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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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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 $730.00
1973 latour Bordeaux Red
As low as $640.00
1974 Mouton Rothschild
As low as $505.00
1976 Mouton Rothschild
As low as $550.00
1978 mouton rothschild Bordeaux Red

Supple yet strong willed, this is mature enough for drinking now, with chocolate, cherry, violet, vanilla and raspberry notes.--Mouton-Rothschild vertical.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

92
WS
As low as $515.00
1979 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

Fruity, deep and firm, filled with plum and cherry, backed by youthful, stiff tannins. Needs time for complexity to develop. Try in 1995.--Lafite Rothschild vertical.Wine Spectator | 92 WS(Château Lafite-Rothschild) The ’79 Lafite has been fully mature for a number of years now, and though it shows plenty of life still ahead of it, the wine is losing a bit of its elegance as it continues to creep along its plateau of maturity. Ten years ago this was a classically elegant middleweight Lafite, but as it has continued to age it has taken on some of the sauvage aromatic characteristics of a vintage of Lafite such as ’75. It is still a fine drink, but I would opt for drinking it up in regular-sized format over the relative near-term, as it does not appear to me to be moving in the right stylistic direction. The bouquet offers up notes of cassis, soggy tobacco, orange zest, a bit of grilled meat, dusty soil tones and cedar. It has lost the lovely floral topnote it possessed five or six years ago. On the palate the wine is medium-full and elegant on the attack, with moderate depth, but good intensity of flavor, and now a bit of structural delicacy adding fragility today on the backend. Still a lovely and serious wine, but with time now in hand, the ’79 Lafite has slipped a couple of points on my scale over the last five years. (Drink between 2004-2010).John Gilman | 90 JG

92
WS
As low as $860.00
1980 Mouton Rothschild
90-92
RPNM
As low as $595.00
1981 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

This wine is close to full maturity, but it is capable of holding for another two decades. It reveals the classic Lafite bouquet of red and black fruits, cedar, fruitcake, and tobacco-like aromas. In the mouth, this medium ruby/garnet-colored wine displays a delicacy of fruit and sweet attack, but subtle, well-defined flavors ranging from tobacco, cigar box, cedar, and fruitcake. This is a savory, soft Lafite-Rothschild that is pleasing to both the intellect and the palate. Anticipated maturity: Now-2018. Last tasted 3/97Robert Parker | 91 RP

As low as $820.00
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
1982 latour Bordeaux Red

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

100
RP
As low as $3,600.00
1982 Mouton Rothschild

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

100
RP
As low as $2,299.00
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 latour Bordeaux Red

(Château Latour (Pauillac) served from magnum) The 1983 Château Latour has never had a great reputation, and I probably had not tasted the wine since close to its release back in the mid-1980s. I was very surprised to see just how stunning the wine has turned out to be, given that Robert Parker only gave it 87 points back in the day. However, this particular magnum was absolutely stellar, offering up a deep, complex and classic nose of cassis, black cherries, dark gravelly soil tones, tobacco leaf, cedar and a topnote of cigar smoke. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with fine structure and grip, excellent gravelly undertow, still moderate tannins and a long, complex and perfectly balanced and classic Latour finish. This is a very, very underrated vintage of Latour. (Drink between 2018-2075).John Gilman | 95 JGA solid, firm wine with a tannin structure that is softening. Aromas of chocolate, ripe fruit and meat. Full-bodied, with loads of fruit and tannins and a long, long finish. Thick and chewy. Gorgeous.--Latour vertical. Drink now through 2010.Wine Spectator | 94 WSVery dried fruit on the nose that borders on raisins. Cooked fruits and coffee come through as well on the palate. Full and velvety texture with herbs on the finish.James Suckling | 90 JSThe 1983 Latour is a delightful surprise. It is a vintage that I had not seen for a few years, and I had just two vague recollections of an ordinary First Growth; this was far superior and unquestionably the best bottle I have encountered. Modest bricking on the rim. The harmonious bouquet is fragrant and well defined, demonstrating a little leafiness with hints of leather. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and a touch more fruit than I would have predicted, and laced with tobacco and pencil lead. Previously I lamented that the 1983 lacks vigor and vivacity. While this bottle is not the liveliest I have ever met, it has sufficient energy at 35 years to give much drinking pleasure. In a word: sedate. Tasted blind at Brat restaurant.Vinous Media | 90 VM

94
WS
As low as $795.00
1984 Mouton Rothschild

No written review provided. | 92 WS

92
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 $1,045.00
1985 mouton rothschild Bordeaux Red

What an awe-inspiring nose of currants, shaved lead pencil, white truffles and earth. It’s full-bodied and enveloped by silky tannins that lead to an earthy, long finish. Old, traditional Bordeaux with soul and remarkable complexity. Sensational. Drink now.James Suckling | 99 JS(Château Mouton-Rothschild (served from magnum)) I know that I am in the minority, but at the present time, I much prefer the quality of the utterly classic 1985 Mouton to the highly regarded, but rather dense and recalcitrant 1986. There is a purity, complexity and classic profile to the 1985 Mouton that is yet to show itself in the much more powerfully constructed 1986, and which may never emerge from that much more extracted wine. Out of magnum, the 1985 Mouton is stunning and still a tad on the young side, soaring from the glass in a blaze of cassis, tobacco leaf, gravelly soil tones, a touch of coffee, fresh herbs and a very stylish base of smoky new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and impressively complex, with a fine core of fruit, moderate tannins and outstanding length and grip on the very poised and classy finish. Out of magnum this is still a fairly young wine. (Drink between 2018-2075).John Gilman | 94+ JGThe customary glamour of Mouton is on display here, with softened but welcoming blackberry, bilberry and raspberry fruits, still offering texture and juice through the palate. This is matched by clove, cinnamon, caramel and smoke. Another era at Mouton, making this even more delightful to drink - Baron Philippe was still heading up the estate as he had since 1922, and would continue to until his death in 1988, making this his 63rd vintage, and the legendary Raoul Blondin was cellarmaster (he oversaw 60 vintages before his eventual retirement in 1989). 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Paul Delvaux label. Harvest September 26 to October 11. Drinking Window 2021 - 2036.Decanter | 93 DECThe 1985 Mouton-Rothschild came from magnum. Unfortunately, there was a little cork taint on the nose, so this tasting note actually comes from a bottle that I tasted in Bordeaux. The bouquet is open, very classic in style, perhaps blind more like the 1986 with scents of pine cones and undergrowth. It was always quite a backward and (for the vintage) quite surly on the nose. The palate is well balanced with cedar and truffle, firm tannins with gentle grip, maybe missing a bit of flair towards the finish. It is an enjoyable Mouton-Rothschild, though you might have wanted a little more panache. Tasted at the "Judgement of Clapham Junction" dinner in London.Vinous Media | 92 VMThe rich, complex, well-developed bouquet of oriental spices, toasty oak, herbs, and ripe fruit is wonderful. On the palate, the wine is also rich, forward, long, and sexy. It ranks behind both Haut-Brion and Chateau Margaux in 1985. I am surprised by how evolved and ready to drink this wine is. Readers looking for a big, boldly constructed Mouton should search out other vintages, as this is a tame, forward, medium-weight wine that is close to full maturity. It is capable of lasting another 15+ years. This estate compares their 1985 to their 1959, but to me it is more akin to their 1962 or 1953. Anticipated maturity: Now-2012. Last tasted, 10/97.Robert Parker | 90 RP

As low as $685.00
1985 pichon lalande Bordeaux Red

(Château Pichon-Lalande) While I have been a big fan of the 1985 vintage in Bordeaux for many years and have written quite a bit about these wines in recent times, I had not tasted a bottle of the 1985 Pichon-Lalande since I cannot remember when. I sold this wine right out of the blocks in my merchant days and always liked it well enough, but in my formative years, I found it a bit too “weedy” and did not end up cellaring it for my own collection. I think this was the only vintage of Pichon-Lalande I did not buy for my cellar in that era, as I started laying in the wines with the 1981 vintage and bought them every year (even the 1984 and 1987) up through the 1989, before my buying habits (and my more limited cellar budget in those days) turned towards Burgundy. But, I skipped the 1985 and that was too bad, as the wine has aged quite beautifully and is now drinking with great style and grace. The bouquet is a superb blend of cassis, dark berries, coffee, cigar wrapper, a dollop of fresh herbs, gravel, black tea and toasty oak. On the palate the wine is pure, fullish and beautifully complex, with a good core of fruit, lovely soil signature, melted tannins and fine length and grip on the very classy finish. This is not a powerful vintage of Pichon, but it is an utterly complete one! (Drink between 2019-2045).John Gilman | 93 JGQuite ripe, with flavors of plum cake, warm pain d’épices, mint, Christmas pudding and fruitcake embedded in mulled currant and fig fruit. Offers a long, coffee-tinged finish, alluring ripeness and an easy structure.--Non-blind Pichon Lalande vertical (July 2014). Drink now through 2025.Wine Spectator | 92 WSAn intensely fragrant bouquet of weedy cassis fruit, toasted bread, and smoke is evolved and developed. In the mouth, the wine is medium to full-bodied, supple and smooth, with flavors of jammy black fruits and herbs. The finish is lush and silky. This wine has not yet begun to close up and I am beginning to doubt whether it will. A seductive-styled Pichon Lalande, it should drink well for another 10-15 years.Robert Parker | 91 RP

94
RP-NM
As low as $280.00
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 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 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 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 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
1987 latour Bordeaux Red
As low as $640.00
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 $550.00
1988 latour Bordeaux Red

So minty, with loads of subtle ripe fruit and eucalyptus undertones. Full-bodied, with ultrafine tannins and a long, long finish. Caresses every inch of the palate. It’s the quality of the tannins that’s impressive here. What a great and beautiful wine. Should improve for many years to come.--’88/’98 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2008). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThe 1988 Latour is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. It has quite a deep colour considering that it is now 30 years old with little maturation on its rim. I appreciate the nose here: quite dense at first and yet well-defined, plenty of fruit extant that is now laced with sandalwood, sous-bois, sage and just a hint of liquorish. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin. This Latour is quite savory in style with touches of allspice, meat juices infusing the black fruit that dovetail into a tarry, graphite finish. It is less austere than I was expecting and the substance and freshness suggests that it will continue to drink well for a number of years. Tasted at the château.Vinous Media | 93 VMThe best showing yet for a wine from this under-rated vintage, the dark garnet-colored 1988 Latour reveals slight amber at the edge. A bouquet of melted tar, plums, black currants, cedar, and underbrush is followed by a sweet entry, with medium to full body, excellent ripeness, and mature tannin. It is a classic, elegant Latour with more meaty, vegetable-like flavors than are found in a riper year, such as 1989 and 1990. The 1988 has just begun to enter its plateau of maturity, where it should remain for 25 years. Anticipated maturity: now-2025.Robert Parker | 91 RP

96
WS
As low as $750.00

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