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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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1981 margaux Bordeaux Red

The other wine of the vintage. Seriously powerful with fabulous color and mint, cassis and berry aromas and flavors. Has a full body and is tannic; still needs time to come around. Better after 1997.--The Bordeaux 50.Wine Spectator | 95 WSIn weight and texture, the 1981 Margaux is closest in style to the 1979. It is an outstanding wine, even in the company of the monumental wines of 1982, 1983, and 1986, although it does not have the power and weight of these vintages. It is still very dark ruby/purple-colored. The aromatics suggest ripe cassis fruit, spicy vanillin oakiness, and violets. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, concentrated, tannic, and extremely long. It is just beginning to open and evolve. Anticipated maturity: Now-2015. Last tasted, 12/96.Robert Parker | 91 RP

95
WS
As low as $575.00
1981 palmer Bordeaux Red

(Château Palmer) The 1981 vintage at Château Palmer is really lovely middleweight and a wine that offers up lovely sappiness at the core to go along with very refined aromatic complexity. The bouquet is a lovely blend of cassis, mulberry, cigar ash, hints of chipotle pepper, sweet cigar wrapper and a lovely base of dark soil tones. On the palate the wine is medium-full, pure and very suave on the attack, with a good core, lovely focus and balance, melted tannins and a long, classy finish. Just a lovely wine that is now at its apogee, but shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. (Drink between 2016-2035)John Gilman | 92 JG

As low as $430.00
1982 margaux Bordeaux Red

Still loaded up with firm tannins, this is a rich, gorgeous wine, with complex, smoky, pencil lead and graphite notes through the mid palate, before things soften to a cigar box and truffled finish. Cabernet Franc 4% rounds out blend. This stands out better than the 1983 today. Owner Corinne Menzelopoulos was at this point just two years in to her tenure at Margaux (and sharing ownership with the Agnelli family). She will not be surprised by this result - as the last time we discussed these wines, she said the 1983 was a standout for the first few decades but that, slowly but surely, the 1982 has stated to claim its spot. On this evidence, it’s fully on the podium.Drinking Window 2018 - 2045Decanter | 100 DECThe 1982 is Chateau Margaux at its most opulent and decadent. The opaque purple/garnet color is followed by a bouquet that soars from the glass, offering scents of roasted blackcurrants, herbs (thyme), licorice, and spring flowers. Magnificently concentrated and expansive on the palate, this voluptuously styled, huge, lavishly rich, overwhelming style of Chateau Margaux is almost too much of a good thing. Its low acidity and huge tannins in the finish make it approachable, so I would not quibble with anyone who wants to drink it. But do not forget that this wine should have at least 25-35 years of evolution. If indeed it turns out to be a clone of this estate’s legendary 1900, it may have 3-4 times the longevity I have suggested. Last tasted, 7/93.Robert Parker | 99 RPThe 1982 Chateau Margaux is glorious stuff and is Margaux in all its finesse and elegance paired to some serious richness, power, and depth. Awesome blackcurrants, smoked earth, lead pencil, truffles, and hints of dried flowers all emerge from this full-bodied, remarkable, seamless effort that is loaded with fruit and texture. With a thrilling sweetness of fruit, perfect balance, and a magical sense of opulence paired with classic Bordeaux elegance, this is Haute Couture at its finest. Its fully mature, but sound bottles should easily keep for another two decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDWhat a youthful ruby color. And it’s fresh and young on the nose with currants, plums, mints, and flowers. A full-bodied red, with slightly tight and firm tannins, it opens to a long and satisfying finish. What freshness. Leave it five years, or decant three or four hours in advance before serving.James Suckling | 97 JSThis bottle of 1982 Château Margaux was wonderful yet atypical. This has a heightened sense of brine on the nose that initially drew me towards an older vintage such as 1961. Yet the colour was clearly not as old as that, and it has more youthfulness than you would anticipate. Very complex, yet more reserved than expected, it just seems to “flow” on the palate. Very fine structure and perfect sapidity, yet this bottle seemed to hold something back. It is an occasion when I wonder if the 1983 Margaux had been juxtaposed, this would have come out second best, taking nothing away from its own virtues.Vinous Media | 96 VMThis relies on sheer muscle, with dark, plush layers of warmed fig, currant preserves and charcoal lined with extra notes of roasted vanilla, espresso and bittersweet cocoa. The tannins are ever-so-slightly drying on the finish, and this rumbles more than glides, lacking the full range of perfume and beguiling elegance the greatest Margauxs have.--Non-blind Château Margaux vertical (December 2013). Drink now through 2035.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

100
RP-HG
As low as $1,385.00
1982 rauzan segla Bordeaux Red

(Château Rausan-Ségla) Popular claret culture, in the wake of Robert Parker’s pronouncement many years back that the 1986 vintage of Château Rausan-Ségla was the first top flight vintage here in a generation, tends to ignore the wines made here in the first half of the decade of the 1980s. However, I have been very impressed previously with both the 1983 and 1985 versions, and had higher expectations than any of my guests for the 1982 Château Rausan-Ségla in our lineup. Happily, my expectations were born out with a superb bottle and this has to be one of the finest wines made in the commune in 1982. The bouquet is beautifully complex and quite exuberant, jumping from the glass in the property’s signature blend of black raspberry, black cherry, cigar smoke, dark soil tones, a beautiful spread of spice elements, just a hint of nutskin and a discreet framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and really has an excellent core of fruit (particularly for a 1982 Margaux, as this commune is not as universally successful as most others in this vintage), with excellent focus and balance and still a bit of suave tannin adding backend grip to the long, complex and utterly satisfying finish. This is a bit more sappy at the core than the classical 1983, and has a bit less silky elegance of the 1985, but these three vintages at least prove that the reports of Château Rausan-Ségla not starting its renaissance until the 1986 vintage were a bit tardy! Fine, fine juice. (Drink between 2020-2050)John Gilman | 92 JG

92
JG
As low as $275.00
1983 margaux Bordeaux Red

This pulls together all the glorious notes of a fully mature Margaux, with singed cedar, rooibos tea, rose water and sandalwood aromas, followed by a stunning mélange of both fresh and dried red and black fruits, including currant, cherry, raspberry and plum. The long finish lets everything drape together beautifully. Absolutely stunning, this seems in no hurry to go anywhere. Remarkably fresh and defined at this time.--Non-blind Château Margaux vertical (December 2013). Drink now through 2035.Wine Spectator | 98 WSGorgeous as ever, even if the 1982 is standing up a little more strongly today. This is still full of tannins, rich and textured fruit and lilting freshness, fragrant, concentrated and generous. And the yield, if you can believe it, was 67hl/h. The release price of this 1983 was 170 francs, as was the 1982. 4% Cabernet Franc rounds out the blend. Paul Pontallier’s first vintage - although he also oversaw the ageing and bottling of the 1982. His thesis, by the way, was on oak ageing, and this is 100% new oak. Drinking Window 2018 - 2040.Decanter | 98 DECThis has always been said to be the best wine of the 1983 vintage in Bordeaux because the appellation of Margaux performed slightly better in 1983 than in the legendary 1982 vintage. It certainly is more structured than the 1982 Margaux. It is incredibly fresh and clean still. It’s full-bodied and tannic, structured and powerful yet shows such balance and length. Decant three hours before serving.James Suckling | 98 JSAs I have noted consistently, this can be a breathtaking wine, but having tasted it close to a dozen times since the last edition of this book, over half the bottles were marred by tainted corks. In fact, one would almost wonder if there was TCA problem in part of the wine storage area. The percentage of corked half-bottles is even higher than in the regular format. However, when clean this 1983, which has seemingly reached full maturity far faster than I would have guessed a mere four years ago, has a dense, murky plum/purple color and a gorgeous nose of smoked herbs, damp earth, mushrooms, and sweet creme de cassis intermixed with vanilla and violets The wine is medium to full-bodied, deep, rich, and powerful, with sweet tannins and loads of fruit concentration. Anticipated maturity: Now-2020. Last tasted, 11/02.Robert Parker | 96 RPDeep ruby-red. Exotic aromas of cassis, meat and smoke, plus a whiff of funky wood. Then remarkably sweet, lush and suave, with a flavor of raw berries. Pure Margaux silkiness allied to firm structure. Finishes very long, with rich, sweet tannins. Remarkable wine, particularly considering that the bottle was not perfect. Pristine bottles of this wine are just now embarking on their period of peak drinkability, which should last another 20 years or more.Vinous Media | 95 VM(Château Margaux (Margaux)) I very well remember just how beautiful the 1983 Margaux was a couple of decades ago, when it really had few challengers for the mantle of the wine of the vintage (maybe Ausone, Cheval Blanc and Lafleur could also lay claim to that title back in the day), but the wine has lost a bit of mid-palate amplitude and perfume since those days and seems to have now peaked. The wine is still very lovely, wafting from the glass in a mix of cherries, summer truffles, cigar smoke, a lovely base of soil tones (with that touch of limestone unique to this property), nutskin and a suave framing of new oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, complex and elegant, with good, but no longer great depth at the core, lovely grip, fading tannins and a long, focused and well-balanced finish. This remains a very tasty bottle, but it was a bit deeper and more vibrant a decade ago. (Drink between 2019-2040).John Gilman | 92 JG

99
RP-HG
As low as $1,045.00
1983 palmer Bordeaux Red

Smoky, floral and fabulous. Violet-edged, this stands out over the 1982 for its complexity of aromatics and flavours. Brambled blackberry notes meld with soft leather and liquorice, all perfectly finessed. Harvest 28 September until 13 October, around one week later than the 1982. A touch of Petit Verdot finishes up the blend. Peter Sichel, who was making the wine at the time, was convinced straight after harvest that the 1982 was better than the 1983. ’He was right,’ says Thomas Duroux today. Certainly sugar levels were a touch higher than the previous year, and the fruit character generous from the earliest years. Drinking Window 2018 - 2045.Decanter | 100 DECThis wine goes from strength to strength, and is certainly a candidate for “wine of the vintage.” It has surpassed even Chateau Margaux in recent tastings. The color is an opaque plum/purple. The wine has a fabulously complex nose of smoked duck, white flowers, cedar, Asian spice, creme de cassis, melted licorice, and espresso. Super-concentrated, very powerful, full-bodied, and huge, this is undeniably, one of the biggest, most concentrated, and powerful Palmers made in the last 40 years. The wines has thrown off the rugged tannins that were so prominent during its first 10-15 years of life and has become increasingly seamless and compelling. Potentially this wine remains the most extraordinary Palmer after the 1961. Anticipated maturity: Now-2020. Last tasted, 10/02.Robert Parker | 98 RPThis is one of the all-time greatest Palmers for its complexity and finesse. Intense aromas of smoked meats and dark fruits plus hints of tobacco meet a silky, almost buttery texture of great yet beautiful concentration that combines in superb balance with a plateful of fruit and still mouthwatering acidity. The tannins are round and fat, and the finish is long and mesmerizing. This is crying out to be drunk now, yet the persistent acidity should provide for at least another 10 years of possible cellaring.James Suckling | 98 JSThe 1983 Palmer is also fully mature yet has plenty of fruit, length, and a seamless, elegant personality that’s truly magical. Black currants, forest floor, spice-box and tobacco notes all emerge from this silky, refined beauty that still has terrific mid-palate density and awesome length. It’s not going to get any better but should easily keep for another 7-8 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JD(Château Palmer (Margaux) served from magnum) This particular magnum was served with dinner after a full afternoon spent tasting through Klaus-Peter Keller’s brilliant range of 2018ers, so it was just icing on the cake! This is another legendary vintage at Palmer and it always lives up to its exalted reputation, with this magnum absolutely singing on both the nose and palate. The bouquet soars from the glass in a refined blend of mulberries, black cherries, cigar wrapper, summer truffles, a beautiful base of gravelly soil tones, violets and a touch of cedar. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, complex and sappy at the core, with seamless balance, perfect focus and grip and a very, very long, vibrant and utterly suave finish. This is starting to really show the classic Palmer velvety texture on the palate, but out of magnum, this is synthesized to a beautifully refined structural chassis that gives the wine outstanding backend lift. Great juice. (Drink between 2019-2075).John Gilman | 96 JGAn outstanding Palmer, firm and solid, with great dark color and fresh plum aromas and flavors with a hint of new wood. Drinkable now, but better after 1996.--The Bordeaux 50.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

98
RP
As low as $910.00
1984 margaux Bordeaux Red

No written review provided. | 91 WS

93-95
RPNM
As low as $500.00
1985 margaux Bordeaux Red

Approaching full maturity, this beautifully sweet Chateau Margaux has a dense plum/purple color and a huge, sweet nose of black currants intermixed with licorice, toast, underbrush, and flowers. Medium to full-bodied with supple tannin and a fleshy, juicy, very succulent and multi-layered mid-palate, this expansive, velvety wine has entered its plateau of maturity, where it should remain (assuming good storage) for at least another 10-15 years. A very delicious, seductive, and opulent Chateau Margaux to drink over the next two decades. Anticipated maturity: Now-2015. Last tasted, 10/02.Robert Parker | 95 RP(Château Margaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaux, Bordeaux, France, Red) A beautifully seductive and charming wine at this point giving meaty, savoury tones on the nose with chocolate, leather, cigar box and smoked cherry and strawberry flavours on the palate. Still such a vibrant colour in the glass with a lovely brightness in general. Sophisticated and elegant with freshness. It’s lost some fat and overt power but retains such an expansive amount of flavour. A real treat to taste and enjoy. 4% Cabernet Franc completes the blend. (Drink between 2022-2032)Decanter | 95 DECShows mint and savory notes out front, with a very elegant structure weaving gently around the core of dried cherry, red currant and pomegranate fruit. The long sandalwood and singed cedar finish is very stylish. A bit outpaced by ’88 and ’86 in this flight, but as a standalone wine this is very confident in its old age.--Non-blind Château Margaux vertical (December 2013). Drink now through 2024.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

96
RP-NM
As low as $825.00
1985 palmer Bordeaux Red

Tasted at the Château Palmer vertical in London, the 1985 Château Palmer was clearly a favourite amongst the participants in the tasting, although here I actually concur with Robert Parker - it’s a pleasant Margaux, but not the most complex wine of the vintage. You get the feeling that it doesn’t fire on all cylinders. It has an appealing bacon fact and savory bouquet - a little smudged, but full of charm. The palate is fleshy on the entry, perhaps here with a touch of brettanomyces, the acidity nicely judged with expressive Merlot defining the finish. It does not "take off" as the greatest 1985s are wont to do, yet you would contentedly polish off a bottle, seduced by its easy-going nature. Tasted May 2015.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 90 RP-NMVery rich and concentrated with layers of plum, cassis and currant flavors and woody, mahogany flavors. It’s a bit clumsy at this stage but everything ’s in place for long-term aging.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

91
WS
As low as $430.00
1986 margaux Bordeaux Red

The 1986 Chateau Margaux was even more emotionally moving. Still incredibly youthful, it showed incredible focus and depth, all backed up by considerable structure. As hard as it may seem to believe, on this night the 1986 appeared to still be some years away from peaking. It was striking in every way.Antonio Galloni | 98+ AGA magnificent example of Chateau Margaux and one of the most tannic, backward Margauxs of the last 50 years, the 1986 continues to evolve at a glacial pace. The color is still a dense ruby/purple with just a hint of lightening at the rim. With several hours of aeration, the aromatics become striking, with notes of smoke, toast, creme de cassis, mineral, and white flowers. Very full-bodied, with high but sweet tannin, great purity, and a very masculine, full-bodied style, this wine should prove nearly immortal in terms of its aging potential. It is beginning to budge from its infantile stage and approach adolescence. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2050. Last tasted, 12/02.Robert Parker | 98 RPThis has matured fully but still clings to a slightly rugged feel, with a briar patch note framing the core of dried currant, blackberry and bitter cherry fruit. Twinges of alder, plum skin and cedar fill in the finish, which shows a decidedly grippy edge of smoldering charcoal. Impressive for depth and power, though this very tannic Margaux may never yield fully to the inherent elegance of its terroir. It can certainly handle more cellaring.--Non-blind Château Margaux vertical (December 2013). Drink now through 2030.Wine Spectator | 95 WSThis was really tannic when it was young and is still tannic and hard. Full yet lacks some fruit. Mushroom. have tasted many times but suggest drinking.James Suckling | 90 JS

98
RP
As low as $859.00
1987 margaux Bordeaux Red
As low as $640.00
1989 margaux Bordeaux Red

This is about as alluring as it gets aromatically, with singed alder, juniper, bay and charcoal notes out front, hinting at power but turning beguiling as they flow into the core of steeped red currant, dried currant and black tea. The charcoal note makes an encore, with a lovely twinge of old-school character holding the finish. Always a great debate vis-à-vis the ’90, but the slightly darker profile here gives this wine a lovely bit of extra drama.--Non-blind Château Margaux vertical (December 2013). Drink now through 2025. 25,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WSI find this a little austere with mineral, tar, and currant character. It’s a little subdued. Full and silky on the palate, it’s firm and bright, even tight. Served from imperial bottle.James Suckling | 91 JSDwarfed by its younger sibling, the 1990, the 1989 Chateau Margaux has a dark plum/garnet color and a big, sweet nose of new saddle leather, toasty oak, and weedy black cherry and cassis fruit. The wine is medium-bodied, with relatively elevated tannins, outstanding concentration and purity, but a somewhat clipped as well as compressed finish. This certainly outstanding wine has put on a bit of weight in its evolution in the bottle, but it is hardly one of the most profound efforts from Chateau Margaux. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2025. Last tasted, 10/02.Vinous Media | 90 RP

97
WS
As low as $889.00
1989 palmer Bordeaux Red

The 1989 Palmer has vied with the 1983 as the highlight of the decade, so it is fascinating to revisit it at 30 years old. It has a wonderful bouquet of degraded red berry fruit, singed leather and hints of game and mint, beautifully defined and still so fresh, yet undeniably old-school in style. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin and still brimming with vigor, delivering a fine bead of acidity and a touch of cracked black pepper. A very detailed, engaging finish urges you back for another sip. A brilliant Palmer, and judging from this showing, it has another two decades of pleasure to give. Tasted from an ex-cellar bottle at the château.Vinous Media | 97 VMTasted 6 Times Since Bottling With Consistent NotesPalmer has done a magnificent job with their 1989, which continues to be a wine of immense seduction. The expansive, rich, fat texture owes its opulence to the high percentage of Merlot used by this property. Opaque deep ruby/purple, this full-bodied, satiny wine has considerable alcoholic clout, is low in acidity, but splendidly concentrated and abundantly full of velvety tannins. It will be fascinating to see if this wine ultimately rivals the great Palmers made in 1983, 1970, 1966, and 1961. This is a thrilling 1989! Anticipated maturity: Now-2012.Robert Parker | 96 RP(Château Palmer) At our vertical tasting in October of 2007, the ’89 was corked, so I have had to go back to a note on this wine that is a few years old. I have always liked the 1989 Palmer quite well, but have never ranked it quite in the same league as the greatest vintages of this château. The nose on the ’89 offers up scents of ripe plums, mulberries, dark chocolate, tobacco, minerals, violets and toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied and quite lush and voluptuous on the attack, with a firm tannic structure kicking-up in the mid-palate, and a long, complex and chewy finish. While there is plenty of depth in the mid-palate, I do not find quite the reserves of fruit at the core as found in vintages such as the 1983 at a similar stage of development. The tannins here are ripe and quite buried in the fruit, and while it is more than drinkable today, it clearly will need another decade to allow some of the secondary layers of complexity to emerge.John Gilman | 92+ JGDisplays impressive sweet berry and floral aromas, with hints of cedar and light new oak. Medium- to full-bodied, offering fine tannins and a fresh finish. This wine is just now opening, with a racy backbone of tannins and dark fruits on the finish. This is turning out to be more balanced than I remember. Ready.--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 92 WSI find this a little austere with mineral, tar, and currant character. It’s a little subdued. Full and silky on the palate, it’s firm and bright, even tight. Served from imperial bottle.James Suckling | 91 JS

97
VM
As low as $639.00
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 palmer Bordeaux Red

The last in a series of three stellar vintages with the 1988-1989-1990, with this one delivering concentrated wines in its early years that took their time to develop but are now at the peak of their pleasure. At 30 years old it is not the power that immediately strikes but the aromatic complexity, and the gentle dance that it performs between finessed fruit and soft saffron-laced spices. The concentration comes in slowly, in waves, gathering cedar, menthol and finely spun tannins. It has been at this plateau for at least 10 years now, and there is no reason to think it is going anywhere for another decade or two. Harvest September 18 to October 6. Petit Verdot completes the blend with 2%, meaning all four main Médoc varieties here, unusually (all Cabernet Franc was pulled up in 2004). Drinking Window 2020 - 2038.Decanter | 96 DEC(Château Palmer (Margaux) served from magnum) I get the distinct feeling that I have not been drinking enough Château Palmer in recent times! This magnum of the 1990 Palmer was absolutely stunning, jumping from the glass in a beautiful blend of black cherries, mulberries, black truffles, cigar smoke, a fine base of dark soil tones, tobacco leaf and a well done framing of toasty new oak. On the palate the wines is pure, full-bodied and nicely sappy at the core, with extra depth and grip clearly apparent from the magnum format. The finish is very long, complex and still moderately tannic, with very buried tannins, a velvety palate texture and great lift and bounce on the backend. This is simply gorgeous in magnum! (Drink between 2019-2060)John Gilman | 94 JGThis was the finest bottle of the 1990 Palmer I have yet tasted, and it appears I slightly underrated it in earlier reviews. A complex bouquet of earth, blue and black fruits, licorice, incense, and spice box is followed by a round, silky, voluptuous wine that falls just short of achieving the depth and richness found in such recent vintages as 2000, 2005, 2006, and 2008. A very strong, fully mature effort, its balance, purity, depth, and texture suggest it will provide plenty of pleasure over the next 10-12 years.Robert Parker | 92 RPA beauty. Seductive, with currant, berry, tobacco, cedar and flowers on the nose. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, caressing finish. A joyous Palmer.--1990 Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now through 2010. 16,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WSSubdued but classy new-oaky nose hints at flowers, chocolate, and cinnamon. A spicy, beautifully delineated wine of great class and hidden depths. Very subtle, long aftertaste. A crowd-pleaser. The ’90 is more typical for this château than the fatter but more alcoholic and soft ’89.Vinous Media | 91 VM

96
JA
As low as $549.00
1990 rauzan segla Bordeaux Red

A complex nose of subtle menthol intermixed with black currants, cherries, spice box, cedar, and herbs emerges from this fully mature 1990. It is a fleshy, round, generously endowed Margaux with silky tannins, low acidity, and beautiful purity. Drink it with great pleasure now, or cellar it for another decade. Release price: ($300.00/case)Robert Parker | 94 RPThe 1990 Rauzan-Ségla is another vintage that I have not tasted for some time. It was picked from September 17 to October 7. Now at 28-years of age it shows some maturation on the tawny rim, the core a little lighter in colour than the 1998 for example. The bouquet has certainly matured in recent years: blackberry, strawberry pastilles, touches of garrigues, clove and fennel, and freshly tilled soil. It is very...1990! There is little oak presence here (the new oak was in fact just 40%, so unsurprising.) The palate is medium-bodied with grainy, slightly rustic tannin. I love the flavor profile here: dark chocolate, leather, clove, oregano and a touch of soy that is, for me, quite Saint-Julien in style. One can tell that this 1990 will not improve with continued bottle age however, it has great depth and you come away with the sense that it wears its heart on its sleeve. Tasted at the Rauzan-Ségla vertical at the château.Vinous Media | 93 VMVery concentrated. Dark garnet color. Pretty licorice, plum and currant aromas. Full-bodied, with velvety, ripe tannins and a long black licorice and cherry aftertaste.--1990 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2004. 11,250 cases made.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

94
RP
As low as $275.00
1991 margaux Bordeaux Red
As low as $595.00
1992 margaux Bordeaux Red
As low as $545.00
1993 palmer Bordeaux Red

Tasted at the Château Palmer vertical in London, the magnum of 1993 Château Palmer was tasted blind and turned out to be the biggest, pleasant surprise of the vertical. It has a well-defined nose: red berries, sage and a hint of fennel, expressive and terroir-driven. It gains intensity in the glass. The palate is very well defined with red cherry and cranberry on the entry, giving way to cedar and sous-bois on the autumnal, very "classic" finish. I was not the only one bowled over by the quality of this wine, shocked when its vintage was revealed. Having never tasted it before, it constitutes one of the finest Left Bank wines that I have tasted from the somewhat disregarded 1993 vintage. Tasted May 2015.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 92 RP-NM

As low as $255.00
1994 margaux Bordeaux Red

This largely forgotten vintage seems to have turned the corner in the last year or two. Because of strict selections made at the top chateaux, the wines always had density, but the level of tannin was frequently too high, and the type of tannin was more green and astringent. Chateau Margaux’s 1994 has always been one of the candidates for the “wine of the vintage.” The wine still has a dense plum/purple color and a big, sweet nose of black fruits intermixed with licorice, camphor, vanilla, and a hint of flowers. The wine is dense and powerful, but the tannins have softened and do not seem as hard and intrusive as they did in the late nineties. This wine will last for decades and hopefully become even more seamless, although it is hard to believe all the tannin will gradually dissipate. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2025. Last tasted, 10/02.Robert Parker | 91+ RPVery good bright red-ruby color. Sappy, very floral nose hints at toasty oak. Sweet, supple. smooth and oaks in the mouth. A very consistent though fairly tannic wine without the grip or structure of the ’95. In fact, tasted after the ’95, this seemed much oakier and even a bit monolithic.Vinous Media | 90-91 VMNot a big Margaux, this is all in refinement. Pretty aromas of berries, raspberries and toasted oak and warm flavors that build on your palate. Medium-bodied, with fine, well-integrated tannins and a caressing finish. Better in 1999.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

93
RPNM
As low as $640.00
1994 palmer Bordeaux Red
As low as $325.00
1995 lascombes Bordeaux Red
As low as $125.00
1995 margaux Bordeaux Red

This still broods seriously, with dark plum, currant and blackberry fruit, studded with charcoal, singed tobacco and cedar notes and backed by a serious grip of roasted earth. The gorgeously long finish is driven by old-school tannins, with the smoldering edge going on and on. A brick house of a Margaux, with more charcoal than graphite, more austerity than elegance and more power than refinement.--Non-blind Château Margaux vertical (December 2013). Drink now through 2034. 18,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WSBottled very late (November, 1997), the 1995 has continued to flesh out, developing into one of the great classics made under the Mentzelopoulos regime. The color is opaque ruby/purple. The nose offers aromas of licorice and sweet smoky new oak intermixed with jammy black fruits, licorice, and minerals. The wine is medium to full-bodied, with extraordinary richness, fabulous equilibrium, and hefty tannin in the finish. In spite of its large size and youthfulness, this wine is user-friendly and accessible. This is a thrilling Margaux that will always be softer and more evolved than its broader-shouldered sibling, the 1996. How fascinating it will be to follow the evolution of both of these vintages over the next half century. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2040.Robert Parker | 95 RPThe 1995 Château Margaux is a vintage perhaps unfairly over-shadowed by the imperious 1996. That is unfair because the late Paul Pontallier crafted a great First Growth this year. It has a very impressive, quintessential Margaux bouquet that is undimmed after 23 years: black fruit, graphite, crushed violets and a touch of tobacco. If anything it becomes more and more pure with aeration and demonstrates exquisite delineation. The palate is very finely balanced. No, it does not have the intensity, the crystalline nature of the 1996 and yet there is a femininity and a finesse here that sweeps you off your feet. It is entertaining the possibility of secondary flavours but it remains focused on the red and black fruit, tensile on the almost balletic finish. Bon vin! Tasted blind at Philip’s February Christmas Party.Vinous Media | 95 VM

99
DEC
As low as $789.00
1995 palmer Bordeaux Red

The wild strawberry sweetness and curling floral aromatics of a great older Margaux is starting to creep in at this point, along with clear white pepper spice, iris flowers and gentle black truffles. This was the first vintage to be produced in their new cellars, so going from old wooden vats to temperature controlled stainless steel. Also the last vintage of the famous Chardron brothers who had worked as cellar master and vineyard master for decades (and followed their father and grandfather in the roles, as with the Delmas’ at Haut-Brion), so really marked the end of one era and the beginning of an another. There is a clear quiet beauty to this wine, full of gentle pleasures that steal up on you and ask you to slow down and take your time. Harvest September 18 to 2 October. Drinking Window 2020 - 2040.Decanter | 97 DECBig and powerful, with loads of fruit and chewy tannins. Still just a baby. Full-bodied, with lots of structure and a long, long finish. Give it time.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2010. 14,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS(Château Palmer) In notable contrast to the power-monger 1996 Palmer, the 1995 gives the impression of a lovely and classic, albeit, quite new oaky vintage for this great château. The nose is much more floral in the classic Palmer manner, as it offers up a lovely mélange of plums, mulberries, chocolate, violets, tobacco leaf and plenty of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied and quite generously coated with vanillin oak, but not dense or overly extracted, with lovely claret shape and nascent complexity, and a very long, polished and ripely tannic, but impeccably balanced finish. Of course I would have loved to have seen less new wood here, but despite its rather oaky character, there are not issues here with balance, and I have little doubt that this will prove to be a lovely wine at maturity. In many respects this is the last of the classic vintages of Palmer, though I do have high hopes for the apparent return towards elegance noted in the various 2004 bottlings. (Drink between 2020-2050)John Gilman | 91 JGBottled in July, 1997, this wine includes an extremely high percentage of Merlot (about 43%). It is a gloriously opulent, low acid, fleshy Palmer that will be attractive early and keep well. Dark ruby/purple-colored, with smoky, toasty new oak intertwined with gobs of jammy cherry fruit, and floral and chocolate nuances, this medium to full-bodied, plump yet elegant wine is impressive. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2020.Robert Parker | 90 RPRed-ruby color. Lower-pitched, redder aromas of plum, redcurrant and mulberry. Soft, sweet and lush, with an enticing layered texture and plenty of body. Currently more expressive in the middle palate than the ’96 but not quite as sharply delineated; conveys an impression of lower acidity. Finishes with very good length and even, ripe tannins. This gentle, ripe, seductive wine seems virtually unaffected by the bottling.Vinous Media | 90 VM

97
DEC
As low as $355.00
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

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