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Saint Julien

Saint Julien

Saint Julien

Saint Julien Wines

If you enjoy watching the sunset with a glass of crisp, mouth-watering red wine in your hand, or you wish to dazzle and impress your loved ones at the next shared meal or gathering, you cannot go wrong with a bottle of Saint-Julien wine. The commune of Saint-Julien-Beychevelle takes the art of winemaking very seriously, and their skilled and intense labor produces some of the most memorable and compelling bottles in the entire region.

If you go to this small town, you will be greeted by a veritable ocean of pebbles and stones, but don’t be fooled – underneath this rocky crust lies a soil with more depth, complexity and character than the finest literary works. The nuances and life force that fill the earth here are mirrored in the wine it births, making every bottle a story of its own, a miracle that cannot simply be recreated. These wines can catch you by surprise with their elegance and purity, as they playfully tease your palate before doing down like a waterfall – or they can grip you with raw power, and a traditionally rich flavor that outright refuses to be forgotten.

If you’re indecisive about where to start purchasing, don’t worry - Saint-Julien offers so much that it’s normal to get lost in contemplation. We’ve made it our mission to point you towards staple choices that this commune has on offer, so that you may make the most out of every moment in life, and add some variety and character to your collection. Let’s examine the bottles, shall we?
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1982 leoville poyferre Bordeaux Red

There is no question that Leoville Poyferre was not making wines at the level of quality they have since 1990. That said, the 1982 is a great wine, no doubt because of the vintage rather than the winemaking at that time. A brilliant effort, it boasts a dense purple color as well as a sweet, flowery bouquet revealing plenty of creme de cassis, plum, and cherry notes, stunning concentration, a boatload of power, sweet tannins (the sweetest and easiest to taste among the St.-Juliens), and a long finish. Although close to full maturity, it has at least 20-25 years of life remaining. Robert Parker | 95 RPThe 1982 Léoville Poyferré has long been one of my favorite Saint-Julien wines, and this does not disappoint. Dark in color, it has a gorgeous bouquet of mulberry, raspberry, melted tar and rose petal aromas, and a little exoticism courtesy of a dab of fig. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and quite dense black fruit that merges with blue fruit in the latter half. There is fine backbone to this Saint-Julien, which reveals cedar and graphite toward the fresh, convincing finish. Bottles are just reaching their peak, while large formats will last many more years. Tasted blind at "Xmas" lunch in London.Vinous Media | 94 VM(Château Leoville-Poyferré) The 1982 vintage at Château Leoville-Poyferré has always been one of the reference point vintages for this property during its last stage of classical wines, prior to Michel Rolland being invited in to consult here in the 1990s. The wine showed beautifully at our recent ’82 St. Julien tasting, offering up impressive soil signature on both the nose and palate and plenty of the vintage’s superb fruit tones. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a fine blend of red and black cherries, cigar ash, a complex and classy base of soil tones, well done toasty new oak and a lovely touch of spice in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and focused, with a fine core, impressive transparency, melting tannins and excellent balance on the very long and suave finish. A lovely wine. (Drink between 2018-2050).John Gilman | 94 JGLike inhaling a much-loved leather jacket the morning after a cigar-soaked evening. Perhaps the 1983 vintage is showing just a whisker better at the moment, but this has that generosity of spirit that you expect in a 1982 wine. Dried herbs, leather, cigar box, with the cassis and raspberry notes now fully turned into bramble and hedgerow — similarly the colour has changed around the edges. Probably a yield of 60hl/h, as both 1982 and 1983 were extremely abundant vintages. This was re-corked in 2014. Drinking Window 2018 - 2025.Decanter | 92 DECA gorgeous wine, and still holding back. A beautiful, perfumed red, with cherry, floral aromas. Full-bodied, very velvety, with a lot of fruit and a lovely structure. Will improve.--1982 Bordeaux horizontal. Drink now through 2010.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

96
RP
As low as $465.00
1982 gruaud larose Bordeaux Red

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

98
RP
As low as $695.00
1982 beychevelle Bordeaux Red

I have noticed serious bottle variation with this wine, but recently it has been consistently scoring in the 94-96 point range. Beautifully sweet, slightly herbaceous black currant, licorice, and earthy notes emerge from this nearly opaque, dark ruby/purple-tinged 1982. Compared to the more elegant, feminine-styled wine often produced here, it is a beast. Dense, thick, rich, concentrated, and impressive, it can be drunk now and over the next two decades. Release price: ($130.00/case)Robert Parker | 94 RP(Château Beychevelle) I had not crossed paths with a bottle of the 1982 Château Beychevelle since I wrote my feature on this fine estate back in the spring of 2011. The wine remains quite youthful for the vintage, offering up a deep and sappy nose of black cherries, cassis, a touch of bell pepper, cigar wrapper, a lovely base of gravelly soil tones and a fine dollop of spice in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, complex and very refined in profile, with melting tannins, a sappy core and excellent length and grip on the just blossoming finish. This is quite tasty today with some time in decanter, but it is still climbing and in a perfect world, bottles would still be left alone in the cellar for another five years. (Drink between 2018-2060).John Gilman | 93+ JG

96
RP-HG
As low as $325.00
1982 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

Still stubbornly backward, yet beginning to budge from its pre-adolescent stage, this dense, murky ruby/purple-colored wine offers up notes of graphite, sweet caramel, black cherry jam, cassis, and minerals. The nose takes some coaxing, and the decanting of 2-4 hours prior to service is highly recommended. For such a low acid wine, it is huge, well-delineated, extremely concentrated, and surprisingly fresh. Perhaps because I lean more toward the hedonistic view of wine than the late Michel Delon, I have always preferred this to the 1986, but the truth is that any lover of classic Medoc should have both vintages in their cellar. This wine has monstrous levels of glycerin, extract, and density, but still seems very youthful, and tastes more like a 7 to 8-year-old Bordeaux than one that is past its twentieth birthday. A monumental effort. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2035. Last tasted, 9/02.Robert Parker | 100 RPTasted at the domaine, the 1982 Leoville Las Cases is just about pure perfection, and while certainly mature, it has plenty of life ahead of it. Thrilling notes of blackcurrants, kirsch, tobacco leaf, cedar box, menthol, and exotic spices all emerge from this seamless, powerful yet magically elegant Leoville Las Cases. Opening up in the glass, with a smoky, singular character, it’s an incredible wine from this terroir that has an almost Latour-like regal quality. It should continue drinking well for another 10-15 years and I’m sure will keep even longer.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDIt’s impossible, I know, to believe that a St-Julien might not be perfectly ready to drink at this ripe old age, but here we are, face to face with the conundrum that is Léoville Las Cases. You’ll be happy to hear I had the 1981 Léoville recently and it was actually open, soft and ready to go. This 1982 is still a little stubborn on first opening, but gets better and better in the glass, with sweet brambly ripe fruits, and rippling tannins that are almost honeyed at this stage. Classic, dense, mineral minty touches on the finish, great persistency and a way still ahead of it. Michel Delon, father of today’s owner, was in charge at this point (and until 2000) and the cellar master Bruno Rolland remembers that they were working in shorts at night in the vat house because even after harvest the temperature was not dropping below 20 degrees at night. They were the first estate in St Julien to start harvesting in 1982 by the way, on September 13. Petit Verdot 5% finishes the blend. Drinking Window 2018 - 2045.Decanter | 97 DECA racy, classy, silky wine. Inky-ruby color. Black cherry, mineral and wet earth aromas. Medium-bodied, with very silky tannins and a long, superfine finish. Has always been excellent.--1982 Bordeaux horizontal. Best after 2000.Wine Spectator | 95 WS(Château Leoville Las Cases) The 1982 Leoville Las Cases is a very nice and youthful wine, but I have always been under the impression that this wine was made in the cellar, rather than the vineyard, and will never really attain the level of greatness that is attributed to it elsewhere. The wine is certainly deep and concentrated in personality, offering up a still quite primary bouquet of cassis, black cherries, cigar ash, a touch of mint and plenty of toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, quite extracted in profile and still fairly tannic, with a good core, fine focus and grip and very good, but not great length on the youthful finish. Maybe this will eventually become the complex wine of its considerable reputation, but I am skeptical, and rather expect the ’82 Las Cases to always trade on its power, but never develop the complexity of the truly great wines of this vintage. Call it good, not great. (Drink between 2023-2075).John Gilman | 93 JGSadly, it is not a great night for Bordeaux. The 1982 Léoville Las Cases is powerful but also incredibly compact, with little appeal or mid-palate depth. This is a very stubborn wine, even within the context of Las Cases.Antonio Galloni | 92 AG

100
RP-HG
As low as $659.00
1983 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

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

92-
94RP-NM
As low as $310.00
1985 Leoville Poyferre

Firm, lean and structured with rich, ripe concentrated cassis, currant and plum fruit that's polished and full-bodied, finishing with vanilla and plum. The tannins are in proportion, finishing firm and dry.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

As low as $175.00
1986 gruaud larose Bordeaux Red

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

97
DEC
As low as $319.00
1986 talbot Bordeaux Red

A fabulous wine, and one of the two greatest Talbots of the last 50 years, this wine still has a very murky garnet/plum/purple color and a spectacular nose of sweet creme de cassis intermixed with freshly ground pepper, melted road tar, herbes de Provence, and beef blood. It is followed by an enormously concentrated wine of full body, layers of concentration and sweet tannin. The wine seems to be just hitting its plateau of maturity, where it should last for at least 10-15 more years. A prodigious Talbot. Anticipated maturity: Now-2020. Last tasted, 6/02.Robert Parker | 96 RPThe 1986 Talbot has a strong reputation although my solitary encounter back in 2001 seems contrary. Fortunately this bottle upholds this as being one of the finest Talbots in recent years, one in which the château recorded a record in terms of quantity. It has a beautiful, quite beguiling, classically styled bouquet with wild strawberry, cranberry, sandalwood and black truffle, perhaps the best aromatics of this vertical. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannin. Lovely soy-tinged red and black fruit infused with chestnut and sea salt, quite linear and not reach, yet it is less austere than many of its peers with a sense of brightness on the finish. Its freshness indicates that it will easily offer another two decades of pleasure if provenance is sound. Excellent. Tasted at the centenary Château Talbot vertical at the property.Vinous Media | 94 VMThe weather in 1986 suited Cabernet extremely well, with some early September rains after a good July and August, then fine weather right through the rest of the month and into October, giving exceptional harvesting conditions. You can see it in the colour, and smell it on the nose that remains subdued but confident. It's a lovely wine, a little austere compared to some of the older wines but full of firm, dark blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, tight tannins, and with dancing acidity across the palate that suggests it's going nowhere anytime soon. The fruits are not primary but are at least in the early bloom of Cabernet Sauvignon, and it has a mouthwatering finish. A fine and well-structured St-Julien, with plenty of appellation typicity. 3% Cabernet Franc makes up the blend. Drinking Window 2018 - 2040.Decanter | 92 DECBig, rich, muscular style with St.-Julien grace; a spicy, oaky and red currant wine with concentrated, powerful flavors flanked by firm tannins that will benefit from cellaring.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

96
RP
As low as $265.00
1986 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

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

100
RP
As low as $635.00
1986 leoville poyferre Bordeaux Red

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

As low as $235.00
1988 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

(Château Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien, Red) This 1988 is still youthful with chewy tannins and a menthol send off. It’s full of rich, concentrated spice, cloves and cinnamon touches and is holding up extremely well. It’s a little more evolved than the 1986 but still shows just how regularly Las Cases rewards the faith that people have in it. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend. (Drink between 2019-2030)Decanter | 96 DECWhat a complex nose here with forest floor, bark, sliced wild mushrooms and tobacco. Full-bodied and round with very juicy, savory character. It long and flavorful with leather, forest flowers and mushrooms at the end. Drinking wonderfully now.James Suckling | 96 JSWow. Really youthful on the nose, with currant, blackberry and hints of vanilla bean. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and lots of mint and fruit. Goes on for a long time. Surprisingly youthful. Give it a couple of years. So focused and beautiful.--’88/’98 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2008). Best after 2010.Wine Spectator | 95 WSThe 1988 Léoville Las Cases is composed of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Pale to medium garnet-brick in color, it wafts slowly, gracefully out of the glass with perfumed notions of dried cherries, rose oil, sandalwood and cigar box over a core of preserved plums, figs and fruitcake with a touch of dusty soil. The medium-bodied palate has a soft, satiny texture and tons of freshness supporting the fragrant earth and floral notes, leading to a long mineral and exotic spices-laced finish. This is so good to drink right now, but no rush. It has the structure and stuffing to exist at this plateau for at least good 10-15 years further, before it slowly begins to fade.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPFrom a late, difficult vintage (harvest didn’t come in until October), the 1988 Léoville Las Cases is nevertheless a beautiful wine that’s drinking fabulous well today. Ripe currants, green tobacco, cedarwood, and loads of spice all emerge from this medium-bodied, fresh, elegant, yet oh, so charming Saint-Julien. It’s not getting any better, but still has plenty of life. Drink it any time over the coming 7-8 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JD

95
WS
As low as $325.00
1989 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

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

98
DEC
As low as $355.00
1989 beychevelle Bordeaux Red

There is so much tobacco and red fruit on the nose of this wine. Exotic and decadent. Full-bodied, with a sleek and racy tannin structure and fresh acidity. Refreshing and clean, yet mature and wild. Still one of the big surprises of the vintage.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 25,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS(Château Beychevelle) I had not drunk a bottle of the 1989 vintage of Beychevelle in almost a decade and was very happy to find it is starting to open up beautifully and now offering a complex aromatic constellation of cassis, desiccated cherries, a touch of meatiness, gravelly soil tones, cigar ash, just a hint of chipotle pepper and a nicely discreet base of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and quite tangy for the vintage, with fine focus and grip, a lovely core, modest tannins and a long, balanced and blossoming finish. Given how well Beychevelle ages, it is still relatively early days for the 1989 here, but the wine is now easing into its plateau of peak maturity and really starting to drink with generosity and breed. (Drink between 2018-2055)John Gilman | 92 JG

93
WS
As low as $190.00
1990 gruaud larose Bordeaux Red

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

94
DEC
As low as $295.00
1990 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

As one might expect, this is a brilliant wine, but it remains shockingly young, even for the fast evolving 1990s. Its deep ruby/purple color is accompanied by a classic, nearly restrained set of aromatics that includes notions of sweet black cherries, black currants, lead pencil, and wet stones. In the mouth, it is full-bodied, and while technically low in acidity, there is a freshness, delineation, and classicism in this full-throttle, rich, concentrated, impeccable 1990. While still youthful, it is easy to appreciate despite its substantial tannins. It is not quite as backward as the 1990 Lafite Rothschild or 1990 Latour. Anticipated maturity: now-2035.Robert Parker | 96 RPSaturated ruby-red to the rim. Bound-up but intense nose of licorice, blackcurrant, and chocolate, with lovely oak treatment. Brooding and unevolved on the palate, but the great extract and depth of flavor are easy to appreciate. Brilliantly delineated, thanks to sound acidity. Proprietor Delon declassified more than 60% of his crop to make this sensational wine. Endless, firm after taste.Vinous Media | 94+ VMBeautifully crafted red. Gorgeous plum, berry and smoky oak character. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, long, ripe fruit finish. A joy to taste.--1990 Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now. Wine Spectator | 93 WSSuperb colour, great depth of concentration shows the Pauillac character of Las Cases, severe and uncompromising now, but a great future.Decanter | 90 DEC

96
RP
As low as $535.00
1990 beychevelle Bordeaux Red

Dark ruby color. Lots of earth, berry and leather aromas. Full-bodied, with chocolate, berry and earth flavors. Velvety tannins. Delicious, funky Beychevelle.--1990 Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now. 25,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

90
WS
As low as $280.00
1990 leoville poyferre Bordeaux Red

Absolutely spectacular, the1990 Leoville Poyferre is much more evolved than either of its two Leoville neighbors. Its opaque plum/garnet color is accompanied by a gorgeous bouquet of smoke, charcoal, creme de cassis, and flowers. Fleshy and opulent, it comes across like a St.-Julien with a Pomerol texture and allure. This beauty has reached full maturity where it should remain for another two decades.Robert Parker | 97 RPThe nose lifts right out of the glass and reminds the world how Bordeaux can age. You’ll find chocolate, hazelnut, plum, soft liquorice root; a wonderful testament to a brilliant vintage, delivering on its potential even three decades later. I love the softness of the tannins and the freshness at close of play – daring you to suggest when it is going to finally bow out. This is exactly what people look for in older Bordeaux. Smudged around the edges but a core of pure fruit expression, fully integrated with melted oak notes. Drinking Window 2018 - 2030.Decanter | 96 DECA chewy wine, with impressively rich aromas and flavors of ripe plum, tobacco, cedar and earth aromas and flavors and attractive, velvety tannins.Wine Spectator | 92 WSDeep red-ruby. Remarkably complex aromas of chestnuts, earth, truffle, shoe polish and a cigar-box nuance. Suave, intensely flavored fruit; a very youthful, sharply defined and thoroughly delicious wine of great finesse. Finishes firm and long. Our favorite Poyferré since the ’83. The three Léovilles are stunning—and completely different in style—in 1990. 91(+?), use more clarity and nuance. Should be accessible early.Vinous Media | 90 VM

97
RP
As low as $499.00
1990 lagrange Bordeaux Red

Shows beautiful age and character now after all this time in the bottle. Notes of earth, spice and ripe berries. Full and juicy, with round tannins.James Suckling | 95 JSBlockbuster. Dark ruby color. Intense aromas of blackberries, currants, cherries and minerals.Full-bodied, very tannic yet velvety in texture.Black licorice and berry character lasts forminutes. Long, chewy finish. A monster.--1990Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2010. 20,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WSOne of this estate’s superstars (only rivaled by the 1986 and 1996), the 1990 Lagrange exhibits sweet toasty oak notes intermixed with jammy blackberries, cassis, licorice, smoke, and underbrush. Full-bodied with lovely melted tannins, an opulent, fleshy mouthfeel, and loads of purity as well as depth, it has reached full maturity, but is capable of lasting another 10-15 years. Release price: ($210.00/case)Robert Parker | 94 RP The 1990 Lagrange is a terrific wine, and clearly one of the top vintages to be produced at the estate since Suntory purchased it in 1983. The bouquet today is deep and beautiful, as it offers up a mélange of very pure black cherry fruit, cigar ash, woodsmoke, a fine base of soil, espresso and a deft framing of new oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and very pure, with great refinement to its balance and focus, very classic structure, fine-grained, ripe tannins and excellent length and grip on the complex and elegant finish. A superb wine that only needs a few more years to really reach its apogee, but which should offer up a very long plateau of maturity. Fine juice. (Drink between 2010-2060)John Gilman | 93+ JGThe 1990 Lagrange was picked from 22 September until 10 October. I have always been lukewarm to the 1990 when others have been more adulatory, though this is the best bottle that I have encountered. The bouquet is well defined with pressed flowers, orange pith, brambly red fruit and warm gravel, warm and inviting aromatics. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins and shows more harmony and cohesion than the 1989. There is more finesse, commendable in a hot season, with Indian spices lining the harmonious finish. A touch of dryness suggests that it may well be commencing a downward slope, but it will be a gentle one! Tasted at the Lagrange vertical at the estate.Vinous Media | 92 VM

95
WS
As low as $209.00
1993 leoville barton Bordeaux Red
92
TWI
As low as $120.00
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
1996 talbot Bordeaux Red

In terms of weather in this vintage, bud-break came on 25 March after a cold start to the year, followed by a mixed May then a heatwave in June that saw good flowering. July was cool and wet for the first half, hot and dry in the second half, then August alternated between rain and a heatwave. There was fine weather again in September and most of October. All in all, it was a very good vintage for the Médoc. At this stage the colour is firmly in the rich claret zone - ruby red, not overly intense but full of life. The wine is very enjoyable and has that lovely St-Julien signature of rich black fruits floating over a bed of air, as the acidity in the Cabernet takes flight. This gives it a sense of poise and confidence, and again the signature mouthwatering finish. It’s not going for intensity and punch, but for complexity and elegance without sacrificing fruit - there are dark, spicy notes in here. It sits with you, dealing out slowly but surely the idea of balance. This wine is the epitome of why St-Julien is not Pauillac, and never will be. No Cabernet Franc in the blend here, nor in the younger wines tasted in this lineup. Served in bottle. In the wider world, François Mitterrand died in 1996, Bill Clinton was elected for his second, more scandal-hit term, and Dolly the sheep arrived in the world. Drinking Window 2018 - 2040Decanter | 93 DECLots of blackberry, licorice and light tar aromas. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a long finish. This needs time.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2008.Wine Spectator | 91 WSThe 1996 Talbot comes from an era when I think this Saint-Julien lost its way a little. It was picked from 16 September until 12 October with intermittent breaks to avoid showers. It has a relatively light bouquet with tertiary black fruit, cedar and incense, gaining a little vigour with aeration although it never fully lets go. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit on the entry, balanced but light in style with a touch of soy and black pepper towards the finish. It is certainly classic in style but it just needs more backbone and stuffing. Tasted at the centenary Château Talbot vertical at the property.Vinous Media | 90 VM

91
WS
As low as $195.00
1996 leoville barton Bordeaux Red

The 1996 Leoville Barton is deep brick-colored. It gallops out of the glass with powerful, classic scents of blackberry preserves, dried mulberries, and tobacco leaf, with hints of cedar chest and crushed rocks, plus a waft of wild sage. The light-bodied palate has a sturdy backbone of chewy tannins and a lively line to frame the impactful, mature, Cabernet flavors, finishing long and lifted.The Wine Independent | 95 TWIThe 1996 Leoville Barton appears more youthful than the 1996 Langoa Barton in the glass with a healthy deep garnet core. The aromatics unfurl gracefully in the glass revealing briary, wild hedgerow, black truffle and sandalwood scents -- firmly in secondary aroma stage but with appreciable presence and intensity. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannin that form its firm and classic structure, spice, white pepper and cloves infusing the slightly animally red berry fruit. This is an adorable Léoville Barton that is occupying a very "happy" place at the moment -- superb precision, old school claret at its best. Decant for an hour no more, then enjoy. Tasted July 2016.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 93 RP-NMFull ruby color. Blueberry, roasted nuts, mint and a hint of game on the nose. Fat, sweet and multilayered; rich, ripe and deep. Offers a generous mouthfeel for a young ’96 from the Medoc. Substantial ripe tannins spread out over the palate. Very long, ripe aftertaste.Vinous Media | 92 VMWild berries on the nose, with an exotic flower undertone. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, rich finish. Gorgeous red. Give it time.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2008.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

95
TWI
As low as $195.00
1996 gruaud larose Bordeaux Red

(64% cabernet sauvignon, 26% merlot, 7% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot; IPT 74; 13% alcohol): Dark ruby. Deep, brooding nose hints at dark plum, blackcurrant, coffee and lavender accented by cinnamon and nutmeg. Enters bright and fresh, then turns richer in the middle, with accessible plum, herb and coffee flavors persisting nicely on the peppery finish, which features chewy tannins. This is at once more herbal and more forward than the 1995. It’s also better than I remember it, and although still quite young it offers plenty of appeal. The wine’s harmonious acidity makes it seem lighter-bodied than it is. About 40% of the malolactic fermentation was carried out in barriques, compared to a normal one-third. Note that the label states 12.5% alcohol, but the data given to me by the estate shows 13% alcohol.Vinous Media | 91+ VMViolet, blackberry and flowers on the nose. Full-bodied, with ultrafine tannins and a medium finish. Ready.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

92-94
RPNM
As low as $210.00
1996 lagrange Bordeaux Red

(Château Lagrange) The 1996 Lagrange is a deep, pure and beautifully made vintage for this property. The bouquet is complex and classy, as it offers up a lovely mélange of pure black cherries, a touch of plum pudding, tobacco, fresh herb tones, a lovely base of soil and a touch of toasty oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, long and rock solid at the core, with a suave personality, ripe, well-integrated tannins, sound acids and fine grip on the long, palate-staining finish. This will be a terrific Lagrange in due course. (Drink between 2015-2050).John Gilman | 93+ JGThe 1996 Lagrange has long been my favourite vintage from the 1990s. It was picked from 26 September to 11 October. This is a level up in quality over the previous vintage with far more delineation and complexity: blackberry, wild hedgerow, sandalwood and light dried blood aromas. The palate is fully matured with firm tannin, but sufficient fruit to back it up. This is well balanced with plenty of freshness, tart cherries, allspice and light Moroccan spice notes on the harmonious and persistent finish. Excellent. Tasted at the Lagrange vertical at the estate.Vinous Media | 92 VMWonderful aromas of blackberry, light spices and currant follow through to a full-bodied palate, with chewy tannins and a long finish. Still tannic and tight.--'95/'96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2008. 24,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 91 WSThis impeccably run, Japanese-owned property has fashioned a superb 1996. Opaque purple-colored, with a backward yet promising nose of classically pure cassis intermixed with pain grille and spice, this medium to full-bodied, powerful yet stylish wine possesses superb purity, a nicely-layered feel in the mouth, and plenty of structure. It will not be an early-drinking St.-Julien, but one to lay away and enjoy over the next 2-3 decades. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2022.Robert Parker | 90 RP

93
RP-NM
As low as $190.00
1996 ducru beaucaillou Bordeaux Red

I tasted the 1996 Ducru Beaucaillou on four separate occasions from bottle in January. The 1996 is long, with a deep mid-palate. It also reveals tannin in the finish. This wine is remarkable. It is muscular, concentrated, and classic. Bottled in late June, 1998, it exhibits a saturated ruby/purple color, as well as a knock-out nose of minerals, licorice, cassis, and an unmistakable lead pencil smell that I often associate with top vintages of Lafite-Rothschild. It is sweet and full-bodied, yet unbelievably rich with no sense of heaviness or flabbiness. The wine possesses high tannin, but it is extremely ripe, and the sweetness of the black currant, spice-tinged Cabernet Sauvignon fruit is pronounced. This profound, backward Ducru-Beaucaillou is a must purchase. It will be fascinating for readers who own the 1996 to follow the evolution of this exceptional vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2035.Robert Parker | 96 RP(Château Ducru-Beaucaillou) The 1996 Ducru-Beaucaillou is just beginning to stir from its closed adolescence and is showing very good promise for its eventual period of peak drinkability, but that is still more than a decade away. The nose is starting to develop some secondary layers of complexity in its mélange of cassis, dark berries, currant leaf, cigar smoke, a touch of Ducru’s nutskin, complex soil tones, herbs and a nice framing of cedary, spicy wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and quite black fruity in personality, with an excellent signature of soil, a very tobaccoey personality, fine-grained, but quite substantial tannins, lovely acidity and a very long, soil-driven and classic finish. This is a superb vintage of Ducru that should really get interesting to drink around its thirtieth birthday and prove to be very, very long-lived. Impressive juice. (Drink between 2025-2100)John Gilman | 93+ JGThe 1996 Ducru-Beaucaillou is a vintage that I have not tasted for a number of years. Matured in two-thirds new oak, it has an open and expressive bouquet, a mixture of red and black fruit, estuarine scents, touches of liquorice emerging with time. It is higher-toned than the 1995 with iodine evolving with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent tannins, fresh acidity, quite sweet in the mouth and maybe like the 1995, just missing that complexity and terroir expression that I think has defined recent vintages from this estate. Maybe it is slightly compromised by some Merlot (25%) that was picked a but later, but still, there is a lot of pleasure to be found in this 1996. Tasted at the Ducru Beaucaillou vertical at the château.Vinous Media | 93 VMIntense aromas of cedar, vanilla, leather and blackberry. Full-bodied, with coffee, vanilla, ripe fruit and a medium finish. Just about ready. The 1995 is certainly better.--'95/'96 Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now. 18,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 91 WSThe Ducru 1996 is less extravagant than the 2000. It shows a full body, with firm tannins and pretty floral, leaf, light earth and berry character. Needs drinking. 90 pointsJames Suckling | 90 JS

97
RP-HG
As low as $299.00

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