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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 $640.00
1973 latour Bordeaux Red
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 $775.00
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
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 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 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 $750.00
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
1984 margaux Bordeaux Red

No written review provided. | 91 WS

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

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

96
RP-NM
As low as $825.00
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 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 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 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
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 $570.00
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 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
1989 haut brion Bordeaux Red

(Château Haut-Brion) It had been more than a decade since I last tasted a bottle of the 1989 Haut-Brion (having absolutely zero interest in opening any bottles out of my cellar before this wine has fully apogee), so I was very happy to see it on display at the Hart-Davis-Hart tasting. This is a brilliant wine that has not lost an iota of its luster as it has aged, soaring from the glass in a brilliantly pure and bottomless bouquet of cassis, dark berries, cigar smoke, a very complex base of dark soil tones, Cuban cigars, fresh herbs and a refined base of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and stunningly plush on the attack, with a sappy core of pure fruit, stunning soil signature, ripe, firm tannins and simply brilliant length and grip on the still very young, seamless and boundless finish. This wine has often been compared to the 1959 Haut-Brion, but I have to believe that the 1989 will be even better when it reaches its peak of maturity! This is still a very young wine (far less evolved than the superb 1990) and I would not touch a bottle for at least another dozen years or more. It should last close to a century. (Drink between 2025-2100).John Gilman | 100 JGThis continues to be a perfect wine with a beautiful, dense character of tobacco and sweet fruits. Chocolate, toasted walnuts and flowers here too. It’s full-bodied with velvety tannins. Lasts for minutes on the palate.James Suckling | 100 JSA spectacular wine that only goes from strength to strength, and which ranks among the pinnacles of my birth year vintage, the 1989 Haut-Brion wafts from the glass with a rich bouquet of blackberries, blackcurrants, cigar wrapper, loamy soil, black truffle, burning embers and vine smoke. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it’s sumptuous and dramatic, with huge reserves of fruit that are complemented by carnal, savory nuances and framed by melting tannins and ripe acids. Concluding with a long, resonant finish, the only criticism one can make is that a 750-milliliter bottle simply isn’t enough.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPWhat a gorgeous, seductive and beautiful wine, as always. I can’t get over the perfumed aromas of subtle milk chocolate, cedar and sweet tobacco. Full-bodied, yet so refined and silky, lasting for minutes on the palate. Everything is in just the right proportion. This is a wine that will go on forever. I love it. One of my great loves in the wine world.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 12,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 100 WSThe 1989 Haut-Brion is very, very good. All the telltale Haut-Brion signatures of dark fruit, minerals, herbs, gravel and spice are present, but this bottle is lacking the textural opulence and depth of the best examples. Readers who have had the 1989 know what an epic wine it usually is.Antonio Galloni | 97 AG

100
RP
As low as $3,499.00
1989 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

Beautiful, rich and still extremely young, this is Lafite at its gulpable, elegant, sculpted, age-defying best. Deeply-spiced cassis notes are joined by touches of cedar - the result of a dry year that saw one of the earliest harvests since 1898. The grapes were picked with high alcohol and ripe tannins and they have absolutely lasted, and will continue to do so. The tannins are cradling the fruit, barely perceptible and yet still fully in control. Drinking Window 2018 - 2040.Decanter | 98 DECChâteau Lafite-Rothschild Pauillac 1989: I have never been a huge fan of this Lafite but it seems to be coming into its own now. It’s a wine with a character of cloves and berries with hints plums. It shows loads of potpourri. Roses too. Full and so balanced. Tight and youthful. The winemaker at Lafite says that when he wants to show someone a perfect example of Pauillac this is the Lafite he pours. Maybe he is right?James Suckling | 97 JS(Château Lafite-Rothschild) The 1989 Château Lafite-Rothschild is an outstanding example of the vintage and this is one of my favorite wines from this very, very successful decade at this great property. The bouquet is pure and nicely ripe with the vintage’s generosity, wafting from the glass in a complex blend of cassis, black cherries, tobacco leaf, a beautiful base of gravelly soil, a touch of fresh herbs and a very well-done framing of toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very suave on the attack, with impeccable focus and balance, a lovely core of black fruit, fine soil signature and a long, seamlessly tannic and complex finish. Just a lovely, lovely vintage of Lafite. (Drink between 2016-2060).John Gilman | 95 JGSubtle, yet rich and decadent, offering meat, sweet berry and fresh leather on the nose. Full and very soft, with velvety tannins and a long, fruity finish. This has so much ripe fruit. Reserved and firm, this is turning to a very fine and shy Lafite. This is fresh and structured, but still holding back. I wouldn’t wait, though.--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 93 WSThe 1989 Lafite-Rothschild, a wine that I have had several times both from bottle and magnum, is a better wine than the 1990, although I wonder whether its best days are now behind it. There is noticeably more bricking on the rim compared directly with the succeeding vintage. I also notice a touch of VA on this bottle with scents of molasses, cedar and a dab of the old boot polish. I find that the 1989 has more personality than the 1990 Lafite. The palate is supple and rounded in the mouth, a sense of warmth here although not complex and I would prefer more tension on the finish as it delivers allspice, mulberry and sage on the aftertaste. I wonder where this will go? At the moment it is difficult to see: heading down a cul-de-sac or Route 66? Tasted at the Lafite-Rothschild dinner at Amuse Bouche in Hong Kong and then blind at the Lafite-Rothschild 150th anniversary dinner at the property.Vinous Media | 91 VMAs I suspected, the 1989 and 1990 vintages of Lafite-Rothschild have gone dormant. Both wines were among the more closed, backward examples in my blind tasting. The 1989 Lafite is also outstanding, but closed, with the tannin more elevated, and the wine so stubbornly reticent as to make evaluation almost impossible. Lafite’s 1989 was far more easy to taste and understand several years ago. It appears to have gone completely to sleep. This medium ruby-colored, medium-bodied wine reveals new oak in the nose, and a spicy finish. It is a quintessentially elegant, restrained, understated style of Lafite. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2025.Robert Parker | 90 RP

98
DEC
As low as $3,599.00

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