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Bordeaux Wines

Bordeaux Wines

Bordeaux Wines

Bordeaux Wines

Even among the greatest and most reputable wine regions on the planet, Bordeaux stands above the rest, as a god would on a seemingly unreachable mountaintop. The winemakers of this region have a single-minded dedication to the fine art of viticulture and their efforts never fail to show. If you like to consider yourself a fine wine enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to visit Bordeaux because it will change your life. Whether you wish to drink some inspirational and gripping wine as soon as possible, or you want to add some masterpieces to your collection to impress your friends and loved ones, no region on Earth is a more obvious choice.

The noble and beautiful Garonne and Dordogne rivers surge through southwestern France, enriching the soil in a way very few other places can boast. The limestone-based earth is rich in calcium, and the almost oceanic climate conditions give the staple Bordeaux grape varietals vigor and flavor like nowhere else. For their illustrious reds, Bordeaux winemakers rely on a proven combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Meanwhile, a sip of their excellent white wine hints at the use of Semillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc. Each of these varietals carries a unique identity, making every quality wine a character piece to rival Citizen Kane.

It can be incredibly hard to choose only a few wines to collect for your cellar, because there are so many options that you don’t want to miss. At Sokolin, we’re here to help you select wines that stand out in any collection, and can turn any gathering into a lifelong positive memory for your friends and loved ones. Let’s enjoy Bordeaux’s finest together.

Popular Bordeaux wines

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1982 ducru beaucaillou Bordeaux Red

The finest bottle I’ve had of this wine (which came from the estate), the 1982 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou continues to drink brilliantly and is a magical Saint-Julien. Still healthy ruby hued with a mature yet insanely complex bouquet of sweet red and black fruits, cedary herbs, graphite, tobacco, and forest floor, it’s powerful yet seamless on the palate, with resolved tannins, no hard edges, and a fabulous finish. This is mature Bordeaux in all its glory. Drink bottles any time over the coming two decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JD"The harvest lasted 16 days from the 16th September," proprietor Bruno Borie mentioned about the 1982 Ducru-Beaucaillou. Medium brick colored, it comes galloping out of the glass with bold, expressive notes of Black Forest cake, preserved plums and mincemeat pie with hints of cigar box, star anise, eucalyptus and espresso plus wafts of roasted nuts and iron ore. Medium to full-bodied, generous and opulent, the palate has beautifully ripe, fine-grained tannins and tons of youthful fruit, finishing with epically long-lasting layers of preserved black fruits and exotic spices.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RP(Château Ducru-Beaucaillou) The 1982 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou remains one of the very finest wines of the vintage on the Left Bank and it is just now starting to blossom properly and hit on all cylinders. The bouquet is pure and displays First Growth depth and complexity, soaring from the glass in a fine constellation of sweet cassis and dark berries, a very complex base of gravelly soil tones, Cuban cigar wrapper, gentle smokiness and a deftly turned base of smoky new oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and sappy at the core, with stellar focus and balance, still a touch of ripe tannin perking up the backend and a very, very long, refined and complex finish. This is a great, great vintage of Ducru that may one day rival the near perfection of the 1961. (Drink between 2018-2075).John Gilman | 97 JGThis is a wine that I had forgotten about. It shows beautiful sweet tobacco, flowers, and currants on the nose. It’s full body, silky with fine tannins. It’s ready and pretty. Served from imperial bottle.James Suckling | 93 JSThis Ducru ’82 has always been a beauty. Dark ruby in color, with a slight amber edge. Very fresh and floral, with loads of berry and rose character. Medium-bodied, with a good balance of soft tannins and a caressing finish.--1982 Bordeaux horizontal. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

97
JD
As low as $549.00
1982 gruaud larose Bordeaux Red

A massive wine that is clearly of first-growth quality in this vintage, the 1982 Gruaud Larose remains a youngster. A broodingly dense, thick, unctuously textured, inky/plum/garnet/purple color offers up scents of beef blood, steak tartare, cassis, herbs, tobacco, and underbrush. One of the most concentrated wines of the vintage (as well as one of the most concentrated Bordeaux’s I have ever tasted), it is a huge, full-bodied, weighty, rich wine whose tannins are getting silkier and silkier. It appears set for another 30-40 years of life. This behemoth is a singularly profound example of Gruaud Larose that continues to justify its legendary status. Anticipated maturity: now-2050.Robert Parker | 98 RPThe 1982 Gruaud Larose has long been one of my favourite Saint Julien wines from that vintage. From magnum, the exquisite bouquet of black fruit, leather and hints of game and antique bureau is fully mature yet vigorous and so joyful. The palate is medium-bodied, with fine tannins that have melted in recent years. Here, there is more red than black fruit, suffused with tobacco, sage and cedar notes, impressive in terms of grip and fanning out gloriously towards the finish. Bottles with sound provenance are à point and will continue to give pleasure for another 20, perhaps 30 years. Tasted at the Lafaurie-Peyraguey vertical in Bordeaux.Vinous Media | 95 VMOne of the best wines ever made at this estate. Dense ruby color with a slight amber edge. Intense grape, berry and raspberry aromas. Full-bodied, with loads of velvety tannins and a long, ripe fruit and mineral aftertaste.--1982 Bordeaux horizontal. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 94 WS(Château Gruaud-Larose) The 1982 Gruaud-Larose is just starting blossom at age thirty and is a lovely example of the vintage. The deep and complex bouquet offers up a black fruity mélange of cassis, a bit of spiced meat, cigar ash, dark soil tones, a touch of petroleum jelly, nutskins and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and just coming out of its adolescent phase, with a rock solid core of fruit, ripe tannins and lovely length and grip on the modestly tannic and impressively tangy finish. For purists, there is a touch of brettanomyces here that they may find off-putting, but it is quite modest and I have no problem with this level of brett in a wine. (Drink between 2015-2065).John Gilman | 93 JG

98
RP
As low as $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 $795.00
1983 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

Again so young, almost not ready to drink but if you are patient things open up and start to sing. The tannic structure on this wine is just so impressive, still doing a good job of cradling blackberry and cassis fruits. It's a little less welcoming than the 1982. Harvest September 28 to October 18 (they began here one day before they finished up the 1982, and the yields were even bigger). More Cabernet in the blend than in 1982 because this was such a late ripening year that suited this variety. Petit Verdot 5% finishes blend. Drinking Window 2018 - 2045.Decanter | 94 DEC(Château Leoville Las Cases) The 1983 Las Cases is still a very young and primary example of the vintage, and at age thirty, I am not sure if the wine is still in an extended “dumb” phase, or if this vintage is always going to be a bit dense in style. The bouquet is a youthful blend of cassis, black cherries, Cuban cigars, gravelly soil tones and spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still quite compact, with a sound core, rather moderate tannins (particularly for such an unevolved wine!) and good, but not great length and grip on the hunkered down finish. Perhaps this wine will blossom with more bottle age, but it is also very possible that the use of concentrators or what have you has left this wine eternally bound up in its cellar techniques and will never really develop the purity and charm that characterize so many of the great wines in this vintage. It is still not a bad wine in its forceful manner, but one expects more from Las Cases in a top vintage. (Drink between 2018-2050)John Gilman | 90+ JG

92-
94RP-NM
As low as $325.00
1985 ducru beaucaillou Bordeaux Red

A wine of extraordinary charm and elegance, the dark garnet-colored 1985 Ducru-Beaucaillou has a floral, cedary nose intermixed with red and black currants as well as flowers. The wine is fully mature and soft, with beautiful concentration and purity. It is not a blockbuster, and certainly not nearly as powerful and massive as the 1986, but it is certainly much more seductive. This wine should continue to drink well for at least another 10-15 years. Anticipated maturity: Now-2012. Last tasted, 5/02.Robert Parker | 92 RP

92
RP
As low as $299.00
1985 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

The 1985 Léoville–Las Cases is not just one of the finest vintages from this Second Growth, but one of the high points for the entirety of Bordeaux in this decade. Here it eclipses the 1985 Lafite-Rothschild with ease. It has an exquisitely defined bouquet of red berry fruit infused with crushed stone and pressed rose petals, just like before. Ethereal. The palate is medium-bodied, a perfect marriage of structure and a degree of elegance that maybe the property has not matched before or since. It’s so, so harmonious on the finish. An absolute beauty. Tasted at Hameau de Barbaron in Burgundy.Vinous Media | 98 VMA fabulous wine; one of the first great Las Cases. Full-bodied and rich, with the tannins extremely well integrated into an impressive background of fruit. Give it time.--Cabernet Challenge. Best after 2004.Wine Spectator | 98 WSMy favorite vintage from this château to drink today is the 1985 Léoville Las Cases. Wafting from the glass with an expressive bouquet of red berries, blackcurrants, pencil shavings, paraffin wax and loamy soil, it’s deep, full-bodied and textural, with unusual concentration for the vintage, supple tannins, succulent acids and a long, expansive finish. More giving than the brooding 1986, and more complex than the 1982, the 1985 is in its prime today.Robert Parker | 96 RP65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Attractive touch of florality on both nose and palate, with notes of wild strawberry and blond tobacco curling softly out of the glass. Then, underneath, in comes the power, the thrust of a wine that is confident in its tannic structure, and its ability to age. Drinking Window 2017 - 2030.Decanter | 95 DEC

95
RPHG
As low as $325.00
1986 Ducru Beaucaillou

(Château Ducru-Beaucaillou (St. Julien) Re-Furbished at the Château in 2011) Ducru-Beaucaillou has recently re-released several vintages from the era when there was some sort of TCA contamination (in my opinion) in the cellars here, such as there was in Cuné’s property of Contino. The refurbished bottles can be distinguished by a back label that gives all of the details. The first releases of 1986 Ducru had been plagued by some sort of TCA taint, but the underlying wine was always very strong, and the re-furbished bottles from the estate are stellar. The wine offers up a pure, precise and very deep nose of sweet cassis, cigar ash, a very complex base of gravelly soil tones, a nice touch of cedar and a topnote of cigar wrapper. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and tangy, with outstanding focus and bounce, a lovely core of fruit, ripe, well-measured tannins and a long, complex and very soil-driven finish. This is a classic vintage of Ducru-Beaucaillou in the making, and the re-released bottles are stellar. The wine is just starting to drink, but like so many of the top 1986 wines from the Médoc, it still has room to grow and would continue to benefit from further cellaring. (Drink between 2023-2075).John Gilman | 96 JGA monster in its infancy. Almost black in color, with intense cassis, herb and mint aromas and superrich, dense cassis and licorice flavors. May last forever.Wine Spectator | 95 WSMedium brick in color with a touch of brown, the 1986 Ducru-Beaucaillou reveals growing notes of dried mulberries, kirsch and raisin cake with nuances of celery salt, dried bay leaves, truffles and charcuterie plus hints of old leather sofa and fallen leaves. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has quite a powerful structure with firm, chewy tannins and bold freshness supporting the muscular, dried berries flavors, finishing long with a dried mint kick.Readers should note that this vintage fell within a notoriously patchy period at Ducru, where the cellar is likely to have fallen victim to TCA or a TCA-like taint, and it appears some bottles were impacted from 1986 to 1994. By 1995, the chateau had a completely new vat room/cellar and the problem ceased. Therefore, there could be some bottle variation to be had with this vintage. This bottle, however, was pristine, tasted at the chateau.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RP

96
JG
As low as $319.00
1986 gruaud larose Bordeaux Red

Both vintages of Gruaud-Larose absolutely stand out in this lineup, and I recommend them both for thoroughly enjoyable drinking today. This was pretty monolithic when young and evolved very slowly. It’s still showing tons of black fruits with tobacco, coffee and truffle. Chewy tannins are still evident, with everything clearly signposting a great vintage from legendary winemaker Georges Pauli. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Drink between 2019-2035Decanter | 97 DECStill tasting as if it were only 7-8 years of age, the dense, garnet/purple-colored 1986 Gruaud-Larose is evolving at a glacier pace. The wine still has mammoth structure, tremendous reserves of fruit and concentration, and a finish that lasts close to a minute. The wine is massive, very impressively constituted, with still some mouth-searing tannin to shed. Decanting of one to two hours in advance seems to soften it a bit, but this is a wine that seems to be almost immortal in terms of its longevity. It is a great Medoc classic, and certainly one of the most magnificent Gruaud-Larose ever made. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2035. Last tasted, 10/02.Robert Parker | 96 RPVery youthful deep ruby-red color. Brooding nose offers perfumed blackcurrant, mineral, violet and quinine aromas. Big, dense and rich, conveying an impression of strong extract to the powerful, well-delineated blackberry and herb flavors. The long, tactile finish features chewy but polished tannins and a lingering floral note. Though ready to drink now, this wine will continue to age gracefully. One of the best Gruaud-Larose wines of the past 40 years.Vinous Media | 95 VM

97
DEC
As low as $319.00
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 $649.00
1986 leoville poyferre Bordeaux Red

(Château Léoville Poyferré, St-Julien, Red) Didier Cuvelier had taken over in 1979 and was undertaking a huge replanting programme, so the 1980s at this estate were a time of serious change that slowly but surely came through in the wines. At this point in time the consultant was still Emile Peynaud - Michel Rolland didn’t arrive until 1994. It has sweet plum fruits with some hedgerow and bramble notes through the mid-palate, leading to a eucalyptus finish. Fermented and aged in 50% new oak, with malo in barrel - Poyferré was pretty much the first château in the Médoc to do this. (Drink between 2019-2036)Decanter | 94 DEC

As low as $235.00
1986 talbot Bordeaux Red

A fabulous wine, and one of the two greatest Talbots of the last 50 years, this wine still has a very murky garnet/plum/purple color and a spectacular nose of sweet creme de cassis intermixed with freshly ground pepper, melted road tar, herbes de Provence, and beef blood. It is followed by an enormously concentrated wine of full body, layers of concentration and sweet tannin. The wine seems to be just hitting its plateau of maturity, where it should last for at least 10-15 more years. A prodigious Talbot. Anticipated maturity: Now-2020. Last tasted, 6/02.Robert Parker | 96 RPThe 1986 Talbot has a strong reputation although my solitary encounter back in 2001 seems contrary. Fortunately this bottle upholds this as being one of the finest Talbots in recent years, one in which the château recorded a record in terms of quantity. It has a beautiful, quite beguiling, classically styled bouquet with wild strawberry, cranberry, sandalwood and black truffle, perhaps the best aromatics of this vertical. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannin. Lovely soy-tinged red and black fruit infused with chestnut and sea salt, quite linear and not reach, yet it is less austere than many of its peers with a sense of brightness on the finish. Its freshness indicates that it will easily offer another two decades of pleasure if provenance is sound. Excellent. Tasted at the centenary Château Talbot vertical at the property.Vinous Media | 94 VMThe weather in 1986 suited Cabernet extremely well, with some early September rains after a good July and August, then fine weather right through the rest of the month and into October, giving exceptional harvesting conditions. You can see it in the colour, and smell it on the nose that remains subdued but confident. It's a lovely wine, a little austere compared to some of the older wines but full of firm, dark blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, tight tannins, and with dancing acidity across the palate that suggests it's going nowhere anytime soon. The fruits are not primary but are at least in the early bloom of Cabernet Sauvignon, and it has a mouthwatering finish. A fine and well-structured St-Julien, with plenty of appellation typicity. 3% Cabernet Franc makes up the blend. Drinking Window 2018 - 2040.Decanter | 92 DECBig, rich, muscular style with St.-Julien grace; a spicy, oaky and red currant wine with concentrated, powerful flavors flanked by firm tannins that will benefit from cellaring.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

96
RP
As low as $280.00
1989 ducru beaucaillou Bordeaux Red

Harvest took place this year from 11th to 24th September. The wine was aged for around 12 months in two-thirds new oak. Pale to medium brick colored, the 1989 Ducru-Beaucaillou sashays out of the glass with pretty notes of dried flowers, fallen leaves and dusty soil over a core of warm figs, dried cherries, prunes and spice cake plus wafts of unsmoked cigars and powdered cinnamon. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is still seductively rich with a lively line of soft, silt-like tannins, finishing long and wonderfully savory.Readers should note that this vintage fell within a notoriously patchy period at Ducru, where the cellar is likely to have fallen victim to TCA or a TCA-like taint, and it appears some bottles were impacted from 1986 to 1994. By 1995, the chateau had a completely new vat room/cellar and the problem ceased. Therefore, there could be some bottle variation to be had with this vintage. This bottle, however, was pristine, tasted at the chateau.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RPDelivers lots of tanned leather and spices, with very ripe fruit, from dried strawberry to raisin, turning to jam. Full-bodied, offering a very fresh palate of exotic fruit, currant and raisin as well as silky and polished tannins. So long and beautiful. Why wait? But it has a long life ahead. There is a lot of bottle variation in this wine due to TCA issues, but this is a beauty.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 92 WSThe 1989 Ducru-Beaucaillou is showing some bricking on the rim, although the core remains quite dark. This has an attractive bouquet with lovely tobacco-infused black fruit and touches of black truffle and morels. There is something very gentle here but also intense. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin and a fine bead of acidity, a little meaty and bloody in style with maybe just a hint of brettanomyces toward the finish. But it seems to complement and enhance the wine. Tasted from an ex-cellar bottle at the château.Vinous Media | 90 VM

92
WS
As low as $235.00
1989 leoville barton Bordeaux Red

A lovely, classic example of a fully mature St-Julien, replete with ripe berry fruits and tannins that whisper rather than shout. You’re pulling up a chair right by the fireside here, where the embers are still warm. Coffee, cedar and sandalwood take the lead over brambly black fruits. This is lovely, but unquestionably fully evolved and open. Drinking Window 2018 - 2028Decanter | 92 DECA delicious, well-structured Bordeaux, with plenty of ripe fruit, beautiful berry, green tobacco and cherry character. Full-bodied, adding velvety tannins and a long, caressing finish.--1989 Bordeaux horizontal. Best after 2002.Wine Spectator | 92 WSThe bottle of 1989 Léoville-Barton is probably the best I have encountered over the years; indeed, it is better than a bottle opened by Lilian Barton-Sartorius when I visited the property a few weeks earlier. It has a comely old-school claret bouquet of red fruit infused with cedar and loamy scents, and maybe some dustiness, but I have come to expect that in older vintages of this Saint-Julien. The palate is medium-bodied, pure and elegant, with svelte tannin and moderate acidity and a surprisingly sweet, almost precocious finish thanks to that year’s hot summer. It has softened in recent years and yet there is still good backbone and grip to this wine. Just enjoy. Tasted at the 1989 Bordeaux dinner at Hatched in London.Vinous Media | 91 VM It has been a little while since I tasted the Château Léoville-Barton 1989. Now at 25 years of age, it has an open bouquet with vestiges of brambly red fruit, scorched earth and chestnut, touches of fireside hearth developing with time. There is something almost comforting about Anthony Barton’s wine, its familiarity putting you at ease. The palate is medium-bodied with tannins that have softened in recent years and it gently builds to a saline, rather austere finish. Gentle, but classy Saint Julien, you can enjoy this for another 15 years without worry. Tasted June 2014. Drink Date 2014 - 2030Robert Parker | 90 RP

92
WS
As low as $255.00
1989 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

1989 was an early year, with flowering three weeks ahead of usual. Now at 30 years old, a floral aspect curls out of the glass, with touches of roses and peonies, followed on the palate by bilberries and blackberries, with a cigar smoke and eucalyptus finish. It’s still vigorous in its tannic structure, but it’s soft and supple enough to enjoy today. This bottle was recorked by hand at the winery last year, with five people checking every single one of the 5,000 bottles remaining at the chateau. The wines were topped up from magnums of the 1989. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend - a variety not used in the grand vin since 1996. Drinking Window 2019 - 2040Decanter | 98 DECVery ripe, with raisin and dried fruits on the nose. You can smell the sun-dried grapes. Full-bodied, delivering firm tannins and a very fresh palate. Long and flavorful, offering currant, berries and all sorts of dark fruits, but turns lightly earthy and floral. This is a thoroughly complex wine. Just starting to really open into the mature 20-year-old wine it is, but such a great life ahead of it. Muscular.--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 96 WSOne of the most youthful wines of the vintage, the 1989 Léoville Las Cases unwinds in the decanter and glass with aromas of blackcurrant and pencil shavings, framed by a discrete patina from its aging in oak. Medium to full-bodied, deep and tightly wound, it’s impressively pure and vibrant, though it lacks the mid-palate plenitude of the vintage’s best wines, displaying a touch of tannic asperity on the finish. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it continue to improve with further aging, though my sense is that the Cabernet Sauvignon might have been picked a little prematurely in this vintage.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91 RP

98
DEC
As low as $350.00
1990 beychevelle Bordeaux Red

Dark ruby color. Lots of earth, berry and leather aromas. Full-bodied, with chocolate, berry and earth flavors. Velvety tannins. Delicious, funky Beychevelle.--1990 Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now. 25,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

90
WS
As low as $280.00
1990 gruaud larose Bordeaux Red

This wine continues to get better and better and is certainly one of the great successes in what is a profound vintage for Bordeaux. While the wine still tastes young, it is already complex, with so much sweet tannin and lavish fruit that it is impossible to resist, even though it probably will not hit its plateau of maturity for another 5-6 years. A stunning nose of licorice, earth, cedar, Provencal herbs, black currants, asphalt, and cherries soars from the glass. Full-bodied, opulent, with fabulous concentration, a seamless texture, and remarkable stuffing and power, this low-acid, thick, almost viscous wine can be drunk now or cellared for at least another two decades. For trivia buffs, this was the wine President Chirac served former President Clinton when he hosted Clinton in Paris at the famous Parisian bistro L’Ami Louis in June, 1999. I know, because several days later President Chirac gave me the Legion of Honor. In his speech, he acknowledged the fact that President Clinton only wanted to “drink a wine rated highly by Robert Parker.” Anticipated maturity: Now-2020. Last tasted, 9/02.Robert Parker | 96 RPAn estate known for its long ageing, and here it has softened at 31 years old, but still offering silky tannins and autumnal fruits with cedar smoked oak, marzipan, dried leather and gentle truffled spice. A thoroughly enjoyable Gruaud Larose showcasing old-school St-Julien balance. Clear crushed mint leaf on the finish, utterly moreish. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend; 33% new oak. (Drink between 2021-2035)Decanter | 94 DECBright medium red with a reddish-amber rim. Pungent notes of cinnamon, quinine and rosemary complicate red cherry on the enticing, aromatic nose. Juicy and fresh on the palate, showing good density to the red fruit, peppery plum and herb flavors. Offers very good texture and chewy but noble tannins, with precise mineral-tinged fruit flavors lingering nicely on the peppery, flinty finish. A real step up in concentration from the 1989, and unlike that vintage this will still improve with further bottle age, though it’s drinking well now. Very well done.Vinous Media | 92 VM

94
DEC
As low as $295.00
1990 lagrange Bordeaux Red

Shows beautiful age and character now after all this time in the bottle. Notes of earth, spice and ripe berries. Full and juicy, with round tannins.James Suckling | 95 JSBlockbuster. Dark ruby color. Intense aromas of blackberries, currants, cherries and minerals.Full-bodied, very tannic yet velvety in texture.Black licorice and berry character lasts forminutes. Long, chewy finish. A monster.--1990Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2010. 20,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WSOne of this estate’s superstars (only rivaled by the 1986 and 1996), the 1990 Lagrange exhibits sweet toasty oak notes intermixed with jammy blackberries, cassis, licorice, smoke, and underbrush. Full-bodied with lovely melted tannins, an opulent, fleshy mouthfeel, and loads of purity as well as depth, it has reached full maturity, but is capable of lasting another 10-15 years. Release price: ($210.00/case)Robert Parker | 94 RP The 1990 Lagrange is a terrific wine, and clearly one of the top vintages to be produced at the estate since Suntory purchased it in 1983. The bouquet today is deep and beautiful, as it offers up a mélange of very pure black cherry fruit, cigar ash, woodsmoke, a fine base of soil, espresso and a deft framing of new oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and very pure, with great refinement to its balance and focus, very classic structure, fine-grained, ripe tannins and excellent length and grip on the complex and elegant finish. A superb wine that only needs a few more years to really reach its apogee, but which should offer up a very long plateau of maturity. Fine juice. (Drink between 2010-2060)John Gilman | 93+ JGThe 1990 Lagrange was picked from 22 September until 10 October. I have always been lukewarm to the 1990 when others have been more adulatory, though this is the best bottle that I have encountered. The bouquet is well defined with pressed flowers, orange pith, brambly red fruit and warm gravel, warm and inviting aromatics. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins and shows more harmony and cohesion than the 1989. There is more finesse, commendable in a hot season, with Indian spices lining the harmonious finish. A touch of dryness suggests that it may well be commencing a downward slope, but it will be a gentle one! Tasted at the Lagrange vertical at the estate.Vinous Media | 92 VM

95
WS
As low as $209.00
1990 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

As one might expect, this is a brilliant wine, but it remains shockingly young, even for the fast evolving 1990s. Its deep ruby/purple color is accompanied by a classic, nearly restrained set of aromatics that includes notions of sweet black cherries, black currants, lead pencil, and wet stones. In the mouth, it is full-bodied, and while technically low in acidity, there is a freshness, delineation, and classicism in this full-throttle, rich, concentrated, impeccable 1990. While still youthful, it is easy to appreciate despite its substantial tannins. It is not quite as backward as the 1990 Lafite Rothschild or 1990 Latour. Anticipated maturity: now-2035.Robert Parker | 96 RPSaturated ruby-red to the rim. Bound-up but intense nose of licorice, blackcurrant, and chocolate, with lovely oak treatment. Brooding and unevolved on the palate, but the great extract and depth of flavor are easy to appreciate. Brilliantly delineated, thanks to sound acidity. Proprietor Delon declassified more than 60% of his crop to make this sensational wine. Endless, firm after taste.Vinous Media | 94+ VMBeautifully crafted red. Gorgeous plum, berry and smoky oak character. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, long, ripe fruit finish. A joy to taste.--1990 Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now. Wine Spectator | 93 WSSuperb colour, great depth of concentration shows the Pauillac character of Las Cases, severe and uncompromising now, but a great future.Decanter | 90 DEC

96
RP
As low as $560.00
1990 leoville poyferre Bordeaux Red

Absolutely spectacular, the1990 Leoville Poyferre is much more evolved than either of its two Leoville neighbors. Its opaque plum/garnet color is accompanied by a gorgeous bouquet of smoke, charcoal, creme de cassis, and flowers. Fleshy and opulent, it comes across like a St.-Julien with a Pomerol texture and allure. This beauty has reached full maturity where it should remain for another two decades.Robert Parker | 97 RPThe nose lifts right out of the glass and reminds the world how Bordeaux can age. You’ll find chocolate, hazelnut, plum, soft liquorice root; a wonderful testament to a brilliant vintage, delivering on its potential even three decades later. I love the softness of the tannins and the freshness at close of play – daring you to suggest when it is going to finally bow out. This is exactly what people look for in older Bordeaux. Smudged around the edges but a core of pure fruit expression, fully integrated with melted oak notes. Drinking Window 2018 - 2030.Decanter | 96 DECA chewy wine, with impressively rich aromas and flavors of ripe plum, tobacco, cedar and earth aromas and flavors and attractive, velvety tannins.Wine Spectator | 92 WSDeep red-ruby. Remarkably complex aromas of chestnuts, earth, truffle, shoe polish and a cigar-box nuance. Suave, intensely flavored fruit; a very youthful, sharply defined and thoroughly delicious wine of great finesse. Finishes firm and long. Our favorite Poyferré since the ’83. The three Léovilles are stunning—and completely different in style—in 1990. 91(+?), use more clarity and nuance. Should be accessible early.Vinous Media | 90 VM

97
RP
As low as $499.00
1994 beychevelle Bordeaux Red
As low as $135.00
1995 ducru beaucaillou Bordeaux Red

Proprietor Bruno Borie noted this was a somewhat unusual blend this year: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot. After this vintage, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot would no longer be included in the blend. Medium to deep brick in color, the 1995 Ducru-Beaucaillou explodes from the glass with bombastic notes of Indian spices, plum preserves, fruitcake and dried figs with nuances of potpourri, star anise, bouquet garni and espresso. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is chock-full of exotic spices and preserved black fruits, framed by firm, finely grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing with epic impact and length. Mature and drinking well now, there's still a good 12-15 years of kick left in this thoroughbred.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPSubtle yet aromatic character of Indian spices, currants and dried cherries. Full-bodied, with super well-integrated tannins and a long, caressing finish. Wonderful texture. Classy and structured. Long. This was wine of the year in 1998; well deserved.--'95/'96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2009. 18,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WS(Château Ducru-Beaucaillou) I love the style and shape of the very classic 1995 Ducru, which is the most promising vintages here in the decade of the 1990s. The utterly classic nose soars from the glass in a refined and timeless mélange of cassis, dark berries, cigar ash, fresh herbs, tons of gravelly soil tones, a discreet base of cedary new wood and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and very suave on the attack, with a rock solid core of sweet black fruit, blossoming layers of complexity, impeccable focus and balance and a very long, primary and still fairly tannic finish. It remains young days for the 1995 Ducru-Beaucaillou, but this will be a brilliant wine in the fullness of time. (Drink between 2020-2075)John Gilman | 94+ JGBright dark ruby. Knockout perfumed nose of great purity: cassis, violet, minerals and bitter chocolate. A penetrating wine of outstanding vinosity and verve; offers great tensile strength. Youthfully tight, classic claret whose extremely long finish features very fine tannins. I'm not convinced Ducru has made a wine in recent vintages to equal its '95 and '96 releases. Drink 2005 through 2025.Vinous Media | 94+ VM

95
WS
As low as $290.00
1995 leoville barton Bordeaux Red

A beautiful wine, with layers of ripe fruit, berry, cedar, vanilla and light spice. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long finish. Very, very classy stuff.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2008.Wine Spectator | 94 WSSomewhat closed and reticent after bottling, but still impressive, this 1995 possesses a dark ruby/purple color, as well as an oaky nose with classic scents of cassis, vanillin, cedar, and spice. Dense and medium to full-bodied, with softer tannin and more accessibility than the 1996, but not quite the packed and stacked effect on the palate, the 1995 is an outstanding textbook St.-Julien that will handsomely repay extended cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2025.Robert Parker | 91 RPVery good ruby-red. Currant, tobacco, game and roasted nuts on the expressive nose. Full, supple and sweetly oaky. Also wears its oak more gracefully. Very long on the finish, with ripe, tongue-coating tannins.Vinous Media | 91 VM

94
WS
As low as $170.00
1995 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

I love the aromas here with forest flowers, wild mushrooms and tobacco, as well as currants. Full and very layered with creamy tannins that caress your palate. So long and enticing. Such a gorgeous Bordeaux that is just starting to show its real self. Love it. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 97 JSIf it were not for the prodigious 1996, everyone would be concentrating on getting their hands on a few bottles of the fabulous 1995 Leoville-Las-Cases, which is one of the vintage’s great success stories. The wine boasts an opaque ruby/purple color, and exceptionally pure, beautifully knit aromas of black fruits, minerals, vanillin, and spice. On the attack, it is staggeringly rich, yet displays more noticeable tannin than its younger sibling. Exceptionally ripe cassis fruit, the judicious use of toasty new oak, and a thrilling mineral character intertwined with the high quality of fruit routinely obtained by Las Cases, make this a compelling effort. There is probably nearly as much tannin as in the 1996, but it is not as perfectly sweet as in the 1996. The finish is incredibly long in this classic. Only 35% of the harvest was of sufficient quality for the 1995 Leoville-Las-Cases. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2025.Robert Parker | 95 RPPure violets, minerals and blackberries on the nose. Full-bodied, chewy and powerful. Still holding back a lot. This wine needs to break its chains. Give it time.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2010. 18,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WSDeep ruby-red. Deep, lively aromas of red- and blackcurrants, licorice, tobacco and grilled nuts. Great sweetness and silky texture in the mouth currently overshadows the wine strong supporting acidity and tight core of spice and minerals. The toothcoating tannins don’t cover as much of the mouth as those of the ’96 do, but this wine offers uncanny length.Vinous Media | 94+ VMShowing beautifully today, the 1995 Château Léoville Las Cases is a blend of 67% Cabernet, 26% Merlot, and 7% Cabernet Franc (a normal blend for that period) and hit 12.95% alcohol. Coming from a vintage featuring a cool, rainy spring followed by a sunny, mild growing season, it has a more upfront, fruit-driven style that still offers lots of classic Las Cases minerality in its red and black currant fruits as well as notes of cedary herbs, graphite, wood smoke, and forest floor nuances. With medium to full-bodied richness, a round, supple, mouth-filling texture, velvety, almost resolved tannins, and a beautiful finish, it’s ideal for enjoying any time over the coming two decades. I don’t think it has the same elegance and weightlessness as the 1982 nor the precision of the 1996 (which this wine is often compared to), but it’s a gorgeous wine in every sense.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDA dry, although not excessively hot, summer meant there were some blockages in the vines, and there are clear exotic notes through the palate, with the wine showing cinnamon, saffron and dried fruit. This is one of the sweet spots of Las Cases, as it hits the balance between power, tannin, black tea and bilberries, still showcasing the Pauillac side of St-Julien with a freshness and sappiness even at 26 years old. A brilliant example of how well this estate can age - and also how a touch of exoticism can soften its famous austerity. A real tickling of spice on the finish, a little dry as all older Bordeaux can be, but it is full of hidden pleasures if you just let it uncurl in the glass. Jean-Hubert Delon was here alongside his father at the time, taking over alone from 1996. Drinking Window 2021 - 2036.Decanter | 93 DEC

96
RP-NM
As low as $330.00
1995 leoville poyferre Bordeaux Red

Another excellent year, the 1995 and 1996 vintage have definitely held up in colour and structure. The 1995 perhaps has the markings of a slightly hotter year in terms of the fruit ripeness, which veers towards fig, although there is still that unremitting sense of a wine that delivers layer upon layer of succulent soft fruits as you travel through the palate, buoyed up by a clear freshness. This wine is an example of what makes this appellation world class. Drinking Window 2018 - 2030Decanter | 93 DECBlack licorice and currants on the nose. Very fragrant. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a long finish. Still needs time to come together.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2008.Wine Spectator | 92 WSWhile not as backward as the 1996, the opaque purple-colored 1995 is a tannic, unevolved, dense, concentrated wine that will require 8-10 years of cellaring. The 1995 exhibits pain grille, blackcurrant, mineral, and subtle tobacco in its complex yet youthful aromatics. Powerful, dense, concentrated cassis and blueberry flavors might be marginally softer than in the 1996, but there is still plenty of grip and structure to this big wine. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2030.Robert Parker | 90 RPDeep ruby-red. Bright, enticing aromas of redcurrant, minerals and tobacco; not quite as ripe as the ’96. Lovely sweetness and clarity of flavor in the mouth. More supple than the ’96, and likely to be approachable much earlier. Finishes with substantial, tongue-coating tannins.Vinous Media | 90 VM

92
WS
As low as $190.00
1996 beychevelle Bordeaux Red

(Château Beychevelle) In an age of global warming, the 1996 vintage may have produced the last great Beychevelle under thirteen percent alcohol, as this wine tips the scales at a very, very civilized 12.8 percent. This is a deep, pure and very classic vintage of Beychevelle and it will take plenty of time to come around. The stunning nose offers up a beautiful mélange of roasted cherries, dark berries, cigar smoke, fresh herbs, coffee, gravelly soil tones that show a bit of iron inflection and a bit of remaining cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and laser-like in its focus, with a rock solid core of pure fruit, a great expression of terroir, ripe, moderate tannins, sound acids and outstanding length and grip on the still quite youthful finish. The 1996 Beychevelle offers up superb potential, but it will need at least another decade in the cellar to start to stir. (Drink between 2021-2075)John Gilman | 94 JG

As low as $190.00

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