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Popular Wines

Popular Wines

Popular Wines

As magical and enigmatic as the world of wine can be, it’s not always easy to find your way around. Every day, inexperienced wine enthusiasts try to explore new blends and end up with a shopping list that their budget simply cannot support. Every high-quality wine is a unique, important experience, one that opens a person’s taste palate to a whole new world of flavor and pleasure. Something primal awakens within, urging you to find new and more compelling aromas and textures. But with so much to choose from, where do you begin?

When it comes to wine, popular blends are relatively common for a reason. They serve as an excellent entry point into the world of fine wine, and studying them lets you understand more obscure, complicated wines out there. A collection has to start somewhere, and these blends are often easier to get and help you develop your taste. Imagine bonding with your friends and family over a brand you’re all familiar with and able to appreciate to its fullest. Good wine offers something new, yet vaguely familiar with each glass, as your mouth picks up on subtleties in the liquid that tempt you further and inspire thought and introspection, uncorking new conversation topics and improving the mood no matter the situation.

If you’re looking for safe picks, you want to set your sights on quality brands from Italy, France, and Spain. A glass of sultry Sangiovese or Trebbiano Toscano can liven up a family meal and impress even the stuffiest guests while being a perfect partner to any traditional Italian dish you can think of. One taste of a Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay is enough to let France stand out as a breeding ground of divine, elegant elixirs that can fit the taste of any enthusiast. Meanwhile, Spain offers powerful blends such as Garnacha, Bobal, or Tempranillo, helping you create memorable moments out of even the most ordinary evening. And this is only scratching the surface.

Our goal is to introduce you to popular, tested brands the same way we would introduce you to a potential soulmate. With the right mood and some good timing, you can develop a healthy, pleasurable relationship with wine that lasts a lifetime.

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1961 calon segur Bordeaux Red

(Château Calon-Ségur) After having been snake-bitten with bad luck on a couple of occasions (cooked examples) with the 1961 Calon-Ségur, I was delighted to be served a bottle in pristine condition just before finishing up this feature on the estate. This is a great, great 1961 that is still a few years away from its apogee of peak drinkability. This hails from the old days at the château, when Calon was renowned for the longevity of its wines, and the 1961 is still a bit chewy and will continue to improve with further bottle age. The bouquet is very, very deep, pure and stunning, wafting from the glass in a vibrant blend of black cherries, sweet dark berries, Cuban cigar wrapper, a complex base of dark soil, a touch of coffee bean and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and rock solid at the core, with the purity of 1961’s fruit beautifully synthesized to the classic, sturdy structure of Calon and adding a perception of roundness on the backend that is very rare for Calon in this era. The finish is very, very, very long, focused and well-balanced, with a chewy nature still in evidence to the remaining tannins, and great grip and complexity closing this magical 1961. Hard to believe that this wine, which is now more than fifty years of age, is going to be even better with further bottle age! This is the finest vintage of Calon-Ségur I have ever had the pleasure to taste. (Drink between 2014-2070)John Gilman | 96 JG

96
JG
As low as $730.00
1962 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

(Lafite-rothschild Lafite-rothschild Red) The 1962 Lafite-Rothschild is served from an impeccable magnum, one of the standouts of this comprehensive vertical tasting. Perhaps the larger format and provenance should be factored in, but neither of my two previous encounters with the 1962 has come close to this. Deeper in color than the 1966, the 1962 offers impressive blackberry and bilberry on the nose, vines of cedar and graphite evolving with time flanked by subtle black olive and brine. The palate is revivifying and fresh, demonstrating exquisite delineation. There is a compelling edginess to this Lafite, with a sustained pencil lead finish backed up by plenty of saline notes. What a truly great 1962 Bordeaux and perchance an under-appreciated Lafite-Rothschild. Tasted at the Lafite-Rothschild dinner at Amuse Bouche in Hong Kong. (Drink between 2018-2035)Vinous Media | 95 VMTasted from magnum. A shade deeper and richer than the single bottle, with plenty of cedar and currant flavors, full body and a sense of intensity and liveliness. One of the most powerful Lafites in the tasting. Drink now to 2005.--Lafite Rothschild vertical. —Wine Spectator | 93 WS(Château Lafite-Rothschild) The nose on the 1962 Lafite is polished, ethereal and fully mature, which offers up a lovely, transparent mélange of red berries, cigar box, a touch of menthol, delicate notes of sage, orange zest, plenty of cedar and a touch of summer truffle. On the palate the wine is medium-full, ethereal and beautifully complex, with excellent focus, and lovely shape and grip on the tangy finish. At age forty-five this is still a very pretty wine and sophisticated wine, and while it does not deliver the same scale as the greatest vintages of Lafite, there remains this lovely perfume, elegance, complexity and great intensity of flavor that makes this an entirely satisfying drink. (Drink between 2007-2020)John Gilman | 92 JG

93
WS
As low as $730.00
1963 quinta do noval nacional Port

(Quinta do Noval Nacional) I had never tasted the legendary 1963 Nacional previously, and this stunningly pure and still almost youthful wine was every bit as profound as its reputation suggests. The glorious nose erupts from the glass in a sappy mélange of red plums, cherries, heather, coffee, cigar smoke, clover honey, a brilliant base of soil, orange zest and incipient notes of celery seed and other savory delights. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still rock solid at the core, with glorious transparency, melting tannins, laser-like focus and brilliant soil drive on the very, very long and tangy finish. Like several other of the very best 1963 Ports, the ’63 Nacional is still a fairly young wine and will continue to dazzle for another fifty or sixty years. It was an absolute privilege to taste this legendary wine! (Drink between 2012-2075)John Gilman | 100 JGAmazingly, the importer still has tiny stocks of such legendary ports as the 1970, 1963, and 1962 Nacionals. In most vintages the production of Quinta do Noval Nacional is no more than 250-275 cases. The 1970,1963,1962 and 1994 are candidates to achieve perfect scores. The 1963 Nacional’s opaque purple color is remarkable, looking more like a 1992 than a 33-year old port. The wine possessed a fabulously smoky, cassis, black-cherry, peppery nose. After thirty minutes in the glass, fruitcake notes and more evolved aromas emerged. This port is so concentrated it defies belief, with extraordinary balance, and, like its two siblings, well-integrated alcohol and tannin. The impression is one of a silky, succulent, voluptuously-textured mouthful of exceptionally extracted port. This is a legend in the making. In 30-40 years it may well be considered, along with the 1931, as one of the greatest ports ever produced. Those lucky few with a bottle or two should plan to hold onto them for another decade before pulling the cork. It, too, is a hundred-year port.Robert Parker | 99 RPToffee, incense, dried cherry, bergamot and green tea notes provide the aromas here, with mulled plum and licorice flavors forming the core. A light singed balsam wood accent lines the finish, which is viscous and sweet-edged but stays decidedly dry in feel overall. Harmonious and incredibly long.—Non-blind Quinta do Noval vertical (May 2018). Drink now through 2030. 251 cases made.Wine Spectator | 99 WSGood full, deep red. Knockout nose offers red and black cherry, strawberry, spices and mint. Unbelievably young for a wine that’s nearly a half-century old, offering incredible power and thrust to its red berry, spice and mineral flavors. Fills the mouth with perfume. Combines extraordinary mid-palate lift with a silky texture and buns of steel, conveying an impression of buzzing energy. The endless finish features great concentration and urgency, and utterly noble tannins. Can a 49-year-old port still be on an up curve? I hope to find out. This wine should go on for another 30 years without difficulty.Vinous Media | 98+ VM

As low as $7,195.00
1964 Paul Aine Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle

First, a magnum of 1964 Hermitage La Chapelle from Paul Jaboulet Aîné. Lucid in hue, it sports modest bricking on the rim. Its initial tightness on the nose soon disappears to reveal layers of melted red berries, allspice and touches of wild mint, hints of potpourri/garrigues emerging with time. The palate is fleshy and displays exquisite balance, the vestige of fruit framed by filigree tannins, hints of strawberry and bay leaf as it fans out and deepens on the captivating finish. Format and provenance play a role here, yet it was undeniably Hermitage at its very best and at 58-years of age, one senses it has no intention of stepping off its high plateau. Utterly transfixing.Vinous Media | 97 VMA warm summer led to supple, low-acidity wines. This Chapelle reflects the vintage--smooth, silky and full-bodied. Less expressive than the ’66, but tastes rounder and richer. Melts on the palate as it delivers white chocolate, spice, fresh plum and freshly roasted coffee bean. Seems younger than you’d expect from a 35-year-old wine.--La Chapelle vertical. Drink now through 2005.Wine Spectator | 94 WSThis fully mature La Chapelle exhibits a dark garnet color with considerable amber at the edge. Aromas of wood fires, smoke, leather, Asian spices, roasted vegetables, and meats emerge from the wine’s bouquet.Burly, brawny, fat, and full, with low acidity, high alcohol, and copious glycerin and fruit, this 1964 is initially sumptuous, creamy-textured, and spectacular to drink, but it quickly cracks up as it sits in the glass. I have not had much previous experience with this vintage, but I suspect it was close to perfect when drunk in its prime (the seventies and early eighties). However, it is clearly at the end of its useful life, and should be consumed ... quickly.Robert Parker | 93 RP

93
RP
As low as $2,060.00
1967 dyquem Dessert White

From one of the 20th century’s celebrated vintages for Yquem, this bottle stands up to all the hype--unforgettable for its purity, elegance, harmony, its ’total’ everything. Powerful, yet it seems weightless on the palate, almost defying gravity as it tangos around with its vanilla, peach and apricot flavors. Seamless, nearly endless finish. Easy to understand its reputation as the greatest Yquem of the last 35 years.Wine Spectator | 100 WSGenerally speaking, 1967 was not a great vintage for the dry reds of Bordeaux. After a "meh" start to the Yquem harvest in early October, a spell of rain ensued, followed by warm dry temperatures in mid-October that ignited an explosion of botrytis. The rest is history: 1967 was a legendary year for Yquem. And this was indeed a very good bottle, tasted at the Chateau in spring 2019.Displaying a gorgeous deep amber-gold color, the 1967 d’Yquem slips sensuously out of the glass with a profound perfume of dried mandarin peel, allspice, praline, cinnamon toast and orange blossoms plus hints of gingerbread and accents of lemon butter. The palate is simply electric with citrus and spice-sparked energy, delivering youthfully vibrant notes with a tantalizing floral undercurrent. Superb freshness knit inseparably with the complex sweetness makes this seem like a deceptively delicate, lithe, medium-dry style, even if the truth is far richer yet with edifying persistence. For Sauternes lovers, a perfectly preserved bottle of this wine is undoubtedly the Holy Grail.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 99 RPWith the possible exception of the 1945 and 1928 Yquem, the 1967 is, by most people’s reckoning, the benchmark Sauternes of the 20th century. This bottle more than lived up to that reputation. Deep gold in color, it offers up a dizzying array of scents ranging from singed orange peel, caramelized pear, apricot nectar, fig cake, honey, toffee and turbinado sugar, with flavors to follow. Its viscous texture completely envelops the palate and the finish, if one can reasonably even call it a “finish”, as the wine seems to go on forever. This hauntingly complex, powerful yet shockingly lively Sauternes could be served with all sorts of decadent desserts, but it really deserves to be appreciated by itself, especially since one never knows when another chance to experience it might come around again.Such is the fame of this wine that it has single-handedly given the 1967 vintage in Sauternes and Barsac a huge reputation when, in fact, it was actually a pretty average year for the wines, overall. On top of that, almost all of the sweet wines from 1967 are past and even well past their prime at this stage. That’s emphatically not the case with this Yquem, which is one of the most spell-binding wines that I have had the chance to drink in years, even decades. There’s no question that, at 53 years of age, the 1967 is at or near peak, but well-stored bottles should easily be breathtaking for at least another two decades, perhaps longer.Vinous Media | 99 VM(Château d’Yquem) Prior to this bottle of the ’67 Yquem, I had not crossed paths with this wine since my sommelier days at Gotham Bar and Grill, which was putting it back a ways. The wine has always been one of the more opulent top vintages of Yquem, and it continues to drink very well in that slightly larger than life style. The bouquet is deep, pure and sumptuous, as it wafts from the glass in a blend of crème brulée, oranges, ginger honey, clover, white cherries, barley sugar and an impressive base of minerally soil. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and very powerfully built (even in the context of Yquem’s customary intensity), with a rock solid core of fruit, impeccable focus and a nearly endless finish. The wine is just a touch bitter on the backend today, which makes me wonder if it is beginning to near the far side of its absolute apogee, and may soon begin a very slow and gentle decline. Though of course this characteristic could just be unique to this particular bottle. This is a very impressive vintage of Yquem, but in terms of depth, complexity and length, there are even better ones out there. (Drink between 2007-2030)John Giilman | 94 JG

100
WS
As low as $1,890.00
1967 Lafite Rothschild
As low as $1,355.00
1970 fonseca Port

Some people may enjoy this wine’s rather fat, rich and powerful fruit now, but I still find it too young for drinking. Deeply colored, with smoky mint, tar and fruit aromas, full-bodied, with concentrated fruit flavors and plenty of tannins.Wine Spectator | 96 WSTasted at the Vintners Company’s 650th anniversary celebration at Vintners Hall, the Fonseca 1970 was the finest bottle I have encountered. The bouquet opens beautifully with heady scents of clove, ginger, small red cherries, bergamot and allspice, displaying exquisite definition and harmony. The palate follows suit with lovely balance and poise in the mouth, notes of kirsch, shaved ginger and walnut building to an opulent, viscous finish that lacquers the mouth. Yet this bottle shows more control than the bottle tasted four years ago. The 1970 Fonseca is in a very nice place at the moment. You should join it. Tasted May 2013.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 95 RP-NM

97
RP-HG
As low as $325.00
1970 Petrus

Talk about a thrill a second, as well as unprecedented decadence (at least for me), consider the rarity of a flight of six double magnums of Petrus! Because there were not many people at the tasting, there was the possibility of having several large glasses of these wines, making judging them all the more fun. And let's not forget the medical benefit of flushing the fat out of one's arteries with such remarkable juice! The 1970 Petrus has hit its peak of perfection. In the last 4-5 years, it has shed much of its tannin yet remains a young, full-bodied, blockbuster style of Petrus. Extremely concentrated and thick, with layers of mocha-tinged, berry, and black-cherry fruit presented in an enormously-endowed, viscously-textured, alcoholic, full-bodied format, this wine should remain at its plateau for another 20-25 years.The notes for this wine are taken from the description of Series IV - Flight B of the 1995 tasting conducted in Munich by Helga and Hardy Rodenstock. Many years after the tasting from which this note derives allegations were made concerning the authenticity of old and rare bottles of wine sold by Hardy Rodenstock to collectors around the world. The matter has been the subject of numerous articles, litigation and at least one book. Mr. Parker believes that the wines served to him at this tasting were authentic so this note and the others from that specific tasting continue to be posted on eRobertParker.com.Robert M. Parker, Jr. | 100 RPI drank this last year with some wine collector friends ­you guessed it: in Hong Kong! It’s a very special bottle I’ve been lucky enough to have tried on a number of occasions, and it never disappoints. The nose shows olives, brown sugar and dark fruit. It’s full and joyous with round tannins and a flavorful finish. Truly sublime, and among the great vintages of this legendary estate such as 1947, 1990, or1998.James Suckling | 99 JS(Château Pétrus) The 1970 Pétrus is a great bottle of wine that is still clearly on its way up, and is years away from really hitting its apogee of perfection. The bouquet is bottomless, as it offers up a beautiful and refined mélange of mulberry, plum, black raspberry, mocha, a touch of game, lovely minerality, smoke and a touch of wood. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and seamless, with a rock solid core of fruit, superb elegance, great intensity of flavor, ripe tannins, and great focus and grip on the long, tangy and palate-staining finish. This wine is remarkably young and fresh for its age, and clearly will not peak for at least another decade. It is a great vintage of Pétrus. (Drink between 2006-2050)John Gilman | 97 JGThe 1970 Petrus here is far superior to the one poured in London a few months earlier. The bouquet is crystalline with a mixture of red and black fruit, hints of thyme, ferrous notes percolating through with time. So much poise and that is translated through to the palate framed by filigree tannins, a perfect line of acidity and black truffle notes towards the elegant finish. This is an outstanding example but be warned that there is bottle variation. Tasted at Epure restaurant in Hong Kong.Vinous Media | 96 VM

99
RP
As low as $10,785.00
1971 petrus Bordeaux Red

This bottle of 1971 Petrus is perhaps the best that I have encountered, completely overawing the 1970 served alongside. It boasts a gorgeous bouquet with delineated red berry fruit, pressed rose petals, hints of kirsch and a touch of sandalwood, perhaps even a little exotic compared to previous bottles. The palate is medium-bodied with seductive fleshiness on the entry, a surfeit of black truffle infused red fruit and life-affirming purity. Unlike other bottles, this example seems to meliorate with aeration, gaining intensity and depth towards the precise and tender finish. I doubt that I will find another 1971 Petrus as good as this. Tasted at the Petrus dinner at Hide restaurant in London.Vinous Media | 97 VMThis wine has been seemingly fully mature since the mid- to late seventies. It is a seductive, opulent vintage for Petrus. The color now is a dark garnet with considerable amber at the rim. The incredible nose of Christmas fruitcake intermixed with mocha, jammy kirsch, and black currants is followed by a silky textured, full-bodied, very opulent wine that is still totally intact. The tannins have totally dissipated, and the wine is an unctuous, seductive Petrus that is certainly one of the vintages that is most delicious and compelling. A sensational wine and probably the wine of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: Now-2011. Last tasted, 11/02.Robert Parker | 95 RPThis wine is as comfortable as your favorite pair of slippers. Extremely caressing, with wonderfully enticing aromas and flavors of tobacco and violets and a rich, round palate.--Pétrus vertical. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

95
RP
As low as $6,005.00
1975 les forts de latour Bordeaux Red

The wines at Latour were being made by Jean-Paul Gardère and Henri Martin in 1975. This is hugely impressive for a second wine (the label made its first appearance in the 1960s but was only made every year from 1990). At 40 years old, this is beautifully rich, with deep black pepper spice and liquroice on display, excellent complexity and grip, with a surprisingly youthful lift on the finish. The financial means of the First Growths have an impact – they would have among the rare estates to be using new oak at the time according to Triaud. Very impressive, far more contemporary in flavor than the others here.Decanter | 90 DEC

As low as $295.00
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
1976 Lafite Rothschild

This is the wine of the vintage. I love the rosewater, currants and citrus character to this now. It’s still full body yet so ethereal. It goes on and on in the finish turning creamy and citrusy. From magnum.James Suckling | 96 JS(Château Lafite-Rothschild (Pauillac) served from magnum) In my experience, there are two wines that utterly tower above the crowd in the vintage of 1976 in Bordeaux, with Lafite-Rothschild and Ausone truly excellent and complete examples of their respective terroirs. This most recent magnum of the ’76 Lafite was every bit as refined as one a friend served on the occasion of his fiftieth birthday a few years back, with the bouquet jumping from the glass in a superb blend of red berries, orange peel, coffee, cigar ash, a marvelously complex base of gravelly soil tones, cedar and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and à point, with a lovely core, excellent transparency and focus and a long, complex and utterly suave finish that closes still with impressive grip and bounce. Just a lovely vintage of Lafite. (Drink between 2018-2040).John Gilman | 94 JGThe 1976 Lafite clearly stands far above the crowd in this vintage. A beautiful bouquet of seductive cedarwood, spices, and ripe fruit precedes a very concentrated, darkly colored wine, with great length and texture. Some amber is just beginning to appear at the edge. The 1976 has turned out to be the best Lafite of the ’70s. It is gorgeous to drink at present. Anticipated maturity: Now-2005. Last tasted, 9/96.Vinous Media | 93 RPThe 1976 Lafite-Rothschild has for many years been the surprise of an otherwise tricky vintage. This bottle replicated the one I opened back in November 2006. Mature in colour with a wide brick time, the bouquet is open-knit with Montecristos, graphite and dried herbs. The palate is medium-bodied and well balanced, perhaps having lost some of its vigour in recent years, and yet with ample detail on the classically styled finish. Apart from large formats, there is no benefit from keeping bottles longer. Tasted at lunch in Hong Kong.Vinous Media | 92 VM1976 was the hottest summer for 27 years, and very dry too. Harvest started on 15 September and although this is still alive, it’s clearly more evolved than many of the other vintages in the line up. It has a gamey, meaty feel with wonderful sweet strawberry, bay leaf and dried herbs through the palate. The finish is salt-edged with some spicy, herbal notes joined by a touch of dry tannins. Don’t count it out, of course, but this feels a little more preserved rather than beating with life. 1977 was the first year that Baron Eric arrived at Lafite full time to join his uncle, Baron Elie. Drinking Window 2018 - 2030.Decanter | 90 DEC

94
RP-NM
As low as $730.00
1977 fonseca Port

Vintage Port doesn’t seem like the right wine in the middle of the summer but I had an Amarone producer for dinner the other night in Tuscany and he had never drunk a wine from his birth year. He was lucky enough to have been born in 1977 - a great Port year! I found a bottle of 1977 Fonseca in my cellar - probably my last. It was absolutely gorgeous. I gave this fortified wine a perfect score in its youth and I think it has finally evolved into its perfection as a mature vintage Port. Here is the tasting note. 1977 Fonseca Vintage Port: This is in total balance now with such harmony. What amazing aromas of berry and flowers. Full and sweet, the tannins are complete dissolved. The fruit is perfect. This goes on for minutes. Drink now. But it will go forever.James Suckling | 100 JSWhat a Vintage Port. Dark ruby center, with a dark garnet edge. Aromas of flowers, blackberry and licorice. Subtle and complex. Wow. What a palate. Full, concentrated and rich, yet balanced and beautiful. Solid and sleepy. Still not giving all it has to give. This is just coming around. Gorgeous and classy. Love it. ’77/’85/’97 blind Port retrospective. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 100 WS(Fonseca) I have always found the ’77 Fonseca to be one of the stars of the vintage, and this most recent bottle was beginning to really hit on all cylinders. The bouquet delivers a beautifully complex and concentrated mélange of sweet cassis, plum, blackberry, mint, tobacco, chocolate, minerals, and cedary wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and almost voluptuous, with a fine core of fruit, beautiful structure and focus, ripe tannins, and great grip on the long and modestly tannic finish. This wine is a beautiful and relatively forward example of the vintage, and consequently it is offering up superb drinking already. My gut instinct suggests that there is more complexity to come with further bottle age, but it is pretty hard not to want to drink this beauty at this stage of development. A quintessential vintage of Fonseca. (Drink between 2007-2050).John Gilman | 95 JGFonseca is one of the great port lodges, producing the most exotic and most complex port. If Fonseca lacks the sheer weight and power of a Taylor, Dow or Warre, or the opulent sweetness and intensity of a Graham, it excels in its magnificently complex, intense bouquet of plummy, cedary, spicy fruit and long, broad, expansive flavors. With its lush, seductive character, one might call it the Pomerol of Vintage ports. When it is young, it often loses out in blind tastings to the heavier, weightier, more tannic wines, but I always find myself upgrading my opinion of Fonseca after it has had 7-10 years of age. The 1977 has developed magnificently in the bottle, and while it clearly needs another decade to reach its summit, it is the best Fonseca since the 1970 and 1963.Robert Parker | 93 RP

100
WS
As low as $265.00
1978 Alain Hudelot Noellat Romanee Saint Vivant Grand Cru
As low as $1,795.00
1979 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

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

92
WS
As low as $910.00
1979 petrus Bordeaux Red

A rather hard wine, with a firm backbone of silky tannins and sweet black olive, vanilla and berry aromas and flavors.--Pétrus vertical. Best from 1992 through 1995. Wine Spectator | 90 WS

97
RP-HG
As low as $3,155.00
1980 Mouton Rothschild
90-92
RPNM
As low as $595.00
1980 Petrus
As low as $2,975.00
1981 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

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