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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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1975 petrus Bordeaux Red

One of the most rustic and powerful Petrus of the last 25 years, this wine still has a murky garnet/plum/purple color, a gorgeous nose of overripe black cherries, mocha, caramel, chocolate, and a hint of iron and blood. Full-bodied, super-concentrated, with massive tannin and extract, this behemoth Petrus can be enjoyed but still seems another 5-10 years away from maturity. It is certainly a 50-70 year wine, with exquisite concentration and intensity, but seemingly the rough edges will no doubt be less appealing to those looking for pure seamlessness. Perhaps that will emerge with bottle age. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2040. Last tasted, 11/02.Robert Parker | 98 RPThe 1975 Petrus is a wine that I have had on half-a-dozen occasions, most memorably my own bottle at “The Fat Duck” for my wife’s birthday milestone. It is probably the best vintage of that decade, certainly the vintage where Jean-Claude Berrouet feels that he finally “unlocked” Petrus, honed his winemaking technique after what he feels were errors in previous vintages. This bottle is up there with the best I have encountered over the years, blessed with a wonderful, complex bouquet with red fruit, iron, black truffles and a light woodland/fern-like scent. It feels fully mature, melted and for want of a better word...comforting. The palate is beautifully balanced and has certainly held up well, probably better than the 1971 Petrus. It has fine tannin, perfectly judged acidity, this example maybe demonstrating more structure and grip than previous bottles. It just cruises at high altitude, delivering a splendid, quite sensual finish that is becoming a little meatier as it pushes on towards its half-century. This is just a glorious Petrus. Tasted at the Petrus dinner at the Épure restaurant in Hong Kong.Vinous Media | 97 VMRacy and exciting, one of the best '75s. Rather tough like other of the vintage, but there is still plenty of lovely bitter chocolate, tobacco and berry aromas and flavors. Very rich but still closed. Needs time.--Pétrus vertical. Best from 1995 through 1996.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

98+
RP
As low as $3,600.00
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
1983 palmer Bordeaux Red

Smoky, floral and fabulous. Violet-edged, this stands out over the 1982 for its complexity of aromatics and flavours. Brambled blackberry notes meld with soft leather and liquorice, all perfectly finessed. Harvest 28 September until 13 October, around one week later than the 1982. A touch of Petit Verdot finishes up the blend. Peter Sichel, who was making the wine at the time, was convinced straight after harvest that the 1982 was better than the 1983. ’He was right,’ says Thomas Duroux today. Certainly sugar levels were a touch higher than the previous year, and the fruit character generous from the earliest years. Drinking Window 2018 - 2045.Decanter | 100 DECThis wine goes from strength to strength, and is certainly a candidate for “wine of the vintage.” It has surpassed even Chateau Margaux in recent tastings. The color is an opaque plum/purple. The wine has a fabulously complex nose of smoked duck, white flowers, cedar, Asian spice, creme de cassis, melted licorice, and espresso. Super-concentrated, very powerful, full-bodied, and huge, this is undeniably, one of the biggest, most concentrated, and powerful Palmers made in the last 40 years. The wines has thrown off the rugged tannins that were so prominent during its first 10-15 years of life and has become increasingly seamless and compelling. Potentially this wine remains the most extraordinary Palmer after the 1961. Anticipated maturity: Now-2020. Last tasted, 10/02.Robert Parker | 98 RPThis is one of the all-time greatest Palmers for its complexity and finesse. Intense aromas of smoked meats and dark fruits plus hints of tobacco meet a silky, almost buttery texture of great yet beautiful concentration that combines in superb balance with a plateful of fruit and still mouthwatering acidity. The tannins are round and fat, and the finish is long and mesmerizing. This is crying out to be drunk now, yet the persistent acidity should provide for at least another 10 years of possible cellaring.James Suckling | 98 JSThe 1983 Palmer is also fully mature yet has plenty of fruit, length, and a seamless, elegant personality that’s truly magical. Black currants, forest floor, spice-box and tobacco notes all emerge from this silky, refined beauty that still has terrific mid-palate density and awesome length. It’s not going to get any better but should easily keep for another 7-8 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JD(Château Palmer (Margaux) served from magnum) This particular magnum was served with dinner after a full afternoon spent tasting through Klaus-Peter Keller’s brilliant range of 2018ers, so it was just icing on the cake! This is another legendary vintage at Palmer and it always lives up to its exalted reputation, with this magnum absolutely singing on both the nose and palate. The bouquet soars from the glass in a refined blend of mulberries, black cherries, cigar wrapper, summer truffles, a beautiful base of gravelly soil tones, violets and a touch of cedar. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, complex and sappy at the core, with seamless balance, perfect focus and grip and a very, very long, vibrant and utterly suave finish. This is starting to really show the classic Palmer velvety texture on the palate, but out of magnum, this is synthesized to a beautifully refined structural chassis that gives the wine outstanding backend lift. Great juice. (Drink between 2019-2075).John Gilman | 96 JGAn outstanding Palmer, firm and solid, with great dark color and fresh plum aromas and flavors with a hint of new wood. Drinkable now, but better after 1996.--The Bordeaux 50.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

98
RP
As low as $910.00
1986 dyquem Dessert White

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

98
RP
As low as $555.00
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 $859.00
1988 dyquem Dessert White

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

99
RP
As low as $269.00
1989 cheval blanc Bordeaux Red

I tasted this at a separate 67 Pall Mall event a few months ago, and it has delivered just as well this time around - impressive for a 30-year-old wine, as bottle variation is inevitably a concern at this age. Yet again it sings out with its concentration and opulent, silky blackberry and cassis fruits. The finish is lifted, with a white pepper note giving an extra kick to the juice, although there are plenty of tertiary hints in the toasted walnut notes. July, August and September of 1989 were stunning, with 13% more sunshine than average across all three months. Cheval always gets an early start to harvest, but this was the earliest of the 20th century to this point, running from 7 to 27 September, with a yield of 50hl/ha. It was owned by the Hébrard family at the time, with Gilles Pauquet as consultant. Drinking Window 2019 - 2032Decanter | 98 DECThe 1989 Cheval Blanc is a vintage that I have not encountered since 2010. One bottle opened was rustic and fatigued, and Pierre-Olivier Clouet opened a second that was much better. It has a gorgeous bouquet of ample red fruit, morels, black truffle, cigar box and hints of brown sugar, all very well defined and charming. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin and approaching full maturity; brown spices, bay leaf and clove infuse the red berry fruit. At 30 years of age, I suspect this 1989 will not improve further, but its robustness suggests that any decline will be graceful. Tasted from an ex-cellar bottle at the château.Vinous Media | 95 VM(Château Cheval Blanc) The 1989 Cheval Blanc is a beautiful example of the vintage, offering a deep, complex and utterly classic nose of dark berries, black cherries, menthol, cigar ash, gravelly soil tones, woodsmoke and a base of toasty new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very pure on the attack, with a rock solid core of sappy fruit, outstanding soil inflection, superb complexity and a very, very long, youthful and ripely tannic finish. While this wine is not particularly far away from fully blossoming and will be quite drinkable with another four or five years of cellaring, I would be very strongly inclined to not touch a bottle for at least another decade, as I would love to see this wine in the same magical spot as the 1983 Cheval is today. (Drink between 2016-2050)John Gilman | 94+ JGRipe, almost cooked fruit, with nuts, raisin and spices. Full-bodied, with a dense palate of ripe fruit and a leathery, spicy, dried berry character. So long and powerful. Chewy. This is big and very juicy, with loads of powerful fruit. A little alcoholic, even rustic, but I like it.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

98
DEC
As low as $800.00
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 $995.00
1989 lafleur Bordeaux Red

I am almost always in awe of Lafleur and this is one of the best. This is so subtle at first, but then the enchanting aromas of olive leaves, ivy, licorice, tar and treacle wash over you. In your mouth it’s as if you’re putting exquisite, dusty velvet inside; the tannins make this wine round, fat and encompassing. Perhaps most startling of all is the freshness retained over the years despite the intense, dense fruit. It allows not only for a chewy finish, but one that makes you want to drink more. This has reached a plateau now and is perfect for drinking, though its tightly-knit structure implies yet more potential cellaring. I’ve always been a believer in the 1989 vintage, and Lafleur is one of the best. Decant two hours in advance.James Suckling | 99 JSReally decadent and powerful, delivering dried fruit and grilled meat. Very Porty, featuring red licorice and prune on the nose. Velvety and rich, with a full palate and amazing fruit of aniseed and black licorice. It goes on and on. What freshness and beauty. Delicate fruit, chocolate and berries. This is just opening up now.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. —Wine Spectator | 98 WSTasted at the Pomerol Comparative Exploration tasting in London, the 1989 Lafleur was perhaps the real surprise of a memorable evening of wine. What comes across on the nose is the detail, the precision with pure black fruit, crushed minerals, subtle floral scents and a palpable sense of energy. It evolves in the glass, later revealing smoke, Italian cured meats and a touch of bay leaf. The palate is simply crystalline with pitch perfect acidity, astonishing precision and laser-like focus that takes your breath away. I have never encountered a 1989 Lafleur with this detail and clarity, a wine that seems to improve every time I encounter it, which is regrettably once in a blue moon. Whilst I do not think the 1989 will surpass the 1982 Lafleur, my God, it is coming damn close.Vinous Media | 97 VMThe 1989 Lafleur, tasted side by side with the 1990 on two occasions in 2002, plays it closer to the vest. The wine needs far more coaxing to produce the licorice, black cherry liqueur, earth, and truffle notes from the nose. In the mouth, the wine is full-bodied, tannic, backward, and very tightly knit, with mouth-searing levels of tannin and extremely high extract. The tannins are firmer, the fruit seemingly less sweet, but still extremely ripe, and the evolutionary process is far slower in the 1989 than the 1990. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2045. Last tasted, 8/02.Robert Parker | 95 RP

98
RP
As low as $2,169.00
1989 le pin Bordeaux Red

(Château Le Pin) Perhaps the greatest vintage ever of Le Pin, the 1989 has moved from its ostentatious and exotic youth into a more stately, but no less complex and compelling stage of developing maturity. The bouquet is deep and profound, with candied scents of mulberry, red currants, cocoa, tobacco, a bit of truffle, woodsmoke and vanillin oak exploding from the glass. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and laser-like in its focus, with great underlying structure, some ripe tannin, and great length and grip on the finish. This is clearly the most serious bottle of Le Pin that I have had the pleasure to taste. It is not yet at its apogee, but it is such a spectacular glass of wine today, that it would certainly be difficult to keep paws off. (Drink between 2005-2025)John Gilman | 97 JGA slightly firmer, more structured wine than the 1990, with similarly low acid but more noticeable tannin, the color remains a very healthy saturated ruby/purple. The nose needs more coaxing and offers up noted of coconut, roasted herbs, jus du viande, along with plenty of black currant and sweet cherry fruit with nicely integrated toasty oak. The wine has similarly high levels of glycerin to the 1990, but less accessibility, and more structure and possibly power. This is a remarkable wine, and certainly one of the great vintages for Le Pin. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2022. Last tasted, 12/01.Robert Parker | 96 RPTasted at the Pomerol Comparative Exploration tasting in London, the 1989 Le Pin has always been a sensual wine, not as exotic as the 1982, perhaps a bit more "grown up". Here it has a luxuriant bouquet of black cherries, crème de cassis, terracotta tiles and clove. There is a patina of warmth still emanating from that warm summer. The palate is velvety smooth, voluptuous and decadent yet the acidity keeps everything in check. I noticed a wild mint note that I have not seen on previous bottles, building in the mouth towards a multi-faceted, caressing finish, like a loved one begging you not to leave. It is simply ridiculously pleasurable from start to finish.Vinous Media | 96 VMI like this better than the 1990. It shows loads of licorice and blackberry, with hints of cherry on the nose. Full and refined, with silky tannins and an elegant finish. Lovely. Still very young and bright. The acidity holds it in. Much better than I remember.--Le Pin non-blind vertical. Best after 2010.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

98
RPNM
As low as $4,175.00
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 lynch bages Bordeaux Red

The 1989 has taken forever to shed its formidable tannins, but what a great vintage of Lynch Bages! I would rank it at the top of the pyramid although the 1990, 2000, and down the road, some of the more recent vintages such as 2005, 2009 and 2010 should come close to matching the 1989’s extraordinary concentration and undeniable aging potential. Its dense purple color reveals a slight lightening at the edge and the stunning bouquet offers classic notes of creme de cassis, subtle smoke, oak and graphite. Powerful and rich with some tannins still to shed at age 22, it is still a young adolescent in terms of its evolution and will benefit from another 4-5 years of cellaring. It should prove to be a 50 year wine.Robert Parker | 99+ RPThe 1989 Lynch-Bages is one of Jean-Michel Cazes’s triumphs. At three decades, it shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. Blackberry and cedar soar from the glass just as they did from the bottle last year, and touches of graphite develop, all beautifully defined and focused. As I’ve proclaimed before, there is such energy and vigor here! The palate is medium-bodied with a fresh, minty opening. The cedar element is a little stronger than the previous bottles that I have tasted, yet there is still that symmetry and focus. This particular bottle shows a touch more development on the finish compared to others encountered over the years, with great structure and grip, notes of tobacco and just a hint of morels surfacing on the aftertaste. A remarkable Lynch-Bages that is at its peak. As an aside, Jean-Michel Cazes mentioned that there are few bottles of the 1989 remaining in their reserves. A break-in during the 1990s saw robbers of good taste steal much of their stock. Tasted from an ex-cellar bottle at the château.Vinous Media | 96 VMDelivers so much blackberry, leather and dried fruits on the nose. Full-bodied, with ultrapolished tannins and a silky mouthfeel. The palate turns to leaves, cedar and dried berries on the finish, which goes on and on. This is still reserved for the vintage, suggesting a long life ahead. Just coming around now, but will improve many years ahead. I have always loved this Lynch.--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 35,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSI have always been a big fan of this rich wine, with its currant and tropical fruit character on the nose and palate, and just a hint of toasted oak. It’s full-bodied, with wild fruit and tobacco character, and a roasted coffee bean aftertaste. This is a fabulous wine. Served from imperial bottle.James Suckling | 94 JS(Château Lynch Bages) The 1989 Château Lynch Bages is starting to drink beautifully at the present time and has just about reached its apogee of peak maturity, but still has decades and decades of life ahead of it. The classic bouquet jumps from the glass in a sappy blend of sweet cassis, black cherries, new leather, cigar ash, dark soil and a touch of toasty, ever so slightly resinous new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and complex, with a fine core of fruit, very good soil signature, still a bit of backend tannin to carry it on into the future and impressive focus and grip on the long and complex finish. I would opt for giving this wine just a few more years to soften up just a touch more on the backend before starting to drink it with abandon. It is a top flight vintage of Lynch. (Drink between 2020-2050).John Gilman | 92 JG

99+
RP
As low as $599.00
1989 mouton rothschild Bordeaux Red

Freshly picked blackberries turn into minty dark chocolate and oozing caramel with domineering eucalyptus on the nose. It becomes yet more complex on the palate thanks to layers upon layers of spices and sage plus fat and rounded tannins. There’s a long finish with a bitter aftertaste, suggesting this could do with another 10 years or more of bottle aging. This is a Mouton I found massive at the time, then elegant and slightly austere years later, but today true to its former glory. Like the amazing 1947, it should not be forgotten.James Suckling | 98 JSAn extremely early year for the property, with harvest from 6-25 September. One to savour, it has the signature smoked, toasted glamour of Mouton, with cappuccino, crushed bilberry and blackberries, pliable tannins, and a drawn-out finish that gets better and better in the glass. The label, by the way, featured Georg Baselitz, a German painter, to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall.Decanter | 97 DECShows so much ripe and decadent fruit on the nose, from dried berries and raisin to strawberry and sultana. There is a nutty, cedar undertone as well. Very complex and full-bodied, with lots of vanilla bean and ripe plum flavors. This is almost Burgundian in texture: so soft and so attractive, but then the Bordeaux tannins kick in at the end. What a wine. So much ahead in its life, but just coming around now.--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 25,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS(Château Mouton-Rothschild) This most recent bottle of the 1989 Château Mouton-Rothschild, was by quite some margin, the finest I have tasted, and it is hard not to be persuaded that the wine is only now really starting to come fully into its own. As I have mentioned in the past, this is from the era when Mouton used a lot of very heavily-toasted oak in its wine, but the ’89 vintage provided plenty of depth of fruit to carry the generous serving of new oak and the two are beautifully synthesized today. The bouquet is deep, complex and strikingly attractive, wafting from the glass in a fine blend of cassis, black cherries, Cuban cigar wrapper, a nice touch of Mouton spices starting to emerge, the aforementioned toasty new oak and, with air, just a touch of fresh herb tones that are very, very attractive. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and still new oaky in personality, with an excellent core of fruit, melting tannins and excellent focus and grip on the very long and very classy finish. As one of the tasters around the table dubbed this wine, “the best vintage from Mouton’s coffee oak period.” The 1989 Mouton is a far more impressive wine today than it was ten years ago and, though I would have liked it better with less toasty oak, its future seems to be excellent. (Drink between 2019-2060)John Gilman | 95 JGTasted from magnum and presented by Baron Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, the 1989 Château Mouton-Rothschild might not reach the ethereal heights of the 1982 or 1986, but it is certainly a lovely Claret. It has an attractive, slightly leafy bouquet armed with cedar and pencil lead. There is less fruit concentration than I expected, resolutely classic, slightly austere Bordeaux. The palate follows suit. What it lacks in substance it compensates with in balance and personality. This is an understated Mouton-Rothschild that is probably at its peak, although I envisage this offering another two decades of pleasure. Whilst this showing did not replicate some glorious bottles in the past, it remains a very fine Claret that may not be inclined to improve any further. Tasted February 2016.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 93 RP-NMThe 1989 Mouton-Rothschild is a vintage that I have always had a lot of time for. Now at 30 years of age, it has quite a potent bouquet of blackberries, raspberry coulis, cedar and mint that feels opulent but youthful. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin and a fine bead of acidity, and quite succulent in mouthfeel, featuring generous wild strawberry mixed with cedar and tobacco. There is a sense of swagger about this Mouton-Rothschild and it feels very persistent on the surprisingly dense finish. Very fine. Tasted from an ex-cellar bottle at the château.Vinous Media | 93 VM

98
JS
As low as $605.00
1990 dyquem Dessert White

1990: An extraordinary effort, Yquem’s 1990 is a rich and fabulously superb, sweet wine. This wine also possesses lots of elegance and finesse. The wine’s medium gold color is accompanied by an exceptionally sweet nose of honeyed tropical fruits, peaches, coconut, and apricots. High quality, subtle toasty oak is well-integrated. The wine is massive on the palate, with layers of intensely ripe botrytis-tinged, exceptionally sweet fruit. Surprisingly well-integrated acidity, and a seamless, full-bodied power and richness have created a wine of remarkable harmony and purity. Certainly it is one of the richest Yquems I have ever tasted, with 50-100 years of potential longevity. An awesome Yquem! Anticipated maturity: 2003-2050+.Robert Parker | 99 RPHard to contain this wine within the contours of the glass - this is exuberant, concentrated and luscious. Full of blood orange, nectarine, saffron, touches of caramelised ginger, truffle and crème brûlée. A see-saw of zesty acidity and luscious sweetness, this is a beautiful wine that still has decades ahead of it. Owned by the Lur Saluces family at the time, clearly showing why Yquem stands in its own category in the appellation. Drinking Window 2021 - 2050.Decanter | 98 DECTruly superb. Yellow with a gold hue. Intense spice, honey and dried orange peel aromas.Full-bodied, very sweet and very alive. Vibrant Sauternes that goes on and on on the palate. Doesn’t get much better than this. Beautiful now,but wait.--1990 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2010. 18,750 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WSFull-blown aromas of caramel, toffee, honey, white chocolate and damp earth; slightly Tokaj-like. Hugely concentrated and layered in the mouth; extraordinary sweetness cut by harmonious acidity. As with the best vintages of Yquem, the finish goes on for a minute or more. Stains, and stuns, the palate. A huge wine, surprisingly extravagant on the nose (earlier bottles have been far more restrained) but completely unevolved and a bit musclebound on the palate. May ultimately merit a higher score.Vinous Media | 94+ VM

99
RP
As low as $269.00
1990 Haut Brion

1990: In terms of the brilliant complexity and nobility of the aromatics, scorched earth, black currants, plums, charcoal, cedar, and spices, the 1990 offers an aromatic explosion that is unparalleled. It is always fascinating to taste this wine next to the 1989, which is a monumental effort, but much more backward and denser, without the aromatic complexity of the 1990. The 1990 put on weight after bottling, and is currently rich, full-bodied, opulent, even flamboyant by Haut Brion’s standards. It is an incredible expression of a noble terroir in a top vintage. While it has been fully mature for a number of years, it does not reveal any bricking at the edge, and I suspect it will stay at this level for another 10-15 years ... but why wait? It is irresistible now. Release price: ($1200.00/case).Robert Parker | 98 RPVery close to Margaux in terms of its level of success, although with a more exuberant feel, touches of cinnamon, smoke, truffles and meat. Overall it is more opulent and rounded in the mouth than the other four firsts at this point and a seriously impressive glass of wine. This was an early harvest, and is clearly ready to drink with an exotic charm, but there is still a softly brushed tannic frame, and plenty of life ahead. A great period at Haut-Brion, with Jean Bernard Delmas at the helm of the winemaking. Drinking Window 2021 - 2040.Decanter | 97 DECThe 1990 Haut-Brion is exotic, flamboyant and super-expressive. Dark fruit, leather, licorice and grilled herbs are all amped up. Although the 1990 doesn’t quite have the aromatic depth and intensity of the very finest years, it is nevertheless a stunning, gorgeous wine of the highest level.Antonio Galloni | 96 AG(Château Haut-Brion) A lot has seemingly changed at Haut-Brion since I wrote my historical piece on the estate back in 2007, with a quest for more ripeness and power in this wine (sadly) now quite well established in the last several vintages. That chimeric quest was inconceivable back in 1990, and this wine is a beautiful testament to just how magical this terroir can be when it is the focal point of the wine. This is one of the top 1990s to my palate, soaring from the glass in a beautifully youthful nose of cassis, dark berries, tobacco leaf, a whisper of leather, fresh herb tones, a complex base of gravelly soil tones, cigar smoke and a suave base of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, seamlessly complex and still quite closed, with a fine core of fruit, superb focus and balance, ripe, beautifully integrated tannins and outstanding length and grip on the refined and very intensely flavored finish. A great 1990 in the making. (Drink between 2020-2075).John Gilman | 95 JGRacy and refined, with firm, silky tannins and a long finish. Full-bodied. Mushrooms and ripe fruit on the palate. Needs some bottle age to open. ’89/’90 Bordeaux non-blind horizontal. Best after 2006. 12,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

98
RP
As low as $1,425.00
1990 la conseillante Bordeaux Red

The 1990 La Conseillante is fully mature, and totally brilliant. Its medium ruby color is followed by a perfumed, complex bouquet of sandalwood, cedar, ripe cherries, licorice and Asian spices. Upfront and not holding anything back, it reveals loads of sweet fruit and is incredibly complex and nuanced aromatically. This gives way to a full-bodied, integrated and seamless Pomerol that has resolved tannin, perfect balance, an opulent mouthfeel, and a great finish. This is Pomerol in all its elegant, yet seductive glory and while I don’t see any upside, it’s going to continue drinking beautifully for another decade.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDOne of the all-time great La Conseillantes, this wine, which to me has similarities to a grand cru Burgundy from the likes of Henri Jayer, still has a deep ruby/purple color and an exotic, even flamboyant bouquet of vanilla, kirsch liqueur, raspberries, licorice, and Asian spice. Full-bodied, very opulent, with low acidity, yet consistently a velvety-textured, full-bodied mouthful, this endearing, very seductive wine clearly demonstrated why Pomerols are often called the “Burgundies of Bordeaux.” The wine still seems surprisingly youthful despite its accessibility, and should continue to develop for up to another 10-15 years. Anticipated maturity: Now-2018. Last tasted, 12/02.Robert Parker | 98 RPWonderful expression on the nose, with black fruit, cocoa powder and a slight hint of reduction which then dissipated. Good colour in the glass, suggesting the wine’s age. However the palate made no such concession, with ripe black fruit compote, leather, savoury tobacco and pencil lead. Excellent volume here with round, generous tannins and a succulent, fleshy profile. Superb concentration of fruit which has a distinctly gourmand feel. Incredible poise, personality and presence. Magnificent length, suggesting this is now in its prime. Drinking Window 2017 - 2040Decanter | 96 DECGood deep color. Enticing black fruit and gamey aroma. Very sweet but manages some restraint; stylish raspberry fruit calls to mind a Côte de Nuits Burgundy. Decent acidity gives this lovely focus and shape. Subtle, very long finish, with ripe tannins buried in fruit.Vinous Media | 94 VM(Château La Conseillante) The 1990 La Conseillante was one of the prettiest examples of the vintage shown at the Hart-Davis-Hart tasting in New York. The nose is deep, impressively pure and quite floral in its aromatic blend of black raspberries, black cherries, cigar smoke, herb tones, gravel and a judicious base of toasty new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nicely complex, with modest tannins, a good core of fruit, fine balance and good length and grip on the ripe, but elegant finish. The ripeness of the 1990 vintage contributes a bit of blurriness on the backend here that is not typical of La Conseillante, but in the context of the vintage, this is a pretty svelte example. I would give this wine a few more years in the cellar to more fully blossom. (Drink between 2015-2040)John Gilman | 91 JGA bit funky but delicious now. Medium-red color with an amber edge. Aromas of ripe berries, earth and saddle leather. Medium-bodied, with spicy flavors, soft tannins and a ripe fruit finish.--1990 Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now. 5,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

97
RP
As low as $455.00
1990 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

Reminiscing over the 1989 and 1990 vintages, which I have followed from birth, there always seemed to be a dramatic difference in quality. Not that the 1990 was not a top wine, but in its infancy, I never thought it would come close to being as riveting and magnetic as its older sibling, the 1989. However, it has proven to be nearly as prodigious. One of the hottest years in Bordeaux, 1990, a vintage of enormous yields, even dwarfing yields in 1985 and 1982, produced a fabulously open-knit, seemingly fast track La Mission that, at age 22, shows no signs of fading or losing its grip. The color is slightly more mature and evolved than the 1989’s, exhibiting a lighter rim and a less dark blue/ruby/purple hue. Classic La Mission-Haut-Brion aromatics of camphor, licorice, scorched earth, hot bricks, barbecue, cassis, blueberry and kirsch are well displayed. Broad, expansive, velvety-textured and opulent with high glycerin and perhaps slightly higher alcohol (I don’t have the statistics to verify that), the 1990 is as delicious and open-knit as the 1989, with less density and possibly less potential longevity. Most 1990s have been quick to reach full maturity, and as brilliant as they can be, they need to be monitored carefully by owners. Currently in late adolescence, but close to full maturity, the 1990 should hold in a cold cellar for another 15-20 years. However, it is a fabulous wine to inspect, taste and consume, so why wait?Robert Parker | 99 RPThe 1990 La Mission Haut-Brion was always going to lie in the shadow of the previous vintage, but let's be clear: this is a magnificent, audacious follow-up. The nose might not be blessed with the Swiss-watch precision of the 1989, yet how can you possibly resist the heart-warming scents of roasted chestnuts and morels that suffuse the red berry fruit? The palate sports a slight gaminess and, as I noted in previous tasting notes, there is a Musigny-like personality toward the rounded, slightly earthy finish. Few La Missions have delivered such untrammeled drinkability. Tasted at the La Mission Haut Brion dinner at Amuse Bouche in Hong Kong.Vinous Media | 97 VM(Château La Mission Haut-Brion (served from magnum)) The 1990 La Mission is a very top example of this vintage, and out of magnum it is just beginning to blossom. The deep, complex and classy nose offers up a very ripe blend of cassis, spit-roasted game, saddle leather, cigar ash, dark soil tones and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and complex, with just a touch of La Mission’s youthful medicinal tones still in evidence. The wine is rock solid at the core, modestly tannic and beautifully balanced, with outstanding focus, length and grip. The 1990 vintage in general has not aged anywhere as well as I had initially anticipated, but this is one 1990 that does not disappoint. (Drink between 2012-2065)John Gilman | 94+ JGMuch more linear and firm than the 1989. Full- to medium-bodied, with firm tannins and a racy finish. A fine wine. '89/'90 Bordeaux non-blind horizontal. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

99
RP
As low as $1,195.00
1990 lynch bages Bordeaux Red

This magnificent Lynch Bages has been drinking well since the day it was released and it continues to go from strength to strength. The biggest, richest, fullest-bodied Lynch Bages until the 2000, the fully mature 1990 exhibits an unbelievably explosive nose of black currants, cedarwood, herbs and spice. The majestic, classically Bordeaux aromatics are followed by a full-bodied, voluptuously textured, rich, intense wine with superb purity as well as thrilling levels of fruit, glycerin and sweetness. This beauty should continue to provide immense pleasure over the next 15+ years.Robert Parker | 99 RPThe 1990 Lynch-Bages remains the towering Pauillac it has always been, even if Jean-Michel Cazes personally prefers the 1989. It has a riveting, graphite-infused bouquet that is brilliantly defined, very focused and sharp as a razor-blade. Poured directly against the 1990 Lafite-Rothschild, this Fifth Growth beats it hands down. The palate is very well structured; this is an aristocratic Lynch-Bages with impressive grip after 28 years. There is a symmetry underpinning this wine, a sense of energy undiminished by the passing years, that makes this 1990 Lynch-Bages so compelling. Just awesome. Tasted during the Christmas Dinner at Noble Rot restaurant.Vinous Media | 96 VMAromas of tar, currant and berries follow through to a full-bodied palate, with silky tannins and a long, long finish. Still not completely ready, but so good anyway.--Lynch-Bages non-blind vertical. Best after 2008. 35,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS(Château Lynch Bages) The 1990 Lynch Bages is a very good example of the vintage that shows off the differences between ’90 and ’89 quite well in its lack of mid-palate depth vis à vis the 1989 version. The nose on the 1990 Lynch is excellent, wafting from the glass in a blend of cassis, black cherries, a touch of saddle leather, gravelly soil tones, fresh herbs and plenty of toasty new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very long, with good, but not great depth at the core, moderate tannins and lovely length and grip on the complex finish. While approachable today, the 1990 Lynch could still do with a few years in the cellar to allow it to more fully blossom. It is a very good wine, but it does not possess the same sappy depth of the superior 1989 Lynch Bages. (Drink between 2016-2045)John Gilman | 90+ JG

99
RP
As low as $549.00
1990 troplong mondot Bordeaux Red

A fabulous example, the 1990 Troplong Mondot is only equaled by such recent vintages as 2000, 2005, and 2008. The inky/garnet/plum/purple-colored 1990 exhibits notes of coffee, blackberries, licorice, camphor, and espresso. Rich and full-bodied with lavish fruit, high glycerin, low acidity, and stunning purity, it is still several years away from full maturity, and should last for another 10-15 years. Release price: ($425.00/case)Robert Parker | 98 RPA blockbuster. Amazing. I love Port, and this is close. Dark color. Very, very ripe on the nose. Full-bodied and very chewy, with loads of fruit and concentration in tannins. Mouthpuckering. Needs time.--1990 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2006. 10,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

98
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As low as $435.00
1995 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

I pulled this lone bottle out of my cellar at the last minute to remind some Italian vintners of the great quality of the 1995 Bordeaux vintage. They seem to be finally opening up! What a red with incredible depth and finesse. Cedar, cigar box and toabaaco character with currants and fresh tobacco undertones. It’s full-bodied yet tight and dense. Precision. So refined and intense. Such freshness and beauty. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 98 JSIntense aromas of blackberries, black licorice and currants, with mineral undertones. Full-bodied, with a solid core of tannins and a long, silky finish. Still holding back, but is concentrated and powerful. The 1996 is always talked about, but I think this is superior and will be in the future.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2010. 20,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThe 1995 Lafite-Rothschild (only one-third of the harvest made it into the final blend) is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and 8% Cabernet Franc. The wine was showing spectacularly well when I tasted it in November, 1997. It exhibits a dark ruby purple color, and a sweet, powdered mineral, smoky, weedy cassis-scented nose. Beautiful sweetness of fruit is present in this medium-bodied, tightly-knit, but gloriously pure, well-delineated Lafite. The 1995 is not as powerful or as massive as the 1996, but it is beautifully made with outstanding credentials, in addition to remarkable promise. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2028.Robert Parker | 95 RPDark ruby-red. Sappy, expressive aromas of cherry, plum, minerals, woodsmoke and game, plus an exotic suggestion of baked apple. Rather subtle on the attack, then quickly expands to fill the mouth. A big, deep, very rich vintage for Lafite, unusually generous at this early stage and extremely long on the aftertaste. But went into a shell with aeration, and showed a hint of tobacco leaf vegetility. Finishing notes of coconut, woodsmoke and tobacco add flavor interest.Vinous Media | 93+ VM

98
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As low as $1,195.00
1995 margaux Bordeaux Red

This still broods seriously, with dark plum, currant and blackberry fruit, studded with charcoal, singed tobacco and cedar notes and backed by a serious grip of roasted earth. The gorgeously long finish is driven by old-school tannins, with the smoldering edge going on and on. A brick house of a Margaux, with more charcoal than graphite, more austerity than elegance and more power than refinement.--Non-blind Château Margaux vertical (December 2013). Drink now through 2034. 18,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WSBottled very late (November, 1997), the 1995 has continued to flesh out, developing into one of the great classics made under the Mentzelopoulos regime. The color is opaque ruby/purple. The nose offers aromas of licorice and sweet smoky new oak intermixed with jammy black fruits, licorice, and minerals. The wine is medium to full-bodied, with extraordinary richness, fabulous equilibrium, and hefty tannin in the finish. In spite of its large size and youthfulness, this wine is user-friendly and accessible. This is a thrilling Margaux that will always be softer and more evolved than its broader-shouldered sibling, the 1996. How fascinating it will be to follow the evolution of both of these vintages over the next half century. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2040.Robert Parker | 95 RPThe 1995 Château Margaux is a vintage perhaps unfairly over-shadowed by the imperious 1996. That is unfair because the late Paul Pontallier crafted a great First Growth this year. It has a very impressive, quintessential Margaux bouquet that is undimmed after 23 years: black fruit, graphite, crushed violets and a touch of tobacco. If anything it becomes more and more pure with aeration and demonstrates exquisite delineation. The palate is very finely balanced. No, it does not have the intensity, the crystalline nature of the 1996 and yet there is a femininity and a finesse here that sweeps you off your feet. It is entertaining the possibility of secondary flavours but it remains focused on the red and black fruit, tensile on the almost balletic finish. Bon vin! Tasted blind at Philip’s February Christmas Party.Vinous Media | 95 VM

99
DEC
As low as $789.00
1996 cos destournel Bordeaux Red

A brilliant year for Left Bank Bordeaux. This was stubborn in its youth and took time to open, but now stands as one of the great all-time vintages of Cos, in my opinion. It delivers still, at 25 years old, just utterly delicious, with complex slate, pencil lead, graphite, undergrowth, black truffle flavours and a crushed-mint finish. It is still juicy, with perfectly integrated fine tannins and a ton of personality. 65% new oak. Drinking Window 2021 - 2036.Decanter | 98 DECTasted at the château, the 1996 Cos d’Estournel was aged in 65% new oak (unlike the 1995 which was 100%) and is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot. It has a straight down the line, intense and focused, graphite and melted tar bouquet. It is almost Pauillac in style, no surprise given its proximity. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh acidity, finer tannin than the 1986 Cos d’Estournel tasted alongside, but sharing those same leitmotifs of black pepper and sea salt. I like the nonchalance of this Cos d’Estournel. At 20 years it is not an ostentatious wine, not determined to go out and impress, but its nuance, stylishness and classicism grow on you. Its virtues seem to register only after you swallow the wine and find yourself tempted back for more. Excellent. Tasted July 2016.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 94 RP-NMThe 1996 Cos d’Estournel has a fragrant, Pauillac-tinged bouquet with the melted tar and graphite leitmotifs that I remarked upon in previous encounters. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy-textured tannin. I feel that the 1996 shows a tad more maturity than a few months ago, with undergrowth and peat-like notes surfacing with aeration and then a dash of white pepper streaking across the finish. However, it evinces fine persistency and embraces the classic tropes of the 1996 vintages. Though not a top tier Cos d’Estournel, it remains an excellent Saint-Estèphe. Tasted at the Cos d’Estournel vertical at the property.Vinous Media | 93 VMLots of tobacco, berry and spice character on the nose. Light herbal undertone. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and a caressing, pretty-textured finish. Chewy. I would wait a little. 1995 looks better to me now. Outstanding but not as exciting as I remember.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2008. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 26,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

98
JA
As low as $305.00
1996 latour Bordeaux Red

A spectacular Latour, the 1996 may be the modern day clone of the 1966, only riper. This vintage, which is so variable in Pomerol, St.-Emilion, and Graves, was fabulous for the late-harvested Cabernet Sauvignon of the northern Medoc because of splendid weather in late September and early October. An opaque purple color is followed by phenomenally sweet, pure aromas of cassis infused with subtle minerals. This massive offering possesses unreal levels of extract, full body, intensely ripe, but abundant tannin, and a finish that lasts for nearly a minute. Classic and dense, it displays the potential for 50-75 years of longevity. Although still an infant, it would be educational to taste a bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2050.Robert Parker | 99 RPFabulous aromas of crushed raspberries, plums and blackberries. Mind-blowing nose. Full-bodied, with soft and silky tannins and a long caressing finish. Hard not to drink now, but leave it alone.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2010. 17,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS(Château Latour) The last bottle of the 1996 Latour that I tasted was part of a mini-vertical that was one of the most ingenuous and generous flights of wine I have tasted in a long time, as my friend paired the 1996 Latour up with the 1896 Latour at a double blind tasting in February of this year! Needless to say, the one hundred years’ worth of bottle age between the two vintages was sufficient to convince none of us that it was the same property, but both wines acquitted themselves beautifully. I was surprised at how well the 1996 Latour was starting to show, given that it is a classically-styled Latour from a very tannic and powerful vintage in the Medoc, but the wine is already starting to drink with some generosity. The bouquet is superb, offering up scents of black cherries, cassis, cigar ash a touch of tariness, gravelly soil tones, smoke and a whisper of balsam bough in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with firm, still plenty chewy tannins, fine focus and balance and a very long, nascently complex and quite promising finish. This is nowhere near as unapproachable as I would have supposed the combination of Latour and 1996 would be, but I would be inclined to give it another decade in the cellar and really let the fireworks get rolling properly. (Drink between 2027-2085)John Gilman | 94+ JGThe 1996 Latour is a wine that I often find overrated and did not achieve everything that might have been possible in this favourable growing season. That said, this might well be the best of around two dozen bottles I have encountered over the years. As usual, the 1996 is decidedly austere at first, standoffish, looks down its nose at you. Yet it coalesces with time and develops engaging cedar-scented black fruit tinged with pencil box and a touch of iris with time. The palate (again) is a little muted at first but it soon found its voice and evolved very fine tannin allied with a crisp line of acidity. It is not quite as demonstrative as it was even just a couple of years ago, gained some detail and perhaps it will continue to meliorate. Very fine, very fine indeed - but not a patch of say, the Château Margaux or perhaps even Léoville Las Cases. Tasted at the International Business & Wine Latour dinner at Ten Trinity.Vinous Media | 94 VM(Château Latour, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France, Red) This highly anticipated bottle was a bit of a disappointment. One of the two bottles was oxidised, and the other seemed a bit more mature than I would have hoped, with a meaty, savoury note to the black fruit, accented with leather and smoke. The grapes were picked from 17th September to 2nd October, and slightly more than 50% of the fruit was used in the grand vin. A blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. (Drink between 2022-2042)Decanter | 92 DEC

99
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As low as $995.00
1996 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

I think we can officially declare 25 years as being the sweet spot for Léoville Las Cases - at least in slow-ageing vintages such as 1996, which is so perfectly suited to Cabernet Sauvignon. Still full-bodied and concentrated even now, but generous also, with cassis, tobacco and cigarbox smoke softening the edges of flint-chiselled tannic frame... Las Cases can be almost Burgundian-like in how elusive it is (in this case because of how stubborn and tannic it can prove), but when you get the one bottle that sings, it’s all worth it. This more than proves the point. Michel Delon owner at the time.Jane Anson | 100 JAHaving previously rated it nearly perfect, I was apprehensive of a letdown about tasting the 1996 Leoville Las Cases once it had been bottled, but that concern was quickly dismissed once I put my nose in the glass. A profound Leoville Las Cases, it is one of the great modern day wines of Bordeaux. This wine’s hallmark remains a sur-maturite (over-ripeness) of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. Yet the wine has retained its intrinsic classicism, symmetry, and profound potential for complexity and elegance. The black/purple color is followed by a spectacular nose of cassis, cherry liqueur, pain grille, and minerals. It is powerful and rich on the attack, with beautifully integrated tannin, massive concentration, yet no hint of heaviness or disjointedness. As this wine sits in the glass it grows in stature and richness. It is a remarkable, seamless, palate-staining, and extraordinarily elegant wine - the quintessential St.-Julien. Despite the sweetness of the tannin, I would recommend cellaring this wine for 7-8 years. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2035.Robert Parker | 98 RPSaturated bright, dark ruby. Perfumed, vibrant, very youthful aromas of cassis, violet and bitter chocolate. Dense and powerful, with great clarity of flavor thanks to a terrific spine of acidity. Almost painfully structured wine but not at all hard. Finishes very long and gripping, with a note of bitter chocolate. Drink 2012 through 2040.Vinous Media | 96+ VMIncredible nose of blackberry, mineral, cedar and currant. Full-bodied, with silky and refined tannins and a medium caressing finish. It’s a beautiful wine that begs to be drunk now but will age and improve for a long time.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

98
RP
As low as $475.00
1996 mouton rothschild Bordeaux Red

The standout wine of the tasting (as expected). Opulent, concentrated with intense cassis notes on both the nose and palate, with a deep-purple hue in the glass (although not quite as deep as the 1995). Mint, cool, menthol on the nose with restrained oak hovering in the background. The palate is ultra-elegant with a freshness from the acidity and perfectly-ripe tannins, combined with subtle oak and intriguing spicy, cedary notes. A wine that is drinking beautifully now but still has one (or possibly two) decades to go. Harvested 27 September to 9 October. 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. (Drink between 2022-2035)Decanter | 98 DECThe last time I tasted the 1996 Mouton Rothschild (maybe a couple of years ago?), I recall it was a bit broody and closed. This showing was anything but! Deep garnet in color, it sashays out of the glass with lavishly dressed, gregarious crème de cassis, baked blackberries and plum pudding scents plus touches of menthol, fenugreek, star anise and sandalwood with fleeting glimpses at dried rose petals and oolong tea. The full-bodied palate is richly fruited, opulent and oh-so seductive, with bags of youthful black fruit and lovely finely grained tannins, finishing with fantastic freshness and length. This was tasted from jeroboam in September 2019.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPIncredible nose of ultraripe fruit, it’s yet subtle and complex. Full-bodied, with very ripe, almost sweet fruit and a long, long caressing finish. Superb. This is edging out the 1995.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2010.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThe 1996 Mouton-Rothschild is the high point of what in retrospect was an inconsistent decade for this First Growth. It has a very attractive, classic Pauillac bouquet: predominantly black fruit laced with cedar, freshly rolled tobacco and light graphite scents. It is not lavish, but tightly controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, though not as fine as recent vintages under Philippe Dhalluin. There is satisfying density and gentle grip toward the finish, which feels fresh and contains enough energy to suggest that it is only just reaching its plateau. Tasted from an ex-château jeroboam at the Palace of Versailles charity dinner.Vinous Media | 95 VMThe bottle I opened was fabulous on the nose with aromas of currants, cedar, sweet tobacco, incense, and flowers. It was full-bodied, with very fine silky tannins and similar flavors as the aromas. However, a slightly green undertone came thorough on the palate. It didn’t bother me, but the Italians seemed annoyed with it – even disappointed. Regardless, I scored the wine.James Suckling | 94 JS

98
DEC
As low as $820.00

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