Robert Parker 88
The 1996 Haut Batailley has a modest bouquet with blackberry, cedar and briary scents, not the most complex you will find but it has an attractive purity, a subtle floral scent emerging with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with a supple entry. There is agreeable tertiary black fruit here although I find it just needs more cohesion and backbone towards the finish that feels a little “loose limbed.” Perhaps over 20 years it has become a little slack, although the length is commendable. I would drink this now and over the next decade. Tasted July 2016.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026
Deep ruby-red. Floral, spicy aromas of black cherry, licorice and shoe polish. Thick and dense, with lovely sweetness and inner-mouth flavor. Boasts more volume than either the '98 or '97. Finishes thoroughly ripe, with rich, well-integrated tannins. A very strong vintage for this wine.
Dark crimson. Attractive, focused but still youthful cassis nose. Tannins pretty well melded. A very attractive, gentle, classic claret. Classy stuff. Very nice classic claret.
Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022