendid harmony. Marvellous intensity and grip. Very long. Very lovely indeed. Very fine. From 2005. Wine Spectator – septembre 1998 : Concentrated, jammy fruit, just a bit herbal, with decent cassis and blackberry notes and impressive midpalate concentration. Medium-bodied, with clean, crisp character on the finish, it earns kudos for not being overoaked in the vintage. 375 cases made. 88
Richebourg 1996 : Very fine colour. This is closed-in, backward, quite substantial. Excellent tannins. Marvellous aromatic fruit. Lovely balance. Above all the sort of intense, creamy richness which you only find in really great wines. Full-bodied. Totally complete. Fabulous quality. Grand vin ! From 2006.
The Vine – Clive Coates – N° 198 – Juillet 2001 :
Richebourg 1996 : Fullish colour. Not as big as A.F. Gros’. On the nose it is a bit closed-in. But there is very lovely pure, intense, very fresh fruit as well. A marvellous example. Very laid-back. Full body. Very intense. Excellent grip. Very high quality, concentrated fruit. Lots of dimension. Still very young. Very lovely.
The vine – Clive Coates – juin 2004 :
Richebourg 1996 : Fine colour. Still very youthfull. Rather austere on the nose. Even a slight vegetal, lean touch. Is it always going to be a bit like this, I wondered. On the palate though much more round and generous. Full body. Still some tannin to round off. High acidity keeping is fresh. Long and stylish. This is very fine indeed. 2008-2030. 19.5
Wine Spectator – septembre 1998 :
Bourgogne rouge 1996 : Hard and unyielding, showing tough green tannins, with cedar, rust and iron notes. Herbaceous on the finish. 665 cases made. 73
Chambolle 1996 : Full of blackberry and spice, this offers saturated, intense fruit character, racy acidity and solid tannins. The lasting impression is sweet, fresh and almost jammy. Best from 2001 through 2006. 165 cases made. 89
Vosne Romanée 1996 : Pure, spicy red fruit character, along with juicy acidity and a fleshy, concentrated texture that finds good support from the firm tannins. Best from 2001 through 2005. 190 cases made. 88
Richebourg 1996 : Thick, ripe and supple, this is a beautiful, full-bodied, suave wine. Combines lots of acidity, fruit intensity and a velvety midpalate with a long, sweet finish. A green olive note verges on herbaceousness, but I love the terrific cardamom, blackberry and defty toasted oak flavors. Extremely complex and seductive on the long finish. 205 cases made. 92