Deep ruby, the darkest of these '96s. Cool, penetrating aromas of great purity: black raspberry, cassis, black licorice. Great thrust and verve on entry, then thick, brooding and primary, with an almost confectionary sweetness. Really three-dimensional texture. Complicating note of sweet oak. Sappy fruit saturates the entire palate. Extraordinarily persistent. Not quite as dense as the supernal '93, which I was able to retaste next to this wine, but not far off in quality. (Roty still considers '69, '85 and '93 to be his finest vintages.)
Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: March/April 1999
Burghound | Rating: 94
Still quite primary with soft wood notes framing beautifully pure and sappy old vine pinot fruit and flavors that have excellent density in the context of the vintage. This is superbly classy juice and decidedly more elegant than either the '95 or the '97 and reminiscent of the outstanding '93. I especially like the purity of expression as well as the extra level of ripeness conferred by the low yields as it gives a seductively textural impact on the palate. This should enjoy a very long, and slow, evolution. Consistent notes.
Author: Allen Meadows
Issue: 4th Quarter, 2006
Wine Advocate | Rating: 95
This wine displays a deep black/ruby color and extraordinary aromas of sweet red fruits intertwined with violets and roses. This awesomely deep and ripe wine is dense, velvety-textured, highly concentrated and extracted, and has a full body crammed with cassis, black cherries, bacon, minerals, and hints of cinnamon. Its powerful and profound flavors linger in its long and supple finish. It will require patience from consumers lucky enough to acquire it.