1996 l’Evangile : This is a wine that was terribly tannic right after bottling and there were lots of doubts whether it would ever come round, so I was very curious to find out what a almost 2 decades of bottle ageing could accomplish.
The medium cherry color gave away it’s age and that was about the only thing that gave it away. On the nose it was still packed with jammy fruitiness, blueberries, blackberries plums and cassis as well as some candied violets, woody tones here too, elegant notes of cedar, underbrush and dried leaves with just a hint of truffle perhaps. After an hour or two it started to reveal smokiness, fresh ground coffee and dark chocolate. From the first sip this was clearly a full bodied and lengthy wine with great elegance and class. Sure there is lots of alcohol but it’s easily carried by the fruitiness and with a still dry and velvety soft tannic finish this is a great example of what merlot can achieve. As they say, “patience is a virtue”, and this ugly duckling definitely transformed into an elegant swan over the years.