Very high acid initially. Closed-up quite late and stayed closed until the end of its second decade. Harvest 23 September, yield 42 hl/ha, pH 3.49. Slightly cloudy ruby, with a fox-red rim. A slight edge of decay on the nose that I really like! Very evolved indeed. Mouth-filling. Real substance. Great balance and direction. Firm but with enough fruit and definitely not too much acidity. Long. A real success!
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030
Robert Parker 89
The 1996 Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Ducs has always been a troubling wine for this writer. Here, I noticed a slight mustiness in colour compared to other vintages. It has a modest bouquet with light floral, wilted violet petal scents and mint, opening nicely with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied and quite structured, yet there is something "missing" at the centre. A heart perhaps? This feels uncharacteristically austere and bony on the finish. Guillaume d’Angerville opined that it was always hard to drink in its youth but is beginning to open. Personally, I would opt for the 1995 and not run the risk.
Anticipated maturity: 2014-2020
Aromas of cherry, licorice and nuts. The sweetest and most concentrated of these ’96s, with impeccably embedded acids and tannins giving the wine superb balance and texture. This has the thrust the ’97s lack. Lovely combination of backbone and flesh. Very strong wine. May well merit an even higher score with bottle aging.