Tasting Note                          

90    1996 Chateau Cantemerle           10/8/05        ($20)

Color: Medium garnet with enough onion skin to look ready, i.e., quite a bit, but not light in color. (3.0) Bouquet: A prominent herbal component of eucalyptus and mushroom with some swampy smells. Also has some cedar with sweet, cassis fruit and black peppery tannins. (3.0) Body: Assertive tannin with nice acidity, as well, keeping the fruit lively. Could have a silkier mouthfeel. A little lean and mean. (3.0) Flavor: Strong tannin supporting cassis fruit (that could be richer) and cedar. Powerful, but could use more fruit. The tannins are a bit dry, but make a statement in the flavor. (3.0) Finish: Parallels flavor, but a little softer, and minty The only soft part of the wine, although the slight swampy nuance reappears. (3.0)
Overall: A beautifully structured, old-school Bordeaux. Too bad it isn’t a bit more giving in fruit and has that swampy component. If it weren’t for these, I would score it significantly higher, because it is impressively put together. (15.0)