"Tasted at the château, the 1996 Calon Segur is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. This was always a feted wine in its youth by Robert Parker and myself. Now at 20 years of age there is fine delineation on the nose with more detail than the 1986 tasted alongside. The oak is a little more present here (50% in this vintage) married with plenty of redcurrant, cedar, loam and undergrowth aromas. These aromatics can develop further. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannin on the entry, perhaps one of the most youthful and backward of the 1996s that I tasted during my visits. It feels firm in the mouth, masculine, very Saint Estèphe. To critique this wine, the oak is not quite knitted to the fruit as much as it should after two decades (something that has been addressed now). It is an enjoyable Calon-Segur if not quite matching up to my admittedly high expectations."
Neal Martin 91 Punkte (Juli 2016)
"The 1996 may not be as profound as I had predicted from cask, but it is an exceptional wine. Dark ruby-colored, with a complex nose of dried herbs, Asian spices, and black cherry jam intermixed with cassis, it possesses outstanding purity, and considerable tannin in the finish. This classic, medium to full-bodied, traditionally made wine improves dramatically with airing, suggesting it will have a very long life. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2028."
Robert Parker 92 Punkte (Apr. 1999)
"The 1996 has gained weight, revealing even more flesh and depth than it did in spring, 1997. The wine is opaque ruby/purple-colored, full-bodied, ferociously tannic, and crammed with fruit and extract. Made in an uncompromising, traditional style, this wine will require a decade of patience. There is plenty of sweet fruit on the attack, and while the tannins are high, they are remarkably ripe with no evidence of astringency or vegetal characteristics. This appears to be a profound, classic, muscular, and powerful Calon-Segur that will age effortlessly for 30-40 years. Readers should remember that this estate possesses one of the greatest terroirs of Bordeaux, and produced a bevy of legendary wines in the twenties, late forties, and early fifties. Since then, it has been something of a hit or miss property, but under her administration,
Madame Gasqueton has produced consistently outstanding wines. The 1996, a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, was made from extremely low yields of 35 hectoliters per hectare. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2035. Proprietor Madame Gasqueton (one of The Wine Advocate's heroines of 1997) has produced two unqualified back to back successes. Kudos to Calon-Segur, as both the 1995 and 1996 wines have a strong buy recommendation from me, but only for readers who have the patience to wait them out."
Robert Parker 92-94 Punkte (Feb. 1998)