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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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1986 cos destournel Bordeaux Red

Tasted 7 Times Since Bottling With Consistent NotesThe 1986 is a highly extracted wine, with a black/ruby color and plenty of toasty, smoky notes in its bouquet that suggest ripe plums and licorice. Evolving at a glacial pace, it exhibits massive, huge, ripe, extremely concentrated flavors with impressive depth and richness. It possesses more power, weight, and tannin than the more opulent and currently more charming 1985. Anticipated maturity: 1996-2010.Robert Parker | 95 RPVibrant deep colour, this has masses of spice box and minerals on the nose. Of course, the 86 was famous for its power and tannic structure and this is still muscular and foursquare, but the tannins are beginning to yield and soften. Very fresh acidity and classic sweet cassis fruit with notes of minerals, underbrush and tobacco. Very pure and long. Impressively, the wine had been decanted two hours previously and was still evolving in the glass more than an hour later. Tasted at Decanter Fine Wine Encounter 2015. Drinking Window 2015 - 2030.Decanter | 95 DECThe 1986 Cos d’Estournel replicates the performance from my 30-year on tasting that I conducted a few months back. The bouquet is attractive with mint and juniper berries that grab the attention of the olfactory senses, later accompanied by liquorice and graphite. The palate is understated on the entry but then builds in the mouth with wonderful spice and black pepper infused black fruit that form the foundation of this Cos d’Estournel. Sure, it feels masculine and structured on the finish and perhaps translates more the growing season that Saint-Estèphe. Yet it is very well crafted and should continue to drink well for another decade. Tasted at the Cos d’Estournel vertical at the property.Vinous Media Neal Martin | 92 VMNo written review provided. | 92 WS

95
RP
As low as $299.00
1986 dyquem Dessert White

There is no other wine in the world like it, and there is no other luxury wine that can possibly justify its price as much as Yquem. The remarkable amount of painstaking labor necessary to produce the nectar known as Yquem is almost impossible to comprehend. This is a fascinating effort. With greater evidence of botrytis than the colossal 1983, but less power and alcohol, the 1986 Yquem tastes reminiscent of the 1975, only more precocious, as well as more concentrated. Several highly respected Bordeaux negociants who are Yquem enthusiasts claim the 1986 Yquem is the greatest wine produced at the property since the legendary 1937. Its enthralling bouquet of pineapples, sauteed hazelnuts, vanillin, and ripe apricots is breathtaking. Compellingly concentrated, the breadth as well as depth of flavor seemingly know no limits. This full-bodied, powerful, yet impeccably balanced Yquem should provide memorable drinking for 40-55 more years. Like the 1983, this is another winemaking tour de force. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2040. Last tasted, 4/91.Robert Parker | 98 RP

98
RP
As low as $545.00
1986 grand puy lacoste Bordeaux Red

This wine is the finest Grand-Puy-Lacoste produced after 1982 and before 1995. The 1986 still possesses an impressive deep ruby/purple color, as well as a classic nose of cedar, blackcurrants, smoke, and vanillin. Full-bodied, powerful, authoritatively rich, and loaded with fruit, this wine’s solid lashing of tannin is not likely to melt away for 3-4 more years. It can be drunk, although it is backward and unyielding. Certainly, it is one of the better northern Medocs of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: Now-2012. Last tasted 6/97.Robert Parker | 91 RP

93
VM
As low as $499.00
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 haut brion Bordeaux Red

A seductive mix of brambly autumnal fruits, black truffles, graphite and cigar box, this is absolutely ready to drink now and yet will continue to unwind and deliver for decades to come. The tannic structure is still noticeable, even at 32 years old, and it propels the fruit forward to a fresh, minty finish. I tasted this with a lovely group from the Napa Valley Reserve who were on a trip to Bordeaux in October. Drinking Window 2018 - 2040Decanter | 96 DECI tasted this at a fun restaurant in Bordeaux called Le Père Ouvrard in the Bouscaut neighborhood. The 1986 was a great vintage for the Médoc but less so for Pessac-Léognan, partly because an early torrent of rains wrought havoc for wines with more merlot in their blends. Many of the 1986s are starting to fall apart, but the La Mission was holding on nicely with dark berries, currants, iodine and oyster shell. It was full-bodied, very soft, very silky and ended with a fresh finish. It’s a wine definitely on a holding pattern.James Suckling | 96 JSThis wine continues to be backward, but the bouquet is beginning to develop secondary nuances from roasted herbs and sweet cigar tobacco to compost, leathery notes, along with plenty of sweet cherry and black currant fruit. I had somewhat higher hopes for it a decade ago. The wine is still youthful, quite pure, medium to full-bodied, but somewhat elevated, austere tannins in the finish at age 16 are starting to make me think they will never become fully integrated. As always, making a judgment call on a wine destined to have a half-century of life is sometimes difficult, given the varying stages it goes through, but I wonder if this wine will turn out to be as profound as I once predicted. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2030. Last tasted, 11/02.Robert Parker | 94 RP

96
DEC
As low as $759.00
1986 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

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

100
DEC
As low as $1,460.00
1986 latour Bordeaux Red

The 1986 Latour has a deep ruby/purple color, and a moderately intense bouquet of mineral-scented, blackcurrant fruit intermixed with the classic walnut scents that seem to emerge from Latour’s well-placed vineyard. Although undoubtedly excellent, with medium to full body, fine concentration, and impressive length, by Latour’s standards, the wine is not as brawny, chewy, or as densely packed with fruit as I would have expected in a vintage when the Cabernet Sauvignon excelled. Nevertheless, this wine should easily last 20-25 years, but I do not see it taking its place as one of the many extraordinary wines that have been produced at this property. Anticipated maturity: 1996-2012. Last tasted, 5/93.Robert Parker | 91 RPOutstanding, but slightly unimpressive. Dark red color. Complex aromas of blackberries, dark chocolate, tar and minerals. Medium- to full-bodied and balanced, with fine tannins and a silky texture.--Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

90
RP
As low as $755.00
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 lynch bages Bordeaux Red

The 1986 is finally emerging from the dormant stage that many of the wines from this vintage (especially the Medocs) have been going through. It is a full-bodied, still backward wine that will appeal to classicists and old line traditionalists given its firm structure and austere tannins. Nevertheless, the color is a healthy deep garnet and the wine exhibits wonderful freshness along with notes of underbrush, damp earth, black currants, cedar and new saddle leather. Well-balanced with good depth, medium to full body, and a tannic (although not excessively so) finish, this may not be the most finesse-styled, elegant Lynch Bages ever produced, but it is an interesting Pauillac that will benefit from another 3-4 years of cellaring. While it may never hit the peaks achieved by great Lynch Bages vintages, it will be one of those rare wines that will last 40+ years.Robert Parker | 94 RP5.3 g/l total acidity; 13.1% alcohol): Garnet-tinged dark ruby-red. Black fruits, candied red cherry, licorice, minerals, cedar and iron on the complex, still-reticent nose. Then more approachable on the palate, displaying a lovely restrained sweetness to the blackberry and blueberry fruit and excellent lift and clarity from lively acidity and solid underlying minerality. The finish features noble, fine-grained tannins and subtle persistence. An unusually accessible 1986 but very typical of the fleshy Lynch-Bages personality, this boasts lovely concentration and sneaky depth. Very well done.Vinous Media | 93 VMDark in color, with intense aromas of ripe black cherry, cedar and light herbs. Medium- to full-bodied, with firm tannins and a medium finish. A bit lean today, but there’s lots going on here.--Lynch-Bages non-blind vertical. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

94
RP
As low as $149.00
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 $899.00
1986 montrose Bordeaux Red

(Château Montrose, St-Estèphe, Red) This is a masterclass in the ageing aromas of Bordeaux. It sits exactly at the spot at which you still have a tightening and a menthol freshness on this finish, with cassis fruit that is still very much tight and young, but where the more gentle, spicy, brushed almond and cedar flavours start to intrude. Beautiful wine, amazing, it deepens through the palate, the expression changes and evolves, it’s tertiary but still with flesh, gorgeous. (Drink between 2017-2032)Decanter | 98 DECWonderful clean berry fruit with currant, light mint and mineral following through to a full, firm palate with long, silky tannins and a mineral, berry and spice aftertaste. Lovely wine. Firm. This is squeaky clean and beautiful. Enjoyable now but better to wait a few years still.--Non-blind Château Montrose vertical. Best after 2007.Wine Spectator | 95 WSTasted at the château, the 1986 Montrose is a wine that I had not tasted for many years and up until now, I was concerned about whether there was sufficient fruit to balance its sturdy, obdurate tannins. A blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc picked between 30 September and 16 October, it has a similar core to the 1986 Cos d’Estournel, albeit with a slight wider bricked rim. The nose is pleasant and quite floral, not as rich or as opulent as the Cos d’Estournel, quite refined with cedar and undergrowth aromas, then pencil lead that becomes more dominant with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannin, a fresh line of acidity, a little more leather coming through towards the finish with commendable weight and focus, if not quite the exuberance of the best 1986s. It is drinking perfectly now. Though a long way behind the 1989 and 1990 Montrose, this conservative Saint Estephe will continue to give 15-20 years more pleasure. Tasted July 2016.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 92 RP-NM

95
WS
As low as $319.00
1986 mouton rothschild Bordeaux Red

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

100
RP
As low as $1,295.00
1986 petrus Bordeaux Red

Dark red, with an amber edge. Aromas of chocolate, stewed berries, Merlot and raisins. Full-bodied, velvety and rich. Lovely palate. Delicious now, but will hold on. An autumnal wine.--Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

92
RP-NM
As low as $4,100.00
1986 pichon lalande  Bordeaux Red

The 1986 is the most tannic, as well as the largest-framed Pichon-Lalande in over three decades. Whether it will ultimately eclipse the 1982 is doubtful, but it will be longer-lived. Dark ruby/purple, with a tight yet profound bouquet of cedar, blackcurrants, spicy oak, and minerals, this full-bodied, deeply concentrated, exceptionally well-balanced wine is, atypically, too brawny and big to drink young. Anticipated maturity: 1994-2015 Last tasted, 6/93.Tasted 7 Times Since Bottling With Consistent Notes.Robert Parker | 96 RPThe 1986 Pichon-Lalande has long been one of the standout wines of the decade, and served blind, this suggests that it might have the 1982 in its sights. In many ways, it is the twin brother of the Cabernet-driven 1996. It bolts out of the stable doors with intense blackberry and cedar aromas – pure Cabernet – and reveals touches of mint with time. The palate is medium-bodied and thankfully less obdurate than a decade ago; the tannins have mellowed in recent years and secondary notes of sage and graphite are now more expressive. I once described the 1986 as "broad-shouldered." It remains just that, but it has learned some grace and manners. This is a clear high point for the estate. Tasted blind at lunch at The Glasshouse in London.Vinous Media | 95 VMJuicy, fleshy and showy, with warm plum sauce, melted black licorice, espresso, cocoa powder and black currant confiture notes all melded together, yet clearly defined. The smoldering, tobacco-fueled finish expands steadily with air. A wine of power and range that is just hitting its stride.--Non-blind Pichon Lalande vertical (July 2014). Drink now through 2030.Wine Spectator | 95 WSMarvellous old Bordeaux with delicate cassis, graphite, and faded violet nuances. A legendary wine for this estate, equal to the 1982 but ageing better. Drinking Window 2014 - 2020.Decanter | 95 DEC(Château Pichon-Lalande) Three years have passed since I last drank a bottle of the 1986 Pichon-Lalande and time seems to have not touched this wine at all since that time! This remains one of the most structured great vintages of this property that I have ever tasted, and though its ultimate quality is assured, it is still not yet ready to drink at age thirty-three! The bouquet is superb and starting to blossom nicely, offering up a refined blend of cassis, black cherries, currant leaf, dark soil tones, coffee, cigar smoke and toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full and rock solid at the core, with lovely detail and delineation, still a firm spine of well-integrated tannins, tangy acids and lovely length and grip on the nascently complex, but superb finish. I have loved this wine’s potential since I first tasted it all the way back in 1988, but it is still in climbing mode and deserves further bottle age to allow the tannins to start to really fall away. Like the 1996 Pichon, the balance here remains impeccable and one simply will have to wait a bit longer for the tannins to finally start to fall away. (Drink between 2025-2075).John Gilman | 94+ JG

96
RPNM
As low as $399.00
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
1987 cos destournel Bordeaux Red
As low as $190.00
1987 latour Bordeaux Red
As low as $640.00
1987 margaux Bordeaux Red
As low as $610.00
1987 mouton rothschild Bordeaux Red

(Château Mouton-Rothschild) This was the last vintage to be made by the Baron de Rothschild, and I have always had a sneaky suspicion that the 1987 may have been made a bit more memorable by the inclusion of some of the 1986 or 1988 bookends that may have been laying around, as the wine utterly transcends the vintage in terms of depth and power. Regardless of how the quality of the wine was ultimately arrived at, it is the finest 1987 Medoc that I have ever tasted, jumping from the glass in a blend of red berries, spices, coffee, eucalyptus, a touch of walnuts and the traditional Mouton nicely toasted new oak. On the palate the wine is medium-full, complex and à point, with excellent focus and fine length on the shapely finish. This is a lovely, commemorative bottling that still has plenty of life ahead of it. (Drink between 2003-2012)John Gilman | 91 JGOctober 2002 at a mad Swiss collector’s house at 10am. Light brick core. Tawny rim. Delicate leaf/minty nose. Quite earthy and mature on palate. Well-balanced, better than Lafite. Moderate concentration but quite austere and classic. Drink soon. Tasted amongst in a collectors gnome garden in Switzerland at 10am! Tasted again at the SuperBOWL and making perfect sense with a leg of lamb. A slightly diffuse, tobacco scented nose followed by a palate of moderate concentration with cedar and tobacco. Quite a soft texture but with vibrant acidity. A gentleman’s claret. Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 88-90 RP-NM

As low as $1,350.00
1987 petrus Bordeaux Red
As low as $2,990.00
1988 cheval blanc Bordeaux Red

Berry, cherry and chocolate on the nose, with hints of spices. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a spicy, cedary, dark chocolate aftertaste. Very silky and caressing. Grabs your attention. Muscular for Cheval. Overlooked by many Cheval fans.—’88/’98 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2008). Drink now. 12,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS(40 h/h; 12.5% alcohol): Bright red. Very pure floral nose with enticing aromas of redcurrant, violet, minerals, licorice, lead pencil and coffee: very cabernet franc! Then linear, pure and juicy, with pristine flavors of red berries, dark plum, minerals and coffee. This midweight finishes clean and smoothly tannic, offering amazing balance and an impression of seamlessness on the long, very floral finish. As much as I like its pure aromas and flavors, I find this Cheval Blanc lacks a little density for an even higher score. This was an overall dry and cool year, with some rain present only in the first part of the year, which caused some mildew pressure. The dry conditions started at the end of July and never really let up; from July to September, there was less than two inches of rain. Flowering was late, taking place on June 10, and veraison on August 20. Harvested during the first ten days of October.Vinous Media | 92 VM

93
WS
As low as $680.00
1988 dyquem Dessert White

The 1988 is a backward-styled Yquem, built along the lines of the extraordinary 1975. With a honeyed, smoky, orange/coconut/pineapple-scented nose, this powerful wine possesses full body, layers of highly concentrated, extracted flavors, considerable botrytis, and a sensational finish. Last tasted 12/97.Robert Parker | 99 RPThe 1988 Yquem is a vintage that I have drunk with enormous pleasure on numerous occasions. This last bottle was the perfect ending to a horizontal of 1988 Roumier wines at Noizé. It was a late harvest that lasted until All Saints Day (1 November). A total of 6 tries were necessary through the vineyard, each gifting plenty of botrytised fruit. Deep amber in hue, it offers wonderful aromas of mandarin, orange blossom, wax resin and a light adhesive scent. I was actually quite taken aback but the splendid delineation and life-affirming vitality of this example, hints of crème brûlée interwoven through the honeyed fruit, Clementine and hints of caramelised pear. It fans out wonderfully on the finish. Without doubt, this was the best bottle of 1988 Yquem that I have encountered.Vinous Media | 96 VMBroad and soft, with creamed apricot, mango, date, honey, caramel and marzipan notes, all framed by toasted brioche and musk accents. The flattering finish lets orange curd and flan details glide through. A touch shy on tension, but shows lovely range.—Non-blind Yquem vertical (July 2014). Drink now through 2030. 6,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS(Château d’Yquem (Sauternes)) This particular bottle of ’88 Yquem was drunk at a big event at Château Cheval Blanc a few years ago and I wondered at the time if it was a slightly advanced bottle. The wine was already fairly dark in color for the vintage and offered up an almost tertiary bouquet of orange peel, crème brulée, honey, apricot, almonds, a lovely and complex base of soil tones and buttery new oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, complex and surprisingly evolved for Yquem from a good, racy vintage like 1988, with a deep core, modest acids and very good length and grip on the finish. This was so stunning in its youth that I have to believe that this bottle was somehow a bit forward. (Drink between 2012-2045)John Gilman | 90+ JG

99
RP
As low as $269.00
1988 haut brion Bordeaux Red

The wine of the vintage and one of the greatest Haut-Brions ever made. Superpowerful and ripe, with masses of spice, mint and berry character. Full-bodied, with full yet polished tannins, this wine is a joy to taste and will be for decades.--1988 Bordeaux horizontal.Wine Spectator | 98 WSA more firmly structured Haut-Brion, built somewhat along the lines of the 1996, this dark garnet-colored wine is showing notes of licorice, underbrush, compost, truffles, dried herbs, creosote, and sweet black cherries and currants. Medium-bodied, rich, but still structured, this wine unfolds incrementally on the palate, showing superb density and a lot of complex Graves elements. It is just beginning to hit its plateau of full maturity. Anticipated maturity: Now-2025. Last tasted, 11/02.Robert Parker | 92 RPThe 1988 Haut Brion is another vintage that I have not seen for a number of years. It has a light, maybe slight smudged nose that is quite leafy in style, autumnal, hints of bay leaf and a light marine influence developing but never quite delivering the vigor of its sibling, the 1988 La Mission Haut-Brion. The palate is medium-bodied with dry tannin on the entry, a fine thread of acidity, but I would argue this is too simple for a First Growth in a decent vintage like this, does not engage or charm like the 1985 or 1986. Of course, matter would be redressed by the legendary 1989 Haut-Brion. The 1988? It is more like a footnote to Jean-Bernard Delmas’s crowning glory that arrived 12 months later. Tasted at the château.Vinous Media | 90 VM

96
WS
As low as $575.00
1988 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

Iodine aromas, with tobacco, cedar and sea shells, and earth and ripe fruit underneath. Full-bodied, with slightly chewy tannins and a vanilla, berry and cherry aftertaste. Big and powerful still. I would give it a little more time to mellow. But an impressive wine for the vintage.--'88/'98 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2008). Best after 2010.Wine Spectator | 94 WS(Château La Mission Haut-Brion) The 1988 Château La Mission Haut-Brion is a very strong example of the vintage, with the ’88 tendency to a slight leanness nicely complemented by the property’s inherently broad shoulders. The deep and mature nose wafts from the glass in a very complex constellation of sweet dark berries, black cherries, still a touch of medicinal Graves tones, summer truffles, a fine combination of Cuban cigar ash and wrapper, gentle meatiness, a complex base of gravelly soil notes, a bit of smoky new oak and just a hint of violet in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and beautifully balanced, with a fine core, still just a bit of backend tannin, good acids and fine focus and grip on the long and complex finish. This is one of the top 1988s that I have had a pleasure to taste and a very fine La Mission, even if it will always be just a touch sinewy by the rather robust standards of this outstanding estate. It is not quite as sweet in its fruit component (yet?) as the 1983 or 1981, but it may well get there, and if it does so, my score will be a tad conservative. (Drink between 2015-2040)John Gilman | 93+ JGThe 1988 La Mission Haut-Brion is a vintage that I have not encountered for ten years. Now at 30 years old it has a charming bouquet with scents of tobacco and cigar box infusing the black fruit, just as it did a decade ago. It is not powerful but undeniably very refined. The palate is medium-bodied with leafy black fruit infused with bay leaf, clove and black tea. Yes, it is a relatively austere La Mission compared to the succeeding two vintages, but there is a sense of effortlessness about this wine that makes you fall in love. Maybe not quite as vigorous as it was before, but you would still polish off a bottle in no time at all. Tasted at the château.Vinous Media | 92 VMFirm, masculine and tannic with plenty of earth, truffle, asphalt and volcanic characteristics, this burly La Mission-Haut-Brion is bordering on being monolithic/foursquare. It reveals good body as well as plenty of tannin, adequate acidity, a dark plum/garnet color, and classic La Mission terroir characteristics of smoke, scorched earth, spice, roasted meats and camphor. Neither big nor wimpish, it, like many wines of this vintage, appears to be aging nicely. While fully mature, it displays enough youthful characteristics, from its tannin to its vibrant, moderately intense fruit, to suggest it will hold up for another two decades.Robert Parker | 90 RP

94
RP-NM
As low as $340.00

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