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Red Wines

Red Wines

Red Wines

Very few things on this planet are as gorgeous as a healthy pour of red wine, swirling vivaciously inside the walls of your glass. This crimson nectar has followed humanity for centuries and millennia, stealing the breaths of any man and woman with a taste developed enough to appreciate it. In more ways than one, red wine has been the lifeblood of every wine-producing region, the cornerstone upon which entire estates are built. A single glass of crisp, delicious wine is enough to convert almost anyone into a lifelong aficionado.

There are as many red wine varieties as there are flavor combinations you can imagine, and this makes it relatively easy to find a bottle or ten that fit your preference. Each blend has its own unique identity, and a conversation in the form of sampling will tell you its history, taste, texture, and complexity. The finest red wines inspire long hours of thought, as you try to deconstruct the elaborate and mesmerizing experience you had, seemingly a mere moment ago. Each grape varietal brings character and a distinctive flavor to the mixture – a wine with plenty of Pinot Noir in it will have a soft, yet earthy taste, with traces of leather or tobacco, whereas a Zinfandel blend will be spicier, with delicate raspberry notes and often a higher alcohol content.

We’ve made it our goal to introduce you to the highest quality red wines in the world, as we would introduce two potential lovebirds to each other. Collecting fine wines is a long-term commitment, but much like a long-lived and stable romance, that commitment makes your life infinitely sweeter. Immerse yourself in the world of fine wine, and you will learn the true meaning of “living the moment.”

Popular Red Wines by Category

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1953 petrus Bordeaux Red

A youthful, very fresh Pétrus, with lively black olive character and an expansive, powerful mouthfeel. Very ripe fruit flavors. This will continue to improve with age, but it's perfect to drink now.Wine Spectator | 92 WSThe 1953 Petrus constitutes one of the more underwhelming wines of an extraordinary vertical. It has quite a formidable reputation but it does not deliver. The bouquet is attractive with scents of fireside hearth and chestnut infusing the red fruit, yet it is not imbued with the panache or breeding of the 1949 Petrus served alongside. With aeration it develops a subtle algae-like aroma (actually a scent I am partial towards.) The palate is fresh and clear with a core of red berry fruit infused with cedar and bay leaf scents. It does not fan out towards the finish and feels as if it is running out of puff with age, something that I have found with many Bordeaux born this year. It just tapers towards the finish as if to say: That’s your lot Sonny Jim. It represents a good but not great Petrus compared to the superior 1949, 1950 or 1955. Tasted at the Petrus dinner at Hide restaurant in London.Vinous Media | 91 VMA Medoc-like nose offers subtle, restrained, menthol, blackcurrant, and caramel-scented aromas. Medium-bodied, with politely elegant, sweet flavors, and a rich, well-balanced finish, this is one of the most restrained and subtle Petrus offerings I have tasted. The wine is in excellent condition and should last for another decade.Robert M. Parker, Jr. | 90 RP

As low as $5,175.00
1960 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

A nice surprise from an unheralded vintage. A broad, spicy brown sugar flavor lends it plenty of substance. Has the juniper and cedar notes that many of the great vintages share. Drink now to 1995.--Lafite Rothschild vertical.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

As low as $735.00
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 $625.00
1961 Leoville Las Cases

The 1961 Léoville Las-Cases is a wine that I have not tasted for quite some time, although I have several notes from the last decade. This is unquestionably the best bottle that I have encountered. It has a show-stopping, lively bouquet with black fruit, bay leaf and cedar, light mulch aromas developing with time. I actually thought it might have been Trotanoy before its identity was revealed. The palate is medium-bodied with a fleshier opening than I recollect, quite atypically for Léoville Las-Cases, hints of orange rind and curry leaf enhancing the magnificently structure and vivacious finish. Outstanding. Tasted at the 1961 dinner Chairman Miaow’s in Hong Kong.Vinous Media | 97 VM

92
WS
As low as $895.00
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 $7,030.00
1966 mouton rothschild Bordeaux Red

(Château Mouton Rothschild) This was a good solid bottle of ’66 Mouton, which has always been my favorite between the ’62 and the ’70. There was a time fifteen years ago when I crossed paths with this wine very often, as it offered much better value than the 1970, but as the market has realized the sleeper status of this vintage of Mouton, its price has risen commensurately. The nose is complex and classy, offering up notes of red currants, cherries, woodsmoke, tobacco, a bit of old Rioja-like nuttiness, ginger and cedar. On the palate the wine is medium-full, complex and resolved, with solid acidity, melting tannins, and a good, long, clean finish of impressive balance. Fine juice, though this particular bottle lacked just a touch of vibrancy vis à vis the best bottles I have crossed paths with. (Drink between 2005-2020)John Gilman | 91 JGThis review may be generous, but I have always liked this wine, even though it borders on being slightly too dry, austere, and restrained. Nevertheless, the dark garnet color and classic sweet, spicy, tobacco, coffee, and black currant aromas are enticing. The wine still has powerful tannin in the finish, which contributes to the dry, austere character this example has always exhibited. One of the more intellectually-styled Moutons, the 1966 is a classic example of the vintage, as well as of the chateau's Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated style. Anticipated maturity: Now-2008. Last tasted 10/97Robert Parker | 90 RP

As low as $800.00
1967 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red
As low as $1,485.00
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 $320.00
1970 petrus Bordeaux Red

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

100
RP
As low as $8,785.00
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 $5,615.00
1972 Latour
As low as $630.00
1974 Lafite Rothschild
As low as $735.00
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
1978 mouton rothschild Bordeaux Red

Supple yet strong willed, this is mature enough for drinking now, with chocolate, cherry, violet, vanilla and raspberry notes.--Mouton-Rothschild vertical.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

92
WS
As low as $510.00
1978 petrus Bordeaux Red
91
RP-NM
As low as $2,815.00
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 $3,255.00
1980 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red
As low as $940.00
1981 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

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

As low as $755.00
1981 margaux Bordeaux Red

The other wine of the vintage. Seriously powerful with fabulous color and mint, cassis and berry aromas and flavors. Has a full body and is tannic; still needs time to come around. Better after 1997.--The Bordeaux 50.Wine Spectator | 95 WSIn weight and texture, the 1981 Margaux is closest in style to the 1979. It is an outstanding wine, even in the company of the monumental wines of 1982, 1983, and 1986, although it does not have the power and weight of these vintages. It is still very dark ruby/purple-colored. The aromatics suggest ripe cassis fruit, spicy vanillin oakiness, and violets. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, concentrated, tannic, and extremely long. It is just beginning to open and evolve. Anticipated maturity: Now-2015. Last tasted, 12/96.Robert Parker | 91 RP

95
WS
As low as $570.00
1981 Mouton Rothschild

Wonderfully rich and still holding back. Beautiful plum, toasted oak, berry and tobacco character. Firm with a full body. Drinkable now; better with time.--The Bordeaux 50.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

91
WS
As low as $540.00
1981 Palmer

(Château Palmer) The 1981 vintage at Château Palmer is really lovely middleweight and a wine that offers up lovely sappiness at the core to go along with very refined aromatic complexity. The bouquet is a lovely blend of cassis, mulberry, cigar ash, hints of chipotle pepper, sweet cigar wrapper and a lovely base of dark soil tones. On the palate the wine is medium-full, pure and very suave on the attack, with a good core, lovely focus and balance, melted tannins and a long, classy finish. Just a lovely wine that is now at its apogee, but shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. (Drink between 2016-2035)John Gilman | 92 JG

As low as $360.00
1981 pavie Bordeaux Red

I’ve always had a soft spot for the 1981 vintage as well as these two châteaux. This was the first vintage of Bordeaux that I bought, back in 1984, with some knowledge of the region (or so I thought at the time) and Cos because the first serious vertical that I ever attended was of their wines from 1982 back to 1952. Pavie? Well, to be honest, it was the label that drew me in at first, being all old-timey Bordeaux and all. The first Pavie that I bought was a 1979 from a wine shop in Boston and from the get-go I was hooked on the blend of power and finesse that a St.-Emilion from a great terroir can exhibit. Being able to visit both of these estates in late June of 1989, on the same broiling hot day, sealed the deal.Ninteen eight-one is what some would derisively call a ‘classic’ or ‘restaurant’ vintage. In the old days some would say ‘a useful vintage’ for the fact that the wines are mostly to be drunk while waiting for “great” vintages to mature or to keep ones’ hands off of already mature ‘great’ vintages resting in the cellar. That belittles wines such as these two, I think, because more times than not I crave a graceful, finely delineated and less dramatic wine than one from a blockbuster vintage. Both of these bottles deliver the goods.Purchased by a good friend on release here in New York, both the Cos and the Pavie are decidedly at peak but based on these bottles there’s no need to fear the reaper. The Cos is a textbook rendition of the old style at the châteaux, with intense cigar box, dried cherry, licorice and pipe tobacco character and smooth, harmonious tannins that have all but faded away. As might be expected, the Pavie is more dramatic in character, but still showing the restraint that’s been typical of the ‘81s since release, offering a haunting, floral- and spice-dominated bouquet and plush, seamless plum and cherry flavors. Like the Cos, it’s fully mature but there’s no sign of undue fatigue, either. In both cases, pretty remarkable for 34 year-old wines from a vintage that’s now been mostly forgotten, but not by me.Vinous Media | 91 VM

As low as $255.00
1981 penfolds grange hermitage Australia Red

The 1981 stood out as slightly superior. Winemaker John Duval always felt this was a tannic style of Grange, but the wine has shed its tannins, and this is one of the few vintages where the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon was above 10%. Sweet notes of creme de cassis, cedarwood, charcoal, and barbecue spices are followed by a full-bodied, opulent wine displaying heady amounts of alcohol, glycerin, and density in its full-bodied, skyscraper-like texture. I was drinking this wine with great pleasure in the mid-nineties, yet here it is nearly 15 years later, and the wine does not appear to have budged much from its evolutionary state. This is a testament to how remarkably well these wines hold up, and age at such a glacial pace.Grange, Penfolds’ flagship wine, is, by many accounts, the most renowned and world-famous wine produced in Australia, and these six vintages from my cellar all acquitted themselves well. These wines are almost always Shiraz, but many vintages include less than 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and there are cross-appellations blends from vineyards in the Barossa and McLaren Vale.Robert Parker | 97 RP

97
RP