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Collector Wines

Collector Wines

Collector Wines

Some wines are so good, you almost feel bad while uncorking the bottle. You’d much rather stockpile them in your cellar until you have a collection to rival Dionysus himself. The journey to find the most tempting and inaccessible collector’s wines can be difficult and stressful, but the end result is always worth it. If the stars align, you end up with a selection of wines so awe-inspiring, you just want to sit in your cellar and admire them. There is no occasion in the world that you can’t contribute to with a bottle of extra-rare fine wine, and you can compete with other local collectors and try to outbid them for choice bottles.

The main issue when it comes to acquiring highly collectible bottles is that they’re often hard to obtain. It makes sense, of course – the most prestigious collectibles are the least accessible bottles, ones that can sometimes necessitate a 10-year wait. Also, it should go without saying that many of the world’s finest blends cost a pretty high amount of money. However, that isn’t the case for all of them. At some point, it all comes down to developing an eye for the market and being able to recognize which wines to target before they’re declared classic masterpieces by the general populace.

This is where we come in. We’ve arranged a selection of extremely well-made and luxurious collector’s wines, ones that will make even the most stoic and emotionless critic drop to their knees in sheer envy. Every wine on this page is a veritable work of art, a bottle you can bring out when making a good impression is more important than anything else.

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1992 Mouton Rothschild

Rich, powerful, stylish and expressive. Petit Mouton is always the most exuberant of the First Growth second wines, and here it rewards with layers of spiced black chocolate, cinnamon-laced blackberries, cherry pits, cassis and caramel. This was the vintage that benefitted from Philippe Dhalluin’s new regime of tightening production on the main wine, ensuring that certain lots that would have previously been selected for Mouton Rothschild now made it in here. As such, 2005 can be seen as the first vintage of the new era where Petit Mouton has grown to be one of the most sought after second wines of the region, with a clear personality and ageing trajectory. 3.62pH. | 92 DEC

As low as $1,380.00
1993 cheval blanc Bordeaux Red

Good full ruby-red. Knockout, complex nose offers vibrant aromas of raspberry, sour red cherry, strawberry, licorice and violet, complicated by white pepper and rose. Then moderately dense and fresh in the mouth, with delicately spicy notes of redcurrant, strawberry, licorice, coffee and minerals. This rather elegantly styled wine finishes bright and fresh, with firm, highly polished tannins. This midweight Cheval Blanc lacks the density and concentration of the better vintages, but it has an amazingly pure nose of cabernet franc (I'd score this 95 or more for its aromas) that is a joy to inhale. For those with deep pockets, it's also a fantastic food wine, and a simply amazing buy, since it will cost much less than many other more sought-after Cheval Blanc vintages.Vinous Media | 91 VM

90
WS
As low as $490.00
1993 drc la tache Burgundy Red

(Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche Grand Cru Red) The nose evidences a slight floral quality, and a fascinating mix of earth, leather, tea and spice notes plus an interesting green bark component. The slightly austere, tannic, wonderfully rich flavors are dense, in fact extremely dense with excellent depth and terrific complexity and a finish that seems to go on forever. Though there are now hints of secondary aromas, this remains very young, structured and remarkably intense. When you get the right bottle, the ’93 can be a real stunner. Note: the inconsistency of this wine continues unabated as a bottle opened at the Domaine recently was almost aggressively vegetal and awkward. In short, when it’s good it’s very good but I’ve now had too many disappointing bottles not to be wary. (Drink starting 2018)Burghound | 95 BHLight red. Beautiful nose, very youthful and pure. A vegetal note emerges with air. Packed with dense fruit and marked by a very firm structure of both acidity and dense tannins. The fruit is locked up right now in this massive, powerful La Tâche. Rather than open in the glass, this appears to close up, but have faith; this will be great.--La Tâche non-blind vertical. Best from 2010 through 2030. — BSWine Spectator | 95 WS

95
BH
As low as $6,885.00
1993 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

Aromas of peat and fruits, with hints of cedar and berries. Full and velvety with good fruit and a medium finish. Goes mushroomy. A little light.James Suckling | 91 JS

As low as $825.00
1993 latour Bordeaux Red

A terrific wine for the vintage, Latour’s 1993 reveals an opaque purple color, a backward, cedar, black walnut, cassis, and earth-scented nose, medium to full body, gorgeously rich, concentrated fruit, moderately high tannin (but no astringency), and a sweet, long, powerful finish. The wine does not possess any of the vegetal, green pepper characteristics of the vintage, nor any hint of hollowness or harshness. This wine may prove to merit an even higher rating. Is this vintage the modern day clone of the 1967 and 1971? Anticipated maturity: 2007-2025. Last tasted 1/97Robert Parker | 90 RPSlightly oxidized with a coffee and spice character, as well as fruit. Medium body. Tea, tobacco and some fruit.James Suckling | 90 JS

90-92
RPNM
As low as $655.00
1993 margaux Bordeaux Red

Château Margaux is back after a weak ’92. Big for the vintage, featuring loads of new oak to provide a smoky, toasty taste. Attractive currant, black cherry and rose petal character. Medium-bodied, exotic and ripe. Somewhat hard now, and you wish for a bit more concentration, but time should turn it into a lovely wine. Try in 1999.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

90
WS
As low as $600.00
1993 Mouton Rothschild

After less than persuasive performances in two potentially great years, 1989 and 1990, Mouton-Rothschild appears to have settled down, producing fine efforts in recent vintages, culminating with the enormously promising, unquestionably profound 1995. The 1993 is a beautifully made wine which could be considered a sleeper of the vintage. The wine boasts a dark purple color, followed by a sweet, pain grillee, roasted nut, and cassis-scented bouquet that is just beginning to open. In the mouth, the wine may not possess the body and volume of a vintage such as 1990 or 1989, but there is more richness of fruit, a sweet, ripe, pureness to the wine, as well as medium body and outstanding balance. This moderately tannic, well-focused, surprisingly rich 1993 is capable of 15-20 years of evolution. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2015.Readers should note that this wine comes with two labels. The original label, with its delicate yet unprovocative portrait nude of a pre-teenager by Balthus, was banned as a result of protests from America’s neo-puritans. What has resulted is considerable speculation in the original label, which is selling at $50 more than the blank creamy white-colored label that is "officially" sported by those bottles of Mouton-Rothschild imported to America. Although Mouton-Rothschild can be among the most inconsistent first-growths, when this estate gets everything right, the wine can be as compelling as any produced in Bordeaux.Robert Parker | 90 RPMouton comes through again. Impressive ’93, deep in color and full-bodied, boasting plenty of currant, black cherry, mint and toast character. Well crafted, showing depth for this vintage. Give the tannins some time to mellow. Try in 2000.Wine Spectator | 90 WSMouton’s great winemaking comes to the fore in this wine in the face of the difficult year of 1993. It’s a surprisingly substantial Bordeaux for such a wet growing season, even now displaying strong blackberries and mint flavors. Full-bodied with tannins that are just coming around.James Suckling | 90 JS1993 was not a great year, with rainfall in September spoiling what had looked like a very fine vintage. The 1993 Mouton is perhaps better known for the controversial label by Balthus. 1993 Mouton was a surprise in this line-up, tasted last, with plenty of stuffing and a fine balance between plump red/black fruit, smoky oak, fine tannins, a fine line of acidity and complex spicy characters. Very nicely mature, this is not going to improve greatly but it can be drunk over the next 3-5 years. Harvested 23 September to 10 October. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc. (Drink between 2021-2025)Decanter | 90 DEC

90
RP
As low as $710.00
1993 ornellaia Super Tuscans/IGT

Axel Heinz said this was a really good, very classic vintage but overshadowed by 1995 and 1997. It has an iodine minerality on the nose alongside notes of cedar wood and a slightly bretty character. The palate is full-bodied and firm, with thick yet ripe textured tannins, crisp acidity, bright bramble fruit and a cedar wood finish. This Ornellaia is a wine for knowledgeable collectors due to its austerity without any flaw. Drinking Window 2019 - 2030Decanter | 95 DECThe 1993 Ornellaia (magnum) is just plain beautiful. Plums, tobacco, spice box, cedar and spices come together with notable elegance. The wine possesses exceptional purity in a soft, approachable style. The 1993 is one of the best Ornellaias for current drinking. It is a wonderful effort. In 1993 Ornellaia relies heavily on Cabernet Sauvignon (78%) and Cabernet Franc (5%) in the blend, while the remaining 17% is Merlot. The wine spent 16 months in French oak, 33% new.Antonio Galloni | 92 AG

As low as $520.00
1994 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

A luscious Lafite that is silky and elegant with layers of wonderful violet, berry, cherry and chocolate flavors. It’s full-bodied, with racy, refined tannins and good length. Drinkable now, but best from 1999 and through another decade. 18,750 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WSBecause Lafite-Rothschild (1) tends to lack the weight of many wines of the northern Medoc, and (2) is never a flashy, ostentatious style of wine, it is often more difficult to evaluate when young than some of its neighbors. Made from nearly 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, this dark ruby/purple-colored wine is stubbornly backward, unappealing, and severe and astringent on the palate. There is plenty of weight, and the wine possesses admirable purity, with no suggestion of herbaceousness or underripe fruit, but the wine’s personality refuses to be coaxed from the glass. The 1994 Lafite may turn out to be austere and disappointing flavor-wise, but possesses a fabulous set of aromatics (does that sound reminiscent of the 1961, another Lafite that was primarily Cabernet Sauvignon?). I am not giving up on this wine, but purchasers should be willing to wait 15-20 years before pulling a cork. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2030.Robert Parker | 90 RPThe 1994 Lafite-Rothschild is a vintage that I have not tasted for some time. Poured blind, it has a healthy colour with modest signs of aging on the brick rim. Since this is 99.5% Cabernet Sauvignon (I always thought it was 100%!) it is dominated by classic aromas associated with that variety: undergrowth and tobacco, just a touch of graphite. Like the 1961, I actually miss the Merlot component because the wine does feel a little two-dimensional. The palate is well balanced with a fine bead of acidity. That tannins are coarser than recent vintages, and there is a little hardness on the finish that would have been mollified by the Merlot, but this stocky Lafite-Rothschild is still going strong. Just partner it with the right dish rather than drink on its own. Tasted at the Lafite-Rothschild 150th anniversary dinner at the estate.Vinous Media | 90 VM

93
WS
As low as $870.00
1994 le pin Bordeaux Red

I loved this wine from the moment I tasted it from barrel in 1995. This is showing beautifully. Balanced and refined, with silky tannins and a long, long finish. Medium-bodied, with chocolate, berry and mineral flavors. Wonderful and subtle. Will improve with age too.--Le Pin non-blind vertical. Drink now. 500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WSTasted blind as a vintage comparison at the Valandraud vertical, the 1994 Le Pin has always been one of Jacques Thienpont’s great successes. It has a broody nose of mulberry, cola, tobacco, mint and undergrowth that feels just a little static at first, but begins to loosen up in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, crisp and focused, fully mature but with more than enough freshness, segueing into a structured and lightly spiced finish with dry tobacco lingering on the aftertaste. There is weight and intention here, a Pomerol undiminished by time and a quite brilliant wine in the context of the vintage. The 1994 is the "insiders’ choice." Tasted December 2016.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 94 RP-NMVery good deep red. Intensely spicy blackberry, black raspberry, licorice and violet aromas reminiscent of Vosne-Romanée. Creamy and thick in the mouth, but strong extract gives the fruit an urgent quality and very good freshness. Quite solidly structured for this wine. Finishes very long and subtle.Vinous Media | 91-94 VM

94
RP
As low as $4,080.00
1994 margaux Bordeaux Red

This largely forgotten vintage seems to have turned the corner in the last year or two. Because of strict selections made at the top chateaux, the wines always had density, but the level of tannin was frequently too high, and the type of tannin was more green and astringent. Chateau Margaux’s 1994 has always been one of the candidates for the “wine of the vintage.” The wine still has a dense plum/purple color and a big, sweet nose of black fruits intermixed with licorice, camphor, vanilla, and a hint of flowers. The wine is dense and powerful, but the tannins have softened and do not seem as hard and intrusive as they did in the late nineties. This wine will last for decades and hopefully become even more seamless, although it is hard to believe all the tannin will gradually dissipate. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2025. Last tasted, 10/02.Robert Parker | 91+ RPVery good bright red-ruby color. Sappy, very floral nose hints at toasty oak. Sweet, supple. smooth and oaks in the mouth. A very consistent though fairly tannic wine without the grip or structure of the ’95. In fact, tasted after the ’95, this seemed much oakier and even a bit monolithic.Vinous Media | 90-91 VMNot a big Margaux, this is all in refinement. Pretty aromas of berries, raspberries and toasted oak and warm flavors that build on your palate. Medium-bodied, with fine, well-integrated tannins and a caressing finish. Better in 1999.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

93
RPNM
As low as $645.00
1994 petrus Bordeaux Red

Saturated ruby-red. Brilliant nose features kirsch, dark berries, and iron scents, with an overlay of perfumed, spicy oak. Lush, sweet and fragrant in the mouth, with a sappy freshness; clearly made from low yields. Finishes with toothcoating but suave tannins and remarkable persistence; stains the palate with spicy bitter cherry and citric skin flavor. As with the ’94, clearly the best wine in the Moueix portfolio on this day.Vinous Media | 93-96 VMAfter several uninspiring efforts between 1978 and 1988, it is irrefutable that Christian Moueix and his flagship estate, Petrus, have rebounded with a vengeance, producing a bevy of extraordinary wines, even in rain-plagued vintages such as 1992 and 1993. Opaque purple/black in color, with a sweet vanilla, pain grillee, jammy cherry and cassis-scented nose, this full-bodied, densely packed wine reveals layers of flavor, and an inner-core of sweetness with huge quantities of glycerin and depth. A tannic, classic style of Petrus, with immense body, great purity, and a backward finish, this wine requires a decade of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2035.Robert Parker | 93 RPWonderfully rich and concentrated, with milk chocolate, berry and floral aromas, loads of fruit flavors and soft, round tannins. Full-bodied and has good length. A great wine for the vintage, but then, what do you expect from Pétrus? Better from 1999 on, but inviting now. 3,200 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

93
RP
As low as $4,655.00
1994 r. lopez heredia vina tondonia gran reserva Spain Red

Extremely intense aromas of dried lemons, apples, limes and chalk. Full body, wonderful depth of fruit and density with bright acidity and a layered and rich palate. Yet remains vivid and fresh. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 97 JS(aged for nine years in American oak barrels and then held in bottle for a minimum of eight years before release) Brilliant red. A highly complex, expansive bouquet evokes cherry liqueur, pipe tobacco, incense, vanilla and woodsmoke, accompanied by hints of five-spice powder and licorice in the background. Sweet, expansive and seamless in texture, offering intense cherry-vanilla, spicecake and rose pastille flavors that deepen slowly as the wine opens up. Fully mature but with plenty of life left in it, this wine finishes impressively long, supple and sweet, displaying discreet tannins, resonating spiciness and suave florality. I reviewed this wine five years ago and am very happy to say that it has improved with additional bottle age.Vinous Media | 95 VM

96
RP
As low as $295.00
1995 Alvaro Palacios L'Ermita Priorat

Such a powerful mouthful of wine that after swallowing, it’s almost hard to talk. Explosively aromatic, with jam, tar, licorice and exotic spices, it leads with concentrated fruit, then follows with a sledgehammer of polished tannins that somehow dissolve on the finish, where the fruit reemerges like a rainbow. With a slab of well-aged, chargrilled beef--paradise. Drink now through 2005. 450 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WSSaturated ruby. More perfumed, more floral, fruit-driven aromas of blackcurrant, black cherry, black raspberry, mocha and clove; vibrant and youthful. Huge, sensual and deep on the palate, with great creamy depth of flavor. Still a bit youthfully tight but has the structure and concentration to develop over the next decade or two. Great persistence on the finish; huge, dusty, noble tannins coat the entire palate.Vinous Media | 95+ VMA clone of the 1994, the 1995 L’Ermita does not reveal quite the power and density of its older sibling, but that is a tough call ... especially at this age. The color is an opaque purple, and the wine displays more pain grille, grilled jus de viande, blackberry, and floral notes in its aromatics, which seem slightly more evolved than the 1994’s. In the mouth, the 1995 is deep, powerful, and rich, with low acidity, better sweetness and integration of tannin (only when compared to the massive 1994), layers of extract and flavor, and a 40-second finish. It is a remarkable wine with formidable style, intensity, and flavor. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2020.Robert Parker | 94 RP

As low as $510.00
1995 ausone Bordeaux Red

Flower and berry character, with hints of clove and black pepper. Full-bodied and very rich, with decadent flavors. Oozes with ripe fruit. Goes on and on. Fabulous.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2008.Wine Spectator | 96 WSAusone’s extraordinary minerality is present in the 1995, yet there are more aromatics, a richer, more multidimensional palate impression, and a fuller texture - all with the terroir brilliantly expressed. The wine boasts a dense ruby/purple color and an emerging but tightly-knit nose of spring flowers, minerals, earth, and black fruits. Rich, with an opulent texture and surprising sexiness for a young vintage of Ausone, the medium-bodied 1995 displays exquisite balance between its acid, tannin, alcohol, and fruit. Although it is not yet seamless, all the elements are present for an extraordinary evolution in the bottle. This wine will age at a glacial pace for 30-40 years. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2045. Last tasted, 3/01.Robert Parker | 93 RPDeep violet-tinged ruby. Lively cassis, black cherry, tobacco and smoky oak aromas. Lush and dense, though a bit shocked by the bottling. Combines the penetrating, juicy quality and class of previous vintages of this wine with the more opulent texture and suaver tannins craved by so many of today Bordeaux lovers. May well eventually merit a higher score, but will it surpass the ’96?Vinous Media | 92+ VM

96
WS
As low as $735.00
1995 calon segur Bordeaux Red

I always loved this wine from the first time I tasted it in 1998. It has such purity and power yet it’s reserved and beautiful. It’s one of the best Calons ever. I drank a bottle with some friends in Manhattan last week and it was the wine of the evening. It was full-bodied with silky tannins and a focused and intense finish. Lots of currant and berry character and hints of dried spices. It’s finally opening up and giving real pleasure now like so many 1995 Bordeaux at the moment.James Suckling | 97 JSIncredible nose of crushed berries, flowers, spices and nuts. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, long finish. Powerful and solid. Builds on the palate. Give it time.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2009.Wine Spectator | 95 WSTasted from an ex-château bottle at BI Wine & Spirits Calon-Segur dinner in London. The 1995 Calon-Segur was the vintage that raised the profile of this estate and heralded the start of the late Mme Gasqueton’s era. At 20 years of age, it shows no signs of reaching the end of its plateau. Far from it. It has an endearing bouquet that still seems youthful: brambly red fruit, asphalt and a light marine influence. Allowing the wine to open, there is a subtle winegum scent. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, impressive depth and backbone, the second half having mellowed in recent years, rendering this approachable; hints of secondary truffle and smoke notes emerging with aeration. It has been several years since I last tasted this wine, but it is one that seems to become more and more impressive with age. Robert Parker rightly lauded this Calon-Ségur at the time of release. Twenty years on, it is fulfilling all its promise. Tasted March 2015.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 94 RP-NM(Château Calon-Ségur (St. Estèphe)) The 1995 vintage is one I would like to do a retrospective feature on, but as it was the first year in Bordeaux where wines took a steep increase in price from their 1980s levels, I did not buy the vintage for my own cellar, even though the isolated examples I tasted early on I always found quite promising. In any case, this 1995 Calon-Ségur (which a friend recently blinded me on), was excellent in quality and starting to really drink nicely. The bouquet is precise and pure, wafting from the glass in a fine blend of cassis, cigar smoke, a complex base of dark soil tones, a suave foundation of nutty new oak and a topnote of tobacco leaf. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and impeccably balanced, with a lovely core of fruit, good soil signature, ripe, melting tannins and lovely focus and grip on the complex finish. Whether or not the overall vintage of 1995 is top flight or not, the Calon-Ségur is certainly a superb wine. (Drink between 2019-2050).John Gilman | 93 JGGood deep red-ruby color. Black cherry, leather, olive and a hint of crystallized berries; fresher on the nose than the ’97. Sweet, firmly structured and very nicely balanced, with strong but integrated acidity and very good flavor definition. Tannins are ripe and fine.Vinous Media | 91 VM

97
JS
As low as $1,640.00
1995 cheval blanc Bordeaux Red

(a 53/47 blend of cabernet franc and merlot; 13% alcohol; yield of 45 h/h): Bright red. Pure aromas of strawberry, flowers, soy sauce, espresso and minerals. Then clean and straightforward on the palate, with nicely balanced flavors similar to the aromas. Finishes very long and smooth. A very good Cheval Blanc, bigger than the 1996 but perhaps a touch less delineated; choosing between the two amounts to a case of different strokes for different folks. This was a warm year: temperatures during the 1995 growing season were on average 1.5°C higher than the previously recorded annual averages, with a very hot July and August, and the harvest took place early, between September 15 and 28. In fact, only the 1989 and 1990 harvests began earlier.Vinous Media | 93+ VMMedium ruby-garnet edge. Intense aromas of plums, cherries and dark chocolate. Full-bodied and very tight, with supersilky tannins and a long finish. Solid core of fruit. Still holding back.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2009.Wine Spectator | 93 WSA pretty, attractive Cheval Blanc, the 1995 contains a higher percentage of Merlot in the final blend than usual (50% Merlot/50% Cabernet Franc). This wine has not developed as much fat or weight as its younger sibling, the 1996, but it appears to be an outstanding Cheval Blanc with an enthralling smoky, black currant, coffee, and exotic bouquet. Complex, rich, medium to full-bodied flavors are well-endowed and pure, with surprisingly firm tannin in the finish. Unlike the sweeter, riper 1996, the 1995 may be more structured and potentially longer-lived. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2020.Robert Parker | 92 RP

95
RP-NM
As low as $925.00
1995 dyquem Dessert

Served from an ex-chateau bottle. The 1995 Chateau d’Yquem is moving into its secondary aroma phase. A deep golden color, it has a dense and almost Barsac-like bouquet with tangerine, apricot, acacia and melted candle wax. It displays good intensity, unfolding beautifully in the glass. The palate has a strident opening, with a slight bitter edge that lends this Yquem great tension. One can discern layers of marmalade infused with honey fruit, with a powerful, spicy finish that lingers long in the mouth. This is drinking perfectly now, but will surely age with style over many years. Tasted March 2014.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 95 RP-NM

As low as $545.00
1995 guigal cote rotie la landonne Cote Rotie

One of the treats when tasting through the profound Côte Rôties made by Marcel Guigal was the opportunity to taste all of the bottled 1995's. Reviewed in previous issues, they are even better from bottle than they were during their upbringing (a characteristic of many Guigal wines). The 1995 Côte Rôtie la Landonne is the stuff of legends and is every bit as compelling as readers might expect. This single vineyard wine will have at least 2 decades of longevity.Robert Parker | 99 RPDeep ruby-red. More sauvage aromas of black raspberry, blueberry, tar, mocha, minerals, mace and roasted game. Superconcentrated and powerful, with a near-solid texture. One of those rare wines that seems almost too big for the mouth. Finishes with huge, toothfurring-but-ripe tannins and great persistence.Vinous Media | 97 VMA full-bodied Syrah in an international-style that's complex and seductive, layered with cinnamon, toasted oak, plum, game, smoke, mineral and black fruit flavors. Turns massively tannic on the finish. Balanced and elegant despite the obvious richness, it's tempting on release, but needs a bit of time to tame the tannins. Drink now through 2015. 1,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

95
RP
As low as $725.00
1995 Haut Brion

It is fun to go back and forth between the 1995 and 1996, two superb vintages for Haut-Brion. The 1995 seems to have sweeter tannin and a bit more fat and seamlessness when compared to the more structured and muscular 1996. Certainly 1995 was a vintage that the brilliant administrator Jean Delmas handled flawlessly. The result is a deep ruby/purple-colored wine with a tight but promising nose of burning wood embers intermixed with vanilla, spice box, earth, mineral, sweet cherry, black currant, plum-like fruit, medium to full body, a high level of ripe but sweet tannin, and a finish that goes on for a good 40-45 seconds. This wine is just beginning to emerge from a very closed state where it was unyielding and backward. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2035. Last tasted, 11/0Robert Parker | 96 RPThis 1995 Haut-Brion was served blind during the summer at a private dinner in Bordeaux, a bottle with perfect provenance. It is a vintage that I have drunk several times, but not since 2013. Deep in colour, the 1995 has plenty of black fruit on the nose, displaying a distinctive briny influence, classic in style with stunning definition. There is something regal about the aromatics. The palate is well-balanced, with fine acidity and black fruit once again, sappy and saline, with an underlying ash-like note emerging as it opens in the glass. Though quite linear towards the tobacco and sous-bois finish, the 1995 conspicuously gains weight and breeding with time. Therefore, I would afford this First Growth four to five hours of decanting as it remains more backward than I imagined.Vinous Media | 95 VMSweet tobacco, blackberries and violets on the nose. Subtle. Full-bodied and very tight, with fantastic tannins and a long caressing finish. Wonderful texture. All in reserve still. Give this time.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2010.Wine Spectator | 95 WS(Château Haut-Brion (Graves)) The 1995 vintage of Haut-Brion is excellent, though still a few years away from primetime drinking. The bouquet is deep, pure and classical in profile, delivering scents of cassis, sweet dark berries, singed tobacco, a touch of coffee bean, fresh herb tones, a complex base of gravelly soil tones, cedary oak and just a hint of the more red fruity elements that are sure to emerge here with further bottle age. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep, complex and seamlessly balanced, with ripe, buried tannins, fine focus and grip and outstanding length on the vibrant and very classy finish. This is a superb Haut-Brion in the making. (Drink between 2025-2085).John Gilman | 94+ JG

96
RP
As low as $799.00
1995 krug Champagne

A very youthful ’95. Delicate. Intense aromas of ginger, citrus, candied berry and multigrain bread turn to honey, roasted almonds and graphite on the palate. It’s all underscored by a precise structure and creamy texture. Its structure keeps it persistent through the long finish. A picture of precision and intensity. Drink now through 2025. 1,700 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 98 WS(Krug, (Magnum), Champagne, France, White) The grand finale to Olivier Krug’s awe-inspiring masterclass was the fabulous 1995 vintage, poured from magnum. It is one of four Krug vintages from the 1990s and it was one of the last wines which Olivier tasted with his father and grandfather. Today it is still going strong, with a primary and savoury nose of apricot and toast. On the palate this remains vigorous but mature, with oxidative notes of walnut oil, nougat and umami, as well as gingerbread, cappuccino, toast and candied fruits. There’s lots of finesse and freshness and great length – a joy to drink now and for another 15 years at least. (Drink between 2017-2034)Decanter | 96 DECA mature, honeyed nose shows how rich and open this beautiful wine is. It is rich and toasty, with layers of citrus and very ripe, almost honeyed, fruit. It is lively and fresh, with excellent structure. Ready to drink.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WE(Krug Vintage Brut (Reims) served from magnum) The 1995 Krug in magnum is really starting to drink with style and grace, but it remains a wine that has just reached its plateau of maturity and has years and years of life still ahead of it. The lovely and quite classic nose wafts from the glass in a constellation of apple, peach, caraway seed, a lovely base of minerality, a touch of walnut, rye bread and a gently smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and complex, with a wide open attack, a fine core, elegant mousse and really lovely length and grip on the focused and classy finish. Fine juice. (Drink between 2016-2045)John Gilman | 95 JGThe deep golden color implies just how rich this wine will be. The 1995 vintage provided a baroque canvas of flavors that seems weightier and more robust than a classic Krug, but no less fascinating. The wine is downright huge, aggressive in its savory power, in its aching acidity and persistent minerality. Brusque and mouthcoating in its richness at 11 years of age, this will begin to mellow as it turns 15 or 20.Wine & Spirits | 95 W&SI have a preference for the 1995 Brut Vintage, as it shows quite a bit more freshness and verve than the 1998. Mint, dried flowers, truffles and bright fruit are some of the nuances that flow from this precise, focused Champagne. The vibrant, refreshing finish makes it impossible to resist a second taste. Among recent vintages, the 1996 has rightly received a ton of attention here, while the 1995 is likely to remain an insider’s wine that is available at more favorable pricing.My visit to Krug earlier this year was fascinating, as I had a chance to taste a number of 2009s and reserve wines. A tank sample of the 2009 Clos du Mesnil was one of the most exciting, viscerally thrilling wines of the trip, and remained etched on my mind for several weeks. I also had a chance to glance over newly found, hand-written original records that document the exact village breakdown of all the grapes Krug purchased in each vintage going back to 1928. This year I tasted a number of fabulous wines from bottle. Unfortunately I can’t include my impressions on Krug’s NV Champagnes because of the house’s insistence on not providing disgorgement dates for those wines. I was reminded of the importance of this information when I tasted a fabulous, utterly spellbinding bottle of the NV Rose. It was a truly beautiful Champagne, but owing to its recent disgorgement it needed at least a few years on the cork. Of course Krug gives a general indication of the disgorgement dates for their wines on the corks, but by that time, readers may have opened a bottle that needs more bottle age. Without this information it is impossible to give readers any reliable indication of when the house’s NV wines might start drinking well. With a retail price over $300 a bottle, opening a bottle of Krug’s Rose can be a very expensive learning experience. Krug fans will want to keep an eye out for my upcoming article on Clos du Mesnil, featuring complete notes back to the inaugural 1979.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPThe 1995 Krug is gorgeous. I chose it because one of my guests loves Krug and I thought the 1995 would have the right amount of complexity to pair beautifully with the smokiness in Saison’s caviar. Although the 1995 Krug is not a truly epic wine, it is in a sweet spot right now.Antonio Galloni | 94 AG(Krug Brut Villages Champagne/Sparkling) Moderately deep golden color. There is a mildly oxidative character present on the toasty, yeasty and apple cider-suffused nose that offers excellent complexity. The fine depth can also be found on the delicious flavors that are definitely full-flavored and relatively powerful, all wrapped in a citrusy finish that, like the nose, reflects a hint of oxidative character. This is borderline post-mature and I would be inclined to be drinking up. (Drink starting 2018)Burghound | 90 BH

98
WS
As low as $740.00
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
JS
As low as $1,195.00
1995 latour Bordeaux Red

A beauty, the opaque dense purple-colored 1995 exhibits jammy cassis, vanillin, and minerals in its fragrant but still youthful aromatics. Medium to full-bodied, with exceptional purity, superb concentration, and a long, intense, ripe, 40-second finish, this is a magnificent example of Latour. As the wine sat in the glass, scents of roasted espresso and toasty new oak emerged. This classic will require considerable cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2050.Robert Parker | 96 RPDeep ruby-red color. More expressive aromas of crystallized dark berries, dark chocolate and animal fur. Lush and sweet; thick but delineated. Wonderfully concentrated. This, too, seems rather withdrawn today, but the strength of material is clear to see. Finishes with firm tannins and explosive fruit that goes on and on.Vinous Media | 94+ VMBlack licorice, cedar, cigar box and fresh herbs. Full-bodied and very structured, with firm, silky tannins and a long finish. Needs time.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2009.Wine Spectator | 94 WS(Château Latour) Latour made a very good wine in 1995, but my gut instincts are that the property in the twenty-first century is making even better wines than was the case in the decade of the 1990s. The 1995 Latour offers up a complex, promising nose of cassis, dark berry, French Roast, Cuban cigars, gravelly soil tones and a well-done base of toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full and broad-shouldered in profile, with a fine core of fruit, ripe, chewy tannins, fine focus and grip and a long, still quite youthful finish. This is at least eight to ten years away from starting to drink, and probably at least twenty away from really hitting its apogee. (Drink between 2025-2075).John Gilman | 93 JG

97
DEC
As low as $795.00
1995 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

I love the aromas here with forest flowers, wild mushrooms and tobacco, as well as currants. Full and very layered with creamy tannins that caress your palate. So long and enticing. Such a gorgeous Bordeaux that is just starting to show its real self. Love it. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 97 JSIf it were not for the prodigious 1996, everyone would be concentrating on getting their hands on a few bottles of the fabulous 1995 Leoville-Las-Cases, which is one of the vintage’s great success stories. The wine boasts an opaque ruby/purple color, and exceptionally pure, beautifully knit aromas of black fruits, minerals, vanillin, and spice. On the attack, it is staggeringly rich, yet displays more noticeable tannin than its younger sibling. Exceptionally ripe cassis fruit, the judicious use of toasty new oak, and a thrilling mineral character intertwined with the high quality of fruit routinely obtained by Las Cases, make this a compelling effort. There is probably nearly as much tannin as in the 1996, but it is not as perfectly sweet as in the 1996. The finish is incredibly long in this classic. Only 35% of the harvest was of sufficient quality for the 1995 Leoville-Las-Cases. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2025.Robert Parker | 95 RPPure violets, minerals and blackberries on the nose. Full-bodied, chewy and powerful. Still holding back a lot. This wine needs to break its chains. Give it time.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2010. 18,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WSDeep ruby-red. Deep, lively aromas of red- and blackcurrants, licorice, tobacco and grilled nuts. Great sweetness and silky texture in the mouth currently overshadows the wine strong supporting acidity and tight core of spice and minerals. The toothcoating tannins don’t cover as much of the mouth as those of the ’96 do, but this wine offers uncanny length.Vinous Media | 94+ VMShowing beautifully today, the 1995 Château Léoville Las Cases is a blend of 67% Cabernet, 26% Merlot, and 7% Cabernet Franc (a normal blend for that period) and hit 12.95% alcohol. Coming from a vintage featuring a cool, rainy spring followed by a sunny, mild growing season, it has a more upfront, fruit-driven style that still offers lots of classic Las Cases minerality in its red and black currant fruits as well as notes of cedary herbs, graphite, wood smoke, and forest floor nuances. With medium to full-bodied richness, a round, supple, mouth-filling texture, velvety, almost resolved tannins, and a beautiful finish, it’s ideal for enjoying any time over the coming two decades. I don’t think it has the same elegance and weightlessness as the 1982 nor the precision of the 1996 (which this wine is often compared to), but it’s a gorgeous wine in every sense.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDA dry, although not excessively hot, summer meant there were some blockages in the vines, and there are clear exotic notes through the palate, with the wine showing cinnamon, saffron and dried fruit. This is one of the sweet spots of Las Cases, as it hits the balance between power, tannin, black tea and bilberries, still showcasing the Pauillac side of St-Julien with a freshness and sappiness even at 26 years old. A brilliant example of how well this estate can age - and also how a touch of exoticism can soften its famous austerity. A real tickling of spice on the finish, a little dry as all older Bordeaux can be, but it is full of hidden pleasures if you just let it uncurl in the glass. Jean-Hubert Delon was here alongside his father at the time, taking over alone from 1996. Drinking Window 2021 - 2036.Decanter | 93 DEC

96
RP-NM
As low as $299.00
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 $785.00

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