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Top Collectible Wines

Top Collectible Wines

Top Collectible Wines

A person’s wine collection tells a lot about their passion and personality. While not every wine is for everyone, certain bottles simply command respect in a way that goes beyond personal taste. Every bottle is a reflection of the culture that produced it, the people who devoted hours and days, months and years to the art of winemaking, each grape carefully picked and processed when the time is just right. Some blends are so coveted, it takes you a decade to receive your first bottle, and the wait makes the wine that much sweeter. If a wine is worth adding to your collection, it performs astonishingly at any kind of social gathering and will create memories for years to come.

As a result, the market for top-quality wines grows every year. It is more important than ever to secure your spot on big waiting lists, as many brands produce only a small amount of wine annually. With how much wines can vary from year to year, due to the condition in which grapes grow, you don’t want to miss the best vintages. Part of our mission is helping people like you wrap their lips around the juiciest, most elegant blends we can find. While some people are in it for profit, we think the true joy of wine comes from tasting it, and sharing it with your closest friends, family, and loved ones. The sheer emotion that goes into winemaking rubs off on the person imbibing it, allowing you to peer through windows across time and space and rekindle your love for nature, and your love for humanity. Let’s explore this land of delicious swirling crimson together.
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2009 smith haut lafitte Bordeaux Red

The finest wine ever made by proprietors Daniel and Florence Cathiard, the 2009 Smith-Haut-Lafitte exhibits an opaque blue/purple color in addition to a glorious nose of acacia flowers, licorice, charcoal, blueberries, black raspberries, lead pencil shavings and incense. This massive, extraordinarily rich, unctuously textured wine may be the most concentrated effort produced to date, although the 2000, 2005 and 2010 are nearly as prodigious. A gorgeous expression of Pessac-Leognan with sweet tannin, emerging charm and delicacy, and considerable power, depth, richness and authority, it should age effortlessly for 30-40+ years. Bravo!Robert Parker | 100 RPI think the greatest Smith Haut Lafitte to date (possibly matched by the 2018), the 2009 Château Smith Haut Lafitte tastes like it did on release, offering a smorgasbord of Graves magic in its smoked blackcurrants, chocolate, cold fireplace, truffle, unsmoked tobacco, and Asian spices. While this is a big, rich, incredibly concentrated Graves, it nevertheless maintains a beautiful level of nuance and elegance, with silky tannins, a seamless, multi-dimensional texture, and a heavenly finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. As with all truly great wines, it delivers an incredible amount of pleasure, both hedonistic and intellectual, all while staying weightless, graceful, and elegant. Hats off to the Cathiard family and winemaker Fabien Teitgen for this legendary Graves!Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDAromas of flowers, dried citrus fruit and blueberries follow through to a full body, with firm and silky tannins and a long, long finish. Gorgeous fruit and structure. Polished and powerful. Best red ever from Smith. Best in 2018.James Suckling | 96 JSThis is really loaded, with crushed plum, blueberry, cassis, fig and blackberry paste flavors all melded together, along with notes of tar, pastis and violet. Very long and dark, but polished and pure, with terrific fruit offset by a great tug of earth on the finish. Should cruise easily in the cellar. Best from 2015 through 2035. 10,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSAs with many 2009 clarets, this is much more flamboyant than its 2010 sibling and provides a completely different flavour profile. Here the fruit is more ripe cherry with spice, cocoa and mocha. Sumptuously rich and voluptuous, this low acid wine has fine, silky, fluid tannins. This has power and personality in abundance and is almost entering its drinking window. However, the best is still yet to come.Decanter | 95 DECThe 2009 Smith Haut-Lafitte has a very perfumed, quite floral bouquet with violets permeating the black and red fruit, hints of game and leather developing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin. Touches of brown spice filter through the red fruit and towards a fleshy and lightly peppered finish. This is a classy Pessac-Léognan from the Cathiard’s...though, the 2016 is better! Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting.Vinous Media | 94 VMVery dense and firm, this has powerful tannins as well as a blackberry jam flavor. The wine is complex, full of both dark tannins and the richest fruits, layered with notes of herb, spice and a concentrated structure.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WE

100
RP
As low as $299.00
2009 levangile Bordeaux Red

An astonishing effort from the Rothschild family, the 2009 l’Evangile may be the reference point offering from this estate for decades to come. A blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc aged in 100% new oak, with 15% natural alcohol, it exhibits a sumptuous bouquet of caramels, black raspberry liqueur, blackberries, violets, graphite and truffles. Thick, viscous flavors are reminiscent of such super-ripe vintages as 1982, 1959, 1949 and 1947. The striking aromatics, massive, full-bodied mouthfeel and multilayered palate that resembles a skyscraper in the mouth offer an abject lesson in great winemaking, extraordinary terroir, and the ability to combine power with precision, elegance and freshness. This is unquestionably a huge wine, but it also possesses mindboggling complexity and finesse. Because of its sheer extract and velvety personality, it will be drinkable in 4-5 years, and will keep for four decades or more where well-stored. The most profound L’Evangile ever madeRobert Parker | 100 RPThe purity of fruit in this is spellbinding now with blackberry and blueberry as well as violet undertones. Focused on intense yet subtle fruit. Full body, very tight yet textured and sexy. Ultra-fine tannins. The aftertaste of light chocolate and burnt orange peel is always subtle and bright. Needs at least another five or six years to open but already a joy to taste.James Suckling | 99 JS95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc. A vintage that managed to tick all the boxes set down by the Bordeaux oenology school for great years, even though it was a little too warm for true balance in some estates. Not here though, with flavours concentrated but not overly so. This has softened just slightly over the years, still showing an exotic, dark, spicy character and intense black fruits. Just getting going, but don’t feel the slightest urgency to open any bottles that you’re lucky enough to have. The tannins are still very present, even if they are like silk. Drinking Window 2018 - 2040Decanter | 98 DECThis takes a broader approach, with almost stolid tobacco and charcoal structure guarding the core of black currant, roasted fig and blackberry confiture flavors. Long and very fleshy, offering ample toast and searing singed iron notes, but terrific integration. Merlot in Cabernet clothing, with a long life ahead. Best from 2018 through 2035.Wine Spectator | 97 WSDeep inky-ruby. A fresh violet topnote lifts and complicates aromas of dark plum and cassis on the enticing nose. Quite pure in the mouth, with mineral-driven flavors of dark berries, creamy milk chocolate and smoky plum. Lively framing acidity extends the wine’s flavors impressively through a long finish. This has lost some baby fat but picked up more gracefulness since I tried it in the spring of 2010.Vinous Media | 94+ VM

100
RP
As low as $505.00
2009 leoville poyferre Bordeaux Red

The greatest wine I’ve ever tasted from this address is the 2009 Léoville Poyferré, which is a step up over both the 2000 and the 2010. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and the balance Cabernet Franc that hit 13.9% alcohol, it offers everything you could ask of a wine and reveals a saturated purple color as well as incredible notes of crème de cassis, blueberries, lead pencil, exotic Spices, and dried flowers. Incredibly full-bodied, super concentrated, deep, and opulent, yet still pure, fresh, and lively, it has sweet tannin and a hedonistic vibe that hides its underlying structure. Drink it anytime over the coming three decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDOne of the more flamboyant and sumptuous wines of the vintage, this inky/purple-colored St.-Julien reveals thrilling levels of opulence, richness and aromatic pleasures. A soaring bouquet of creme de cassis, charcoal, graphite and spring flowers is followed by a super-concentrated wine with silky tannins, stunning amounts of glycerin, a voluptuous, multilayered mouthfeel and nearly 14% natural alcohol. Displaying fabulous definition for such a big, plump, massive, concentrated effort, I suspect the tannin levels are high even though they are largely concealed by lavish amounts of fruit, glycerin and extract. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040.Robert Parker | 100 RPBeautiful blueberries and blackberries with some blackcurrants and flowers on the nose. Some black olives and crushed stones, too. Full-bodied with creamy tannins and lovely depth. The tannins are so integrated and plush, but fine-grained. Persistent finish. A red that gives wonderful pleasure now, but will continue to do so for decades ahead.James Suckling | 97 JSRich, exotic and generous, this is still young and firm but light on its feet, dancing through the palate. There’s lovely depth to the fruit, with a great silky texture. Those tannins bite in all the right places. Very good indeed. Drinking Window 2019 - 2040Decanter | 96 DECThe 2009 Léoville Poyferré has an outstanding bouquet with blackberry, mint and cedar aromas, almost Pauillac in style, very dense and with plenty of horsepower. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, saturated tannins that frame layers of blackberry infused with graphite and white pepper. I love the symmetry and control of this Poyferré, in particular its persistent finish. This is a magnificent wine from Didier Cuvelier. Tasted at BI Wines & Spirits’ Ten Year On tasting.Vinous Media | 96 VMAn immensely structured wine, packed with dark tannins promising aging potential. It is complex, powerful, layered with new wood and concentration, finishing with dark plum fruits and acidity.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WESolid notes of steeped black currant, ganache-coated fig and plum eau de vie pump along in this very dark red, but with well-integrated structure. Long and winey through the finish, with the grip extending everything nicely. Best from 2016 through 2026. 17,665 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

100
RP
As low as $259.00
2009 la mondotte Bordeaux Red

Perfect, the 2009 La Mondotte boasts an inky/black/purple color as well as sumptuous notes of incense, graphite, licorice, black cherries, blackberries, cedar and forest floor. It is extraordinarily thick and voluptuous with a cool climate minerality that gives the wine an uplift and freshness that is surprising in view of its massive fruit level and high extract. The tannins are abundant, but sweet and well-integrated, as are the acidity, alcohol and wood components. An infant at present, this 2009 requires 6-8 years of cellaring and should keep for three decades.Robert Parker | 100 RPPlum pie, with hints of espresso, blueberries and orange peel on the nose. Full body, with velvety tannins and a fruity finish. Wonderful depth of fruit and balance to this young wine. Perhaps the best ever from here. Try in 2018.James Suckling | 98 JSThis is grace and power, delivering stunning Lapsang souchong tea and pain d’épices aromatics, followed by incredibly lush, yet refined blackberry, steeped black currant and dark plum sauce flavors. The long, velvety finish hangs perfectly, with buried minerality giving just the crease for definition. Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2015 through 2030. 690 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSBright, saturated ruby. Slightly high-toned aromas of blueberry, black raspberry, mocha, violet and minerals. Wonderfully intense and vibrant; dense and seamless without being heavy. The blackberry and violet flavors are energized by a tactile, saline minerality. Remarkably plush, sweet and deep wine, with utterly suave tannins and outstanding palate-staining length. Has huge ripe tannins for extended aging but seems easier to taste than this wine normally is at this early stage owing to its sheer baby fat. Interestingly, I tasted this wine in the same flight as Magdelaine: the Mondotte came across as riper and more massive but both bottles say 14.5% alcohol on the label.Vinous Media | 95 VMGenerous, rich and ripe, this boasts black fruits and sweet tannins. With layers of new wood, this is a wine that shows attractive fruitiness now and has considerable aging ability.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WE

100
RP
As low as $610.00
2009 clos fourtet Bordeaux Red

After tasting it three times from bottle, I am convinced this prodigious wine is one of the greatest young Bordeaux I have ever tasted. Inky blue/purple with notes of camphor, forest floor, blackberry, cassis, sweet cherries, licorice, the wine has stunning aromatics, unctuous texture and an almost inky concentration, but without any hard edges. With considerable tannin and just enough acidity to provide definition, this wine transcends even its premier grand cru classe terroir. It is certainly the finest Clos Fourtet ever produced. Give it 5-7 years of cellaring to allow some of its baby fat to fall away. There is certainly enough structure underneath to keep for 30-50 years. Bravo!From my barrel score of 95-98, I suppose I should have seen this perfect score coming, particularly considering what proprietor Philippe Cuvelier and estate manager Tony Ballu have accomplished over the last decade. This is one of the great terroirs of St.-Emilion, nearly 50 acres high on the clay beds and deep limestone plateau of the region, just a stone’s throw from the luxury hotel and restaurant Hostellerie de Plaisance. Yields were moderate at 34 hectoliters per hectare, and the final blend is 88% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon (somewhat unusual) and the rest Cabernet Franc, aged 18 months in 80% new oak.Robert Parker | 100 RPThe greatest Clos Fourtet I’ve ever tasted, eclipsing the heavenly 2005 and 2015, the 2009 Château Clos Fourtet offers an insane bouquet of black cherry and black currant fruits as well as a loads of smoked tobacco, chocolate, licorice, and toasted spices. It shows a touch of classic limestone-influenced white truffle with time in the glass and is as majestic as they come on the palate, with full-bodied richness, a seamless texture, beautiful tannins, and a monster of a finish. A blend of 88% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Cabernet Franc brought up in 80% new French oak, this magical Saint-Emilion can be enjoyed any time over the coming 30-40 years. Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDStrikingly different in construction from the Pomerol that it was paired with in the blind tasting, this is rich and hedonistic both on the nose and the attack, with a punch of ripe raspberry, blueberry fruits and clear oak finessing. Give it a minute in the glass, and the definition and precision pulls everything into an orderly line, with lift, spiced clove and salinity on the finish that stretches out in your mouth, giving a reflection of the Asteries limestone terroir that is covered with just 40cm of topsoil in much of the vineyard (up to 1m in other sections). Tasting more in line with its En Primer promise than when I had this wine two years ago, a brilliant St Emilion and a classic of its type. Drinking Window 2020 - 2045.Decanter | 97 DECThe 2009 Clos Fourtet has a generous and opulent bouquet with red cherries, kirsch, fig and light mocha aromas that gently unfold, retaining admirable definition and poise. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a fine bead of acidity, good structure. A more masculine, serious finish exerts impressive control. This is a classy Saint-Émilion with plenty of ageing potential. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting.Vinous Media | 95 VMElegant as well as rich, this is a beautiful wine. It has great depth of flavor, the sweetest fruit, deliciously ripe. At the same time, the tannins are an underlying sustenance to the impressive ageworthiness.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WETons of black fruit, plenty of smoke and some balsamic character make a dramatic statement on the nose. On the palate there’s rather sweet fruit at the front, then major tannins come through at the finish that still need time to fully resolve. Better after 2022. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019)James Suckling | 94 JSRather ripe, but nicely framed by singed apple wood, which keeps the core of damson plum, black currant and black cherry flavors at bay for now. Licorice root and black tea notes undercut the finish, which is on the grippy side. This opens steadily in the glass, too. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2014 through 2027. 3,750 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

100
JD
As low as $265.00
2009 bellevue mondotte Bordeaux Red

The inky/blue/purple-colored 2009 Bellevue Mondotte offers aromas of creme de cassis, mulberries, licorice, white flowers, forest floor and candied cherries. Extremely thick, rich and full-bodied, it is nearly overwhelming in its textural richness, colossal concentration and mind-blowing finish that lasts nearly a minute. Undeniably massive and over-sized, but perfectly balanced, it is made for those looking for something to put away for 30-50+ years. One has to admire a proprietor who is making a wine for the history books, not for near-term gratification.This is a tiny jewel in the empire of entrepreneur and quality conscious Bordeaux visionary, Gerard Perse. It is a 5-acre parcel of nearly 50-year old vines planted on pure limestone at an elevation above that of his neighboring property, Pavie-Decesse, not far from Pavie-Macquin. Bellevue Mondotte is generally a blend of approximately 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Since Perse got control of this estate and renovated the cellars, he has been draconian in reducing yields, which were a mere 22 hectoliters per hectare in 2009. The fruit was picked very ripe and the wine was fermented in oak tanks with malolactic in barrel, aged on its lees (a la Burgundy), and bottled unfined and unfiltered. At all the Perse properties the wine stays in oak about six months longer than at other Bordeaux estates.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPLoads of fruit with blueberries and blackberries. Cassis. Full and juicy with super fine tannins. Very flamboyant. Powerful structure. Goes on for minutes. 90% Merlot with 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Try in 2018.James Suckling | 97 JS(90% merlot with 5% each cabernet franc and sauvignon): Deep ruby. Superripe, slightly inky aromas of blueberry liqueur and violet. Like liquid silk in the mouth, but with surprisingly firm acidity leavening the wine’s sweetness and giving shape to its blue and black fruit flavors. A compellingly rich, thick wine with palate-staining length and the tannic clout to support at least a couple decades of positive evolution in bottle.Vinous Media | 95+ VMA very dark, almost brooding style, with loads of ganache, espresso and roasted fig aromas and flavors, backed by extra notes of black forest cake, warm currant preserves and melted black licorice. There’s a gorgeous polished feel despite its heft, with a purity buried deep on the finish. Drink now through 2015. 415 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

100
RP
As low as $449.00
2009 beausejour duffau Bordeaux Red

A blend of 77% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2009 Beausejour (Duffau Lagarrosse) is utter perfection, and man, what a wine. Deep, inky, incredibly concentrated, yet also silky and weightless, it delivers that rare mix of intensity and weightlessness on the palate. Offering layers of blackcurrants, crushed flowers, lead pencil, incense and loads of spice-box, it shows the intensity and rich of the 2009 vintage yet is perfectly balanced, has building tannins, and a huge finish. It’s as good as it gets. Give bottles another 4-5 years and enjoy over the following 2-3 decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDThis big wine (nearly 15% natural alcohol) is a blend of 77% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon. It boasts an opaque blue/purple color along with a gorgeous bouquet of charcoal, incense, truffles, blackberry jam, black currants, raspberries and flowers. While enormous in the mouth, the limestone soils in which the grapes are grown give the wine good freshness as well as laser-like clarity and precision. Amazing to taste, this massive, super-concentrated powerhouse comes across as ethereal and almost feminine despite its extravagant fruit, density and richness. It is a modern day legend for sure! Anticipated maturity: 2025-2050+As I wrote after I tasted this cuvee from barrel, it is clearly the greatest Beausejour-Duffau since the immortal 1990. Under new management, the brilliant duo of Nicolas Thienpont and Stephane Derenoncourt is in the process of developing what is one of the great hillside terroirs of Bordeaux and St.-Emilion.Robert Parker | 100 RPFocused power. This muscular red shows drive, yet remains graceful, with fresh plum and currant flavors, backed by mineral, tar and floral notes. The dense texture stays fresh through the sweet, spicy finish. Best from 2014 through 2030. 1,540 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WSAromas of sliced fresh mushrooms, with dark berries and hints of lemons. Full-bodied, with tight and chewy tannins that are very polished and rich. A finish of dark berries and polished tannins. Serious austerity to this. Try in 2018.James Suckling | 94 JSFresh blackberry fruits give a smooth wine, rich and with an immediately attractive fresh acidity. It does have the density of fruit along with relatively soft tannins. At the back there is a more chocolate character.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEThe 2009 Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse has a very composed and focused bouquet with brambly red fruit, mulberry, loam and cedar aromas, maybe just a little new oak still waiting to be fully subsumed after 10 years. The palate is well balanced with a medicinal, honey textured opening, plenty of cough candy infusing the red fruit, good depth but just missing some grip and density on the rather one-dimensional finish. This has not aged as well as some of the others from Nicolas Thienpont’s stable, such as Larcis Ducasse and this is one example where I prefer the preceding vintage. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting.Vinous Media | 91 VM

100
RP
As low as $395.00
2005 troplong mondot Bordeaux Red

The 2005 Troplong Mondot is a blend of 90% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. It was emotional tasting this wine, thinking of the late Christine Valette, who made this compelling wine while battling with considerable courage against an insidious disease. It is a great effort and a superstar of the vintage. Dense purple, it offers notes of white chocolate, blackberry, cassis and licorice as well as a hint of truffle and some subtle background oak. Full-bodied, multi-layered, and spectacularly pure and rich, it is a tour de force, and a great tribute to an incredible woman. Remarkably youthful, this wine probably needs another 4-8 years of bottle age, and should keep for 20 or more years. Kudos to the late Christine Valette!Robert Parker | 100 RPThe 2005 Troplong Mondot is a heady, sumptuous beauty. Sweet black cherry, plum, chocolate, spice, new leather, licorice and menthol all open in the glass. Hedonistic and opulent to the core, the 2005 is a decidedly exuberant Saint-Émilion. I would open it a few hours in advance, as aeration helps soften some of the initial flamboyance. The 2005 is a gorgeous, captivating wine. It is modern Saint-Émilion at its finest. Moreover, it does not appear to have lost much, if anything, since the last time I tasted it a few years ago!Antonio Galloni | 97 AGExhibits aromas of coffee, ripe fruit, wild mushroom and blackberry. Dark and very complex. Full-bodied and chewy, yet velvety and beautiful, with intense flavors of blackberry, chocolate and tobacco. Very, very long This is layered and gorgeous. Best after 2016. 6,250 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS

100
RP
As low as $279.00
2005 leglise clinet Bordeaux Red

Among the most saturated in color of all the 2005 Pomerols (which is saying something), this wine has a spectacular nose of licorice, mulberry, blackberry and sweet blue fruits. The new oak is completely hidden, the wine full-bodied, multi-layered and just stunning. The purity, richness and skyscraper-like mouthfeel are incredible. Give it another 5-10 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 30+ years.Robert Parker | 100 RPThe 2005 L’Eglise-Clinet soars out of the glass with captivating aromatics. Inky dark fruit, graphite, lavender, licorice, rose petal and spice captive the senses. In the glass, the 2005 is outrageously beautiful, with layers of inky dark fruit that continue to open, seemingly with no end. Floral notes and redder tonalities of fruit develop with time in the glass. L’Eglise-Clinet is another wine in this tasting that just got better and better with time. It is an epic Pomerol that evokes so many memories of tasting at the château with late proprietor Denis Durantou. Well-stored bottles will prove to be nearly immortal.Antonio Galloni | 99 AGRight from the first nose you find yourself melting into the glass. Layers of complex aromatics prevent you from taking a sip too soon, just sit and enjoy the white truffles, black cherries, tobacco, menthol and liquorice root. These notes continue into the palate, and overall this wine has a huge caressing persistency. The tannins are still holding you tight, very much in control but unobtrusively so. This is the first vintage made with young vines planted in 2001, at 8,000 vines per hectare over 1.5ha, with a pH of 3.6. Drinking Window 2018 - 2038Decanter | 98 DECDark ruby in color. Fabulous aromas of blackberry, tobacco, black olive and brown sugar follow through to a full body, with incredibly velvety tannins that go on and on and caress the palate for minutes. Shows class and complexity. Stunning. The greatest young wine ever from this producer. Best after 2016. 1,375 cases made.Wine Spectator | 98 WSThis is an elegant wine with wonderful length and beauty. Full yet reserved, showing loads of complexity. This is just starting to show its colors, but still needs at least eight years. Don’t touch this until 2018. Please be patient with this one. 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc.James Suckling | 97 JS

100
RP
As low as $495.00
2005 latour Bordeaux Red

The 2005 Latour was mind-blowingly profound in two recent tastings for this report. Deep and sensual to the core, the 2005 is utterly captivating. All the elements are so seamlessly put together. Graphite, crème de cassis, licorice, dark spice and lavender infuse the 2005 with so much energy. More than anything else, though, the 2005 is a Latour of texture and resonance. Even after several hours, the 2005 is fresh and full of energy. Wines like this are just life affirming. That’s about all I can really say. Tasted two times.Vinous Media | 100 VMHow rare to confront a wine of this inner strength and perfect form. Grown at a 116-acre vineyard at the southern border of Pauillac, some of the vines now reaching 100 years of age on a gravel bar overlooking the Gironde, Latour harvests cabernet sauvignon with natural power. I could describe it as colors, from glistening ruby to purple-black then back to scarlet tannins that vibrate in red. Or just the pure, unadulterated flavor of black currant, unformed as a child is unformed, beautiful as a child is beautiful. However I might describe it, the wine is stronger than I am and will outlast me by decades. This is the most provocative and most brilliant Latour I have tasted on release. Diageo Château & Estate Wines, NYWine & Spirits | 100 W&SA great wine, the summation of a great vintage in Bordeaux. The core of richness, the dense, bone-dry tannins, the black currants, red berries and black plum skins are the elements, but it’s the way they have been integrated that makes this such an impressive wine. There is great elegance as well, a fabulous counterpoint to such power. Cellar for at least 15 years, but this will keep forever. Imported by Diageo Chateau & Estates and multiple U.S. importers.Wine Enthusiast | 100 WEVery open and beautiful now with currants, light chocolate and spices. Incense as well. Full-bodied, tight and reserved with a fantastic center palate of fruit and firm tannins. Closed and hiding behind the structure and depth. Needs time to open still but already a joy to taste (drink!). James Suckling | 99 JSDark ruby black in color. Brilliant, intense aromas of mineral, blackberry and currant, with hints of Indian spices and cigar box, lead to a full-bodied palate, with ultrafine tannins and a beautiful balance of blackberry, raspberry and mineral. There’s subtlety, yet also great depth. Lasts for minutes on the palate. This is a Latour with fabulous tone and vigor. Best after 2018. 12,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 99 WSA massive, powerful wine that tastes like the essence of the great estate, the 2005 Château Latour is based on 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Merlot and Petit Verdot brought up in new barrels. It reveals a saturated purple/plum color as well as a gorgeous bouquet of blackcurrants, graphite, gravelly earth, tobacco, lead pencil, and chocolate. Dense, full-bodied, and massively concentrated, it has the more austere, masculine style of the estate front and center, yet has gorgeously sweet tannin, a stacked mid-palate, and a great, great finish. This profound, regal 2005 can be drunk any time over the coming 40-50 years, and I suspect even longer.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JD2005 was a very dry, warm and sunny vintage, causing vine stress in some areas of Bordeaux. Harvested from September 26 to October 6, the tannin/IPT levels were very high this year. The 2005 Latour is blended of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the rest Merlot and Petit Verdot. It is the biggest surprise of this tasting—until now, the wine was relatively closed and broody, but today the wine is just starting to reveal its personality—and what a stunner! Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it opens with provocative floral scents of roses and violets over a core of fresh blackcurrants, chocolate-covered cherries and black raspberries with hints of fertile loam, unsmoked cigars and black tea. Medium to full-bodied, firm, grainy and packed with muscular fruit, it has an epically long, savory finish sparked by floral notes. 12,000 cases were made.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98+ RPThe Latour was magnificent but is now, unfortunately, in something of a dumb phase. The aromas showed a balanced mix of red and black fruit with appropriate accents from the maturation in new casks and the trademark earthy undercurrent accented with tar and leather notes. The extract has a substantial feel, and yet the tannins remain silky. One has the sense that, like all Latour, it will age exceedingly well, but it is far from showing its full potential. The blend is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot, and picking began on 26 September. Drinking Window 2021 - 2040.Decanter | 95 DEC

100
VM
As low as $1,049.00
2005 Haut Brion

This is a wine that makes you dream. The nose is packed with flowers, sweet tobacco, iodine, spices, raspberries, blackberries, and great freshness. The texture is perfection, pure silk and the fruit is wonderfully complex and subtle. Currants, fresh mushrooms, flowers, and stones fill the mouth and make way to a delightful finish. Please leave this alone until 2020.James Suckling | 100 JSThe 2005 Haut Brion is out of this world and certainly one of the finest wines I’ve ever tasted. Deeper, richer, and more concentrated than the 2000, it offers as pure an expression of this terroir as I could image with huge notes of blackcurrants, roasted herbs, scorched earth, tobacco, and earth all literally soaring from the glass. Full-bodied, powerful, concentrated, and layered, it still holds onto the hallmark elegance and purity of the estate. Wine doesn’t get any better and this tour de force can be drunk anytime over the coming three decades or more.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDThe mineral-laced 2005 Haut Brion (56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc) is exquisite. With its elegance and finesse, it is not as powerful as La Mission, but the nobility and complexity of the aromatics, incredible fragrance (subtle smoke and blue, red, and black fruits) that persists in the glass, full-bodied mouthfeel (though very light and delicate on its feet), and incredible length characterize this great Haut-Brion. It is just starting to drink well, and should continue to do so for at least another three decades. It is a tour de force in winemaking, but only 9,000 cases were produced.Robert Parker | 100 RPThis is incredible on the nose, showing coffee cake, blackberry, floral, coffee bean and vanilla bean, with Chinese spices. A very complex, full-bodied red, with seamless, hyperpolished tannins that caress every millimeter of the palate. Lasts for minutes. So beautifully balanced, I’m left speechless. Is it even better than the 1989? Best after 2017. 9,080 cases made.Wine Spectator | 100 WSPoured alongside an impressive lineup of 2016s, the 2005 Haut-Brion provided exquisite context to these newly released wines. While still very much in its youth, it is generously expressive and beguilingly fragrant. Initial notes of roasted coffee make way for cedar, cigar smoke, blackberry and truffles. The palate is dense with sumptuous fruit but remains graceful and fresh as waves of refined tannin build surreptitiously. On point minerally lingers endlessly on the finish. My instinct would be to hold off for a few more years though I wouldn’t blame anyone for wanting to open this now. What an absolute treat. Drinking Window 2020 - 2045Decanter | 99 DECThe 2005 Haut-Brion is a deep, meaty wine. Black cherry, game, smoke, tobacco, licorice, gravel and scorched earth saturate every corner of the palate. The 2005 is inky, creamy and voluptuous right out of the gate. It is also very young and in need of time in bottle. Most wines I tasted for this report started to lose a little steam after 24 hours, but the Haut-Brion kept getting better and better. It’s a magical wine, if a bit less accessible than most other 2005s at this stage. Tasted two times.Antonio Galloni | 99+ AGAll mineral at first, this wine feels cloistered in a stone cellar, its profound depths of red fruit more an impression than an immediate sensual connection. That direct connection forms over the course of several days, as the brilliant energy of the wine grows increasingly apparent. It has the controlled power of a tho­roughbred, naked and beautiful. The choice between Haut-Brion and La Mission is difficult in this vintage; anyone investing in one should invest in the other. This may prove the grander of the two, but that will likely be a point of debate for 50 years or more. Diageo Château & Estate Wines, NYWine & Spirits | 98 W&SA big, virile wine, dominated by dark and firm tannins. The structure comes from powerful black fruits, the wood only showing as dry edge to the tannins. It’s firm, obviously destined for long aging, with initial blackberry fruits powering through the density. A stupendous wine that will last many decades.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WE

100
RP
As low as $1,049.00
2003 latour Bordeaux Red

2003 was one of the hottest, earliest Bordeaux vintages ever. Some vines suffered from lack of moisture, but old vines and clay subsoil at Enclos saw this vineyard through. The Merlot harvest occurred between September 8 and 13, and the Cabernet Sauvignon was picked between September 22 and 30. The 2003 Latour is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. Six percent of the press wine was added to the final blend. It has a medium to deep garnet-purple color, then wow—it explodes from the glass with bombastic black and blue fruits, followed up by meat, wood smoke, sandalwood and Indian spice accents with underlying floral wafts. The palate is full, rich, velvety, seductive and very long on the finish. There were only 10,800 cases made (rather than the normal 15,000-20,000).Robert Parker | 100 RPFascinating nose of fresh flowers, currants, and sandalwood. Full bodied, with a seamless core of fruit that goes on and on. Love the polished tannins and the beauty here. A powerful and rich wine with so much class and finesse for such a hot vintage. Pull the cork after 2016.James Suckling | 99 JSIntense aromas of blackberry, licorice, currant and mineral. Full-bodied, with very well-integrated tannins and a long, long finish. Very refined and beautiful. Goes on for minutes. This reminds me of the fabulous 1996. But even better. Best after 2012. 10,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 98 WSThe 2003 Latour remains a redoubtable First Growth and a testament to its terroir that manifested such a great wine in a challenging growing season. You could argue that it does not disguise the heat of that notorious summer as deftly as the 2003 Montrose since there is still a touch more volatility here than other vintages. But there are gorgeous notes of black cherry, black truffle, cedar and a touch of cooked meat. The palate is full-bodied with saturated tannin. The acidity is very finely tuned considering the season and there is plenty of glycerine towards the sumptuous finish. Maybe it is more a great 2003 than a great Latour, but there are few recent vintages that are so delicious. Tasted at the International Business & Wine Latour dinner at Ten Trinity.Vinous Media | 97 VMWhat makes a great Latour is a sense of completeness, of restrained power and of levels of complexity which the other first growths rarely achieve. That’s why Latour 2003 is a great wine.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WE

100
RP
As low as $1,060.00
2000 Margaux

Tasted from magnum, the 2000 Château Margaux is a prodigious, flawless wine that shows the elegance and seductive hallmark of the estate paired with incredible density, depth, and richness. Its still-ruby/purple color is followed by sensational notes of crème de cassis, spring flowers, lead pencil, and sandalwood that develop beautifully with time in the glass. Medium to full-bodied, opulent, and seamless, with a multi-dimensional, layered texture, it has a massive mid-palate, sweet tannins, and a finish that won’t quit. It’s drinking brilliantly today, and there’s certainly no need to delay gratification, but it’s going to continue evolving for another 3-4 decades. Bordeaux (or red wine, for that matter) doesn’t get any better. The 2000 is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot brought up new barrels.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDAbsolutely compelling in two tastings of this vintage, the 2000 Margaux is composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. The extraordinary seductiveness, complex aromatics, and purity it exhibits lead me to believe it has reached its window of full maturity. Medium-bodied, with layers of concentration, stunning blue, red, and black fruits intermixed with spring flowers, a subtle dosage of new oak, and a distinctive personality that is elegant while at the same time powerful and substantial, this is a multi-dimensional wine that was extremely approachable and drinkable in both tastings I had of it. The color remains a healthy, even opaque bluish/purple, but there is no reason to hesitate to drink it. It should evolve for another 30-40 years, so there is no hurry either.Robert Parker | 100 RPThe 2000 Margaux kicked off a string of great wines. The aromas are spellbinding, with notes of raspberry and strawberry. The palate is incredibly silky yet structured. Impeccable balance.James Suckling | 100 JSViolet and iris aromatics curling out of the glass, starting to reach their full expression at 20 years old. Beautifully finessed and elegant, with hints of black truffle, cloves and rich blackberry fruits, this is a vintage that showcases the best of Margaux. It took its time to reach this point but it has been worth the wait, and the wine just gets better and better over a few hours in the glass. Highlights the success of the partnership between owner Corinne Mentzelopoulos and director Paul Pontantallier, with this château delivering some of the most memorable wines of the turn of the century years in Bordeaux. Drinking Window 2020 - 2050.Decanter | 100 DECThe 2000 Château Margaux has always been one of the stars of the millennial vintage. A dozen or so bottles over the years, starting with my first encounter from bottle with the late Paul Pontallier, have never disappointed. Philippe Bascaule did not decant this bottle, although it does deserve an hour’s aeration before serving. Deep in color with little aging on the rim, it has a very intense bouquet, sophisticated and almost aloof. Oddly, it reminds me of the 2000 Latour in its sense of aristocracy and breeding. The palate is medium-bodied with gorgeous, rounded, pliant tannins that frame the multilayered red fruit. Always a Margaux with considerable backbone, the 2000 has mellowed in recent years, though it has lost none of its complexity or ethereal balance. There is substance but not sinew, and the silky-smooth finish fans out gloriously. A brilliant Château Margaux from beginning to end. It’s difficult to find fault with this magnificent wine.Vinous Media | 99 VMNo written review provided. | 98 W&SThis continues to be a jaw-dropper, with beguiling lapsang souchong tea, singed sandalwood and fresh bay leaf aromas slowly wending along, while the core of pure cassis, raspberry reduction and warmed fig notes sits on a throne of perfectly embedded charcoal and tar-laced tannins. And with all the heft, there’s a beautifully long iron note to give the finish cut and elegance. Just dreamy.--Blind 2000 Bordeaux retrospective (December 2015). Best from 2018 through 2040.Wine Spectator | 98 WS

100
RP
As low as $1,399.00
2000 latour Bordeaux Red

Latour has made truly great wines in the past two decades—and this is one of the best. It has fabulous aromas of black truffles, currants, raspberry and dried flowers. Mind-blowing on the palate, it’s an emotional and soulful red.James Suckling | 100 JSThe 2000 Latour is very deep in color. The nose is backward and demands coaxing from the glass, eventually revealing intense black fruit, cedar, graphite and very subtle Japanese nori aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with an arching structure that grips the mouth. The tannins are a little bolder than the 2001. This unfolds swirl by swirl, with hints of licorice emerging with time, and fanning out audaciously on the finish.Vinous Media | 99 VMThe fruit here is still very much in the primary phase, with a decidedly racy feel to the raspberry coulis, cassis and blackberry reduction notes that are streaked with violet, iron and graphite flavors. The superlong finish alternates between a tug of sweet earth and a velvety feel, as the fruit and grip are still melding together, but there’s so much vivacity here, there’s no concern with waiting it out. The wait may be a while though. Rather stunning that this can separate itself so clearly from the rest of 2000’s high-class field.--Blind 2000 Bordeaux retrospective (December 2015). Best from 2020 through 2040. 14,167 cases made.Wine Spectator | 99 WS(Château Latour, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France, Red) Dense and complex, this shows layers of dark fruit with aromas of plum, fig and blackcurrant overlaid with spice, leather and earth. It is not as expressive as the 2001 vintage now, but it is more substantial, almost massive. There was rain at Latour on 19th September, which refreshed the grapes, and the team waited until 22nd September to start with the Merlot. The final blend is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. It is just beginning to open now and should age gracefully for another 30 or 40 years. (Drink between 2022-2062)Decanter | 99 DECThe 2000 Latour (a relatively abundant 14,000 cases compared to what they produced in 2009, 2008, or 2005) is “packed and stacked.” The extremely rich, black/purple color to the rim is followed by a wine with some subtle smoke, loads of minerals, a hint of vanilla, and plenty of creme de cassis as well as roasted meat and a slight scorched earth character. Broad, savory, and rich, the wine seems to be about 5 years away from full maturity and should drink well for at least 40-50 more years. A great effort, probably eclipsed only by 2003 and 2009.Robert Parker | 98 RPThis is such an expressive wine, with elegance a major factor in its character. It is certainly huge, rich and dense. But there is much more to it. You can peel layers of fruit and tannins away, and still never get to the end of the wine’s complexity. At every stage of its life, it will reveal a new character, but for now it is dominated by powerful tannins and huge, black, fruit.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WENo written review provided | 92 W&S

100
JS
As low as $1,325.00
2000 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

One of the wines of the vintage, the 2000 has barely budged in its evolution since it was bottled and released in 2002. After ten years in bottle, it still reveals a dense opaque purple color along with a potentially sensational bouquet of blueberries, black currants, graphite, asphalt and background oak. Extremely powerful, full-bodied and superbly concentrated with good acidity and high but round tannins, this massive La Mission-Haut-Brion should take its place among this estate’s most hallowed vintages when it hits full maturity in another one to two decades. I was surprised by just how youthful this wine tasted at age 12. If tasted blind, I would have guessed it to be around 4 to 5 years old. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2050.Robert Parker | 100 RPThe colour here is deep and dense – just beginning to soften towards brick red - without a huge colour change from the rim to the centre. The fruit character is rich and plummy, with autumnal damson and blackberry notes alongside supple tannins. There is clear aromatic intensity, and floral edges, that become more intense over time – a great indicator of something special going on. Dark fruit flavours and cigar leaf nuances complete what is a delicious wine, at the perfect moment to launch into the next phase of its life. Drinking Window 2019 - 2045Decanter | 98 DECThe 2000 La Mission Haut-Brion is a vintage that I have not tasted for several years. At age 21, it has retained its youthful nose of vivid black cherries, wild strawberry and iodine, and shows less of the black olive tapenade element that I noticed in its youth. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannins that belie that backbone of this La Mission. Beautifully balanced and quite peppery, with fine salinity, it is less sauvage than many other millennial Bordeaux, leading to a succulent, sensual finish. This is only just beginning to show what it is capable of. 13.4% alcohol. Tasted at the château with Jean-Philippe Delmas.Vinous Media | 97 VMThis is tight and beautiful, with a firm tannin structure and a beautiful silky texture. Full and concentrated, with a destiny. In the glass it keeps evolving, notes of iodine, spices, cedar, and earth tempt the senses. This still needs some time to come together. Don’t touch it until 2015.James Suckling | 95 JSSometimes it seems as if La Mission is as good as Haut-Brion - that was certainly the case in 2001. But in 2000, La Mission fitted more comfortably into its usual good neighbor slot. That is not to suggest it is not a great wine - the score indicates that. At the moment, it is closed, solid and chunky, but all the right hints are there, and it will develop slowly and in a sustained way over many years.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEMore range here, with fresh bay and warm tapenade notes leading the way for a well-packed core of macerated fig, black currant and blackberry fruit flavors. Plenty tarry on the back end, but with a velvety edge that hangs on nicely.--Blind 2000 Bordeaux retrospective (December 2015). Drink now through 2023. 7,205 cases made.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

100
RP
As low as $840.00
2000 cheval blanc Bordeaux Red

A wine of exquisite aromatic depth and grace, the 2000 Cheval Blanc is fully captivating. All the elements fall into place in an effortless, gracious wine. It’s frankly hard to move past the 2000 Cheval, because at this point, I want nothing to compete with it.Vinous Media | 100 VMComing out of a relatively dormant state, this 2000 is a spectacular Cheval Blanc. Of recent vintages, I think only the 2009 can give it a run for its money. A blend of 53% Merlot and 47% Cabernet Franc, the wine has a sweet nose of menthol, melted licorice, boysenberry, blueberry, and cassis. A broad wine with compelling purity, a layered texture, and sweet tannin, with hints of coffee and earth in the background, this is by far the best Cheval Blanc since 1990 and before 2009. It is a legend in the making and can actually be drunk now, as the tannins have nearly melted away. This is a beauty with incredibly complex aromatics. Drink it over the next 25-30 years.Robert Parker | 99 RPClosed and backward over the past decade, the 2000 Chateau Cheval Blanc seems to have turned the corner and is drinking spectacularly well today, with the hallmark elegance and complexity of this estate front and center. Sweet red and black fruits, spice box, dried flowers, and forest floor notes all develop with time in the glass, and it has a balanced, resolved style on the palate that’s a joy to drink. The 2000 is blend of 53% Merlot and 47% Cabernet Franc, and while mature, it has another two decades or more of prime drinking ahead of it.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDIn 2000, it seems the Cabernet Franc made Cheval Blanc. It has given a mysterious, wonderful perfume to the intense richness of the Merlot. It has less of the explosive power of Ausone, it is more subtle and elegant, reserving its explosion of richness for the end, when a welter of black fruits seems to go on for ever.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEDeep to very deep red. Sumptuous aromas of raspberries, blackberries, and menthol, full ripe and perfumed but restrained. The rich attack still shows powerful tannins, and youthful, firm acidity. It’s taut and spicy, subtle and complex, with tension on the finish, which is very long. Drinking Window 2015 - 2040Decanter | 95 DECNo written review provided | 95 W&SA light menthol hint gives way to bay and tobacco leaf notes, which hold steady throughout, while the core of dark currant and fig fruit flavors takes on a warm, macerated, almost hedonistic feel. The finish has a tarry hint but is very polished and refined overall, with finely beaded acidity and a light iron accent. This is so caressing and languid, you almost lose sight of how long it is. Lovely.—Blind 2000 Bordeaux retrospective (December 2015). Drink now through 2030.Wine Spectator | 94 WSA very nice nose of blackberries, dark chocolate, and flowers. Full bodied and smokey, with a meaty, mushroom, tobacco, and berry character. Wonderfully long, long finish to this muscular wine with fine tannins. This is still evolving but needs another five or six years. Find the wineJames Suckling | 94 JS

100
AG
As low as $1,199.00
1996 margaux Bordeaux Red

The 1996 Chateau Margaux, a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, must be a strong contender for wine of the vintage. It offers everything you desire from this First Growth. It is blessed with breathtaking delineation and freshness on the nose, understated at first and then blossoming with mineral-infused black fruit, hints of blueberry, crushed stone and violet. The palate is perfectly balanced with filigree tannin, perfect acidity, a wine where everything seems to be in its right place. Blackberry, crushed stone at the front of the mouth, just a touch of spice towards the finish that shows supreme control. This is a Margaux that seems to light up the senses. It was outstanding in its youth...something that has not changed one bit over the intervening two decades. This may well turn out to be the Left Bank pinnacle of the 1990s. Tasted July 2016.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 100 RP-NMSoftly spoken, fine tannins, pencil lead and leather, with truffle, earth, campfire and spice. Long drawn out finish, achingly slow, crushed stone, tobacco and dried roses. As with the 2001, the generosity and beauty of the aromatics tells you that this is absolutely ready to drink - although in many ways it feels like it will last longer than the 2001, as the tannins are still holding everything in place. This got the audience award on the night, and no question it is a stunning wine that is still giving so much pleasure at 25 years old. The 1996 has really grown into itself - it was a late harvest at the time after a burst of rain at the end of September that they decided to wait through before picking, and were rewarded with beautifully ripe Cabernet that was high in dense tannins and a little surly at first, but that has turned into one of the greatest vintages of the 1990s (rivaled only by the 1990 itself in my opinion). 2% Cabernet Franc completes the blend, 100% new oak. (Drink between 2021-2040)Decanter | 100 DECWhile the 1996 Château Margaux has been closed and difficult to read for the past decade, it showed beautifully on this occasion, with its hallmark elegance and purity paired with a dense, powerful profile. Still youthfully ruby-hued with notes of pure crème de cassis, unsmoked tobacco, incense, and chocolate, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, building yet seamless tannins, and an awesome finish. This is pure class as well as a quintessential Margaux! To be on the safe side, give bottles another 4-5 years and it’s going to keep for 50-75 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDBright full ruby. Pure, perfumed aromas of cassis and violet. Dense and tactile in the mouth; a huge, chewy wine with major extract but also considerable refinement. Almost painfully backward today, and a bit less perfumed than it was in the year or so after the bottling, but the huge tannins show no hardness. Another great expression of cabernet sauvignon from the ’96 vintage. Drink 2015 through 2040.Vinous Media | 96+ VMFully formed now, with a rush of steeped currant and black tea notes that are melded with a backdrop of anise, sandalwood, bergamot and charcoal. The long, suave finish lets the perfume linger, with a weighty feel. This seems to mark the start of the refinement of tannins; despite the power, this is all grace and elegance.--Non-blind Château Margaux vertical (December 2013). Drink now through 2031.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

100
RP
As low as $1,049.00
1986 mouton rothschild Bordeaux Red

Wonderful, concentrated and still astonishingly young, this has brushes of violet aromatics rising above the tight cassis fruits and rich black truffle, and the classic menthol edging of a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated Pauillac. We drank this over lunch and it was breathtaking, but were told that 24 hours later it had blossomed even further, so make sure you give this a serious amount of time in carafe to open up - something that gives you just a small clue as to how structured, layered and complex the wine we are dealing with here is. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.Drinking Window 2017 - 2040Decanter | 100 DECThis is finally coming around with such fine tannins and beautiful fruit after all these years. Full and balanced. Historical. And so long. Stunning. Fresh and bright.James Suckling | 100 JSThe 1986 Mouton-Rothschild is a behemoth that almost has a California-like richness and sweetness of fruit. Offering incredible yet classic Cabernet Sauvignon notes of crème de cassis, tobacco leaf, lead pencil shavings, and wood smoke, this beauty starts out reticent and backward (which is mind blowing for a wine that’s 32 years old) yet opens up gorgeously with time in the glass. Full-bodied, deep, rich and unctuous, yet still incredibly pure and lively, it’s a sensational, benchmark Bordeaux that probably has another 2+ decades of longevity.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDAfter stumbling over some wines I thought were high class Bordeaux, I nailed this wine in one of the blind tastings for this article. In most tastings where a great Bordeaux is inserted with California Cabernets, the Bordeaux comes across as drier, more austere, and not nearly as rich and concentrated (California wines are inevitably fruitier and more massive). To put it mildly, the 1986 Mouton-Rothschild held its own (and then some), in a flight that included the Caymus Special Selection, Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23, Dunn Howell Mountain, and Joseph Phelps Eisele Vineyard. Clearly the youngest looking, most opaque and concentrated wine of the group, it tastes as if it has not budged in development since I first tasted it out of barrel in March, 1987. An enormously concentrated, massive Mouton-Rothschild, comparable in quality, but not style, to the 1982, 1959, and 1945, this impeccably made wine is still in its infancy. Interestingly, when I was in Bordeaux several years ago, I had this wine served to me blind from a magnum that had been opened and decanted 48 hours previously. Even then, it still tasted like a barrel sample! I suspect the 1986 Mouton-Rothschild requires a minimum of 15-20 more years of cellaring; it has the potential to last for 50-100 years! Given the outrageously high prices being fetched by so many of the great 1982s and 1990s (and lest I forget, the 1995 Bordeaux futures), it appears this wine might still be one of the "relative bargains" in the fine wine marketplace. I wonder how many readers will be in shape to drink it when it does finally reach full maturity?The tasting notes for this section are from two single blind tastings, one conducted in May, 1996, in California, and the other in June, 1996, in Baltimore.Robert Parker | 100 RPPhilippe Dhalluin served the 1986 Mouton Rothschild to wrap up our vertical. The 1986 remains one of my favorite Moutons. A dark, powerful wine, the 1986 is endowed with a vertical sense of structure that is a marvel to behold. Dark stone fruit, smoke, graphite, mocha, soy and licorice are fused together in a marvelously intense, deep Mouton that promises to drink well for another few decades. Tonight, the 1986 is absolutely stunning. The blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Harvest started on October 2nd and wrapped up on the 16th.Antonio Galloni | 99 AGAgeless, yet balanced. Black color. Mint, mineral, berry and cherry. Full-bodied, chewy and tight. Long, long finish. A great, great wine.--Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 99 WS(Château Mouton-Rothschild) There was a time when I thought that the ’86 Mouton was one of the greatest vintages ever at this fine property, but as the wine crossed its twentieth birthday with no signs of more complexity starting to emerge, I really began to wonder if I had not just been incorrect in my great expectations for this wine. I have tasted the wine two or three times in the last few years and been moderately underwhelmed on each occasion, with this most recent bottle no exception. It is not that the wine is bad per se, but rather that it is still quite monolithic and simple, continuing to show very little development on either the nose and palate. Ten or fifteen years ago, this was not too alarming, as the wine possessed truly exceptional depth of fruit and great purity to go along with its monolithic personality, but at age thirty, I was hoping to see a bit of complexity starting to emerge. The bouquet is indeed starting to show some signs of age, but not a lot more complexity than previously, as it offers up scents of cassis, cigar ash, a touch of tobacco leaf and cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep and full-bodied, with a primary personality, good, but no longer that great depth of yesteryear. The wine still possesses fine focus, firm, ripe tannins and a long, youthfully simple finish. To be fair to this wine, there are plenty of other 1986 Left Bank wines that are still not remotely ready for primetime drinking, but it is the lack of complexity here that is really the question mark with this wine. It is still a perfectly serviceable vintage of Mouton, and may indeed be great down the road (if this is just a reflection of an extended adolescence), but today, it seems like a far cry from perfection and is not in the same league as the 1989 or 1985 Mouton, let alone the marvelous 1982. (Drink between 2022-2060).John Gilman | 92+ JG

100
RP
As low as $1,295.00
1982 mouton rothschild Bordeaux Red

What an amazing red. It’s so very youthful with toasted oak, light vanilla, and dark berries such as currants and blueberries. Then it turns to mint. This is so fresh and intensely fruity. It lasts for minutes on your palate with each sip. It is so powerful yet elegant. It will improve for hundreds of years. I would still leave it in my cellar for five or ten years. If you need to drink it, decant it three to four hours in advance.James Suckling | 100 JSA wine that’s singing today, the 1982 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild is one of those wines that needs to be tasted to be believed. It almost has a California Cabernet-like sexiness and opulence paired with pure Bordeaux class. Still solid ruby-colored, with a sensational nose of crème de cassis, lead pencil shaving, sweet tobacco, and even some flowery incense, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a multidimensional, layered texture, straight-up awesome levels of sweet fruit, and a blockbuster finish. This is Bordeaux at its most sexy and hedonistic, and it’s just a joy to drink. Given its relatively youthful vibe, I expect it to continue drinking brilliantly for another two decades and even at that point have a gradual decline. There’s no need to delay gratification though, and it’s certainly ready to go.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDThe 1982 Mouton Rothschild is drinking brilliantly today, soaring from the glass with aromas of cassis, dark berry fruit, charcoal, pencil shavings, espresso roast and loamy soil. Full-bodied, ample and enveloping, it’s a layered, sumptuous wine that’s remarkably seamless and complete, with impressive concentration, ripe but lively acids and fine, melting tannins. Long and resonant, this is a great wine that can keep company with the likes of Mouton’s 1961, 1959 and 1955.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPThe 1982 Mouton-Rothschild continues to be the extravagant Pauillac that it has always been. This has an irresistible, exotic bouquet of precocious kirsch, hoisin, graphite and blueberry scents that gain intensity in the glass. The palate is a little headier than previous bottles, sensual and almost glossy, presenting a glycerin-rich smorgasbord of dark cherries, black currant, crème de menthe and mint that almost knocks you off your feet. Fabulous. Tasted from an ex-château jeroboam at the Palace of Versailles charity dinner.Vinous Media | 98 VMGlorious aromas. Dark ruby red. Wonderful perfumes of flowers, berry and lilac. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long and pretty finish. Balanced. Class in a glass. Just as I remember.--Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 98 WSRich and deep in colour, this has a stunning intensity on the first nose. On the palate, there is the slight iodine edge of an older Cabernet Sauvignon, set against soft brambly fruits, smoky cedar and black truffles. Soft structure but the architecture of this wine is still very much in play, building in power as it works through your palate, setting your taste buds tingling with the gentlest of tannins. Again this is a classic, superlative example of how Pauillac can age. As it uncurls in the glass, the rich smoke on the nose is just beautifully seductive, but the palate softens just a touch quicker than some of the others in this line-up.Decanter | 97 DEC

100
RP
As low as $1,745.00
1990 Margaux

The 1990 Château Margaux is really beginning to hit its stride at age 31, soaring from the glass with aromas of blackberries and cassis mingled with notions of licorice, cedar and violets, framed by subtle hints of vanilla and spice. Full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, it’s seamless and complete, its velvety tannins and ripe acids entirely cloaked in a lavish but vibrant core of fruit. This is an especially dramatic, fleshy rendition of Margaux, yet it remains impeccably balanced and has decades of longevity ahead of it.Robert Parker | 100 RPFull ruby-red. Wonderfully perfumed nose combines redcurrant, plum, mocha, minerals and rose petal. Plush, fat and rich, with great sweetness and class. This has utterly compelling mouthfilling richness. Finishes smooth and endless, with great breadth. This wine showed fabulous potential from barrel, but this is the first truly outstanding bottle I’ve had. Drink 2005 through 2035.Vinous Media | 98 VMA brilliant wine, still star bright in colour, and full of flesh and fruit. Opens with smoky cigar notes, touches of figs, blackberries, cedar, fine tannins, violet and peony aromatics even at 30-plus years old, and it certainly stays with you long after the glass is finished. Owner Corinne Mentzelopoulos was celebrating 10 years at the helm at this point, with (the late) Paul Pontallier just promoted to MD after arriving at the property in 1983. Drinking Window 2021 - 2040.Decanter | 98 DECA stunner, with a glorious aromatic display of mulled plum, blackberry and cherry notes seamlessly melded with rooibos tea, singed balsa wood and ground vanilla bean accents. The structure is so fine-grained that it’s almost hard to find, but the marathonesque length shows it’s there. As gorgeous as it is, this remains a hair behind the modern greats in terms of concentration. Still, it should hold at this peak for some time. Awfully close to the ’89, but sometimes we have to split hairs.--Non-blind Château Margaux vertical (December 2013). Drink now through 2025. 25,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS

100
RP
As low as $1,849.00
1990 Latour

This is one of my favorite wines ever. Full-bodied, with layers of silky fruit and masses of currant, mineral and berry character. Amazing. It’s a wine with perfect structure, perfect strength. It’s 1961 Latour in modern clothes. It’s hard not to drink it now. ’89/’90 Bordeaux non-blind horizontal. Best after 2008.Wine Spectator | 100 WSThen, the 1990 Latour arrives. Powerful and dense to the core, the 1990 possesses superb density for a wine of its age. Despite its considerable depth, the 1990 remains light on its feet for such a big wine. I imagine the 1990 Latour will drink well for another thirty years. What a wine.Vinous Media | 98 AG(Château Latour) The 1990 vintage from Château Latour is a superb example of this ripe and more forward year, with the torrid growing season having put its imprimatur on the wine a bit in its slightly more forward and plush style, without ever impinging upon the classic Latour house style. The bouquet is tremendously deep and expressive, offering up scents of cassis, blackberries, tobacco, gravelly soil tones, a hint of violets, cedar and a blossoming topnote of cigar smoke. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and simply packed at the core, with superb focus and grip, lovely complexity and a very long, ripely tannic and already fairly pliable finish. This wine has plenty of structure for the long haul, but it does not possess the classic sternness of vintages of Latour from the fifties or sixties, nor of wines made in the last decade or so. That said, it is probably the finest Left Bank wine of the 1990 vintage. (Drink between 2016-2060).John Gilman | 96 JGThis is one of the more perplexing Latours to evaluate. It has plenty of sweetness as well as a gorgeous, rich fruitiness, but it lacks the firmness one finds in more recent great vintages such as 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2008. There is plenty of sweet, ripe currant fruitiness, abundant glycerin, and full body, but I’m still waiting for that extra nuance of complexity to emerge. It’s all there, but the wine still seems to be more monolithic than one would expect in a wine approaching 19 years of age. It is not the sure-fire winner I thought it was in its youth, but then again, I don’t have any reason to doubt that more complexity will emerge. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2035. Release price: ($1500.00/case)Robert Parker | 95+ RPStill a young wine, with firm tannins that are less finely expressed than the Lafite at the same age and instead provide a more muscular presence in the glass, as is entirely within the Latour signature. The dominant flavours are cedar, tobacco, black cherry and cigar box, with black pepper spice on the close of play. Plenty of changes going on at Latour in 1990, with the estate sold the year before from the Pearson Group to Allied Lyons. This was the first year of the third wine Pauillac de Latour, further refining the selection of the main bottling. Drinking Window 2021 - 2036.Decanter | 94 DEC

100
WS
As low as $1,395.00
1989 Haut Brion

(Château Haut-Brion) It had been more than a decade since I last tasted a bottle of the 1989 Haut-Brion (having absolutely zero interest in opening any bottles out of my cellar before this wine has fully apogee), so I was very happy to see it on display at the Hart-Davis-Hart tasting. This is a brilliant wine that has not lost an iota of its luster as it has aged, soaring from the glass in a brilliantly pure and bottomless bouquet of cassis, dark berries, cigar smoke, a very complex base of dark soil tones, Cuban cigars, fresh herbs and a refined base of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and stunningly plush on the attack, with a sappy core of pure fruit, stunning soil signature, ripe, firm tannins and simply brilliant length and grip on the still very young, seamless and boundless finish. This wine has often been compared to the 1959 Haut-Brion, but I have to believe that the 1989 will be even better when it reaches its peak of maturity! This is still a very young wine (far less evolved than the superb 1990) and I would not touch a bottle for at least another dozen years or more. It should last close to a century. (Drink between 2025-2100).John Gilman | 100 JGThis continues to be a perfect wine with a beautiful, dense character of tobacco and sweet fruits. Chocolate, toasted walnuts and flowers here too. It’s full-bodied with velvety tannins. Lasts for minutes on the palate.James Suckling | 100 JSA spectacular wine that only goes from strength to strength, and which ranks among the pinnacles of my birth year vintage, the 1989 Haut-Brion wafts from the glass with a rich bouquet of blackberries, blackcurrants, cigar wrapper, loamy soil, black truffle, burning embers and vine smoke. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it’s sumptuous and dramatic, with huge reserves of fruit that are complemented by carnal, savory nuances and framed by melting tannins and ripe acids. Concluding with a long, resonant finish, the only criticism one can make is that a 750-milliliter bottle simply isn’t enough.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPWhat a gorgeous, seductive and beautiful wine, as always. I can’t get over the perfumed aromas of subtle milk chocolate, cedar and sweet tobacco. Full-bodied, yet so refined and silky, lasting for minutes on the palate. Everything is in just the right proportion. This is a wine that will go on forever. I love it. One of my great loves in the wine world.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 12,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 100 WSThe 1989 Haut-Brion is very, very good. All the telltale Haut-Brion signatures of dark fruit, minerals, herbs, gravel and spice are present, but this bottle is lacking the textural opulence and depth of the best examples. Readers who have had the 1989 know what an epic wine it usually is.Antonio Galloni | 97 AG

100
RP
As low as $3,499.00
1988 guigal cote rotie la turque Cote Rotie

Deep purple-colored, with grilled meat and smoky, barbecue-like aromas beginning to emerge, along with lavishly ripe scents of black plums and cassis, the 1988 La Turque is not quite as suppressed aromatically as La Mouline. This thick, unctuously textured, full-bodied, monster wine is close to reaching its plateau of drinkability. The wine exhibits awesome concentration, terrific purity, and, amazingly, no evidence of the 42 months it spent in 100% new oak casks. Very full and rich, and potentially the longest-lived La Turque yet made, this wine should be legendary. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2015. Last tasted 7/96.Robert Parker | 100 RPThe nose on the 1988 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Turque couldn’t get any better and is dark, dense and just packed with earthy dark fruit, meat, smoke and bacon notes. There’s subtle graphite and integrated wood notes lurking in the background and I could smell this wine all night. The palate is full bodied with perfect balance, silky texture, considerable structure and a fantastic, long finish.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JD(Guigal Côte-Rôtie “La Turque”) Between 1985 and 1991, the single vineyard bottlings of Guigal Côte-Rôties have to be among the most consistently fine wines made in all of France. Not only were they superb in the big vintages like 1985, 1988, and 1991, but even the 1986s and 1987s were outstanding wines. I have not kept up on the wines since the mid-1990s, but long-time Rhône fans whose palates I trust tell me that the magic has been lost. But there was still plenty of magic back when the 1988 La Turque was bottled, and this is a really lovely wine for such a young vine cuvée. The nose is deep and beautifully complex, offering up a blend of pepper, red berries, salami, hot stones, coffee, cloves and exotic wood-derived spices. On the palate the wine is full-bodied and wonderfully complex, with great focus and detail, solid depth at the core, and good length on the modestly tannic finish. If I were to knit-pick a bit about this wine, it is only that the wood sticks out ever so slightly on the finish. It would have been nice for Monsieur Guigal, knowing that this was still young vines in 1988, to have backed off the new oak at least for the La Turque, as the wine would have been even better for it. But that said, this is still a superb bottle of wine. (Drink between 2006-2020).John Gilman | 95 JGExotic floral and spice notes add interest to the vanilla and plum flavors; the wine is vivid and rich but the dominant flavor is oak. Try in 1997.--Guigal Côte-Rôtie vertical. 700 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

100
RP
As low as $1,825.00
2010 leglise clinet Bordeaux Red

Deep garnet colored, the 2010 L’Eglise Clinet begins unassumingly with gentle notions of fragrant dried flowers and wild sage leading to savory nut and meat characters over an expanding core of preserved plums, blueberry compote and black cherry coulis plus a waft of menthol. Full-bodied, concentrated and wonderfully decadent, the palate is absolutely packed with rich, ripe black fruit preserves and loads of spicy sparks, framed by super ripe, super plush tannins, finishing very long and decadent. I love the interplay of subtly and power here - this is truly a WOW wine!Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPSo much elegance and complexity to this young wine with plenty of flowers and dark fruit notes. Full and super refined, with amazing complexity and firmness. It is very tight and silky. Long and intense. This is a super 2001 or a 1961.James Suckling | 97-98 JSRich but delightfully pure, with a stunningly gorgeous, pure beam of unadulterated raspberry preserves driving through the middle, showing hints of plum, anise and blueberry hanging in the background. The long finish drips with fruit, but maintains the racy acidity needed for balance and elegance, while a fine minerality slides in underneath. Drink now through 2030. 1,333 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThe 2010 L’Eglise-Clinet comes across a little introverted and sullen on the nose compared to its peers in this very strong flight. It is attractive in its own way with pretty red berry fruit, briary and rose petals, but declines to reveal its complexity. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, slightly lactic in style, modern in the context of this Pomerol cru, but well balanced on the finish. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners 10-Year On Bordeaux horizontal.Vinous Media | 94+ VM

100
RP
As low as $419.00
2010 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

This is crazy. The nose is so unique with the iodine, stones and currant aromas with wet earth and mushroom. Aromas like this don’t usually come out until 10 years or so in the bottle. Classic nose for this estate. Full-bodied, with an amazing palate of firm yet polished tannins and a solid palate. So dense and gorgeous. It is really stunning. Try in 2020.James Suckling | 100 JSDeep garnet colored, the 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion has a commanding, profound nose of baked blackberries, boysenberries and warm cassis plus suggestions of candied violets, red roses, chocolate box, cedar chest and smoked meats with a waft of iron ore. Full-bodied, powerful and hedonic, the palate bursts with expressive black fruits and floral sparks, framed by exquisitely ripe, grainy tannins and beautiful freshness, finishing with epic length. A real head-turner, this beauty is already very impressive, but for that full WOW experience I would give it another 3-5 years in bottle to blossom.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPMore subdued on the nose but with striking cinnamon and black pepper notes alongside the blackberry and spiced dark chocolate, this is concentrated and velvety and extremely high quality. Again it is the texture, the construction, that grabs you. There is a similar feel to Haut-Brion, in its weight and power, just a little less elongated stretching out of the tannins through the final furlong. But believe me, you’ll enjoy this too. Drinking Window 2025 - 2050Decanter | 98 DECThe 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion has a very flattering bouquet with detailed red and black fruit laced with chestnut, cedar and sous-bois. This is supremely well focused. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannins. There is immense depth here, more savoury than expected with chestnut once again, white pepper and a tinge of dried blood towards the finish. Outstanding. Tasted from an ex-château bottle at the BI Wines & Spirits 10-Year On tasting.Vinous Media | 98 VMThis rich, open wine has both acidity and impressively ripe white and yellow-fruit flavors. The creaminess creates a sense of richness underlined by the wood aging. This is a balanced wine, already well integrated and likely to age well. Drink from 2024.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEIntense and engaging. Despite showing lots of heft and tarry grip, the singed apple wood and alder notes are well-defined in this red, accentuating a core of roasted fig, blackberry coulis and macerated red and black currant fruit. The long, bramble-edged finish sports showy ganache and Lapsang souchong tea notes, while the structure refuses to yield until everything has finally played out. Muscular and vivacious. Best from 2019 through 2040. 5,100 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WS(Château La Mission Haut-Brion) The 2010 La Mission Haut-Brion is the most mammoth of all the wines in the Dillon stable in 2010, as it tips the scales at an unprecedented 15.1 percent in alcohol. The nose is very, very deep, very ripe and amazingly, also quite compelling, as it offers up scents of black cherries, sweet cassis, bitter chocolate, soil tones, cigar smoke, gravel and a very well-integrated and generous base of new oak. I much prefer the wood integration on the 2010 La Mission to the 2009 at the same stage a year ago. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, powerful and sharply acidic, with a rock solid core of pure fruit, very hard tannins, excellent focus and great length and grip on the tensile finish. The acids today are quite coarse and one hopes that they will eventually be tamed. They tend to really sharpen the expression of the fruit, but they are not currently integrated into the body of the wine and cause a fair bit of discordance on the finish at the present time. The 2010 La Mission, despite its higher alcohol content than the 2010 Haut-Brion, shows less signs of overripeness on the backend than its First Growth stable-mate. It too is a very forcefully-styled and bruising young wine at the present time, and I have a hard time imagining its ultimate shape. Perhaps it will turn out as well as the 1975 La Mission, but it may also always be a wine that never fully pulls its currently disparate elements into a cohesive and compelling whole. There is a lot of sound in the fury currently in the glass, but not much enlightenment. (Drink between 2025-2075)John Gilman | 83-92+ JG

100
RP
As low as $699.00

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