1996 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5L

1996 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5L


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Cathy's Tasting Notes Upon Release:
The 1996 Corison Cabernet is graced with a label commemorating our tenth vintage.  Spring that year was very wet, causing considerable shatter at flowering which resulted in a fairly small crop.  Though it started with a very warm spring and hot summer, 1996 made a turn for the better at veraison (berry softening and color change, when ripening and flavor development begins).  The nights got cold and the daytime temperatures moderated, yielding a wine with remarkable concentration and color.  Dark red fruits including plums, black cherries and blackberries dominate the jammy aromas and flavors with loads of spice and hints of vanilla, chocolate and anise adding complexity.  The texture is lush with soft, round tannins.  Our trademark floral perfume of violets is beginning to emerge.  This wine promises many years of enjoyment.    

Cathy's Notes from 25 Vintage Retrospective Tasting, October 2014:
Dark red with some bricking at the edges. Ripe plum, hints of peppermint, tobacco and floral perfume on the nose. Mouthful of dark, brooding black cherry and blackberry flavors. Hint of tar. Drink or hold.


Wine & Spirits  December 1999
"Her wines are emphatic yet harmonious.  This '96 announces itself immediately as a glamorous Napa Valley Cabernet, then it goes on to hint at something more profound.  The front of the wine rises above the sweetness of caramelized oak to exotic spices, and darkens to chocolate and a deeply textured robe of red and black currant fruit.  It progresses toward an earthy detail as the tannins come on and turn the wine in on itself, then the fruit flavors power through to lift the finish.  That graceful one-two punch calls attention to the wine without overstepping the bounds of refinement.  Like a bright child, it leaves you actively wondering, what will this become?" 

San Francisco Chronicle
  November 10, 1999
The Chronicle's Top 100 Wines
"Elegance and finesse, red fruits, well-integrated oak; drink now or cellar."

Wine Enthusiast Magazine  Best of Year 2000
The Top 100 Wines of the Year
94 points  "Smells very fine and pure.  Classy black currants and toasty oak rule.  Flavors are opulent, rich and ripe, but very balanced.  Gorgeous tannins; soft and accessible.  It defines style and grace."

Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine  March 2000
Rich and nicely ripened, but also pleasantly poised and neatly balanced, this carefully constructed wine brings together well-defined cassis-like fruit, lightly spiced oak and quiet notes of clay and mineral...

Restaurant Wine  May 2000
****+  "An excellent wine; velvety in texture, full in body, and long on the finish.  It has medium richness, ripe fruit character (currant, cherry, blueberry), and toasty, oaky overtones.  Fine quality."

Gourmet  November 1998, p.51
Wine Journal:  Napa Valley; The Glorious Fruit of Vineyards Replanted by Gerald Asher
"A 1996 Corison Wines Cabernet Sauvignon from a vineyard between Rutherford and Saint Helena gave new definition to the word finesse."

jancisrobinson.com, Corison - California Cabernet with Subtlety by Linda Murphy, February 8, 2007
"Corison Cabernet Sauvignon 1996 Napa Valley ...Black cherry, dried herbs and cinnamon spice dominate the nose;  the palate mirrors the aromas, with cola and new-leather notes, and very refreshing acidity.  Lingering finish, with drink-now charm and also a future in the cellar."

John Winthrop Haeger
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1996 (Corison) - Dark, black-tinged crimson but still transparent; expressive nose of black fruit, tobacco and fir balsam with some floral highlights; elegant Barolo-like structure, almost pinot-esque; flavors of plum, black cherry and tar plus barrel-derived spice; long and very smooth that shows just a hint of grip on the finish.  Atypical but beautifully complex and graceful.                  reviewed 11/2011