Château Verdignan cru bourgeois Haut-Médoc 1996 – Alc.12.8% , a Cabernet Sauvignon dominated Bordeaux blend costing c€14 for recent vintages. This was the last bottle of a very satisfactory purchase of some dozen bottles of 95 and 96 from this bourgeois claret. The aromas showed red/dark fruit (some plum), a nice herbaceous edge with some wet leather and the palate was harmonious with medium body, good fruit, lively acidity, some minerality with no suspicion of fading. The hint of bitter dryness in the tannins on the finish seemed less marked than I noted last time. Very good 16/20 QPR.
Château Lafon-Rochet Saint-Estèphe 4ème grand cru classé 2000 – Tesseron – Alc.13% - (c€35 for recent vintages) with an estate varietal composition (2012) of CabSauv 55%, CabFranc 3%, Merlot 40%, PV 2%. This makes an interesting comparison with the previous night’s Verdignan. Although it belonged manifestly to the same family, it was slightly fuller bodied, darker, sweeter fruited and more ripely tannic with acidity, minerals and the trademark left-bank herbaceous green edge less marked. I guess that this was mostly a warm vintage effect and is likely to be more crowd pleasing, if less to my taste, than the fresher, more acidic and perhaps more Bordeaux typical 1996 style (until the 00s). Very good though and probably has more development potential than the Verdignan; 16/20++.