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100-Point Wines

100-Point Wines

100-Point Wines

100-Point Wines

There is a huge difference between a good (or even great) wine and a heavenly blend of perfected fruit nectar concoctions. Only the finest wines can even get close to receiving the coveted 100-point score, a mark of quality that propels the producers into an elite club of world-class artisans. A single taste of one of these masterpieces can turn a normal person into a passionate wine aficionado, as these bottles each provide a unique, soul-enriching experience. Everything has to be perfect to justify a 100-point score; the texture, elegance, and complexity of the design, the carefully crafted flavor combination, and many other qualities.

Every blend from this glorious court can singlehandedly serve as the centerpiece of your collection – a sentiment amplified by how difficult and expensive most of them can be to acquire. That’s where we come in. As a top-class wine retailer, we aim to guide you through the enchanting world of excellent wines, as your childlike wonder awakens anew in the face of these mouth-watering works of art. Our goal is to help you understand what makes these wines so desirable among passionate enthusiasts and eventually get your hands on them. There is a perfect blend for everyone in the world, and finding yours can be a life-changing moment. Let’s explore this
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1977 fonseca Port

Vintage Port doesn’t seem like the right wine in the middle of the summer but I had an Amarone producer for dinner the other night in Tuscany and he had never drunk a wine from his birth year. He was lucky enough to have been born in 1977 - a great Port year! I found a bottle of 1977 Fonseca in my cellar - probably my last. It was absolutely gorgeous. I gave this fortified wine a perfect score in its youth and I think it has finally evolved into its perfection as a mature vintage Port. Here is the tasting note. 1977 Fonseca Vintage Port: This is in total balance now with such harmony. What amazing aromas of berry and flowers. Full and sweet, the tannins are complete dissolved. The fruit is perfect. This goes on for minutes. Drink now. But it will go forever.James Suckling | 100 JSWhat a Vintage Port. Dark ruby center, with a dark garnet edge. Aromas of flowers, blackberry and licorice. Subtle and complex. Wow. What a palate. Full, concentrated and rich, yet balanced and beautiful. Solid and sleepy. Still not giving all it has to give. This is just coming around. Gorgeous and classy. Love it. ’77/’85/’97 blind Port retrospective. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 100 WS(Fonseca) I have always found the ’77 Fonseca to be one of the stars of the vintage, and this most recent bottle was beginning to really hit on all cylinders. The bouquet delivers a beautifully complex and concentrated mélange of sweet cassis, plum, blackberry, mint, tobacco, chocolate, minerals, and cedary wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and almost voluptuous, with a fine core of fruit, beautiful structure and focus, ripe tannins, and great grip on the long and modestly tannic finish. This wine is a beautiful and relatively forward example of the vintage, and consequently it is offering up superb drinking already. My gut instinct suggests that there is more complexity to come with further bottle age, but it is pretty hard not to want to drink this beauty at this stage of development. A quintessential vintage of Fonseca. (Drink between 2007-2050).John Gilman | 95 JGFonseca is one of the great port lodges, producing the most exotic and most complex port. If Fonseca lacks the sheer weight and power of a Taylor, Dow or Warre, or the opulent sweetness and intensity of a Graham, it excels in its magnificently complex, intense bouquet of plummy, cedary, spicy fruit and long, broad, expansive flavors. With its lush, seductive character, one might call it the Pomerol of Vintage ports. When it is young, it often loses out in blind tastings to the heavier, weightier, more tannic wines, but I always find myself upgrading my opinion of Fonseca after it has had 7-10 years of age. The 1977 has developed magnificently in the bottle, and while it clearly needs another decade to reach its summit, it is the best Fonseca since the 1970 and 1963.Robert Parker | 93 RP

100
WS
As low as $265.00
1982 cheval blanc Bordeaux Red

(12.8% alcohol; 54 h/h): Amber-tinged red; based on other bottles I have tried, the color of this particular bottle seems slightly more evolved than usual. Penetrating aromas of strawberry jam, raspberry, red cherry, orange peel, flowers and minerals. Enters bright, dense and linear, with very pure flavors of red cherry, citrus, minerals, marzipan and subtle herbs. Finishes very long and pure, with a strong peppery note, a lingering coffee nuance, and chewy, mounting tannins. Complex and multilayered, this is a very impressive wine, magically combining fleshy depth and pure aromas and flavors without being overripe or heavy. I was told in the past by a local wine lover and expert that the 1982 Cheval Blanc actually contains 5% malbec in the final blend, but nobody can confirm this at the estate. The season began warm and dry during April, then turned very hot in July and very dry between August 10 and September 20. It was then hot again in September, with the harvest taking place between September 20 and October 2. Mid-flowering occurred on June 5 and mid-veraison on August 9. A very famous, much sought-after wine, the 1982 Cheval has often been scored 100 points by other wine critics. I’m not sure this bottle was quite up to that lofty standard, but it is undoubtedly a great wine.Vinous Media | 96 VMAll in harmony. Deserves its reputation. Dark ruby. Smoke, black truffle, berry and cherry. Full-bodied, velvety and fine.--Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2005.Wine Spectator | 96 WS(Château Cheval Blanc) This wine has now been very shut down for the last four or five years, and though there is so much raw material here that the wine is still a joy to drink, bottles sampled today only represent twenty-five percent of what this wine will show at its glorious apogee. The bouquet is unmistakably Cheval, with scents of black cherries, bell pepper, dark chocolate, menthol, tobacco, herbs, espresso and vanillin oak wafting from the glass. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep, black fruity, and totally dense at the center, with excellent structure and delineation, great length and grip, and a fair bit of ripe, well-integrated tannin framing the finish. This is very elegant and only medium-full on the palate today (in notable contrast to its thick, luxurious and voluptuous youth), with great depth now buttoned up quite tightly at the core. I would opt for burying this treasure for at least another decade. (Drink between 2010-2060)John Gilman | 96+ JGThe 1982 Chateau Cheval Blanc is fully mature at this point and there’s certainly no upside, although it should keep for a decade. Mature red and black fruits, cedary spices, leather, flowers and dried flowers all flow to a sweetly fruited, sexy, open knit and ready to go wine that has resolved tannin and a good finish.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDIt shows a slightly verbal edge to it now with green coffee bean and currant leaf and fruit aromas. It’s full and silky with lovely tannins, but dried dark fruits with balsamic undertones on the palate. The Cabernet Franc is coming out more in this bottle. Fascinating wine.James Suckling | 93 JSDuring its first 10-12 years of life, this was a perfect wine, but it now seems to be in a stage where the fruit is still present, but the previous exuberance and intensity have faded slightly. There is plenty of amber at the edge, and this medium to full-bodied wine shows notes of menthol, cedar, spice box, plums, and black cherries. Owners of 750 ml bottles should plan on consuming it over the next 4-6 years. Magnums should be less evolved, and merit a score 4 to 6 points higher.Robert Parker | 92 RP

100
TWI
As low as $1,640.00
1982 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

A monumental wine, this historic La Mission-Haut-Brion was the last vintage made by the descendants of the Woltner family, who had owned this estate for decades prior to selling it to their neighbors, the Dillon family (the American owners of cross-street rival, Chateau Haut-Brion). The 1982 admirably demonstrates the magnificence of La Mission as well as the singularity of this amazing terroir. I had the good fortune of tasting it from barrel (where it was an enormous Graves fruit bomb) and watching it develop more nuances in bottle. At age 30, it remains a majestic, multidimensional, profound Bordeaux with another 20-30+ years of life ahead of it. It’s no secret that the great vintages of Bordeaux have levels of fruit extract and depth that go beyond other years. It is this fruit, often referred to as “fat” or “concentration,” that takes decades to dissipate and fade. As it does so, the extraordinary aromatic expression of the terroir asserts itself. Remarkably, the 1982 is still in late adolescence and has not yet reached its peak. Early in my career, much of my reputation was established on calling this vintage correctly, but I never in my wildest dreams thought the 1982s would mature as slowly and last as long as some seem capable of doing. One of the handful of perfect wines of the vintage, the La Mission still possesses a remarkably dense ruby/purple color with only a slight garnet and lightening at the edge. The fruit-dominated aromatics reveal lots of cassis, blueberry, scorched earth, black truffle, incense, graphite and high-class, unsmoked cigar tobacco-like notes. Still exhibiting remarkable concentration, enormous body, silky sweet tannin, and no perceptible acidity, the 1982 remains fresh, delineated and super-compelling. A massive La Mission made by the Dewravin family and their winemakers, all of whom were dismissed the following year when the estate was acquired by Haut-Brion, this modern day legend shows no signs of decline. In fact, it may not have yet reached its peak. Anticipated maturity: now-2060+.Robert Parker | 100 RPLa Mission really does have its own character. Full body with velvety tannins with hints of berry, gravel and iodine. Some may not like the later but it tells you it’s La Mission. What a wine. Drink now.James Suckling | 97 JSThe register of notes changes as we head to Pessac-Léognan. This is one of the most open on display, with a warmth to the fruit that showcases cloves and spices full of tertiary end-of-summer-fruit goodness. A beautiful wine, but just a tiny bit brittle on the finish, this is not quite living up to the pedigree that it has shown on other tastings. We in fact opened a second bottle, served in a decanter (the rest were all in bottle), but it still remained just a nudge behind the others.Decanter | 94 DECThe 1982 La Mission Haut-Brion is a vintage that I have tasted several times. This bottle has a gorgeous, eucalyptus-tinged bouquet of black fruit plus hints of clove and bay leaf; a light marine scent emerges with aeration. The palate has a ripe pastille-like quality, dark cherries commingling with blackberry and cranberry. A lovely saline undertow lends sapidity on the harmonious finish. This does not equal the 1982 Haut-Brion and may have reached its peak in the late 1990s, but it remains the best La Mission Haut-Brion since the 1978. Tasted at the La Mission Haut Brion dinner at Amuse Bouche in Hong Kong.Vinous Media | 94 VMSlightly rustic, but firm and youthful. Dark ruby color. Beautiful aromas of berries and stones, with a hint of black truffles. Medium- to full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, spicy-stony finish.--1982 Bordeaux horizontal. Best from 2000 through 2010.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

100
RP
As low as $16,995.00
1982 latour Bordeaux Red

Always somewhat atypical (which I suspect will be the case with the more modern day 2003), the 1982 Latour has been the most opulent, flamboyant, and precocious of the northern Medocs, especially the St.-Juliens, Pauillacs, and St.-Estephes. It hasn’t changed much over the last 10-15 years, revealing sweet tannins as well as extraordinarily decadent, even extravagant levels of fruit, glycerin, and body. It is an amazing wine, and on several occasions, I have actually picked it as a right bank Pomerol because of the lushness and succulence of the cedary, blackberry, black currant fruit. This vintage has always tasted great, even in its youth, and revealed a precociousness that one does not associate with this Chateau. However, the 1982 is still evolving at a glacial pace. The concentration remains remarkable, and the wine is a full-bodied, exuberant, rich, classic Pauillac in its aromatic and flavor profiles. It’s just juiced up (similar to an athlete on steroids) and is all the better for it. This remarkable effort will last as long as the 1982 Mouton, but it has always been more approachable and decadently fruity. Drink it now, in 20 years, and in 50 years! Don’t miss it if you are a wine lover.Robert Parker | 100 RPThe 1982 Latour is the most consistent of the First Growths in this auspicious vintage. Tasted from both bottle and magnum in the UK in recent months, this note comes from an ex-château magnum tasted at a private dinner in Bordeaux. It exudes class and majesty on the nose with its copious but brilliantly focused black fruit laced with cedar and graphite. To use a phrase I have written before, it is blue-blooded...regal. That comes through on a palate that has a haunting symmetry and a killer finish that is brilliantly defined and audaciously long, graphite lingering on the aftertaste. Quite simply, claret does not come better than this. Tasted at a private dinner in Bordeaux.Vinous Media | 100 VMThere are hints of brick orange around the outer edges, but this is still beautifully rich red at the core, and the warmth of the vintage’s sunshine is clear from the first moment. At 34 years of age, the aromatics have almost torrefied, with beautiful burnt caramel notes oozing into rich plum and baked strawberry fruits. Gentle tannins are still holding the fruit unobtrusively but firmly in line. As the wine opens in the glass, the tobacco and cold woodsmoke become more evident, and each time you go back to the glass it gets more and more interesting, extending the conversation and keeping it new. Bursting with life.Decanter | 100 DEChe 1982 Chateau Latour is another powerful 1982 that’s drinking beautifully today and has a big, sweet nose of blackcurrants, saddle leather, cedar, and Asian spices that just comes jumping out of the glass. Deep, concentrated, and powerful, it takes 30 minutes in the glass to open up on the palate and still has ripe, polished tannins, thrilling length, and an impeccably balanced, layered personality. Again, it’s drinking fabulous well today, yet I suspect, given the wealth of fruit, it has another 2-3 decades of prime drinking ahead and will have a gradual decline.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDBig and chewy. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, long currant, berry and cherry character. Underrated. Still more to come in this wine.--Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 98 WSThis shows wonderful decadence with meaty, dark chocolate and ripe plums on the nose that follows through on the palate. It’s full bodied, with super silky tannins that caress your palate. The fruit in the wine changes to a spicy, stony undertone. It seems to evolve all the time in the glass. This has a long life to it. But why wait? So delicious.James Suckling | 98 JS(Château Latour) The 1982 Latour is a brilliant example of the vintage, which continues to show potential for long-term evolution, but is starting to drink with plenty of generosity at age thirty-two. The bouquet shows a bit of the veneer of the ripe and generous spirit of 1982, coupled to classic Latour power and depth, as it offers up scents of sweet cassis, black cherries, the first signs of black truffles, cigar smoke, dark, gravelly soil tones, almost a touch of meatiness and a nice framing of cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and sappy at the core, with ripe, suave tannins, excellent focus and grip and a very, very long, complex and gorgeous finish. This is not as classically Latour-like as a vintage such as 1970 or 1966, as the ripe style of 1982 is certainly prominently displayed here, but this is a great Latour by any measure. (Drink between 2014-2100).John Gilman | 96 JG

100
RP
As low as $7,695.00
1982 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

Still stubbornly backward, yet beginning to budge from its pre-adolescent stage, this dense, murky ruby/purple-colored wine offers up notes of graphite, sweet caramel, black cherry jam, cassis, and minerals. The nose takes some coaxing, and the decanting of 2-4 hours prior to service is highly recommended. For such a low acid wine, it is huge, well-delineated, extremely concentrated, and surprisingly fresh. Perhaps because I lean more toward the hedonistic view of wine than the late Michel Delon, I have always preferred this to the 1986, but the truth is that any lover of classic Medoc should have both vintages in their cellar. This wine has monstrous levels of glycerin, extract, and density, but still seems very youthful, and tastes more like a 7 to 8-year-old Bordeaux than one that is past its twentieth birthday. A monumental effort. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2035. Last tasted, 9/02.Robert Parker | 100 RPTasted at the domaine, the 1982 Leoville Las Cases is just about pure perfection, and while certainly mature, it has plenty of life ahead of it. Thrilling notes of blackcurrants, kirsch, tobacco leaf, cedar box, menthol, and exotic spices all emerge from this seamless, powerful yet magically elegant Leoville Las Cases. Opening up in the glass, with a smoky, singular character, it’s an incredible wine from this terroir that has an almost Latour-like regal quality. It should continue drinking well for another 10-15 years and I’m sure will keep even longer.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDIt’s impossible, I know, to believe that a St-Julien might not be perfectly ready to drink at this ripe old age, but here we are, face to face with the conundrum that is Léoville Las Cases. You’ll be happy to hear I had the 1981 Léoville recently and it was actually open, soft and ready to go. This 1982 is still a little stubborn on first opening, but gets better and better in the glass, with sweet brambly ripe fruits, and rippling tannins that are almost honeyed at this stage. Classic, dense, mineral minty touches on the finish, great persistency and a way still ahead of it. Michel Delon, father of today’s owner, was in charge at this point (and until 2000) and the cellar master Bruno Rolland remembers that they were working in shorts at night in the vat house because even after harvest the temperature was not dropping below 20 degrees at night. They were the first estate in St Julien to start harvesting in 1982 by the way, on September 13. Petit Verdot 5% finishes the blend. Drinking Window 2018 - 2045.Decanter | 97 DECA racy, classy, silky wine. Inky-ruby color. Black cherry, mineral and wet earth aromas. Medium-bodied, with very silky tannins and a long, superfine finish. Has always been excellent.--1982 Bordeaux horizontal. Best after 2000.Wine Spectator | 95 WS(Château Leoville Las Cases) The 1982 Leoville Las Cases is a very nice and youthful wine, but I have always been under the impression that this wine was made in the cellar, rather than the vineyard, and will never really attain the level of greatness that is attributed to it elsewhere. The wine is certainly deep and concentrated in personality, offering up a still quite primary bouquet of cassis, black cherries, cigar ash, a touch of mint and plenty of toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, quite extracted in profile and still fairly tannic, with a good core, fine focus and grip and very good, but not great length on the youthful finish. Maybe this will eventually become the complex wine of its considerable reputation, but I am skeptical, and rather expect the ’82 Las Cases to always trade on its power, but never develop the complexity of the truly great wines of this vintage. Call it good, not great. (Drink between 2023-2075).John Gilman | 93 JGSadly, it is not a great night for Bordeaux. The 1982 Léoville Las Cases is powerful but also incredibly compact, with little appeal or mid-palate depth. This is a very stubborn wine, even within the context of Las Cases.Antonio Galloni | 92 AG

100
RP-HG
As low as $659.00
1982 mouton rothschild Bordeaux Red

What an amazing red. It’s so very youthful with toasted oak, light vanilla, and dark berries such as currants and blueberries. Then it turns to mint. This is so fresh and intensely fruity. It lasts for minutes on your palate with each sip. It is so powerful yet elegant. It will improve for hundreds of years. I would still leave it in my cellar for five or ten years. If you need to drink it, decant it three to four hours in advance.James Suckling | 100 JSA wine that’s singing today, the 1982 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild is one of those wines that needs to be tasted to be believed. It almost has a California Cabernet-like sexiness and opulence paired with pure Bordeaux class. Still solid ruby-colored, with a sensational nose of crème de cassis, lead pencil shaving, sweet tobacco, and even some flowery incense, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a multidimensional, layered texture, straight-up awesome levels of sweet fruit, and a blockbuster finish. This is Bordeaux at its most sexy and hedonistic, and it’s just a joy to drink. Given its relatively youthful vibe, I expect it to continue drinking brilliantly for another two decades and even at that point have a gradual decline. There’s no need to delay gratification though, and it’s certainly ready to go.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDThe 1982 Mouton Rothschild is drinking brilliantly today, soaring from the glass with aromas of cassis, dark berry fruit, charcoal, pencil shavings, espresso roast and loamy soil. Full-bodied, ample and enveloping, it’s a layered, sumptuous wine that’s remarkably seamless and complete, with impressive concentration, ripe but lively acids and fine, melting tannins. Long and resonant, this is a great wine that can keep company with the likes of Mouton’s 1961, 1959 and 1955.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPThe 1982 Mouton-Rothschild continues to be the extravagant Pauillac that it has always been. This has an irresistible, exotic bouquet of precocious kirsch, hoisin, graphite and blueberry scents that gain intensity in the glass. The palate is a little headier than previous bottles, sensual and almost glossy, presenting a glycerin-rich smorgasbord of dark cherries, black currant, crème de menthe and mint that almost knocks you off your feet. Fabulous. Tasted from an ex-château jeroboam at the Palace of Versailles charity dinner.Vinous Media | 98 VMGlorious aromas. Dark ruby red. Wonderful perfumes of flowers, berry and lilac. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long and pretty finish. Balanced. Class in a glass. Just as I remember.--Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 98 WSRich and deep in colour, this has a stunning intensity on the first nose. On the palate, there is the slight iodine edge of an older Cabernet Sauvignon, set against soft brambly fruits, smoky cedar and black truffles. Soft structure but the architecture of this wine is still very much in play, building in power as it works through your palate, setting your taste buds tingling with the gentlest of tannins. Again this is a classic, superlative example of how Pauillac can age. As it uncurls in the glass, the rich smoke on the nose is just beautifully seductive, but the palate softens just a touch quicker than some of the others in this line-up.Decanter | 97 DEC

100
RP
As low as $1,780.00
1986 mouton rothschild Bordeaux Red

Wonderful, concentrated and still astonishingly young, this has brushes of violet aromatics rising above the tight cassis fruits and rich black truffle, and the classic menthol edging of a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated Pauillac. We drank this over lunch and it was breathtaking, but were told that 24 hours later it had blossomed even further, so make sure you give this a serious amount of time in carafe to open up - something that gives you just a small clue as to how structured, layered and complex the wine we are dealing with here is. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.Drinking Window 2017 - 2040Decanter | 100 DECThis is finally coming around with such fine tannins and beautiful fruit after all these years. Full and balanced. Historical. And so long. Stunning. Fresh and bright.James Suckling | 100 JSThe 1986 Mouton-Rothschild is a behemoth that almost has a California-like richness and sweetness of fruit. Offering incredible yet classic Cabernet Sauvignon notes of crème de cassis, tobacco leaf, lead pencil shavings, and wood smoke, this beauty starts out reticent and backward (which is mind blowing for a wine that’s 32 years old) yet opens up gorgeously with time in the glass. Full-bodied, deep, rich and unctuous, yet still incredibly pure and lively, it’s a sensational, benchmark Bordeaux that probably has another 2+ decades of longevity.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDAfter stumbling over some wines I thought were high class Bordeaux, I nailed this wine in one of the blind tastings for this article. In most tastings where a great Bordeaux is inserted with California Cabernets, the Bordeaux comes across as drier, more austere, and not nearly as rich and concentrated (California wines are inevitably fruitier and more massive). To put it mildly, the 1986 Mouton-Rothschild held its own (and then some), in a flight that included the Caymus Special Selection, Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23, Dunn Howell Mountain, and Joseph Phelps Eisele Vineyard. Clearly the youngest looking, most opaque and concentrated wine of the group, it tastes as if it has not budged in development since I first tasted it out of barrel in March, 1987. An enormously concentrated, massive Mouton-Rothschild, comparable in quality, but not style, to the 1982, 1959, and 1945, this impeccably made wine is still in its infancy. Interestingly, when I was in Bordeaux several years ago, I had this wine served to me blind from a magnum that had been opened and decanted 48 hours previously. Even then, it still tasted like a barrel sample! I suspect the 1986 Mouton-Rothschild requires a minimum of 15-20 more years of cellaring; it has the potential to last for 50-100 years! Given the outrageously high prices being fetched by so many of the great 1982s and 1990s (and lest I forget, the 1995 Bordeaux futures), it appears this wine might still be one of the "relative bargains" in the fine wine marketplace. I wonder how many readers will be in shape to drink it when it does finally reach full maturity?The tasting notes for this section are from two single blind tastings, one conducted in May, 1996, in California, and the other in June, 1996, in Baltimore.Robert Parker | 100 RPPhilippe Dhalluin served the 1986 Mouton Rothschild to wrap up our vertical. The 1986 remains one of my favorite Moutons. A dark, powerful wine, the 1986 is endowed with a vertical sense of structure that is a marvel to behold. Dark stone fruit, smoke, graphite, mocha, soy and licorice are fused together in a marvelously intense, deep Mouton that promises to drink well for another few decades. Tonight, the 1986 is absolutely stunning. The blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Harvest started on October 2nd and wrapped up on the 16th.Antonio Galloni | 99 AGAgeless, yet balanced. Black color. Mint, mineral, berry and cherry. Full-bodied, chewy and tight. Long, long finish. A great, great wine.--Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 99 WS(Château Mouton-Rothschild) There was a time when I thought that the ’86 Mouton was one of the greatest vintages ever at this fine property, but as the wine crossed its twentieth birthday with no signs of more complexity starting to emerge, I really began to wonder if I had not just been incorrect in my great expectations for this wine. I have tasted the wine two or three times in the last few years and been moderately underwhelmed on each occasion, with this most recent bottle no exception. It is not that the wine is bad per se, but rather that it is still quite monolithic and simple, continuing to show very little development on either the nose and palate. Ten or fifteen years ago, this was not too alarming, as the wine possessed truly exceptional depth of fruit and great purity to go along with its monolithic personality, but at age thirty, I was hoping to see a bit of complexity starting to emerge. The bouquet is indeed starting to show some signs of age, but not a lot more complexity than previously, as it offers up scents of cassis, cigar ash, a touch of tobacco leaf and cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep and full-bodied, with a primary personality, good, but no longer that great depth of yesteryear. The wine still possesses fine focus, firm, ripe tannins and a long, youthfully simple finish. To be fair to this wine, there are plenty of other 1986 Left Bank wines that are still not remotely ready for primetime drinking, but it is the lack of complexity here that is really the question mark with this wine. It is still a perfectly serviceable vintage of Mouton, and may indeed be great down the road (if this is just a reflection of an extended adolescence), but today, it seems like a far cry from perfection and is not in the same league as the 1989 or 1985 Mouton, let alone the marvelous 1982. (Drink between 2022-2060).John Gilman | 92+ JG

100
RP
As low as $1,399.00
1986 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

The 1986 possesses outstanding richness, a deep color, medium body, a graceful, harmonious texture, and superb length. The penetrating fragrance of cedar, chestnuts, minerals, and rich fruit is a hallmark of this wine. Powerful, dense, rich, and tannic, as well as medium to full-bodied, with awesome extraction of fruit, this Lafite has immense potential. Patience is required. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2030. Last tasted 11/94.Robert Parker | 100 RPWe are in perfectly-aged claret territory here, the most beautiful impression of a wine at its plateau. It’s perfectly ready to drink and is still generous, with a long life ahead of it. Its spicy notes, touches of pencil lead and still-concentrated cassis combine with menthol, buttery leather and that classic Médoc saline, mineral-edged flourish - this is the height of well-aged Cabernet Sauvignon. Drinking Window 2018 - 2040.Decanter | 100 DECThe 1986 Lafite-Rothschild is a great wine although over several recent encounters it is never a convincing "perfect" wine. This mirrors the bottle I tasted at the property in 2016: blackberry and graphite on the nose, gawky at first, but coalescing with time. The palate is well balanced with firm tannins, strong graphite scents unfolding with time, superb energy if not delivering quite the finesse and precision that the very best Lafite-Rothschild will bestow. This is a wine that benefits from long decanting, say five or six hours, though it never quite reaches the ethereal heights that it could have done. Tasted at the International Business & Wine First Growth Dinner at the Four Seasons.Vinous Media | 96 VMA firm, young wine. Dark ruby color. Intense aromas of blackberry and mint. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long finish. Still needs time.--Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2003.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

100
RP
As low as $1,505.00
1986 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

The late Michel Delon always thought that this was the greatest vintage he had produced. We often tasted it side by side with the 1982, because I always preferred the latter vintage. Of course, the two vintages are quite different in style, with the 1986 a monument to classicism, with great tannin, extraordinary delineation, and a huge, full-bodied nose of sweet, ripe cassis fruit intermixed with vanilla, melon, fruitcake, and a multitude of spices. The wine has always been phenomenally concentrated, yet wonderfully fresh and vigorous. The wine still seems young, yet it is hard to believe it is not close to full maturity. It is a great example of Leoville Las Cases, and another compelling reason to take a serious look at the top Cabernet Sauvignon-based Medocs of 1986. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2035. Last tasted, 9/02.Robert Parker | 100 RPMichel Delon, then owner, believed this to be the greatest wine he ever made. It’s not often the case that wines with this much expectation riding on them live up to the hype, but this one did. A stunning wine that, at 33 years old, still feels fresh, concentrated and with a long way left to go. The tannins have the characteristic Las Cases weight and definition to them, giving form and shape to the sweet berry fruit, but the overall impression is of welcoming, juicy pleasure. Harvested from 1 to 17 October. 4% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Drinking Window 2019 - 2035.Decanter | 100 DECSaturated dark ruby. Cassis, shoe polish, camphor and rose petal on the nose; this reminded me of a great vintage of Latour. Dense and extremely concentrated; explosive yet totally backward. There nothing playful about this infant claret. Finishes with extraordinary, slow-building persistence. Very serious juice; one of the great Bordeaux of the 1980s. Drink 2010 through 2035.Vinous Media | 98 VMFirm and focused, with beautifully articulated currant, raspberry and nutmeg aromas and flavors; very supple for such a lean-textured Bordeaux. Approaching drinkability, but it can use until 2000 to soften.--Léoville Las Cases vertical.Wine Spectator | 95 WS(Château Léoville Las Cases (St. Julien)) The 1986 Château Léoville Las Cases remains a stubbornly backward wine at age thirty-two, and I am beginning to wonder if it is just stuck in a seemingly endless adolescence or if the wine is going to turn out to be stillborn and never blossom. The bouquet offers up a still quite youthful blend of black cherries, cassis, a touch of mint, Galloise cigarette smoke, dark soil and toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, simple and powerful in personality, with a rock solid core, firm tannins and a long, four-square and recalcitrant finish. Maybe this will blossom one day, but I do not have a ton of faith in the wine anymore. And, even if it does one day start to blossom, it still seems likely to not be a particularly complex example of Las Cases in the making. If it does one day start to soften up and open, it should merit a score at the top of my range, but that seems less than a fifty-fifty proposition at this point. I should mention that I have tasted this wine three or four times in the last decade and my impressions have been consistent, so this is the wine, rather than a reflection of a possibly atypical bottle (Drink between 2025-2075).John Gilman | 84-92 JG

100
RP
As low as $635.00
1986 lafite rothschild  Bordeaux Red

The 1986 possesses outstanding richness, a deep color, medium body, a graceful, harmonious texture, and superb length. The penetrating fragrance of cedar, chestnuts, minerals, and rich fruit is a hallmark of this wine. Powerful, dense, rich, and tannic, as well as medium to full-bodied, with awesome extraction of fruit, this Lafite has immense potential. Patience is required. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2030. Last tasted 11/94.Robert Parker | 100 RPWe are in perfectly-aged claret territory here, the most beautiful impression of a wine at its plateau. It’s perfectly ready to drink and is still generous, with a long life ahead of it. Its spicy notes, touches of pencil lead and still-concentrated cassis combine with menthol, buttery leather and that classic Médoc saline, mineral-edged flourish - this is the height of well-aged Cabernet Sauvignon. Drinking Window 2018 - 2040.Decanter | 100 DECThe 1986 Lafite-Rothschild is a great wine although over several recent encounters it is never a convincing "perfect" wine. This mirrors the bottle I tasted at the property in 2016: blackberry and graphite on the nose, gawky at first, but coalescing with time. The palate is well balanced with firm tannins, strong graphite scents unfolding with time, superb energy if not delivering quite the finesse and precision that the very best Lafite-Rothschild will bestow. This is a wine that benefits from long decanting, say five or six hours, though it never quite reaches the ethereal heights that it could have done. Tasted at the International Business & Wine First Growth Dinner at the Four Seasons.Vinous Media | 96 VMA firm, young wine. Dark ruby color. Intense aromas of blackberry and mint. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long finish. Still needs time.--Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2003.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

100
RP
As low as $1,565.00
1989 clinet Bordeaux Red

This wine has such balance and harmony. I remember when it was young and how the new wood and intense fruit came out, but they have finally come together in such a beautiful way. It shows subtle and complex character of plums, cedar, dried flowers, and earth. The texture or mouthfeel is beautiful as you taste it.James Suckling | 100 JSOne of the great modern-day Bordeaux, the 1989 Clinet still has a saturated purple color and a sweet nose of creme de cassis intermixed with incense, licorice, smoke, and mineral. As the wine sits in the glass, more blueberry and blackberry notes emerge, intermixed with some toasty oak, earth, and spice. This spectacularly concentrated, full-bodied, multi-dimensional wine is the stuff of dreams. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2025. Last tasted, 10/02.Robert Parker | 100 RPThe 1989 Clinet is the vintage that put this Pomerol estate on the map thanks to a perfect score from you-know-who. While I have never encountered a perfect bottle myself, a magnum hinted that it was not beyond the realm of possibility, though I have found bottles to be a bit hit-or-miss. This bottle is one of the better examples. It features kirsch, cassis and crushed violets on the nose, like a Margaux with the dial turned up to eleven (and I mean that in a positive way.) There is some VA here, but it merely gives kick to the aromatics. The palate is medium-bodied with a rich, precocious entry and generous sloe and brown sugar notes, very deep and rounded. A slightly volatile finish offers marvelous length. I suspect that to really experience the 1989 Clinet at its peak, you need to find perfectly cellared larger formats, although clearly bottles can be a thrill. Tasted blind at lunch in London.Vinous Media | 95 VM

100
RP
As low as $1,095.00
1989 montrose Bordeaux Red

This was yet another wine I drunk with wine collector friends in Bangkok – the city is truly buzzing when it comes to wine and when you know where to look! On the nose, there were intense aromas of iron, pot iron and dried fruits, as well as hints of nuts and wet earth. On the palate, it showed a gorgeous texture of ripe tannins and lots of spicy and currant fruit character. A full-bodied, very soft and silky Bordeaux with lots of flavors and a superb finish. Just right now – indeed it seems to be getting younger with age, not older! Decant an hour before. I think it’s better than the legendary 1990. It’s certainly cleaner and more consistent quality.James Suckling | 99 JSThis was not in the tasting at the chateau, but I opened two bottles on my return home, because this is another near-perfect wine from Montrose. It is an unusual two-grade blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. The wine emerged from another very hot, sunny, dry growing season, with early, generous flowering. Harvest in Montrose took place between September 11 and 28. The wine has never had any issues with brett, making it a somewhat safer selection than the more irregular 1990. Like a tortoise, the 1989 has finally begun to rival and possibly eclipse its long-time younger sibling, the 1990. The wine is absolutely spectacular and in auction sells for a much lower premium than the 1990. That should change. This is a magnificent Montrose, showing notes of loamy soil undertones, intermixed with forest floor, blueberry and blackberry liqueur and spring flowers. It has a full-bodied, intense, concentrated mouthfeel that is every bit as majestic as the 1990, but possibly slightly fresher and more delineated. This great wine should drink well for another 40-50 years.Robert Parker | 98+ RPThe 1989 Montrose is a magnificent wine and this represents one of the best bottles I have encountered – one that was purchased on release and not moved from Berry Brothers’ cellar since. I have encountered perfect bottles of the 1989, and this flirts with that magic figure. It is blessed with a captivating bouquet of blackberry, raspberry, sous-bois and black truffle, the veins of blue fruit just toned down a little compared to previous bottles. The palate is supremely well balanced with those filigreed tannins that in some ways are atypical of Montrose. It delivers silky-smooth texture and an intense finish that glides across the senses. I cannot give a perfect score on this occasion, but without question, this is one of the great Montrose releases. Tasted at the 1989 Bordeaux dinner at Hatched in London.Vinous Media | 98 VMIntense aromas of crushed blackberry and mineral turn to dried flowers and dried fruits, staying fresh on the nose. Full-bodied, offering big, round tannins and loads of ripe, seductive fruit. This is decadent and wild, turning nutty and fruity. A beautiful bottle. This is very close in quality to the legendary 1990.--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 22,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS(Château Montrose) The 1989 Montrose may not be quite as deep as the 1990, but it is a purer wine of precise definition and classic proportions. The superb nose offers up a refined mélange of cassis, dark berries, cigar ash, gravelly soil tones, espresso, fresh herbs and cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and shows off excellent mid-palate depth, with ripe, beautifully-integrated tannins, tangy acids and outstanding focus and grip on the youthful, pristine and old school finish. Some may prefer the more overtly powerful style of the 1990 Montrose, but for me, though the two vintages are qualitatively equivalent, I prefer the superior transparency and more elegant profile of the 1989. The wine is certainly approachable today, but I would still give it another five or six years’ worth of bottle age to really allow it to fully blossom (Drink between 2019-2070)John Gilman | 94 JG

100
TWI
As low as $749.00
1989 haut brion Bordeaux Red

(Château Haut-Brion) It had been more than a decade since I last tasted a bottle of the 1989 Haut-Brion (having absolutely zero interest in opening any bottles out of my cellar before this wine has fully apogee), so I was very happy to see it on display at the Hart-Davis-Hart tasting. This is a brilliant wine that has not lost an iota of its luster as it has aged, soaring from the glass in a brilliantly pure and bottomless bouquet of cassis, dark berries, cigar smoke, a very complex base of dark soil tones, Cuban cigars, fresh herbs and a refined base of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and stunningly plush on the attack, with a sappy core of pure fruit, stunning soil signature, ripe, firm tannins and simply brilliant length and grip on the still very young, seamless and boundless finish. This wine has often been compared to the 1959 Haut-Brion, but I have to believe that the 1989 will be even better when it reaches its peak of maturity! This is still a very young wine (far less evolved than the superb 1990) and I would not touch a bottle for at least another dozen years or more. It should last close to a century. (Drink between 2025-2100).John Gilman | 100 JGThis continues to be a perfect wine with a beautiful, dense character of tobacco and sweet fruits. Chocolate, toasted walnuts and flowers here too. It’s full-bodied with velvety tannins. Lasts for minutes on the palate.James Suckling | 100 JSA spectacular wine that only goes from strength to strength, and which ranks among the pinnacles of my birth year vintage, the 1989 Haut-Brion wafts from the glass with a rich bouquet of blackberries, blackcurrants, cigar wrapper, loamy soil, black truffle, burning embers and vine smoke. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it’s sumptuous and dramatic, with huge reserves of fruit that are complemented by carnal, savory nuances and framed by melting tannins and ripe acids. Concluding with a long, resonant finish, the only criticism one can make is that a 750-milliliter bottle simply isn’t enough.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPWhat a gorgeous, seductive and beautiful wine, as always. I can’t get over the perfumed aromas of subtle milk chocolate, cedar and sweet tobacco. Full-bodied, yet so refined and silky, lasting for minutes on the palate. Everything is in just the right proportion. This is a wine that will go on forever. I love it. One of my great loves in the wine world.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 12,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 100 WSThe 1989 Haut-Brion is very, very good. All the telltale Haut-Brion signatures of dark fruit, minerals, herbs, gravel and spice are present, but this bottle is lacking the textural opulence and depth of the best examples. Readers who have had the 1989 know what an epic wine it usually is.Antonio Galloni | 97 AG

100
RP
As low as $3,499.00
1990 Margaux

The 1990 Château Margaux is really beginning to hit its stride at age 31, soaring from the glass with aromas of blackberries and cassis mingled with notions of licorice, cedar and violets, framed by subtle hints of vanilla and spice. Full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, it’s seamless and complete, its velvety tannins and ripe acids entirely cloaked in a lavish but vibrant core of fruit. This is an especially dramatic, fleshy rendition of Margaux, yet it remains impeccably balanced and has decades of longevity ahead of it.Robert Parker | 100 RPFull ruby-red. Wonderfully perfumed nose combines redcurrant, plum, mocha, minerals and rose petal. Plush, fat and rich, with great sweetness and class. This has utterly compelling mouthfilling richness. Finishes smooth and endless, with great breadth. This wine showed fabulous potential from barrel, but this is the first truly outstanding bottle I’ve had. Drink 2005 through 2035.Vinous Media | 98 VMA brilliant wine, still star bright in colour, and full of flesh and fruit. Opens with smoky cigar notes, touches of figs, blackberries, cedar, fine tannins, violet and peony aromatics even at 30-plus years old, and it certainly stays with you long after the glass is finished. Owner Corinne Mentzelopoulos was celebrating 10 years at the helm at this point, with (the late) Paul Pontallier just promoted to MD after arriving at the property in 1983. Drinking Window 2021 - 2040.Decanter | 98 DECA stunner, with a glorious aromatic display of mulled plum, blackberry and cherry notes seamlessly melded with rooibos tea, singed balsa wood and ground vanilla bean accents. The structure is so fine-grained that it’s almost hard to find, but the marathonesque length shows it’s there. As gorgeous as it is, this remains a hair behind the modern greats in terms of concentration. Still, it should hold at this peak for some time. Awfully close to the ’89, but sometimes we have to split hairs.--Non-blind Château Margaux vertical (December 2013). Drink now through 2025. 25,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS

100
RP
As low as $1,849.00
1990 latour Bordeaux Red

This is one of my favorite wines ever. Full-bodied, with layers of silky fruit and masses of currant, mineral and berry character. Amazing. It’s a wine with perfect structure, perfect strength. It’s 1961 Latour in modern clothes. It’s hard not to drink it now. ’89/’90 Bordeaux non-blind horizontal. Best after 2008.Wine Spectator | 100 WSThen, the 1990 Latour arrives. Powerful and dense to the core, the 1990 possesses superb density for a wine of its age. Despite its considerable depth, the 1990 remains light on its feet for such a big wine. I imagine the 1990 Latour will drink well for another thirty years. What a wine.Vinous Media | 98 AG(Château Latour) The 1990 vintage from Château Latour is a superb example of this ripe and more forward year, with the torrid growing season having put its imprimatur on the wine a bit in its slightly more forward and plush style, without ever impinging upon the classic Latour house style. The bouquet is tremendously deep and expressive, offering up scents of cassis, blackberries, tobacco, gravelly soil tones, a hint of violets, cedar and a blossoming topnote of cigar smoke. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and simply packed at the core, with superb focus and grip, lovely complexity and a very long, ripely tannic and already fairly pliable finish. This wine has plenty of structure for the long haul, but it does not possess the classic sternness of vintages of Latour from the fifties or sixties, nor of wines made in the last decade or so. That said, it is probably the finest Left Bank wine of the 1990 vintage. (Drink between 2016-2060).John Gilman | 96 JGThis is one of the more perplexing Latours to evaluate. It has plenty of sweetness as well as a gorgeous, rich fruitiness, but it lacks the firmness one finds in more recent great vintages such as 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2008. There is plenty of sweet, ripe currant fruitiness, abundant glycerin, and full body, but I’m still waiting for that extra nuance of complexity to emerge. It’s all there, but the wine still seems to be more monolithic than one would expect in a wine approaching 19 years of age. It is not the sure-fire winner I thought it was in its youth, but then again, I don’t have any reason to doubt that more complexity will emerge. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2035. Release price: ($1500.00/case)Robert Parker | 95+ RPStill a young wine, with firm tannins that are less finely expressed than the Lafite at the same age and instead provide a more muscular presence in the glass, as is entirely within the Latour signature. The dominant flavours are cedar, tobacco, black cherry and cigar box, with black pepper spice on the close of play. Plenty of changes going on at Latour in 1990, with the estate sold the year before from the Pearson Group to Allied Lyons. This was the first year of the third wine Pauillac de Latour, further refining the selection of the main bottling. Drinking Window 2021 - 2036.Decanter | 94 DEC

100
WS
As low as $1,090.00
1990 petrus Bordeaux Red

The 1990 Petrus remains incredibly young, one of the least evolved wines of the vintage (along with Montrose and Beausejour-Duffau). This dense ruby/purple-colored effort is beginning to hint at the massive richness and full-bodied intensity lurking beneath its wall of tannin. The vintage’s sweetness, low acidity, and velvety tannins are present in abundance, and the wine is massive in the mouth as well as incredibly pure and well-delineated. I thought it would be drinkable by now, but it appears another 5-10 years will pass before it begins to reach its plateau of maturity. This wine is capable of lasting at least four more decades. An incredible achievement! Release price: ($5000.00/case)Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPThis is a legendary Petrus that I have scored 100 points in the past. Today, it’s still showing its greatness with aromas of dark fruit, black olives, hot stones and wet concrete. It’s full-to medium-bodied and shows medium, velvety tannins that give the wine backbone and composure. It’s always changing in the glass, giving fruit and earth undertones all the while. A vibrant and vivid wine that talks to you.James Suckling | 99 JSThat hasn’t changed. A classy wine that’s almost as great as the awesome ’89. Expressive and sophisticated, with wonderful ripe fruit and vanilla aromas. The palate is extremely silky with superb flavor concentration. It’s very muscular but refined and toned. Still too young to open.--Pétrus non-blind vertical. Best after 2007. 3,700 cases made.Wine Spectator | 98 WSThe 1990 Petrus is a fabulous wine even if I have found more bottle variation than the 1989. This is incontrovertibly a great bottle, better than the one poured at the "Pomerol Comparative Tasting". It has a sensual and heartwarming bouquet of mulberry, raspberry, autumn leaves, wild heather and a touch of roasted chestnut. There is something animally about this Petrus that you might ascribe to brettanomyces but in this case it is just the character of the secondary aromas. The palate is rounded and smooth. Supple and languorous, there are layers of red fruit infused with sage, thyme and black tea. The 1990 is extraordinarily persistent, a crescendo that dares to show up the imperious 1989 that is more linear and “correct” by comparison. The 1989 might be a better Petrus, however, you could argue that the 1990 is simply more enjoyable. Tasted at the Petrus dinner at the Épure restaurant in Hong Kong.Vinous Media | 97 VM

100
RP
As low as $6,475.00
1990 montrose Bordeaux Red

The final blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc was harvested between September 14 and October 3. The spring was cold, yet summer was extremely hot and dry – one of the hottest vintages since 1949. The fact that virtually no rain fell in September served as a catalyst to get all the grapes ripe and in cellars. Some bottles of this wine have a definite brett population that gives off the notes of sweaty horses, but this one did not. The ones I have had from my cellar – where I have had it frequently – are quite pure and clean. I suspect that the brett population is in all of them, but unless the wine hits some heat along the transportation route or in storage, the wine will not show any brett. This one tasted at the chateau, as well as those I’ve had from my cellar, have been pristine and not showing the sweaty horse notes that can be in evidence in brett populations that have flourished in the bottle because of external temperatures. This wine has an incredibly complex nose of spring flowers, blackberry and cassis liqueur, scorched earth and barbecue spice. It is full-bodied, majestic and opulent, with low acidity and fabulous fruit. It is close to full maturity. The wine should continue to drink well for at least another 30 or more years, but it is showing secondary nuances in the perfume. The wine is absolutely magnificent, broad, savory and mouth-filling. This is one of the all-time modern legends from Bordeaux as well as Chateau Montrose.Robert Parker | 100 RP(Château Montrose) The 1990 Montrose is justly famous, but in my experience, it has only been a hair superior to the underrated 1989 here, and I have never understood the price differential in the market of the two wines. This most recent bottle of the 1990 was drunk out for the night in Napa Valley, where it showed very well indeed, offering up a deep and powerful bouquet of black cherries, sweet cassis, a touch of currant leaf, dark soil tones, cigar smoke and a fair bit of toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and shows off truly exceptional depth at the core, with ripe, moderate tannins, fine focus and grip and a long, well-balanced and complex finish. There is just a touch of brett on the backend here, but it is very modest and does not detract from the very serious pleasure that this wine is beginning to deliver. (Drink between 2016-2050).John Gilman | 95 JGFull ruby-red. Wild, exotic aromas of crystallized redcurrant, leather, tobacco and minerals; distinctly exotic, even overripe. Then lush, sweet and opulent, with an atypically velvety texture for Montrose. But extremely young and structured, finishing with powerful tannins and great grip and length. Almost California-like in style; in Bordeaux, they’d refer to the fruit expression of this wine as "original," which is not necessarily high praise. Drink 2008 through 2030.Vinous Media | 95 VMDark in color with decadent aromas of ripe fruit, earth and amazing mint and spearmint undertones, yet there’s also an underlying meaty funkiness. Full-bodied, with layers of very ripe fruit and velvety tannins. Massive and caressing. A big, powerful wine. Like velvet.--Non-blind Château Montrose vertical. Drink now. 18,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

100
RP
As low as $999.00
1990 beausejour duffau Bordeaux Red

One of the most singular Bordeaux I have ever tasted, it verges on being port-like, but it pulls back because of the extraordinary minerality and laser-like focus. The wine is massively concentrated, still black/purple-hued to the rim, and offers a nose of incense, blackberries, blueberry liqueur, acacia flowers, and forest floor. It reveals low acidity and high tannins, which are largely concealed by the sheer concentration and lavish glycerin the wine possesses. Aging at a glacial pace, it is approachable, but it will not hit its peak until 2020; it should last for twenty years thereafter. Release price: ($1200.00/case)Robert Parker | 100 RPLiquid cashmere. Stupendous St.-Emilion. Dark ruby color. Wonderful aromas of blackberries, preserved cherries, Indian spices and violets. Full-bodied, with fabulously polished tannins and a long, long finish.--1990 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2006. 3,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 98 WSParker made this wine a legend when he gave it 100 points on release. And I have had perfect bottles in my life of it. BTW, the 1989 is almost as good. This bottle that I had this week in Hong Kong was very, very closed and not giving the opulent character that I have encountered in this wine. It had been decanted three hours in advance and I still triple decanted it after tasting it because it was so shy on the palate. The 1990 Beausejour Duffau-Lagarosse seems to be going through a dumb period right now but it shows some fascinating dried fruit, mushroom and earth character. It’s full and chewy. I would leave it for a year or so and come back. A living, sort of bitchy wine at the moment.James Suckling | 96 JSDeep ruby to the rim. Extravagant aromas of black fruits, violets, and toffee. Voluptuous and sweet; this has outstanding concentration but with so much baby fat there’s little delineation on the palate. Finishes with a kick of alcohol and substantial ripe tannins. Very dense, but while a flight of other top right-bank wines were sending off fireworks in the glass, this chunky wine sat like a lump of coal.Vinous Media | 91 VM

100
RP
As low as $1,799.00
1994 fonseca Port

Hold on to your hat. This is the best Fonseca since 1977, and it’s probably even better than that classic vintage--more like the breathtaking 1948. Mind-blowing, with masses of color, aroma and fruit flavor. Smells like fermenting berries, boasting loads of crushed grape, violet and berry character. Big, full-bodied and very sweet, with tons of tannins and a sweet finish. Tannic and huge, it’s a long-term, great Port. Best after 2012. 8,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 100 WSTight knit – not giving much away on the nose, but silky fruit is underlying. Pure berry fruit palate initially with a super-fine tannic superstructure rising in the mouth, revealing its freshness and purity on a really beautifully defined finish. There is great architecture here. Drinking Window 2014 - 2050Decanter | 98 DECOne of the most spectacular 1994s, this opaque purple-colored wine is an exotic, flamboyant, ostentatious port. Extremely fragrant and pungent, with a flashy display of jammy cassis, pepper, licorice, and truffles, this port is an attention-grabber. Awesomely rich, and full-bodied, with superb length, richness, and overall balance, it possesses a huge mid-palate, layers of flavor, an unctuous texture, and a blockbuster finish. Everything is in place, with the brandy and tannin well-integrated, even concealed by the masses of fruit and glycerin. This wine will drink fabulously well at age ten, but keep for up to thirty years. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2035.Robert Parker | 97 RP

100
WS
As low as $135.00
1995 chateau tirecul la graviere cuvee madame Loire (Other)

As good (better??) than the 2001, the 1995 Monbazillac Cuvee Madame is straight up extraordinary juice that certainly one of the finest dessert wines I’ve ever tasted. A blend of 60% Muscadelle, 40% Sémillon that spent just under three years in new French oak, it offers a heavenly bouquet of orange marmalade, caramelized peach, brioche and honeycomb, a huge, full-bodied, unctuous profile, no weight and a finish that just won’t quiet. If you love sweet wines, I promise, it doesn’t get better. It’s drinking sensationally today, yet I suspect it will have a 50-year lifespan.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDI have applauded recent efforts of this estate, which goes to unprecedented lengths as well as labor to produce the most amazing sweet wines I have ever tasted. Their two new vintages include a perfect 1995 Cuvee Madame and a totally profound regular cuvee of 1995 Monbazillac. I recently had the 1993 Cuvee Madame next to an exceptional bottle of 1989 Chateau d’Yquem. Everyone at the table went ballistic over the 1993 Cuvee Madame. They loved the Yquem, but thought Tirecul la Graviere’s 1993 Cuvee Madame to be the superior wine. Perhaps the tasting should be repeated in 20-30 years to determine if the results would be similar. That being said, there is no doubt in my mind that the 1995 Cuvee Madame is as profound a sweet wine as I have ever tasted. Made from 80-year old vines, harvested grape by grape, and with yields of 12 hectoliters per hectare (under one ton of fruit per acre), this wine boasts a glorious nose of apricot jam, tangerine essence, and subtle spicy oak. With its profound richness, blazingly vivid definition, huge body, viscous thickness (with no heaviness), and finish that lasts for nearly a minute, this nectar constitutes one of the most extraordinary sweet wines I have ever tasted. As is the case with so many of the world’s greatest wines, the production is insignificant. Only 50 six-bottle cases are being imported to the United States.Robert Parker | 100 RP

100
RP
As low as $285.00
1996 margaux Bordeaux Red

The 1996 Chateau Margaux, a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, must be a strong contender for wine of the vintage. It offers everything you desire from this First Growth. It is blessed with breathtaking delineation and freshness on the nose, understated at first and then blossoming with mineral-infused black fruit, hints of blueberry, crushed stone and violet. The palate is perfectly balanced with filigree tannin, perfect acidity, a wine where everything seems to be in its right place. Blackberry, crushed stone at the front of the mouth, just a touch of spice towards the finish that shows supreme control. This is a Margaux that seems to light up the senses. It was outstanding in its youth...something that has not changed one bit over the intervening two decades. This may well turn out to be the Left Bank pinnacle of the 1990s. Tasted July 2016.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 100 RP-NMSoftly spoken, fine tannins, pencil lead and leather, with truffle, earth, campfire and spice. Long drawn out finish, achingly slow, crushed stone, tobacco and dried roses. As with the 2001, the generosity and beauty of the aromatics tells you that this is absolutely ready to drink - although in many ways it feels like it will last longer than the 2001, as the tannins are still holding everything in place. This got the audience award on the night, and no question it is a stunning wine that is still giving so much pleasure at 25 years old. The 1996 has really grown into itself - it was a late harvest at the time after a burst of rain at the end of September that they decided to wait through before picking, and were rewarded with beautifully ripe Cabernet that was high in dense tannins and a little surly at first, but that has turned into one of the greatest vintages of the 1990s (rivaled only by the 1990 itself in my opinion). 2% Cabernet Franc completes the blend, 100% new oak. (Drink between 2021-2040)Decanter | 100 DECWhile the 1996 Château Margaux has been closed and difficult to read for the past decade, it showed beautifully on this occasion, with its hallmark elegance and purity paired with a dense, powerful profile. Still youthfully ruby-hued with notes of pure crème de cassis, unsmoked tobacco, incense, and chocolate, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, building yet seamless tannins, and an awesome finish. This is pure class as well as a quintessential Margaux! To be on the safe side, give bottles another 4-5 years and it’s going to keep for 50-75 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDBright full ruby. Pure, perfumed aromas of cassis and violet. Dense and tactile in the mouth; a huge, chewy wine with major extract but also considerable refinement. Almost painfully backward today, and a bit less perfumed than it was in the year or so after the bottling, but the huge tannins show no hardness. Another great expression of cabernet sauvignon from the ’96 vintage. Drink 2015 through 2040.Vinous Media | 96+ VMFully formed now, with a rush of steeped currant and black tea notes that are melded with a backdrop of anise, sandalwood, bergamot and charcoal. The long, suave finish lets the perfume linger, with a weighty feel. This seems to mark the start of the refinement of tannins; despite the power, this is all grace and elegance.--Non-blind Château Margaux vertical (December 2013). Drink now through 2031.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

100
RP
As low as $1,049.00
1996 lafite rothschild  Bordeaux Red

An elegant but muscular Lafite, really summing up the trajectory that this wine takes over decades in a good vintage. It started out in its early years with huge concentration, more in fact than in many vintages, but it is now showcasing the subtlety and infinite range of flavours and aromatics that makes Lafite such a singular wine. Expect layers of earth, cigar box, liquorice, cold ash, blackberry, cassis, pencil lead, mint leaf and crushed rock minerality. The first Lafite to be put in an anti-fraud engraved bottle. 38% of overall production in the first wine, quite low at the time although typical today. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Drinking Window 2024 - 2040.Decanter | 100 DECTasted three times since bottling, the 1996 Lafite-Rothschild is unquestionably this renowned estate’s greatest wine. As I indicated last year, only 38% of the crop was deemed grand enough to be put into the final blend, which is atypically high in Cabernet Sauvignon (83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot). This massive wine may be the biggest, largest-scaled Lafite I have ever tasted. It will require many years to come around, so I suspect all of us past the age of fifty might want to give serious consideration as to whether we should be laying away multiple cases of this wine. It is also the first Lafite-Rothschild to be put into a new engraved bottle (designed to prevent fraudulent imitations). The wine exhibits a thick-looking, ruby/purple color, and a knock-out nose of lead pencil, minerals, flowers, and black currant scents. Extremely powerful and full-bodied, with remarkable complexity for such a young wine, this huge Lafite is oozing with extract and richness, yet has managed to preserve its quintessentially elegant personality. This wine is even richer than it was prior to bottling. It should unquestionably last for 40-50 years. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2050.Robert Parker | 100 RPThe 1996 Lafite-Rothschild is consistent with the bottle shown at the Hong Kong vertical. It has an intense bouquet with blackberry, cedar and a pencil box of graphite. The adjective I use whilst writing this note is that the aromas are "cool". Perhaps given its provenance, this is one of the most backward bottles of 1996 that I have tasted. There are those fine but rigid tannins that lend this Lafite such beguiling symmetry, copious cedar and graphite with vein of brine and oyster shell. I love the precision of this wine and the sappiness on the finish. At the moment, maybe more impressive than enjoyable, so if you can, cellar it for another 5 to 8 years. Tasted at the Lafite-Rothschild 150th anniversary dinner at the estate.Vinous Media | 97+ VMThe beauty and balance of this are phenomenal. Seamless tannins and fruit. Full body yet so balanced and refined. Sweet tobacco and berries. Minerals and cedar. A beautiful wine. The depth is superb. Drink now.James Suckling | 97 JSGorgeous aromas of currant, berries and licorice. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins and a long, caressing finish. Still holding back. People talk about this as one of the greatest Lafites ever, but I don’t think so.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2008.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

100
RP
As low as $1,199.00
1998 cheval blanc Bordeaux Red

The 1998 Cheval Blanc, a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc, is deep garnet-brick in color and absolutely explodes with scents of exotic spices, incense, dried roses, cigar box and licorice, with a core of crème de cassis and dried cherries plus touches of black tea and dusty earth. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with rich, plushly textured fruit and then POW—it hits the mid-palate with an explosion of Chinese five spice and floral perfume sparks, leading to an epically long finish. This cannot fail to impress and can easily cellar for another 30 years or more.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPAnother perfect wine is the 1998 Chateau Cheval Blanc, which is the usual blend of 55/45 Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Possessing an utterly captivating bouquet of sweet red and black fruits, forest floor, spice and dried flowers, it packs plenty of muscle and depth on the palate, yet is also expansive, elegant and seamless, with no hard edges. Just singing, with everything you could want; complexity, richness, elegance, depth, and length, drink this sensational beauty any time over the coming two decades. I’m sure it will keep longer, but why in the world would you wait.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDThe reference chateau of the vintage, this wine is showing its class here and then some. It was the first year with Bernard Arnault and Albert Frère as owners, with Pierre Lurton coming onboard from his former role at Clos Fourtet. 10% press wine was used, whereas today they use no press wine in the grand vin. It was aged in 100% new oak. The 36ha of vines yielded 32hl/ha, closer to their average than the relatively abundant 1989). The holdings have since expanded to 39ha with the addition of 3ha from Tour du Pin Figeac. 67% of production went in to the grand vin, the rest into Petit Cheval. This is seductive and rich but with a purity and precision. There’s more Merlot in the blend than is typical because the clay soils produced the best quality grapes, and you can see its impact in the textural density - the proximity to Pomerol comes through. Drinking Window 2019 - 2036Decanter | 100 DECAromas of blueberry, sweet tobacco, leather and pipe tobacco turning to raisins and Christmas cake. What a wine. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a very well-integrated palate. Dark color. A big and powerful wine still. Blockbuster. Massive. Just a baby.—’88/’98 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2008). Best after 2013. 8,330 cases made, 1,600 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 98 WSAromas of rose petal and hints of fresh herbs such currant leaf. Tobacco, too. Medium body, very fine tannins and a balanced fruit. Extremely refined and polished. A beautiful harmony. So lovely now.James Suckling | 96 JSThe 1998 Cheval Blanc has been a lauded wine ever since release. I have often, quite controversially felt that it never quite matched its startling performances in its first ten years, though it remains and excellent wine. Now at 20-years old it offers opulent, high-toned scents of maraschino cherry, iodine, crème de cassis, dried blood and a subtle, almost Provençal herb-like scent courtesy of the Cabernet Franc. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grip, showy compared to other vintages of Cheval Blanc with sappy red fruit and a fine structured that lends this 1998 focus. Perhaps this bottle did not quite deliver the intensity on the finish that I was expecting, "jogging" instead of "sprinting" over the finish line. That said, it is a very impressive wine, even if personally I would not put it amongst the very best wines that Pierre Lurton has overseen. Tasted at Cheval Blanc.Vinous Media | 95+ VMNo written review provided. | 95 W&S

100
RP
As low as $1,499.00
1998 beaucastel cdp hommage a jacques perrin Chateauneuf du Pape

I've been lucky enough to have the 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape Hommage A Jacques Perrin numerous times recently and it has never failed to deliver everything I could want from a wine. Getting the best parcel of Grenache from the estate and a dramatically shifted blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and the rest Syrah and Counoise, it's a massive and concentrated Chateauneuf that surprisingly still seems to show its Mourvedre component front and center. Blackberries, kirsch, truffle, gamy meats, licorice and earth all give way to a full-bodied, seamless, impeccably balanced wine that carries its huge core of fruit with remarkable freshness and grace. While it will no doubt continue to evolve gracefully, it's brilliant today.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPThe 1998 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin is fruit forward with rich, sweet blackberry and cassis notes paired with melted licorice, spice, roast meat and subtle truffle and earth aromas. The palate is full bodied, perfectly balanced and with some real density and depth. Almost chewable, this is silky smooth and doesn't show a hard edge anywhere. The blockbuster finish picks up ripe and sweet tannins.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDA wine made with a high quantity of Mourvèdre (60%), and produced only in the best years, in memory of François and Jean-Pierre's father. Superripe, with huge fruit, its' jammy, gamy and rich. Dusty tannins and excellent black-fruit flavors. The final effect is a wine that epitomizes the potential elegance and the power of Chateauneuf-du-Pape in one glass. A great wine with a distinguished future—at least 20 years.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WEBright saturated ruby. Confectionery aromas of cherry liqueur and roasted meat. A wine of extraordinary density; incredibly thick but, in comparison to the basic '98 Beaucastel bottling, this has more shoulders. More black fruits than red. Finishes with great, lush tannins and explosive berry and cocoa powder flavors. Among the longest wines of my tour of the Rhone Valley. This is "only" 14.2% alcohol.Vinous Media | 97 VMStill a bit of a brute, as the Mourvèdre thoroughly dominates, with tar, pan-roasted liver, graphite and loam notes that hold sway over more typical Châteauneuf notes of currant, licorice, garrigue and mineral. This is very dense on the finish and still somewhat backward, so patience is required for this giant.--1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape retrospective. Best from 2010 through 2032. 415 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WSThe only vintage of Hommage with more Grenache than Mourvèdre, as it was such a brilliant year for Grenache. This is explains its colour: much more pale than a classic Hommage at this stage of maturity. Very much ready now, the aromas come out like a cloud rather than a whisp. Has plenty of meat stock, horse chestnut shells, chestnut and plum scents, with a gentle spicing in the background. Very full-bodied, very generous and rounded. The alcohol is a little more evident than a classic Hommage, the fabric a little looser - it doesn't have the Mourvèdre tannic muscle. The finish is less long than a classic vintage, but more succulent. An atypical vintage for this cuvée, so perhaps should be described as a 'great Châteauneuf' rather than a 'great Hommage'. Either way, it's an exquisite wine. Drinking Window 2020 - 2030.Decanter | 96 DEC

100
RP
As low as $749.00
1999 M. Chapoutier Ermitage L'Ermite Blanc

This is one of the greatest dry white wines I have ever tasted. The 1999 Ermitage l’Ermite is a liquid mineral, crystalline expression. It is the essence of its grape as well as terroir. It may be the greatest expression of terroir I have seen outside of a handful of Alsatian Rieslings (Clos Ste. Hune comes to mind). It has that transparent character that terroiristes talk more about than actually recognize. Drinking it is like consuming a liquified stony concoction mixed with white flowers, licorice, and honeyed fruits. It is frightfully pure, dense, and well-delineated. As I said last year, "There is no real fruit character, just glycerin, alcohol, and liquid stones." That’s about it, but, wow, what an expression! Anticipated maturity: 2012-2050. This is for the connoisseur of rare wines. Along with Gerard and Jean-Louis Chave, Chapoutier is producing the finest expressions of white Hermitage. His single vineyard cuvees are to die for if you like these eccentric, idiosyncratic, mammoth dry whites.Robert Parker | 100 RPNo written review provided. | 93 W&SBeautiful. Thick, yet so reserved aromatically, with plenty of honey, mineral, macadamia nut, pear tart and passion fruit. What makes it a winner is the opulent, smooth texture. Drink now through 2010. 380 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS(from 70-to-80-year-old vines planted on granite soil; done entirely in new barriques) Spiced apple, minerals and toffee on the nose. Bright, firm, minerally and quite stylish. Very fine in the mouth and on the suave finish, which features oak notes of cinnamon and nutmeg.Vinous Media | 90+ VMYou call it Hermitage, they call it Ermitage; regardless, this is one smooth, waxy wine with mature peach aromas and papaya flavors that spread across your palate like sea foam on the beach. The toasty finish is soft and subdued, with hints of licorice and pepper. Quite complex and idiosyncratic; it’s the polar opposite of “mainstream.” Wine Enthusiast | 90 WE

100
RP
As low as $1,399.00

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