Excellent deep ruby color. Primary aromas of dark berries, cherry, shoe polish and smoky oak. Supple, rich and textured, but not as pliant or layered as the '97 due to slightly edgy acids. Finishes with well-distributed, dusty tannins that will require a few years to soften.
Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: May/June 1998
Wine Spectator | Rating: 88
Very flashy for the vintage, although slightly hollow in the midpalate. Lovely aromas of spices, cinnamon and fruit. Medium-bodied, with silky tannins and a fruity, spicy aftertaste.
Author: James Suckling
Wine Advocate | Rating: 90
I extend my congratulations and accolades to the relatively young new proprietor of Monbousquet, Gerard Perse. With his acquisition of Pavie, Pavie-Decesse, and La Clusiere, he has quickly become the most powerful player in St.-Emilion. This is good news for consumers since Perse is obsessed with quality. For example, he has reduced yields to under 30 hectoliters per hectare, and is doing everything to ensure a natural expression of his vineyards' terroirs. At a blind tasting in New York City, Monbousquet, inserted as one of the sleeper picks in a tasting of the top 1995s, was selected as the finest wine by a majority of the more than 125 people in attendance! I have heard grumblings from some of St.-Emilion's old timers about Perse's aggressive acquisitions, but no one can criticize the man's commitment to quality. The 1996 Monbousquet is an outstanding effort. The wine is slightly tannic, but it exhibits an exotic nose of kirsch liqueur, cassis, roasted herbs, espresso, and mocha. It possesses excellent texture, impressive depth and richness, and sweet toasty oak. The saturated dark ruby/purple color suggests a dense wine. The finish is both long and well-delineated, with moderate tannin. This beautifully-etched Monbousquet will take several years to come around.
A really great bottle - glad I waited and could have waited another 4 years (truth be told). Although still had a bit of tannins on it, got a good amount of tar, coffee, and leather. More eathy tones than I would have thought but not complaining!! The mouthfeel was opulent with currants, cloves, and cranberries. There was a bit of tart red apples as well. Great wine for celebrating taking the CFP exam!
Drink Dates: 2009-2015
Self | Rating: 93
A very |woodsy| bordeaux. I left in the decanter for 2 1/2 hours but it was not enough time. The wine needed to breathe for another 1/2 hour in the glass before it was terrific.
Drink Dates: 2013-2020
Self | Rating: 90
Tasted from a Riedel Grand Cru Bordeaux Sommelier glass. Black-blood red colored opaque wine with lots of thin distinct legs displaying a touch of pigmentation. A steely nose of graham crackers, anise, earth, coffee, mushrooms, mocha, and slightly stale milk chocolate coated cherries. Clean developing well-balanced flavors dissipate slowly in the mouth. Still plenty of tannins left in this wine but time has begun to work its magic at diminishing them. If drinking now, the wine needs two hours air time. Drink 2007 to 2016. The 96 and the 97 are the least distinguished efforts of this Chateau since Perse took it over in the early nineties. Nevertheless, they are still worthy of cellar space and priced attractively in today?s Bordeaux marketplace.