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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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1982 ducru beaucaillou Bordeaux Red

The finest bottle I’ve had of this wine (which came from the estate), the 1982 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou continues to drink brilliantly and is a magical Saint-Julien. Still healthy ruby hued with a mature yet insanely complex bouquet of sweet red and black fruits, cedary herbs, graphite, tobacco, and forest floor, it’s powerful yet seamless on the palate, with resolved tannins, no hard edges, and a fabulous finish. This is mature Bordeaux in all its glory. Drink bottles any time over the coming two decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JD"The harvest lasted 16 days from the 16th September," proprietor Bruno Borie mentioned about the 1982 Ducru-Beaucaillou. Medium brick colored, it comes galloping out of the glass with bold, expressive notes of Black Forest cake, preserved plums and mincemeat pie with hints of cigar box, star anise, eucalyptus and espresso plus wafts of roasted nuts and iron ore. Medium to full-bodied, generous and opulent, the palate has beautifully ripe, fine-grained tannins and tons of youthful fruit, finishing with epically long-lasting layers of preserved black fruits and exotic spices.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RP(Château Ducru-Beaucaillou) The 1982 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou remains one of the very finest wines of the vintage on the Left Bank and it is just now starting to blossom properly and hit on all cylinders. The bouquet is pure and displays First Growth depth and complexity, soaring from the glass in a fine constellation of sweet cassis and dark berries, a very complex base of gravelly soil tones, Cuban cigar wrapper, gentle smokiness and a deftly turned base of smoky new oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and sappy at the core, with stellar focus and balance, still a touch of ripe tannin perking up the backend and a very, very long, refined and complex finish. This is a great, great vintage of Ducru that may one day rival the near perfection of the 1961. (Drink between 2018-2075).John Gilman | 97 JGThis is a wine that I had forgotten about. It shows beautiful sweet tobacco, flowers, and currants on the nose. It’s full body, silky with fine tannins. It’s ready and pretty. Served from imperial bottle.James Suckling | 93 JSThis Ducru ’82 has always been a beauty. Dark ruby in color, with a slight amber edge. Very fresh and floral, with loads of berry and rose character. Medium-bodied, with a good balance of soft tannins and a caressing finish.--1982 Bordeaux horizontal. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

97
JD
As low as $549.00
1982 gruaud larose Bordeaux Red

A massive wine that is clearly of first-growth quality in this vintage, the 1982 Gruaud Larose remains a youngster. A broodingly dense, thick, unctuously textured, inky/plum/garnet/purple color offers up scents of beef blood, steak tartare, cassis, herbs, tobacco, and underbrush. One of the most concentrated wines of the vintage (as well as one of the most concentrated Bordeaux’s I have ever tasted), it is a huge, full-bodied, weighty, rich wine whose tannins are getting silkier and silkier. It appears set for another 30-40 years of life. This behemoth is a singularly profound example of Gruaud Larose that continues to justify its legendary status. Anticipated maturity: now-2050.Robert Parker | 98 RPThe 1982 Gruaud Larose has long been one of my favourite Saint Julien wines from that vintage. From magnum, the exquisite bouquet of black fruit, leather and hints of game and antique bureau is fully mature yet vigorous and so joyful. The palate is medium-bodied, with fine tannins that have melted in recent years. Here, there is more red than black fruit, suffused with tobacco, sage and cedar notes, impressive in terms of grip and fanning out gloriously towards the finish. Bottles with sound provenance are à point and will continue to give pleasure for another 20, perhaps 30 years. Tasted at the Lafaurie-Peyraguey vertical in Bordeaux.Vinous Media | 95 VMOne of the best wines ever made at this estate. Dense ruby color with a slight amber edge. Intense grape, berry and raspberry aromas. Full-bodied, with loads of velvety tannins and a long, ripe fruit and mineral aftertaste.--1982 Bordeaux horizontal. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 94 WS(Château Gruaud-Larose) The 1982 Gruaud-Larose is just starting blossom at age thirty and is a lovely example of the vintage. The deep and complex bouquet offers up a black fruity mélange of cassis, a bit of spiced meat, cigar ash, dark soil tones, a touch of petroleum jelly, nutskins and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and just coming out of its adolescent phase, with a rock solid core of fruit, ripe tannins and lovely length and grip on the modestly tannic and impressively tangy finish. For purists, there is a touch of brettanomyces here that they may find off-putting, but it is quite modest and I have no problem with this level of brett in a wine. (Drink between 2015-2065).John Gilman | 93 JG

98
RP
As low as $695.00
1982 montrose Bordeaux Red

Intense aromas of kirsch, currant and spice follow through to a full-bodied palate, with round, velvety tannins and a long, long finish. This is complex, changing on the nose and palate. Layered and structured. Will improve for many years to come.--Non-blind Château Montrose vertical. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 96 WSUnder the ownership of Jean-Louis Charmolüe (who remained in place from 1960 until 2006 and who just died in January of this year). Gorgeous, brick-edged, soft brambled fruit, cassis and bilberry tinged with hedgerow, undergrowth, truffles. 100% 1st wine at this point, as Dame de Montrose arrived in 1986 - and yet the quality of the structure and tannins is still clearly on display. Drinking Window 2018 - 2040.Decanter | 96 DECThe 1982 Montrose served as my introduction to the vintage many moons ago and strangely, after all that time, this is the best bottle that I have encountered. Dark fruit on the nose with candied orange peel, cigar humidor and just a touch of sous-bois, this feels very focused and conveys more intensity than previous bottles. The palate is medium-bodied with plenty of dark red fruit, youthful and structured, maybe a little disjointed towards the finish, which for the first time, does not display any under-ripeness. Very fine. Tasted blind at the "Two" dinner at Domaine de Chevalier.Vinous Media | 92 VMA wine that has long enjoyed a somewhat mixed reputation, the 1982 Montrose continues to drink very well at age 40; in fact, this tasting note reflects the best bottle I’ve ever drunk of this vintage. Exhibiting aromas of sweet berry fruit, cedar box and loamy soil, it’s medium to full-bodied, supple and fleshy, with lively acids, melted tannins and a soft, subtly leather-inflected finish. While it isn’t as concentrated or characterful as the brilliant 1989 or 1990, for example, it’s a generous, open-knit wine that’s far from being in danger of imminent decline.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91 RP

96
DEC
As low as $445.00
1982 rauzan segla Bordeaux Red

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

92
JG
As low as $275.00
1983 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

Again so young, almost not ready to drink but if you are patient things open up and start to sing. The tannic structure on this wine is just so impressive, still doing a good job of cradling blackberry and cassis fruits. It's a little less welcoming than the 1982. Harvest September 28 to October 18 (they began here one day before they finished up the 1982, and the yields were even bigger). More Cabernet in the blend than in 1982 because this was such a late ripening year that suited this variety. Petit Verdot 5% finishes blend. Drinking Window 2018 - 2045.Decanter | 94 DEC(Château Leoville Las Cases) The 1983 Las Cases is still a very young and primary example of the vintage, and at age thirty, I am not sure if the wine is still in an extended “dumb” phase, or if this vintage is always going to be a bit dense in style. The bouquet is a youthful blend of cassis, black cherries, Cuban cigars, gravelly soil tones and spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still quite compact, with a sound core, rather moderate tannins (particularly for such an unevolved wine!) and good, but not great length and grip on the hunkered down finish. Perhaps this wine will blossom with more bottle age, but it is also very possible that the use of concentrators or what have you has left this wine eternally bound up in its cellar techniques and will never really develop the purity and charm that characterize so many of the great wines in this vintage. It is still not a bad wine in its forceful manner, but one expects more from Las Cases in a top vintage. (Drink between 2018-2050)John Gilman | 90+ JG

92-
94RP-NM
As low as $325.00
1985 cos destournel Bordeaux Red

The 1985 from cask could have been a lighter version of the 1982 and 1953 vintages. Forward, with a fabulously scented bouquet of pain grille and concentrated red and black fruits (especially black cherries), it is rich, lush, long, and medium to full-bodied. Very fragrant, with gobs of sweet black fruits, minerals, and spice in both its flavors and aromatics, this is one of the most forward wines from Cos. Anticipated maturity: now-2010. Last tasted 4/97.Robert Parker | 93 RPThe 1985 Cos d’Estournel is another vintage that I have not encountered for a number of years. It is mature with wide bricking on the rim. The nose is not profound or intellectual, but it is engaging and involving with scents of warm gravel, terracotta-like scents that marry perfectly with the melted red fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, crisp acidity and slightly grainy in texture. Savory in the mouth with hints of cooked meat, sage and black pepper towards the finish. This is just a Saint Estèphe that I want to drink and drink more of. This bottle constitutes the best example of the 1985 that I have encountered. Tasted at the Cos d’Estournel vertical at the property.Vinous Media | 93 VMDark, rich and deeply concentrated. California-like, with its opulent coffee, herb, cedar, currant, coffee, mineral and spice flavors. Reaching a nice drinking plateau, but has substance, depth and a long, full finish.--Cabernet Challenge.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

93
RP
As low as $325.00
1985 ducru beaucaillou Bordeaux Red

A wine of extraordinary charm and elegance, the dark garnet-colored 1985 Ducru-Beaucaillou has a floral, cedary nose intermixed with red and black currants as well as flowers. The wine is fully mature and soft, with beautiful concentration and purity. It is not a blockbuster, and certainly not nearly as powerful and massive as the 1986, but it is certainly much more seductive. This wine should continue to drink well for at least another 10-15 years. Anticipated maturity: Now-2012. Last tasted, 5/02.Robert Parker | 92 RP

92
RP
As low as $299.00
1985 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

The 1985 Léoville–Las Cases is not just one of the finest vintages from this Second Growth, but one of the high points for the entirety of Bordeaux in this decade. Here it eclipses the 1985 Lafite-Rothschild with ease. It has an exquisitely defined bouquet of red berry fruit infused with crushed stone and pressed rose petals, just like before. Ethereal. The palate is medium-bodied, a perfect marriage of structure and a degree of elegance that maybe the property has not matched before or since. It’s so, so harmonious on the finish. An absolute beauty. Tasted at Hameau de Barbaron in Burgundy.Vinous Media | 98 VMA fabulous wine; one of the first great Las Cases. Full-bodied and rich, with the tannins extremely well integrated into an impressive background of fruit. Give it time.--Cabernet Challenge. Best after 2004.Wine Spectator | 98 WSMy favorite vintage from this château to drink today is the 1985 Léoville Las Cases. Wafting from the glass with an expressive bouquet of red berries, blackcurrants, pencil shavings, paraffin wax and loamy soil, it’s deep, full-bodied and textural, with unusual concentration for the vintage, supple tannins, succulent acids and a long, expansive finish. More giving than the brooding 1986, and more complex than the 1982, the 1985 is in its prime today.Robert Parker | 96 RP65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Attractive touch of florality on both nose and palate, with notes of wild strawberry and blond tobacco curling softly out of the glass. Then, underneath, in comes the power, the thrust of a wine that is confident in its tannic structure, and its ability to age. Drinking Window 2017 - 2030.Decanter | 95 DEC

95
RPHG
As low as $325.00
1986 cos destournel Bordeaux Red

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

95
RP
As low as $299.00
1986 Ducru Beaucaillou

(Château Ducru-Beaucaillou (St. Julien) Re-Furbished at the Château in 2011) Ducru-Beaucaillou has recently re-released several vintages from the era when there was some sort of TCA contamination (in my opinion) in the cellars here, such as there was in Cuné’s property of Contino. The refurbished bottles can be distinguished by a back label that gives all of the details. The first releases of 1986 Ducru had been plagued by some sort of TCA taint, but the underlying wine was always very strong, and the re-furbished bottles from the estate are stellar. The wine offers up a pure, precise and very deep nose of sweet cassis, cigar ash, a very complex base of gravelly soil tones, a nice touch of cedar and a topnote of cigar wrapper. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and tangy, with outstanding focus and bounce, a lovely core of fruit, ripe, well-measured tannins and a long, complex and very soil-driven finish. This is a classic vintage of Ducru-Beaucaillou in the making, and the re-released bottles are stellar. The wine is just starting to drink, but like so many of the top 1986 wines from the Médoc, it still has room to grow and would continue to benefit from further cellaring. (Drink between 2023-2075).John Gilman | 96 JGA monster in its infancy. Almost black in color, with intense cassis, herb and mint aromas and superrich, dense cassis and licorice flavors. May last forever.Wine Spectator | 95 WSMedium brick in color with a touch of brown, the 1986 Ducru-Beaucaillou reveals growing notes of dried mulberries, kirsch and raisin cake with nuances of celery salt, dried bay leaves, truffles and charcuterie plus hints of old leather sofa and fallen leaves. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has quite a powerful structure with firm, chewy tannins and bold freshness supporting the muscular, dried berries flavors, finishing long with a dried mint kick.Readers should note that this vintage fell within a notoriously patchy period at Ducru, where the cellar is likely to have fallen victim to TCA or a TCA-like taint, and it appears some bottles were impacted from 1986 to 1994. By 1995, the chateau had a completely new vat room/cellar and the problem ceased. Therefore, there could be some bottle variation to be had with this vintage. This bottle, however, was pristine, tasted at the chateau.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RP

96
JG
As low as $319.00
1986 gruaud larose Bordeaux Red

Both vintages of Gruaud-Larose absolutely stand out in this lineup, and I recommend them both for thoroughly enjoyable drinking today. This was pretty monolithic when young and evolved very slowly. It’s still showing tons of black fruits with tobacco, coffee and truffle. Chewy tannins are still evident, with everything clearly signposting a great vintage from legendary winemaker Georges Pauli. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Drink between 2019-2035Decanter | 97 DECStill tasting as if it were only 7-8 years of age, the dense, garnet/purple-colored 1986 Gruaud-Larose is evolving at a glacier pace. The wine still has mammoth structure, tremendous reserves of fruit and concentration, and a finish that lasts close to a minute. The wine is massive, very impressively constituted, with still some mouth-searing tannin to shed. Decanting of one to two hours in advance seems to soften it a bit, but this is a wine that seems to be almost immortal in terms of its longevity. It is a great Medoc classic, and certainly one of the most magnificent Gruaud-Larose ever made. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2035. Last tasted, 10/02.Robert Parker | 96 RPVery youthful deep ruby-red color. Brooding nose offers perfumed blackcurrant, mineral, violet and quinine aromas. Big, dense and rich, conveying an impression of strong extract to the powerful, well-delineated blackberry and herb flavors. The long, tactile finish features chewy but polished tannins and a lingering floral note. Though ready to drink now, this wine will continue to age gracefully. One of the best Gruaud-Larose wines of the past 40 years.Vinous Media | 95 VM

97
DEC
As low as $319.00
1986 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

The late Michel Delon always thought that this was the greatest vintage he had produced. We often tasted it side by side with the 1982, because I always preferred the latter vintage. Of course, the two vintages are quite different in style, with the 1986 a monument to classicism, with great tannin, extraordinary delineation, and a huge, full-bodied nose of sweet, ripe cassis fruit intermixed with vanilla, melon, fruitcake, and a multitude of spices. The wine has always been phenomenally concentrated, yet wonderfully fresh and vigorous. The wine still seems young, yet it is hard to believe it is not close to full maturity. It is a great example of Leoville Las Cases, and another compelling reason to take a serious look at the top Cabernet Sauvignon-based Medocs of 1986. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2035. Last tasted, 9/02.Robert Parker | 100 RPMichel Delon, then owner, believed this to be the greatest wine he ever made. It’s not often the case that wines with this much expectation riding on them live up to the hype, but this one did. A stunning wine that, at 33 years old, still feels fresh, concentrated and with a long way left to go. The tannins have the characteristic Las Cases weight and definition to them, giving form and shape to the sweet berry fruit, but the overall impression is of welcoming, juicy pleasure. Harvested from 1 to 17 October. 4% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Drinking Window 2019 - 2035.Decanter | 100 DECSaturated dark ruby. Cassis, shoe polish, camphor and rose petal on the nose; this reminded me of a great vintage of Latour. Dense and extremely concentrated; explosive yet totally backward. There nothing playful about this infant claret. Finishes with extraordinary, slow-building persistence. Very serious juice; one of the great Bordeaux of the 1980s. Drink 2010 through 2035.Vinous Media | 98 VMFirm and focused, with beautifully articulated currant, raspberry and nutmeg aromas and flavors; very supple for such a lean-textured Bordeaux. Approaching drinkability, but it can use until 2000 to soften.--Léoville Las Cases vertical.Wine Spectator | 95 WS(Château Léoville Las Cases (St. Julien)) The 1986 Château Léoville Las Cases remains a stubbornly backward wine at age thirty-two, and I am beginning to wonder if it is just stuck in a seemingly endless adolescence or if the wine is going to turn out to be stillborn and never blossom. The bouquet offers up a still quite youthful blend of black cherries, cassis, a touch of mint, Galloise cigarette smoke, dark soil and toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, simple and powerful in personality, with a rock solid core, firm tannins and a long, four-square and recalcitrant finish. Maybe this will blossom one day, but I do not have a ton of faith in the wine anymore. And, even if it does one day start to blossom, it still seems likely to not be a particularly complex example of Las Cases in the making. If it does one day start to soften up and open, it should merit a score at the top of my range, but that seems less than a fifty-fifty proposition at this point. I should mention that I have tasted this wine three or four times in the last decade and my impressions have been consistent, so this is the wine, rather than a reflection of a possibly atypical bottle (Drink between 2025-2075).John Gilman | 84-92 JG

100
RP
As low as $649.00
1986 leoville poyferre Bordeaux Red

(Château Léoville Poyferré, St-Julien, Red) Didier Cuvelier had taken over in 1979 and was undertaking a huge replanting programme, so the 1980s at this estate were a time of serious change that slowly but surely came through in the wines. At this point in time the consultant was still Emile Peynaud - Michel Rolland didn’t arrive until 1994. It has sweet plum fruits with some hedgerow and bramble notes through the mid-palate, leading to a eucalyptus finish. Fermented and aged in 50% new oak, with malo in barrel - Poyferré was pretty much the first château in the Médoc to do this. (Drink between 2019-2036)Decanter | 94 DEC

As low as $235.00
1986 montrose Bordeaux Red

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

95
WS
As low as $319.00
1986 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 cos destournel Bordeaux Red
As low as $190.00
1988 montrose Bordeaux Red

Very fresh still with a licorice and floral character that turned to sweet tobacco and plums. Full and silky, with ripe and fine tannins. Wonderful to drink now.James Suckling | 93 JS

As low as $190.00
1989 cos destournel Bordeaux Red

A wonderful depth of fruit with very firm and dense tannins. It has so much character of olives, spices, and berries. It’s the wine’s freshness and intensity that won me over the 1990 Cos.James Suckling | 94 JSComplex aromas of tobacco, earth and forest leaves follow through to a medium body, with fine tannins and a fruity and soft finish. Very soft and long. At its peak, but pretty and seamless.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 93 WS((Château Cos d’Estournel) The 1989 Cos d’Estournel is a very good example of the vintage, but one that does not show quite the purity of the top wines of ’89. The nose is deep and quite roasted in its aromatic profile, delivering scents of dark berries, roasted cherries, woodsmoke, saddle leather, soil and toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and a touch rustic, with a good core, moderate tannins and a long, complex finish that shows off fine grip and balance. This is not the most elegant rendition of the 1989 vintage, but it is not a bad wine by any stretch of the imagination. I would give the ’89 Cos a few more years of cellaring to allow its tannins to more fully fall away. (Drink between 2015-2050)John Gilman | 90+ JG

95
RP-NM
As low as $339.00
1989 ducru beaucaillou Bordeaux Red

Harvest took place this year from 11th to 24th September. The wine was aged for around 12 months in two-thirds new oak. Pale to medium brick colored, the 1989 Ducru-Beaucaillou sashays out of the glass with pretty notes of dried flowers, fallen leaves and dusty soil over a core of warm figs, dried cherries, prunes and spice cake plus wafts of unsmoked cigars and powdered cinnamon. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is still seductively rich with a lively line of soft, silt-like tannins, finishing long and wonderfully savory.Readers should note that this vintage fell within a notoriously patchy period at Ducru, where the cellar is likely to have fallen victim to TCA or a TCA-like taint, and it appears some bottles were impacted from 1986 to 1994. By 1995, the chateau had a completely new vat room/cellar and the problem ceased. Therefore, there could be some bottle variation to be had with this vintage. This bottle, however, was pristine, tasted at the chateau.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RPDelivers lots of tanned leather and spices, with very ripe fruit, from dried strawberry to raisin, turning to jam. Full-bodied, offering a very fresh palate of exotic fruit, currant and raisin as well as silky and polished tannins. So long and beautiful. Why wait? But it has a long life ahead. There is a lot of bottle variation in this wine due to TCA issues, but this is a beauty.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 92 WSThe 1989 Ducru-Beaucaillou is showing some bricking on the rim, although the core remains quite dark. This has an attractive bouquet with lovely tobacco-infused black fruit and touches of black truffle and morels. There is something very gentle here but also intense. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin and a fine bead of acidity, a little meaty and bloody in style with maybe just a hint of brettanomyces toward the finish. But it seems to complement and enhance the wine. Tasted from an ex-cellar bottle at the château.Vinous Media | 90 VM

92
WS
As low as $235.00
1989 leoville barton Bordeaux Red

A lovely, classic example of a fully mature St-Julien, replete with ripe berry fruits and tannins that whisper rather than shout. You’re pulling up a chair right by the fireside here, where the embers are still warm. Coffee, cedar and sandalwood take the lead over brambly black fruits. This is lovely, but unquestionably fully evolved and open. Drinking Window 2018 - 2028Decanter | 92 DECA delicious, well-structured Bordeaux, with plenty of ripe fruit, beautiful berry, green tobacco and cherry character. Full-bodied, adding velvety tannins and a long, caressing finish.--1989 Bordeaux horizontal. Best after 2002.Wine Spectator | 92 WSThe bottle of 1989 Léoville-Barton is probably the best I have encountered over the years; indeed, it is better than a bottle opened by Lilian Barton-Sartorius when I visited the property a few weeks earlier. It has a comely old-school claret bouquet of red fruit infused with cedar and loamy scents, and maybe some dustiness, but I have come to expect that in older vintages of this Saint-Julien. The palate is medium-bodied, pure and elegant, with svelte tannin and moderate acidity and a surprisingly sweet, almost precocious finish thanks to that year’s hot summer. It has softened in recent years and yet there is still good backbone and grip to this wine. Just enjoy. Tasted at the 1989 Bordeaux dinner at Hatched in London.Vinous Media | 91 VM It has been a little while since I tasted the Château Léoville-Barton 1989. Now at 25 years of age, it has an open bouquet with vestiges of brambly red fruit, scorched earth and chestnut, touches of fireside hearth developing with time. There is something almost comforting about Anthony Barton’s wine, its familiarity putting you at ease. The palate is medium-bodied with tannins that have softened in recent years and it gently builds to a saline, rather austere finish. Gentle, but classy Saint Julien, you can enjoy this for another 15 years without worry. Tasted June 2014. Drink Date 2014 - 2030Robert Parker | 90 RP

92
WS
As low as $240.00
1989 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

1989 was an early year, with flowering three weeks ahead of usual. Now at 30 years old, a floral aspect curls out of the glass, with touches of roses and peonies, followed on the palate by bilberries and blackberries, with a cigar smoke and eucalyptus finish. It’s still vigorous in its tannic structure, but it’s soft and supple enough to enjoy today. This bottle was recorked by hand at the winery last year, with five people checking every single one of the 5,000 bottles remaining at the chateau. The wines were topped up from magnums of the 1989. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend - a variety not used in the grand vin since 1996. Drinking Window 2019 - 2040Decanter | 98 DECVery ripe, with raisin and dried fruits on the nose. You can smell the sun-dried grapes. Full-bodied, delivering firm tannins and a very fresh palate. Long and flavorful, offering currant, berries and all sorts of dark fruits, but turns lightly earthy and floral. This is a thoroughly complex wine. Just starting to really open into the mature 20-year-old wine it is, but such a great life ahead of it. Muscular.--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 96 WSOne of the most youthful wines of the vintage, the 1989 Léoville Las Cases unwinds in the decanter and glass with aromas of blackcurrant and pencil shavings, framed by a discrete patina from its aging in oak. Medium to full-bodied, deep and tightly wound, it’s impressively pure and vibrant, though it lacks the mid-palate plenitude of the vintage’s best wines, displaying a touch of tannic asperity on the finish. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it continue to improve with further aging, though my sense is that the Cabernet Sauvignon might have been picked a little prematurely in this vintage.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91 RP

98
DEC
As low as $350.00
1989 montrose Bordeaux Red

This was yet another wine I drunk with wine collector friends in Bangkok – the city is truly buzzing when it comes to wine and when you know where to look! On the nose, there were intense aromas of iron, pot iron and dried fruits, as well as hints of nuts and wet earth. On the palate, it showed a gorgeous texture of ripe tannins and lots of spicy and currant fruit character. A full-bodied, very soft and silky Bordeaux with lots of flavors and a superb finish. Just right now – indeed it seems to be getting younger with age, not older! Decant an hour before. I think it’s better than the legendary 1990. It’s certainly cleaner and more consistent quality.James Suckling | 99 JSThis was not in the tasting at the chateau, but I opened two bottles on my return home, because this is another near-perfect wine from Montrose. It is an unusual two-grade blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. The wine emerged from another very hot, sunny, dry growing season, with early, generous flowering. Harvest in Montrose took place between September 11 and 28. The wine has never had any issues with brett, making it a somewhat safer selection than the more irregular 1990. Like a tortoise, the 1989 has finally begun to rival and possibly eclipse its long-time younger sibling, the 1990. The wine is absolutely spectacular and in auction sells for a much lower premium than the 1990. That should change. This is a magnificent Montrose, showing notes of loamy soil undertones, intermixed with forest floor, blueberry and blackberry liqueur and spring flowers. It has a full-bodied, intense, concentrated mouthfeel that is every bit as majestic as the 1990, but possibly slightly fresher and more delineated. This great wine should drink well for another 40-50 years.Robert Parker | 98+ RPThe 1989 Montrose is a magnificent wine and this represents one of the best bottles I have encountered – one that was purchased on release and not moved from Berry Brothers’ cellar since. I have encountered perfect bottles of the 1989, and this flirts with that magic figure. It is blessed with a captivating bouquet of blackberry, raspberry, sous-bois and black truffle, the veins of blue fruit just toned down a little compared to previous bottles. The palate is supremely well balanced with those filigreed tannins that in some ways are atypical of Montrose. It delivers silky-smooth texture and an intense finish that glides across the senses. I cannot give a perfect score on this occasion, but without question, this is one of the great Montrose releases. Tasted at the 1989 Bordeaux dinner at Hatched in London.Vinous Media | 98 VMIntense aromas of crushed blackberry and mineral turn to dried flowers and dried fruits, staying fresh on the nose. Full-bodied, offering big, round tannins and loads of ripe, seductive fruit. This is decadent and wild, turning nutty and fruity. A beautiful bottle. This is very close in quality to the legendary 1990.--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 22,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS(Château Montrose) The 1989 Montrose may not be quite as deep as the 1990, but it is a purer wine of precise definition and classic proportions. The superb nose offers up a refined mélange of cassis, dark berries, cigar ash, gravelly soil tones, espresso, fresh herbs and cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and shows off excellent mid-palate depth, with ripe, beautifully-integrated tannins, tangy acids and outstanding focus and grip on the youthful, pristine and old school finish. Some may prefer the more overtly powerful style of the 1990 Montrose, but for me, though the two vintages are qualitatively equivalent, I prefer the superior transparency and more elegant profile of the 1989. The wine is certainly approachable today, but I would still give it another five or six years’ worth of bottle age to really allow it to fully blossom (Drink between 2019-2070)John Gilman | 94 JG

100
TWI
As low as $749.00
1989 pichon baron Bordeaux Red

One of the wines of the vintage, the 1989 Pichon-Longueville Baron is drinking beautifully today. Bursting from the glass with aromas of ripe blackcurrants, plums, Cuban cigar, loamy soil, black truffles and burning embers, it’s medium to full-bodied, rich and enveloping, with powdery tannins and a concentrated core of fruit. Fleshy and dramatic, with a sumptuous, low-acid profile and a long, expansive finish, to my palate this is the one 1989 Pauillac that, on a good day, can rival the extraordinary 1989 Lynch Bages. While I tend to think it’s at its peak, every bottle I open from my cellar in Beaune seems to be better than the last.Robert Parker | 97 RPThe 1989 Pichon-Baron repeats its performance from the vertical tasting in May 2018. It storms from the glass, bearing copious blackberry, cedar and perhaps a little more mint than I noticed on the previous bottle. There is so much youthful zeal to this harmonious, refined Pauillac that you would barely guess it is 30 years old. Long and tender with a graphite-infused finish, this bottle might be even better than the ex-château example. Tasted at the 1989 Bordeaux dinner at Hatched in London.Vinous Media | 95 VM(Château Pichon-Baron) The 1989 vintage remains the single greatest wine I have ever tasted from Château Pichon-Baron, and this most recent bottle was flat out spectacular! I have liked this wine very well from the moment it was released, but never imagined it would rise to the level it is currently displaying, and it was clearly one of the great, great bargains of the 1989 vintage when it first came out. The bouquet is deep, pure and very, very promising, albeit still a tad on the young side, as it delivers a refined aromatic constellation of black cherries, plums, a touch of mocha, gravelly soil tones, cigar smoke and cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with great focus and grip, moderate tannins and a long, nascently complex and impeccably balanced finish. I last drank this in the autumn of 2017 and it was still a few years away from fully blossoming, but it is one of the purest, most precise and promising 1989s to be found in the Médoc! Great juice. (Drink between 2021-2060)John Gilman | 95 JGWhat a nose here, from crushed mulberry to tanned leather to tar. Full-bodied, with big, velvety tannins that are soft and caressing, like cashmere. This is so tight and powerful still; it seems to be holding back. Be patient, because it will open with another five or six years of bottle age. Hard to wait. So why do it?--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 20,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

95
RP
As low as $505.00
1990 cos destournel Bordeaux Red

The 1990 Cos d’Estournel is a vintage that I have not tasted for several years. I have always had a soft spot for the 1990. It does not disappoint with gorgeous scents of clove, bay leaf, and warm gravel that are almost Pomerol-like in style. The palate is fresh and lively. This 1990 is very well balanced and eschews the warmth of that summer and allows the terroir to shine. It grips the mouth and offers black truffle and sage towards the slightly grainy textured finish that lingers on the palate. What a sublime Cos d’Estournel. Well-kept bottles will be giving immense pleasure although, you can envisage this lasting another fifteen years, possibly twenty. Tasted at the Cos d’Estournel vertical at the property.Vinous Media | 95 VMNot as concentrated as the 1982, or as most of the vintages made since 2001, the 1990 Cos has reached full maturity. It exhibits sweet berry fruit intermixed with spice box, herbs, and spring flowers. Expansive, round, and sensual, with wonderful purity as well as lushness, this irresistible wine can be enjoyed over the next 6-10 years. Release price: ($350.00/case)Robert Parker | 94 RPRefined with dark fruits with delicate spice and leather notes. It’s full to medium-bodied, with fine tannins. It is a little funky. I would drink it.James Suckling | 92 JS

95
RP-NM
As low as $389.00
1990 gruaud larose Bordeaux Red

This wine continues to get better and better and is certainly one of the great successes in what is a profound vintage for Bordeaux. While the wine still tastes young, it is already complex, with so much sweet tannin and lavish fruit that it is impossible to resist, even though it probably will not hit its plateau of maturity for another 5-6 years. A stunning nose of licorice, earth, cedar, Provencal herbs, black currants, asphalt, and cherries soars from the glass. Full-bodied, opulent, with fabulous concentration, a seamless texture, and remarkable stuffing and power, this low-acid, thick, almost viscous wine can be drunk now or cellared for at least another two decades. For trivia buffs, this was the wine President Chirac served former President Clinton when he hosted Clinton in Paris at the famous Parisian bistro L’Ami Louis in June, 1999. I know, because several days later President Chirac gave me the Legion of Honor. In his speech, he acknowledged the fact that President Clinton only wanted to “drink a wine rated highly by Robert Parker.” Anticipated maturity: Now-2020. Last tasted, 9/02.Robert Parker | 96 RPAn estate known for its long ageing, and here it has softened at 31 years old, but still offering silky tannins and autumnal fruits with cedar smoked oak, marzipan, dried leather and gentle truffled spice. A thoroughly enjoyable Gruaud Larose showcasing old-school St-Julien balance. Clear crushed mint leaf on the finish, utterly moreish. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend; 33% new oak. (Drink between 2021-2035)Decanter | 94 DECBright medium red with a reddish-amber rim. Pungent notes of cinnamon, quinine and rosemary complicate red cherry on the enticing, aromatic nose. Juicy and fresh on the palate, showing good density to the red fruit, peppery plum and herb flavors. Offers very good texture and chewy but noble tannins, with precise mineral-tinged fruit flavors lingering nicely on the peppery, flinty finish. A real step up in concentration from the 1989, and unlike that vintage this will still improve with further bottle age, though it’s drinking well now. Very well done.Vinous Media | 92 VM

94
DEC
As low as $295.00

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