The 1996 Ducru Beaucaillou was picked from 23 September until 8 October, a blend of 25% Merlot and 75% Cabernet Sauvignon. It has evolved a very pure bouquet, almost Burgundy-like, with macerated red cherries and red plum, tobacco, leather and bay leaf. This 1996 seems a little more forward than others, perhaps more 1995 in style, but it is bestowed one of the most seductive and sensual aromatics of the vintage. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, crisp acidity, moving firmly into secondary stage with hints of leather, game and allspice. This is a Ducru Beaucaillou that has resolved to give pleasure at 20 years and not sooner. Hints of Hoisin develop on the finish with Chinese Five-Spice and leave you wanting more. Enjoy this now and over the next 15-20 years. (Incidentally, Bruno Borie poured another bottle that had been decanted and it was astonishingly different. The decanted version, perhaps against expectation, seemed firmer, sharper and more masculine, more "1996" if you like, perhaps revealing the true Ducru Beaucaillou.) Tasted July 2016.