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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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1961 calon segur Bordeaux Red

(Château Calon-Ségur) After having been snake-bitten with bad luck on a couple of occasions (cooked examples) with the 1961 Calon-Ségur, I was delighted to be served a bottle in pristine condition just before finishing up this feature on the estate. This is a great, great 1961 that is still a few years away from its apogee of peak drinkability. This hails from the old days at the château, when Calon was renowned for the longevity of its wines, and the 1961 is still a bit chewy and will continue to improve with further bottle age. The bouquet is very, very deep, pure and stunning, wafting from the glass in a vibrant blend of black cherries, sweet dark berries, Cuban cigar wrapper, a complex base of dark soil, a touch of coffee bean and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and rock solid at the core, with the purity of 1961’s fruit beautifully synthesized to the classic, sturdy structure of Calon and adding a perception of roundness on the backend that is very rare for Calon in this era. The finish is very, very, very long, focused and well-balanced, with a chewy nature still in evidence to the remaining tannins, and great grip and complexity closing this magical 1961. Hard to believe that this wine, which is now more than fifty years of age, is going to be even better with further bottle age! This is the finest vintage of Calon-Ségur I have ever had the pleasure to taste. (Drink between 2014-2070)John Gilman | 96 JG

96
JG
As low as $640.00
1962 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

(Lafite-rothschild Lafite-rothschild Red) The 1962 Lafite-Rothschild is served from an impeccable magnum, one of the standouts of this comprehensive vertical tasting. Perhaps the larger format and provenance should be factored in, but neither of my two previous encounters with the 1962 has come close to this. Deeper in color than the 1966, the 1962 offers impressive blackberry and bilberry on the nose, vines of cedar and graphite evolving with time flanked by subtle black olive and brine. The palate is revivifying and fresh, demonstrating exquisite delineation. There is a compelling edginess to this Lafite, with a sustained pencil lead finish backed up by plenty of saline notes. What a truly great 1962 Bordeaux and perchance an under-appreciated Lafite-Rothschild. Tasted at the Lafite-Rothschild dinner at Amuse Bouche in Hong Kong. (Drink between 2018-2035)Vinous Media | 95 VMTasted from magnum. A shade deeper and richer than the single bottle, with plenty of cedar and currant flavors, full body and a sense of intensity and liveliness. One of the most powerful Lafites in the tasting. Drink now to 2005.--Lafite Rothschild vertical. —Wine Spectator | 93 WS(Château Lafite-Rothschild) The nose on the 1962 Lafite is polished, ethereal and fully mature, which offers up a lovely, transparent mélange of red berries, cigar box, a touch of menthol, delicate notes of sage, orange zest, plenty of cedar and a touch of summer truffle. On the palate the wine is medium-full, ethereal and beautifully complex, with excellent focus, and lovely shape and grip on the tangy finish. At age forty-five this is still a very pretty wine and sophisticated wine, and while it does not deliver the same scale as the greatest vintages of Lafite, there remains this lovely perfume, elegance, complexity and great intensity of flavor that makes this an entirely satisfying drink. (Drink between 2007-2020)John Gilman | 92 JG

93
WS
As low as $640.00
1971 petrus Bordeaux Red

This bottle of 1971 Petrus is perhaps the best that I have encountered, completely overawing the 1970 served alongside. It boasts a gorgeous bouquet with delineated red berry fruit, pressed rose petals, hints of kirsch and a touch of sandalwood, perhaps even a little exotic compared to previous bottles. The palate is medium-bodied with seductive fleshiness on the entry, a surfeit of black truffle infused red fruit and life-affirming purity. Unlike other bottles, this example seems to meliorate with aeration, gaining intensity and depth towards the precise and tender finish. I doubt that I will find another 1971 Petrus as good as this. Tasted at the Petrus dinner at Hide restaurant in London.Vinous Media | 97 VMThis wine has been seemingly fully mature since the mid- to late seventies. It is a seductive, opulent vintage for Petrus. The color now is a dark garnet with considerable amber at the rim. The incredible nose of Christmas fruitcake intermixed with mocha, jammy kirsch, and black currants is followed by a silky textured, full-bodied, very opulent wine that is still totally intact. The tannins have totally dissipated, and the wine is an unctuous, seductive Petrus that is certainly one of the vintages that is most delicious and compelling. A sensational wine and probably the wine of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: Now-2011. Last tasted, 11/02.Robert Parker | 95 RPThis wine is as comfortable as your favorite pair of slippers. Extremely caressing, with wonderfully enticing aromas and flavors of tobacco and violets and a rich, round palate.--Pétrus vertical. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

95
RP
As low as $5,665.00
1981 latour Bordeaux Red

Often the measure of a great terroir and producer are the so-called off vintages, which frequently surprise and delight to punch far above their weight. The 81 Latour is a classic case in point. From an unheralded year, this particular bottle had clearly been kept in fabulous condition. The youthful colour is not dissimilar to the 96 and the nose still provides plenty of primary Cabernet-based fruit (classic cassis, lead pencil and cedar) with some tertiary notes in the background. Then a lovely attack on the palate; dry with very correct blackcurrant fruit, balsam, a hint of savoury iron rust and a vein of autumnal forest floor. Gentle, melting tannins, medium weight and a clean acidic cut enable the wine to glide effortlessly across the tastebuds. The finish is harmonious, long and cries out for another bottle. In short, a textbook claret which is now at its drinking best, even more so with a cut of roast lamb.Drinking Window 2015 - 2020.Decanter | 93 DEC

92
WS
As low as $595.00
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 $370.00
1981 pavie Bordeaux Red

I’ve always had a soft spot for the 1981 vintage as well as these two châteaux. This was the first vintage of Bordeaux that I bought, back in 1984, with some knowledge of the region (or so I thought at the time) and Cos because the first serious vertical that I ever attended was of their wines from 1982 back to 1952. Pavie? Well, to be honest, it was the label that drew me in at first, being all old-timey Bordeaux and all. The first Pavie that I bought was a 1979 from a wine shop in Boston and from the get-go I was hooked on the blend of power and finesse that a St.-Emilion from a great terroir can exhibit. Being able to visit both of these estates in late June of 1989, on the same broiling hot day, sealed the deal.Ninteen eight-one is what some would derisively call a ‘classic’ or ‘restaurant’ vintage. In the old days some would say ‘a useful vintage’ for the fact that the wines are mostly to be drunk while waiting for “great” vintages to mature or to keep ones’ hands off of already mature ‘great’ vintages resting in the cellar. That belittles wines such as these two, I think, because more times than not I crave a graceful, finely delineated and less dramatic wine than one from a blockbuster vintage. Both of these bottles deliver the goods.Purchased by a good friend on release here in New York, both the Cos and the Pavie are decidedly at peak but based on these bottles there’s no need to fear the reaper. The Cos is a textbook rendition of the old style at the châteaux, with intense cigar box, dried cherry, licorice and pipe tobacco character and smooth, harmonious tannins that have all but faded away. As might be expected, the Pavie is more dramatic in character, but still showing the restraint that’s been typical of the ‘81s since release, offering a haunting, floral- and spice-dominated bouquet and plush, seamless plum and cherry flavors. Like the Cos, it’s fully mature but there’s no sign of undue fatigue, either. In both cases, pretty remarkable for 34 year-old wines from a vintage that’s now been mostly forgotten, but not by me.Vinous Media | 91 VM

As low as $260.00
1982 canon Bordeaux Red

This wine shows fabulous aromas of stones and flowers with dried fruits and spices. It’s subtle yet full with ultra-fine tannins and a gorgeous, long finish. Drink now.James Suckling | 97 JSA consistently spectacular 1982, this wine provided sumptuous drinking the first 5-6 years after bottling. Since the late eighties the wine has become more structured without losing any of its power, fat, or concentration. It is capable of lasting at least another decade, although I will not quibble with any readers who can no longer defer their gratification. The dense color reveals no amber. Young, primary aromas of black fruits, toasty oak, crushed stones, and flowers dominate the wine’s moderately intense nose. Thick, rich, full-bodied, and multi-dimensional, this is unquestionably the most concentrated Canon I have ever tasted. This large-scaled, super-rich, sweet wine is one of the rare Canons that possesses more depth of fruit than tannin. Drink it over the next 10-15 years. Anticipated maturity: Now-2018. Last tasted, 12/02Robert Parker | 94 RP(Château Canon) The 1982 vintage of Château Canon continues to drink beautifully and is really one of the more flamboyant vintages I have ever tasted from the property. The superb bouquet jumps from the glass in a blaze of black cherries, menthol, a hint of nutskin, a beautifully complex base of limestone soil tones, woodsmoke and a touch of toasty oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very sappy at the core, with excellent focus and grip, melting tannins and a very long, voluptuous and classy finish. A complete, very complex and utterly marvelous Canon. (Drink between 2018-2050).John Gilman | 94 JGShows mint, black tea, [i]sous-bois[n] and sandalwood notes that are distinctive and alluring. Long and refined on the finish, with supple black cherry and boysenberry fruit gliding throughout. Wins mostly on aroma, but there’s still sneaky depth and length here. Lovely.—Non-blind Canon vertical (December 2016). Drink now through 2022.Wine Spectator | 93 WSUnfortunately, the magnum of 1982 Canon poured at dinner was not showing well, though another bottle tasted in Bordeaux attests a decent Saint-Émilion in a period when the estate was long overdue investment. Fully-mature, the nose does not possess the vigour of say, the 1982 Figeac, though there are pleasant hung gamey notes and a scent of a Tuscan delicatessen. The palate has a nice mouthfeel, quite fleshy with tobacco and leather-tinged red fruit; the finish is still quite rustic but with charm in spades. A fine Canon, though not top-flight, and bottles should be drunk soon.Vinous Media | 90 VM

96
WS
As low as $460.00
1982 clos fourtet Bordeaux Red
As low as $215.00
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 pavie Bordeaux Red
As low as $370.00
1983 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

This is Lafite. Prune and spices, with a cedar and wet tobacco character on the nose. Even tea. Full and rich with a dark China tea and cedar character. Just a hint of chocolate. Opens in the glass like a genie. Amazing.James Suckling | 96 JSThe 1983 Lafite-Rothschild is a vintage that I used to taste regularly, but now, not for a few years. I love it whilst my neighbor is less impressed, that being Saskia de Rothschild. "What a lovely Lafite!" I exclaim trying to persuade her and failing miserably. Blackberry, melted tar, a touch of truffle mixed with dried blood, secondary aromas lending real complexity and personality. The palate is underpinned by a crisp line of acidity, touches of tobacco, morels and smoke emerging towards the second half. I am impressed by its energy after 35-years and the persistence on the finish. It always was one of the best First Growth behind Château Margaux and I suspect that remains the case. Tasted at the Lafite-Rothschild 150th anniversary dinner at the estate.Vinous Media | 94 VMFinally, the 1983 Lafite is beginning to shed its tannin. The wine exhibits a deep ruby/garnet color with only a slight lightening at the edge. The intoxicatingly perfumed nose of lead pencil, pain grille, red and black fruits, minerals, and roasted herbs is provocative. In the mouth, this wine displays considerable body for a Lafite, plenty of power, and a fleshy, rich, sweet mid-palate. Long, elegant, plump, and surprisingly fleshy, this outstanding example of Lafite seems largely forgotten given the number of high quality vintages during the golden decade of the eighties. Anticipated maturity: Now-2030. Last tasted 3/97Robert Parker | 93 RPThis is a little more evolved than the other two 1980s wines in the lineup here. The 1983 vintage was a little more difficult in Pauillac than down in Margaux, but the evolution has been extremely slow and it still tastes hugely enticing, with cigar box and touches of underripe tea leaf notes balanced by some lovely soft cassis and brambly autumnal fruits edged with cold ash. Drinking Window 2018 - 2030.Decanter | 92 DECAnother excellent vintage for Lafite. Extremely fresh, with lovely blackberry and cassis character, a medium body and full tannins. Needs time. Try after 1996.--The Bordeaux 50.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

96
ST
As low as $505.00
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 $310.00
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 nairac Dessert
As low as $65.00
1983 rieussec Dessert White

Nectar-like if a bit on the sweet side, impressively complex, concentrated and focused. Deep gold, big, sweet and rich, with gobs of concentrated fig, brown sugar, butterscotch and oak flavor. A knockout.Wine Spectator | 94 WSLight golden with just the slightest tint of green, the 1983 Rieussec, from an excellent year for Sauternes, is certainly one of this property’s greatest wines. Well structured with excellent acidity, and a deep, long, rich, full-bodied, viscous texture, this wine, despite the richness and power, is neither heavy nor cloying. It has gorgeous balance and a very long, lingering, spectacular finish. One of the great successes of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: Now-2005. Last tasted, 3/88.Robert Parker | 92 RP

94
WS
As low as $110.00
1984 margaux Bordeaux Red

No written review provided. | 91 WS

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

(Château Ausone) The 1985 vintage of Château Ausone was not particularly touted when it was released, but this is a great wine that should ultimately prove to be one of the greatest Ausones of the decade of the 1980s. The bouquet is deep, pure and youthfully exotic, as it soars from the glass in a very vibrant blend of baked cherries, blood orange, menthol, woodsmoke, glorious soil tones, a touch of dill and a potpourri of other more classic fresh herb tones. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very intensely flavored, with a sappy core of fruit, great soil inflection, ripe, well-integrated tannins and superb length and grip on the tangy finish. A classic Ausone in the making, I would not touch the ’85 for another decade, despite the fact that it is already quite accessible. There are just too many layers of complexity still to unfold here to be opening bottles right now! (Drink between 2020-2070).John Gilman | 94 JGPure fruit aromas of raspberry and strawberry; full-bodied with fine tannins.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

94
WS
As low as $595.00
1985 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

(Château Lafite-Rothschild) This was my last bottle of ’85 Lafite out of the cellar, as I only bought three bottles when it was released and dearly wish I had bought more, as the wine is rather more expensive today than it was back in 1987! This is an utterly brilliant year for Lafite and one of my favorite wines of the vintage, as it offers up a deep and very complex nose of cassis, sweet dark berries, a touch of fresh coconut, beautifully complex, gravelly soil tones, cigar smoke, fresh herbs and cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very refined, with a rock solid core of sappy fruit, stunning complexity, impeccable focus and balance, moderate tannins and a fairly powerful finish (particularly for Lafite from this era) that closes with great purity and grip. A brilliant synthesis of the vintage’s plush and suave personality and the inimitable elegance of Lafite. (Drink between 2012-2060)John Gilman | 96 JGThis is so beautiful now and exhibits real aged-Bordeaux character with currant-bush, tobacco and berry aromas that follow through to a medium body with firm tannins and a creamy finish. Still so together. The finish turns to cigar box, sandalwood and berry. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 96 JSLast tasted in 2018 at the Lafite 160th anniversary supper, and it is delivering just as much pleasure a few years later - this is classically true when a wine is on its plateau, particularly in good vintages, when it can hold the line for a stubbornly long time. This just contains so much of what makes Lafite Lafite - there is an effortless elegance, it is subtle but rewarding, building in layers and complexity over the palate. Now in the tertiary period where the fine tannins are fully integrated but still offering support to brambled fruits, cured leather, black spice, sage, mint and salted truffles. Baron Eric in charge, Gilbert Rokvam technical director and Yves le Canu director. The vineyard was 90ha at the time, so around 20ha smaller than today. 5% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Drinking Window 2021 - 2036.Decanter | 94 DECTasted at the château, the 1985 Lafite-Rothschild was the best example of this wine that I have tasted a dozen or so times. It has a beautiful nose that is just classic Lafite. It is still fresh yet understated, stately even, with tobacco and cedar-tinged red berry fruit. It is not a powerful bouquet, but there is something...magnetic about it. The palate is still youthful with fine tannin, like the nose, understated yet very well balanced. The acidity here is perfectly judged with an almost nonchalant finish. You almost miss its virtues - it is just so self-effacing and insouciant. Just a really lovely Lafite-Rothschild at the peak of its powers. Tasted March 2016.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 93 RP-NMThe 1985 Lafite-Rothschild is only a modest success in the context of the vintage. Here, it is totally outclassed by the 1985 Las Cases. Light, slightly loose-knit red berry fruit on the nose is complemented by warm gravel and smoky aromas, though it lacks a bit of energy. The palate is nicely balanced, not powerful but focused, with adequate freshness. As mentioned in my previous tasting note, this has dispensed with some density in recent years, and if your expectations are modest, it remains enjoyable. Tasted at Hameau de Barbaron in Burgundy.Vinous Media | 93 VMA graceful wine with cedar, berry and cherry aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a succulent, sweet fruit finish. Delicious to drink now.--Cabernet Challenge.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

96
JG
As low as $1,020.00
1985 pavie Bordeaux Red

Yet another winner from Pavie. Caresses the palate and defines elegance. Lovely mint, berry and chocolate character. Full-bodied yet very refined. Better after 1997.--The Bordeaux 50.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

91
WS
As low as $280.00
1986 canon Bordeaux Red

Elegant and refined, offering lots of lovely aromas and flavors of cherry, berry and roasted meat. Full in body and very silky in tannins. Try in 1997.--Canon vertical.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

90
WS
As low as $170.00
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 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 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 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

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