The 1996 Leoville Barton appears more youthful than the 1996 Langoa Barton in the glass with a healthy deep garnet core. The aromatics unfurl gracefully in the glass revealing briary, wild hedgerow, black truffle and sandalwood scents -- firmly in secondary aroma stage but with appreciable presence and intensity. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannin that form its firm and classic structure, spice, white pepper and cloves infusing the slightly animally red berry fruit. This is an adorable Léoville Barton that is occupying a very "happy" place at the moment -- superb precision, old school claret at its best. Decant for an hour no more, then enjoy. Drink 2016-2035.
|Score: 93||Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (227), October 2016|
|Score: 92+||Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (4), December 2003|
This impressive wine is a classic. Although backward, it exhibits a dense ruby/purple color in addition to abundant black currant fruit intertwined with spicy oak and truffle-like scents. The wine is brilliantly made, full-bodied, and tightly-structured with plenty of muscle and outstanding concentration and purity. It should turn out to be a long-lived Leoville Barton, and somewhat of a sleeper. However, patience will be required. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2030.
|Score: 92||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (122), April 1999|
|Score: 91/94+||Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (3), November 1998|
An enormous, masculine , backward wine, Leoville Barton's 1996 exhibits an opaque, black/purple color and sweet earthy prune, and black currant aromas intertwined with scents of licorice and Asian spices. Enormous and full-bodied, with a sweet mid-palate and mouth-searing tannin in the finish, this exceptionally dense, powerful, layered wine will require significant patience. Its explosive power and richness may push this wine's ultimate rating into the mid-nineties. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2040. Last tasted 3/98.
| ||Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book|
Wild berries on the nose, with an exotic flower undertone. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, rich finish. Gorgeous red. Give it time
|Score: 91||James Suckling, Wine Spectator|
Mature rim on ruby core. Straightforward, very slightly green Cabernet notes on the nose. Some mintiness. Well sculpted but rather obvious flavours. Not absolutely obviously Bordeaux. Rather like a skinny New World Cabernet. Drink 2006-16
|Score: 16||Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, September 2006|
|Score: 16+||Farr Vintners, 1996 Bordeaux Blind Tasting 8/9/2006, September 2006|