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The VAULT

The VAULT

The VAULT

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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1989 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

Beautiful, rich and still extremely young, this is Lafite at its gulpable, elegant, sculpted, age-defying best. Deeply-spiced cassis notes are joined by touches of cedar - the result of a dry year that saw one of the earliest harvests since 1898. The grapes were picked with high alcohol and ripe tannins and they have absolutely lasted, and will continue to do so. The tannins are cradling the fruit, barely perceptible and yet still fully in control. Drinking Window 2018 - 2040.Decanter | 98 DECChâteau Lafite-Rothschild Pauillac 1989: I have never been a huge fan of this Lafite but it seems to be coming into its own now. It’s a wine with a character of cloves and berries with hints plums. It shows loads of potpourri. Roses too. Full and so balanced. Tight and youthful. The winemaker at Lafite says that when he wants to show someone a perfect example of Pauillac this is the Lafite he pours. Maybe he is right?James Suckling | 97 JS(Château Lafite-Rothschild) The 1989 Château Lafite-Rothschild is an outstanding example of the vintage and this is one of my favorite wines from this very, very successful decade at this great property. The bouquet is pure and nicely ripe with the vintage’s generosity, wafting from the glass in a complex blend of cassis, black cherries, tobacco leaf, a beautiful base of gravelly soil, a touch of fresh herbs and a very well-done framing of toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very suave on the attack, with impeccable focus and balance, a lovely core of black fruit, fine soil signature and a long, seamlessly tannic and complex finish. Just a lovely, lovely vintage of Lafite. (Drink between 2016-2060).John Gilman | 95 JGSubtle, yet rich and decadent, offering meat, sweet berry and fresh leather on the nose. Full and very soft, with velvety tannins and a long, fruity finish. This has so much ripe fruit. Reserved and firm, this is turning to a very fine and shy Lafite. This is fresh and structured, but still holding back. I wouldn’t wait, though.--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 93 WSThe 1989 Lafite-Rothschild, a wine that I have had several times both from bottle and magnum, is a better wine than the 1990, although I wonder whether its best days are now behind it. There is noticeably more bricking on the rim compared directly with the succeeding vintage. I also notice a touch of VA on this bottle with scents of molasses, cedar and a dab of the old boot polish. I find that the 1989 has more personality than the 1990 Lafite. The palate is supple and rounded in the mouth, a sense of warmth here although not complex and I would prefer more tension on the finish as it delivers allspice, mulberry and sage on the aftertaste. I wonder where this will go? At the moment it is difficult to see: heading down a cul-de-sac or Route 66? Tasted at the Lafite-Rothschild dinner at Amuse Bouche in Hong Kong and then blind at the Lafite-Rothschild 150th anniversary dinner at the property.Vinous Media | 91 VMAs I suspected, the 1989 and 1990 vintages of Lafite-Rothschild have gone dormant. Both wines were among the more closed, backward examples in my blind tasting. The 1989 Lafite is also outstanding, but closed, with the tannin more elevated, and the wine so stubbornly reticent as to make evaluation almost impossible. Lafite’s 1989 was far more easy to taste and understand several years ago. It appears to have gone completely to sleep. This medium ruby-colored, medium-bodied wine reveals new oak in the nose, and a spicy finish. It is a quintessentially elegant, restrained, understated style of Lafite. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2025.Robert Parker | 90 RP

98
DEC
As low as $3,599.00
1995 mouton rothschild Bordeaux Red

Still remarkably dark, intense and youthful in appearance, this Mouton shows more flamboyant characters on the nose than other vintages, with spices, cigar-box and blackcurrant leaf all to the fore. Rich, dense and fleshy palate with plenty of stuffing for further ageing. An impressive Mouton which lives up to the ‘star’ billing for the 1995 vintage with nearly all of the components in great balance. The only question mark regards the firm, slightly drying tannins, which still need to fully integrate. I suspect they will, but the 1995 may not quite reach the height of the 1996. Harvested 12 September to 27 September. 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc.Drinking Window 2021 - 2030.Decanter | 97 DECBottled in June, 1997, this profound Mouton is more accessible than the more muscular 1996. A blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 19% Merlot, it reveals an opaque purple color, and reluctant aromas of cassis, truffles, coffee, licorice, and spice. In the mouth, the wine is "great stuff," with superb density, a full-bodied personality, rich mid-palate, and a layered, profound finish that lasts for 40+ seconds. There is outstanding purity and high tannin, but my instincts suggest this wine is lower in acidity and slightly fleshier than the brawnier, bigger 1996. Both are great efforts from Mouton-Rothschild. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2030.Robert Parker | 95 RP(72% cabernet sauvignon, 19% merlot and 9% cabernet franc; pH 3.68; IPT 64; 12.4% alcohol; 88% new oak; 95% selection for the grand vin): Very dark, fully saturated ruby to the rim. Deep, brooding, rich aromas of blackberry, violet, milk chocolate, black pepper, cedar and incense; sexy and captivating. Bright and focused on entry, then rich, very smooth and suave, with highly concentrated flavors of red berries, dark plum, cedar and graphite. The extremely long, juicy finish features lively acids, great balance and persistent notes of underbrush and minerals. The mounting tannins coat the palate dry and are still years away from resolving fully. Harvested from September 12 through 27, which suggests that the merlot was probably very ripe. According to Tourbier, "We included a bit more merlot than usual because we felt the cabernet sauvignon had particularly tough tannins in 1995 and we didn’t want to risk making too tough or structured a wine. So we used the merlot to soften it up a bit." The estate was so happy with the quality of the wine (and the rather high 95% selection for the grand vin speaks volumes), said Tourbier, that they only made 15 barriques of the second wine Petit Mouton, which was launched with the 1993 vintage. A huge volume year, 1995 was characterized by very fine weather through most of the growth cycle but was marred by September rains.Vinous Media | 95 VMThis explodes on the nose with prunes, blackberries, mushrooms and fresh tobacco. Full body, ripe tannins and a juicy finish. Big and powerful. Still could do with a decade or more of aging.James Suckling | 95 JSAromas of ripe fruit and grilled meat follow through to a full-bodied palate, with velvety tannins and a long caressing finish. Very beautiful wine. Mouton shows finesse yet richness in this vintage.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2007.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

97
DEC
As low as $385.00
1996 calon segur Bordeaux Red

Saturated ruby-red. Pure, highly perfumed aromas of black cherry, currant, plum, minerals, tobacco, leather and fresh herbs. Very ripe, suave and spicy; at once subtle and gripping. Lovely cabernet character dominating today. Very firm, long finish is youthful but not hard-edged. Showing extremely well.Vinous Media | 93+ VM(Château Calon-Ségur) Along with the 2001, the 1996 vintage at Calon-Ségur is one of my favorite from the merlot-centric era at the estate, probably because the vintage favored cabernet sauvignon so clearly in the Médoc and a bit more of this grape was included in the blend at Calon in this vintage. The bouquet is deep, vibrant and youthfully precise, wafting from the glass in a mix of cassis, dark berries, cigar ash, dark soil tones, a touch of curry and a gentle framing of cedary wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and impressively tangy, with a fine core of fruit, currently a quite tightly-knit personality, well-integrated tannins and very, very good length and grip on the focused and still quite youthful finish. This is going to be a lovely wine in another eight to ten years’ time and should prove to be quite long-lived. I love to imagine what the current team at Calon would have done with a vintage such as 1996 today! (Drink between 2020-2050)John Gilman | 92 JGThe 1996 may not be as profound as I had predicted from cask, but it is an exceptional wine. Dark ruby-colored, with a complex nose of dried herbs, Asian spices, and black cherry jam intermixed with cassis, it possesses outstanding purity, and considerable tannin in the finish. This classic, medium to full-bodied, traditionally made wine improves dramatically with airing, suggesting it will have a very long life. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2028.Robert Parker | 92 RPFully mature and drinking wonderfully well, the 1996 Château Calon Ségur has a classic nose of green tobacco, cedarwood, currants, and sous bois. Playing in the medium-bodied end of the spectrum, it has a wonderful sense of purity, polished tannins, solid mid-palate depth, and outstanding length. This is classic, focused, old school yet pure, balanced Bordeaux goodness. It has another two decades of prime drinking ahead of it. The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, brought up in 50% new French oak.Jeb Dunnuck | 92 JDCurrant and fresh herbs. Full- to medium-bodied, with plum flavors and a medium finish.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

93+
VM
As low as $225.00
1996 mouton rothschild Bordeaux Red

The standout wine of the tasting (as expected). Opulent, concentrated with intense cassis notes on both the nose and palate, with a deep-purple hue in the glass (although not quite as deep as the 1995). Mint, cool, menthol on the nose with restrained oak hovering in the background. The palate is ultra-elegant with a freshness from the acidity and perfectly-ripe tannins, combined with subtle oak and intriguing spicy, cedary notes. A wine that is drinking beautifully now but still has one (or possibly two) decades to go. Harvested 27 September to 9 October. 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. (Drink between 2022-2035)Decanter | 98 DECThe last time I tasted the 1996 Mouton Rothschild (maybe a couple of years ago?), I recall it was a bit broody and closed. This showing was anything but! Deep garnet in color, it sashays out of the glass with lavishly dressed, gregarious crème de cassis, baked blackberries and plum pudding scents plus touches of menthol, fenugreek, star anise and sandalwood with fleeting glimpses at dried rose petals and oolong tea. The full-bodied palate is richly fruited, opulent and oh-so seductive, with bags of youthful black fruit and lovely finely grained tannins, finishing with fantastic freshness and length. This was tasted from jeroboam in September 2019.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPIncredible nose of ultraripe fruit, it’s yet subtle and complex. Full-bodied, with very ripe, almost sweet fruit and a long, long caressing finish. Superb. This is edging out the 1995.--’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2010.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThe 1996 Mouton-Rothschild is the high point of what in retrospect was an inconsistent decade for this First Growth. It has a very attractive, classic Pauillac bouquet: predominantly black fruit laced with cedar, freshly rolled tobacco and light graphite scents. It is not lavish, but tightly controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, though not as fine as recent vintages under Philippe Dhalluin. There is satisfying density and gentle grip toward the finish, which feels fresh and contains enough energy to suggest that it is only just reaching its plateau. Tasted from an ex-château jeroboam at the Palace of Versailles charity dinner.Vinous Media | 95 VMThe bottle I opened was fabulous on the nose with aromas of currants, cedar, sweet tobacco, incense, and flowers. It was full-bodied, with very fine silky tannins and similar flavors as the aromas. However, a slightly green undertone came thorough on the palate. It didn’t bother me, but the Italians seemed annoyed with it – even disappointed. Regardless, I scored the wine.James Suckling | 94 JS

98
DEC
As low as $820.00
2000 calon segur Bordeaux Red

A dense, traditionally crafted wine for those with patience, the 2000 Calon-Segur rivals the estate’s finest wines of the last two decades, the 1995, 1988, and 1982. But be forewarned, this wine has already closed down, something totally in character with all top vintages from this estate. This blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc exhibits a plum/purple color along with gorgeous aromas of creosote intermixed with spring flowers, black cherries, cassis, licorice, and stony, liquid minerals. A powerful, tannic, full-bodied and opulent wine, it possesses considerable structure that is reasonably well-concealed by considerable glycerin and intensity. Look for it to be at its best between 2012-2040. Patience, patience, patience!Robert Parker | 94 RPThe 2000 Calon-Ségur still appears quite youthful on the rim. The well-defined nose offers brambly red fruit, red currant, crushed strawberry, rose petals and cedar, and some sous-bois just loitering in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with refined tannins. This has mellowed since I tasted it in London five years ago, and touches of tobacco and tart red cherries enliven the finish. I have always loved this millennial Calon-Ségur and now it is à point and drinking beautifully. Aged in 50% new oak and 50% one-year-old for 12 months (less than nowadays.)Vinous Media | 93 VMThis is a solid, huge wine, with rich but very dry tannins. With its dense, almost black color, and its sense of brooding power, it promises long aging. It will never be in the opulent Bordeaux camp, despite its prominent new wood flavors, but will probably outlive all but a handful top wines.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WE(Château Calon-Ségur) The 2000 Calon-Ségur is a very closed, very grumpy wine at the present time, and this is a characteristic that it shares at the present time with a great many wines from this vintage. The blend here included forty-two percent merlot in 2000 and the wine offers up a very deep-pitched and adolescent bouquet of black fruit, inky tones, damp, dark soil, dried eucalyptus, coffee grounds and cigar smoke. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, closed down and quite dense at the core, with a gritty edge to its firm and chewy tannins, little generosity at the present time, but also with impressive grip on the closed, but very, very long finish. The length on the backend here really gives me some hope for the future of this wine, but it is really in a very difficult place for current assessment and I do not have a strong sense of whether or not this wine will always be a bit charmless, or if this is simply a passing phase and it will blossom to deliver some of Calons’ inherent breed with sufficient bottle age. (Drink between 2025-2065)John Gilman | 88-92+ JGThis shows a noticeable leafy edge, with tobacco, light cedar, bay and worn leather notes holding sway over a core of lightly mulled red currant and plum fruit flavors. Not as dense as the top examples, but everything pulls together nicely through the fine-grained finish.—Blind 2000 Bordeaux retrospective (December 2015). Drink now through 2020.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

94
RP
As low as $215.00
2000 gruaud larose Bordeaux Red

A very strong effort for Gruaud Larose, possibly eclipsed by what they have done in 2009, this is a pure, full-bodied Gruaud Larose with plenty of new saddle leather, cedar wood, black currants, cherries, licorice, and Provencal herbs. Spicy, earthy, full-bodied, and rich, it has hit its plateau of full maturity, where it should stay for another 20 or more years.Robert Parker | 94 RPNo written review provided. | 94 W&SThere’s nice richness here, with velvety-textured blackberry, fig and boysenberry confiture flavors rolling through, edged by a graphite note that slowly takes over on the finish. This has serious spine, with tar and ganache echoes hanging in the background, boding well for continued development.—Blind 2000 Bordeaux retrospective (December 2015). Drink now through 2023. 18,750 cases made. Wine Spectator | 93 WSFully mature (yet I’d say in the early stages of its drink window), the 2000 Château Gruaud Larose offers a ripe, powerful, medium to full-bodied style as well as lots of currant and darker fruits followed by cedarwood, tobacco, iron, and assorted meaty, spicy nuances. It’s a rich, almost chunky effort with a great mid-palate, still present yet ripe tannins, and a great finish. It lacks some of the purity and precision of today’s wines yet is a satisfying, rich, impressively textured Saint-Julien to drink over the coming 15-20 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 92 JDThe 2000 Gruaud Larose is a vintage that I have not tasted for some 10 years. It has a somehow sedate bouquet of dark red berry fruit, cola and tobacco scents, ever so slightly smudged with age. The mellow, soy-tinged palate is medium-bodied with soft tannins and fine acidity but maybe just a little sauvage on the ferrous, slightly bretty finish. I feel this had more pep several years ago.Vinous Media | 91 VM

94
RP
As low as $195.00
2000 levangile Bordeaux Red

The 2000 Château l’Evangile is blockbuster stuff and just about as good as it gets. This Merlot-dominated beauty shows some maturity but is still powerful, concentrated, and layered, with killer notes of currants, chocolate, smoked earth and spice. It has sweet tannin, an opulent, sexy texture, no hard edges and a great finish, all making it an incredible drink today. Nevertheless, it will keep for another 15+ years in cool cellars.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDThis is an absolutely spectacular L’Evangile. It remains to be seen whether 2009 will eclipse this great effort. Largely a Merlot-dominated blend with some Cabernet Franc in it, the greatness of this terroir is exhibited in the complexity of the nose, which offers up hints of subtle chocolate, blueberry, blackberry, truffle, barbecue smoke, and graphite. Dense, rich, and full-bodied, with an opulence and succulence that are prodigious, the tannins are present but extremely sweet, and the wine multi-dimensional and just emerging as a compellingly complex, head-turning beauty. Drink it now and over the next 20-25 years. Kudos to L’Evangile.Robert Parker | 98 RPLots of iodine, oyster, blueberry and blackberry aromas with hints of black olives. Some basil, too. Full body, powerful and dense with velvety tannins and fantastic length and intensity. A rich wine yet shows focus and form. Beautiful now and still showing impressive youth. There is a warmth to it. Drink or hold for years to come.James Suckling | 96 JSSaturated ruby. Superripe aromas of black and red fruits and dark chocolate; almost but not quite pruney. Then pliant, sweet and lush, with explosive black raspberry fruit and lots of early personality. This is downright hedonistic and deceptively soft. Finishes very long and ripe, with extremely fine tannins.Vinous Media | 92-95 VM91% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc. Needs aerating and remains a touch closed, even after 17 years. Clearly displays the rich black fruit and sexy Pomerol swagger that you expect of such a big vintage, tempered by the delicacy of the winemaking at L’Evangile. This is a great wine, still young, with a long life ahead of it. Drinking Window 2018 - 2035Decanter | 94 DECA savory edge leads off, followed by well-mulled raspberry, blackberry and strawberry flavors, with dried anise and black licorice notes taking over on the finish. Touches of raisin and plum skin notes at the very end have this red flirting with a Port-like surmaturité, but this will have fans for sure. You can push it if you want, but I’d drink this sooner rather than later.—Blind 2000 Bordeaux retrospective (December 2015). Drink now through 2023. 2,800 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

99
JD
As low as $2,785.00
2000 lynch bages Bordeaux Red

Beginning to open magnificently, the still dense purple-colored 2000 reveals a blossoming bouquet of blackberries, cassis, graphite and pen ink. Full-bodied with velvety tannins that have resolved themselves beautifully over the last eleven years, this wine is still an adolescent, but it exhibits admirable purity, texture, mouthfeel and power combined with elegance. One of the all-time great examples of Lynch Bages, the 2000 is just beginning to drink well yet promises to last for another 20-25+ years.Robert Parker | 97 RPThis has a dense but well-defined core of currant and fig paste flavors supported by a gorgeous graphite spine. Long and authoritative, with notes of bay, pepper, leather and juniper slowly emerging on the finish. Terrific structure and integration give this a chiseled feel. No rush here.--Blind 2000 Bordeaux retrospective (December 2015). Drink now through 2033.Wine Spectator | 96 WSFinally rounding the corner, the 2000 Château Lynch-Bages is mature, with classic Pauillac darker currants, lead pencil, tobacco leaf, and spice-laced aromatics. With a deep plum color and slight lightening at the edges, it’s medium to full-bodied and has a layered texture as well as integrated tannins. A classic, elegant, yet still powerful Lynch-Bages, it delivers plenty of sweet fruit and a great finish. It benefits from an hour of air and will certainly hold at this stage for another 10-15 years with no issues.Jeb Dunnuck | 95 JDAnother wonderful 2000 coming out of its long sleep. Beautiful aromas of berry, tobacco, herb and spice that follow through to a full palate with round, textured tannins and lots of fruit.James Suckling | 95 JSTypical of Lynch-Bages in its sumptuous rich style, this is a resounding success for the team of Jean-Michel Cazes. With its sweet fruit, opulent but balanced wood and red and black fruit flavors, it is a wine that will develop relatively quickly but will certainly age.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WE71% cabernet sauvignon, 16% merlot, 11% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot; 5.5 g/l total acidity; 13.3% alcohol): Deep ruby-red. Knockout aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, mocha and cedar complicated by scorched earth and tobacco. Big, ripe and dense, with flavors similar to the aromas and a seamless, rich texture. Though powerful and rich, with a sensual mouthfeel, it maintains a graceful, light-on-its-feet quality. Finishes with ripe, fine-grained tannins and excellent length. Still an infant, but clearly a great vintage for this property.Vinous Media | 94+ VMNo written review provided. | 92 W&S

97
RP
As low as $325.00
2002 louis jadot clos saint denis Burgundy Red

Produced from a tiny parcel of old vines (80-85 years old), the 2002 Clos St.-Denis explodes from the glass with delectable aromas of sweet blueberries and cherries. Medium to full bodied, it is broad, ample, expansive, and well-structured. Ripe blackberries, cassis, blueberries, leather, and herbs can be found in its flavor profile. This effort’s copious fruit envelopes an enormous quantity of ripe yet firm tannin. Projected maturity: 2009-2018.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92-94 RP(Maison Louis Jadot Clos St. Denis Grand Cru Red) Much more deftly oaked with complex, elegant and beautifully pure red and black fruit aromas and sweet, deep, rich and mouth coating flavors that possess a spicy, powerful and extremely long finish. This is more understated than a number of the grands crus in the range though there is more muscle and punch than usual though about the same degree of structure. A terrific effort and the best since the extraordinary ’99 that should improve for up to a decade and last for another. (Drink between 2010-2017).Burghound | 91-93 BH(these vines are between 80 and 90 years of age, notes Lardiere) Dark red. Musky aromas of red fruits, chocolate and mocha, with complicating notes of herbs and underbrush. In a drier style than the Amoureuses, but with complex, well-defined flavors of red fruits, herbs and mint. Here one senses the vinification with the stems. Finishes with ripe, chewy tannins and lingering notes of earth, mocha and spice. An atypically strong showing for this cuvee.Vinous Media | 89-92 VM

92-94
RP
As low as $2,075.00
2005 bellevue mondotte Bordeaux Red

Made up of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the opaque bluish/purple 2005 from Bellevue-Mondotte offers amazing chocolate espresso notes along with blueberry and blackberry liqueur, some incense and a hint of flowers. Full-bodied and staggeringly concentrated, this blockbuster wine (in a blockbuster vintage) is unreal. Talk about a wine that is beyond belief – this is a great achievement from Chantal and Gérard Perse. Drink it over the next 25-30 years. Sadly, there were only 340 or so cases produced.Robert Parker | 100 RPThe crushed blackberry and raspberry are wonderful in this wine. Full-bodied, with superpolished tannins and loads of ripe fruit, toasty oak and coffee on the palate. Goes on and on. An opulent young red. Best after 2016. 420 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WSBright ruby. Aromas of cassis, black raspberry and liquid graphite. Hugely concentrated but very backward, with exotic and extremely dark flavors of black fruits, licorice and violet. This has a surprisingly silky texture (a year ago it seemed to be a bit more chunky) but the major tannins are going to require considerable patience. Better than I thought last year, but not for the faint of heart.Vinous Media | 91-94 VMIncredible velvety texture, refined tannins, noble taste including the classic truffle undertones of the area, very intelligent winemaking. Super-first growth level. Drink from 2013.Decanter | 91 DEC

100
RP
As low as $1,949.00
2005 branaire ducru Bordeaux Red

This is opulent, but with restraint. The fruit is rich, black and delicious. Touches of spice and wood are present, lending complexity to the ripe fruits and balanced tannins. Impressive.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEThe 2005 Branaire-Ducru is a gorgeous, super-expressive wine that captures all of the natural radiance of the year. Black cherry, leather, spice, cedar, tobacco and scorched earth envelop the palate, framed by silky tannins that give this supple Saint-Julien so much charm. The 2005 is a very easy wine to drink and enjoy today, but it’s got the stuffing to develop beautifully for years to come.Vinous Media | 94 VMFloral nuances combined with lots of mulberry, raspberry and sweet blackcurrant fruit are followed by a medium to full-bodied, beautifully pure, textured, complex wine with soft tannin. It should drink well relatively early on (2-3 years) and last 15 or more.Robert Parker | 93 RPShowing well, the Branaire-Ducru was dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon (65%) with 28% Merlot and a bit of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Despite picking fairly early (20 September), the wine was silky and subtle and showed very well-managed tannins. Pronounced blackcurrant fruit with accents of cedar and smoke were apparent from the start and lingered enticingly on the finish. (Drink between 2021-2040)Decanter | 92 DECVery floral, showing blueberry, licorice and mineral on the nose. Full and very silky, with beautifully polished tannins. Long and caressing. This is always very well done and good value for the quality. Best after 2010. 15,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

93
RP
As low as $99.99
2005 Brane Cantenac

A sexy, style of wine from the Lurtons at Brane-Cantenac, this wine (a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc) has a stunning nose of forest floor, licorice, blackcurrants, plums and spring flowers. Soft tannin, full-bodied opulence and beautifully textured, lush richness, make for a brilliant wine from this large, 180-acre vineyard. In spite of the wine’s stunning forward fragrance and lushness, the color still looks as if it is 3-4 years old, rather than a decade. This is a big-time winner in 2005 and should drink well for at least another 25+ years.Robert Parker | 95 RPThe 2005 Brane-Cantenac is fabulous. Effusive and explosive to the core, the 2005 possesses tons of energy and pedigree to burn. Crushed flowers, mint, gravel, red/purplish fruit, sage and mocha abound. In 2005 Brane-Cantenac is remarkably deep and vivid. It also comes across as needing a bit more time to soften. Readers will find one of the most distinguished wines of the Left Bank. I especially admire its drive and mid-weight classicism. Hints of cedar and sweet pipe tobacco linger.Antonio Galloni | 94 AGThe fruit has become the main attraction here--layers of ripeness, tempered with an elegant smoothness. The tannins are certainly present in this powerful wine, but they are here to lend support, not dominate. With herbs and very clean black fruits, this is a wine to follow.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEWith its classic Left Bank profile, this blend of 51% Cabernet and 43% Merlot along with 8% Cabernet Franc aged in 70% new casks opened with a bit of tomato and some slightly herbal notes initially but gradually developed aromas of redcurrant, bright cherries, and spice. The texture on the palate was dense and tannic, pointing to a promise of future development—surprisingly good value. Drinking Window 2021 - 2040Decanter | 92 DECShows mineral and blackberry aromas, with hints of licorice. Full-bodied, with soft, silky tannins and a long, smoky, earthy, meaty and fruity aftertaste. Long and stylish. Very refined and beautiful.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

95
RP
As low as $135.00
2005 calon segur Bordeaux Red

Beautiful ruby red colour, rapsberry puree and cocoa dusting aromatics, still young, a wonderfully embracing tannic frame, rapsberrry, blueberry and loganberry fruits, slate-scraping minerality, just a gorgeous wine that is bursting out of the glass and still has so much more to give. Balanced, mouthwatering, persistent, just at the start of its long and pleasure-filled life, showcasing so much that is wonderful about 2005. Get on board. This is a 2 point higher score than the last time I tasted in April 2021, reflecting that the 2005s are just right now beginning to open up.Jane Anson | 96 JATight and dense still but so integrated and seamless in texture. Aromas of chocolate, hazelnuts, dried spices and currants. Full body, superfine tannins and a texture that is so caressing and beautiful. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 94 JSTasted from an ex-château bottle at BI Wine & Spirits Calon-Segur dinner in London, the 2005 Calon Segur is on par with the wonderful 2000. The only real difference is that this needs more time in bottle. It has a captivating nose: blackberry and boysenberry fruit coming at you at full pelt; dried blood and bacon fat developing as secondary aromas just behind. There is fine delineation here - an underlying mineralité sure to surface with time. The palate is very intense and disarmingly youthful, almost ferrous on the entry with layers of ripe black fruit that segue into an earthy finish (with a curious light tang of Marmite on the aftertaste!). It is a fabulous Calon Ségur, though the millennial wine might ultimately possess greater precision. We will see. Tasted March 2015.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 94 RP-NMHas a beautiful nose of crushed berry, spices and nutmeg, with a hint of coffee. Then turns to licorice. Full-bodied, with supersilky tannins and a long finish of vanilla, berry and cinnamon. Beautifully crafted. Best after 2014. 17,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WSFirm and structured, the Calon-Ségur remains surprisingly muscular. Produced from a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and a splash of Petit Verdot, all aged in new casks, this shows a bright redcurrant and mint nose with a bit of spice and smoke. The feel on the palate is tannic and firm, perhaps lacking a bit of generosity at this point, but the rich extract suggests that with time it should come around. Drinking Window 2021 - 2040.Decanter | 93 DEC(Château Calon-Ségur) The 2005 vintage at Calon-Ségur was comprised of more than fifty percent merlot, and while the wine is a good wine in its way, it lacks the brightness, soil signature and classic profile of the wines from 2006 forwards. The bouquet is deep, reserved and shows admirable depth in its constellation of dark berries, tobacco leaf, woodsmoke, espresso, herb tones, a touch of hoisin sauce, dark soil and nutty new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nascently complex, with good purity at the rock solid core, firm tannins and excellent length and grip on the black fruity and still very youthful finish. Qualitatively, this is clearly the equivalent of the 2006, but I have a far stronger preference for the style of the latter vintage, as this is just missing a bit of spark from all of its merlot in the blend. A very good wine, but not a classic Calon-Ségur. (Drink between 2022-2050)John Gilman | 92 JGDeep, bright ruby-red. Deeply pitched aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, leather, smoked meat, earth and menthol. Chewy, brooding and deep, with concentrated black cherry, menthol, mineral and leather flavors framed by a powerful spine of acids and tannins. Really saturates the palate on the tannic back end. I’d give this classic St. Estephe a decade of aging, at which time this wine may well merit an even higher score.Vinous Media | 92+ VM

96
JA
As low as $179.00
2005 cos destournel Bordeaux Red

The purity of fruit in this is fascinating with plums, currants and other dark fruits. Then there is another layer of spices and chocolate. So much cassis. Full and very layered with chewy polished tannins and a long, long finish. Just starting to open. Changes all the time.James Suckling | 99 JSA lesson in genuinely great wine, the 2005 Cos d’Estournel is a monster of a wine that delivers an incredible level of opulence and decadence while staying weightless and elegant on the palate, with no sensation of heaviness. This is what truly great wine is all about. Based on 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and the final 4% Cabernet Franc, this dense ruby/plum-hued Saint-Estèphe offers up a monster bouquet of blackcurrants, unsmoked tobacco, licorice, toasted bread, classy oak, and cedar pencil. While it starts out reserved and almost understated, this is a wine that blossoms with air (I drank this bottle over two days, showing best on day two). Full-bodied, powerful, and decadent on the palate, with moderate acidity, it has a wealth of silky tannins, a stacked mid-palate, and a great, great finish. It reminds me of the 2009, if not an improved 1982, or even a slightly fresher 2003. Regardless, it’s a thrilling wine in every sense, and I fear with the focus on acidity and freshness in today’s wine world, we might not see this style of great wine for some time.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDWhile I am not convinced the 2005 Cos d’Estournel will eclipse the compelling 2003 Cos, it is unquestionably another superb classic from proprietor Michel Reybier and his brilliant winemaker, Jean-Guillaume Prats. Made from an unusually high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (78%) and the balance mostly Merlot with a tiny dollop of Cabernet Franc, this superb effort requires plenty of time in the bottle. It boasts an inky/purple color as well as a glorious perfume of licorice, Asian spices, creme de cassis, blackberries, and toasty oak. This full-bodied St.-Estephe is exceptionally powerful, pure, and dense with a layered mid-palate that builds like a skyscraper. While there are massive tannins, they are remarkably velvety and well-integrated in this big, backstrapping effort that should enjoy an unusually long life. Forget it for 8-10 years, and drink it between 2017-2040.Robert Parker | 98 RPThe 2005 Cos d’Estournel is a vintage that I have encountered several times over the years. Here, as part of a 2005 horizontal of the top Bordeaux, it mirrors previous bottles. It has a tightly-wound bouquet at first with blackberry, scorched earth, juniper and hints of leather. More backward that its peers and clearly requiring another three to five years or an extremely long decant. The palate is robust, masculine, dense and yet comes with fine tannins and plenty of energy. It has a precision that derives from its propitious terroir and yet there is no question that it needs 15, perhaps 20 years before it will reach its drinking plateau. Tasted at the Goedhuis’s 2005 Bordeaux pre-dinner tasting at the Savoy in London.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGSaint-Estèphe has a reputation for tannins, and this 2005 Cos lives up to that. But it does much more, because the tannins add richness along with intensely ripe black fruits, dark plums and figs. The dense tannins are finely balanced with fresh acidity, and a long-lasting aftertaste. Impressive.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEStill tight despite a gorgeous wave of rich melted licorice, fig bread, warm plum compote and steeped blackberry flavors. Lovely alder, black tea and balsam wood details give this added range and a sense of detail through the finish before a wall of graphite-edged grip shows up. We’re still in wait mode here.—Blind ’01/’03/’05 Bordeaux retrospective (December 2017). Best from 2020 through 2040. 25,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThis inky, dark wine is seductive and immediately approachable, with a nose of sweet black fruit touched with honey and a bit of earth. The texture is silky and dense but not lacking in substance or structure. The blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot with a bit of Cabernet Franc was one of the leading lights in the appellation in 2005, as is often the case. Drinking now, it should continue to improve for decades. (Drink between 2021-2040)Decanter | 95 DECJean-Guillaume Prats allowed the vintage to steer Cos toward unprecedented power in 2005; the wine comes in at 13.95 percent alcohol, and it’s grand in every sense. It smells like first-growth juice, with the kind of oak integration that accentuates the wine’s beauty rather than masks it. You can feel the tart black cherry fruit and the black tannin along with a burn in the end that is distinct to this vintage. With several days of air, the tumble and rush of the structure settles and the fruit becomes all-powerful, a taut density of sweet purple plum. There’s little doubt this will be an astonishing wine at 12 to 15 years of age; its ripeness leads into uncharted territory after that, which makes Cos one of the more interesting wines of the vintage to watch. Diageo Château & Estate Wines, NYWine & Spirits | 95 W&S

99
JD
As low as $289.00
2005 gruaud larose Bordeaux Red

Needs coaxing out of the glass, as is true with so many 2005s even at 16 years old, but straight off the first nose you get the most beautiful nuance and turmeric-strewn spice. It’s exotic if subtle, with a creamy texture, grilled oak, black chocolate shavings, cassis and raspberry, all with the most beautiful sense of tiptoing through the palate, holding the line. Exceptionally well balanced, slate and smoked earth, giving signature St Julien finesse. You have really had to be patient for this wine, but it is utterly spellbinding, and starting to show its potential. Harvest September 20 to October 10. This one really does benefit from being carafed, because it keeps so much of itself hidden (I tasted it once in a carafe and once straight from the bottle). Brilliant, full of flavour. Harvest September 20 to October 11, 35% new oak.Jane Anson | 98 JAThis tastes of great Cabernet Sauvignon, with its black currant, cedar and herbs and fresh, juicy acidity. It is as fresh as it is rich, but it has a structure of dense tannins that balances the wine. This is one of the best wines from Gruaud-Larose for several years.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEAromas of blackberry, meat and earth follow through to a full body, with velvety tannins and a rich finish. Decadent, balanced and very approachable already. I thought it would have been a little better than this. Best after 2014.Wine Spectator | 91 WSLicorice spice and tough black tannins form tight boundaries around this wine. Within them, sweet red fruit lends a gracious impression, gentle and refined. Age will allow the wine to expand as the tannins relent, but this offers impressive drinking now, particularly if decanted with steak.Wine & Spirits | 91 W&SGood red-ruby. Redcurrant, leather and game on the expressive if slightly rustic nose. Sweet and concentrated but a bit youthfully aggressive, and not showing the refinement or definition of the 2006. Strong nutty oak component. Finishes with substantial tannins that are a bit richer and more fully buffered by the wine’s middle-palate material than those of the 2006. It will be interesting to compare these two vintages in ten years or so.Vinous Media | 90 VMThe 2005 Gruaud Larose has a deep ruby/purple color, excellent concentration, and clean, pure black and red currant fruit, licorice and spice. It is medium to full-bodied, lush, and very soft and round. I’m surprised how drinkable it is already, although it is certainly capable of lasting 15 or more years.Robert Parker | 90 RP

98
JA
As low as $155.00
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 $485.00
2005 margaux Bordeaux Red

The nose on this seems more concentrated than the 2000, and the purity of fruit is stunning, with blueberries, raspberries, fresh flowers, and hints of licorice. This is perfect and complete. Full bodied, with notes of forest berries and wild raspberries, this is thick and velvety with perfectly polished tannins. You can really feel the density on this, more than the tannic structure. This is a sleeping beauty that will be utterly captivating when it awakes. Don’t touch this until after 2015.James Suckling | 100 JSIn two recent tastings the 2005 Château Margaux has been nothing less than magnificent. A wine of stunning perfume and inner sweetness, the 2005 gradually opens to reveal layers of red-toned fruit intermingled with floral accents. It’s as if all the classic Margaux signatures have been amped up in a huge way. Dehydration on the vine concentrated the fruit, but also the impression of tannin and acid, such that the 2005 retains huge fruit density along with plenty of brightness as well. Vibrant and beautifully layered, the 2005 Grand Vin is off the charts and easily one of the wines of the vintage. Readers who own it or can find it are in for a real treat. Tasted two times.Antonio Galloni | 99 AGThe first-growth 2005 Château Margaux (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot), a lavish fragrance of blackcurrants, velvety new saddle leather, spring flowers and spice soars from the glass. The wood is already totally concealed beneath the cascade of fruit in this medium to full-bodied, pure and majestic wine. This concentrated, dense, but nevertheless strikingly elegant, multi-layered wine has a finish of 45+ seconds. It builds incrementally to a crescendo and finale. This is a stunner that can be approached already, but promises to be better in another 5-10 years and last at least 25 or more years.Robert Parker | 98+ RP(Château Margaux, Margaux, Bordeaux, France, Red) This extraordinary wine announces its brilliance at first glance, with a bright curranty fruit aromas that expand quietly at first until one realizes the depth of concentration and flavour it possesses, with exotic spices, smoke, leather, and earth. The blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, aged in new casks, produces a silky texture, perfect balance, and enough substance to give fantastic length without any heaviness. This wine was a unanimous favourite in the flight. (Drink between 2021-2040)Decanter | 98 DECFor a Château Margaux, this is an especially rich wine. The dense fruit, superripe but not overpowering, and the blackberry jam flavors show the richness of the year. There is wood alongside the juiciness and sweet tannins. Of course, it will age, but it’s so delicious to drink now.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WEStill very tight, but there are whispers of alder, bay leaf, tobacco and singed sandalwood aromas here. They give way to a beautifully silky and refined, but extremely concentrated, core of cassis and blackberry fruit that has gained a lightly mulled hint. The long finish shows echoes of dark earth and iron that bring you back for more. A beauty, with a long way to go.—Blind ’01/’03/’05 Bordeaux retrospective (December 2017). Best from 2025 through 2045. 10,833 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WSAn extravagantly ripe vintage of Margaux, this has the first-growth scent of a wine at home in its new oak. The texture is succulent and generous, the aromas bright with floral tones and sweet fruit, a taste of fresh strawberries and blackberries macerated in liqueur. This is a beautiful wine, and it may reveal more of its structural power with time. Diageo Château & Estate Wines, NYWine & Spirits | 94 W&S

100
JD
As low as $480.00
2005 pichon baron Bordeaux Red

The 2005 Pichon-Longueville Baron is another concentrated, full-bodied 2005 that’s starting to drink well. Cassis, black cherries, tobacco leaf, cedar and classic Pauillac lead-pencil characteristics all emerge from this ripe, sexy, surprisingly rounded effort that has a stacked mid-palate and sweet, polished tannin. It’s impressive today but is going to cruise for another two to three decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JDBaron was trapped in its oak en primeur, seeming flashy, luscious and soft. Now bottled and shipped, it has the unremitting tannic power of the vintage, balanced by unrelenting purity of fruit that somehow manages to anesthetize the monstrous tannin, to soften the extremely dry, mineral-bound finish into a caress. The wine may be bombastic, but it’s also succulent and as sweet as a ripe black raspberry. It’s easy to imagine this wine 50 years from now, in impeccable condition. Diageo Château & Estate Wines, NYWine & Spirits | 96 W&SA great, classic Pauillac, with its dark, dense, almost black currant flavors stirred together with immense tannins. The layers of dryness, fresh fruits, acidity and ripeness are all coming together into a magnificent structure.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEWeeks of sunshine preceded an entirely healthy harvest, leading to high expectations that have been fulfilled. This is still opaque red in colour, the resplendent black-fruit nose accompanied by toasty oak, though still a bit reserved. Very rich and velvety, it is highly concentrated with lavish tannins. Broad-shouldered and chocolatey, it has moderate acidity and is now beginning to open up, though it remains imposing and a bit monumental. Textured and long. Drinking Window 2020 - 2038Decanter | 95 DECThe 2005 Pichon Baron is in a gorgeous spot right now. Aromatically expressive and open, the 2005 is so expressive. Cedar, sweet pipe tobacco, mint, dried flowers, mocha and sweet red cherry fruit all meld together in a creamy, wonderfully expressive Pauillac. A long, persistent finish with terrific saline energy rounds things out in style. The 2005 is a super classic Pichon Baron that delivers so much pleasure.Antonio Galloni | 95 AGOffers crushed currant and blackberry on the nose, turning to tar and licorice. Full-bodied, with a solid core of ripe fruit and seamless tannins. Goes on and on. Very, very beautiful. A cross between the 2000 and fabulous 2003. Best after 2013. 20,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WSThe 2005 Pichon Baron has a dense ruby/purple color, sweet crème de cassis fruit, lots of cedar wood and forest floor, medium to full body, ripe tannin, and a long finish of a good 30+ seconds. This is a beauty and one of the most successful Pauillacs of this vintage. Drink it now through 2035.Robert Parker | 93 RP

96
JD
As low as $225.00
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
2008 antinori tignanello Super Tuscans/IGT

The 2008 Tignanello is unquestionably one of the wines of the vintage. The 2008 isn’t a huge or obvious Tignanello, rather it is a wine that impresses for its sublime elegance and precision. Understated layers of fruit caress the palate like cashmere in this impeccable, soft wine. There is not a hard edge to be found. Black cherries, tobacco, smoke and licorice are some of the notes that come through on the finish. The flavor profile is decidedly on the dark side, but the wine’s structure is medium in body and intensity. In 2008 the Tignanello has more energy, focus and length than the Solaia. It is a fabulous achievement! The 2008 Tignanello is 80% Sangiovese aged in 300-liter French oak barrels (1/3rd new), 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, both aged in 100% new 225-liter French oak barriques. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.Antinori seems to do everything well these days, from churning out millions of bottles of supermarket wines all the way to turning out superb versions of their many flagship bottlings. This is another impressive set of new releases with a number of highlights. Over the years oenologist Renzo Cotarella has moved away from the super-late harvests of the late 1990s/early 2000s in favor of picking slightly earlier, a decision that has paid off handsomely, especially over the last few years. Antinori’s 2008s, from a vintage that is quite inconsistent across the board, are superb. I remember spending a few days near the estate’s Tignanello and Badia a Passignano estates in mid-August 2008. The days were very hot, but the nights were so cool that a sweater or light jacket was a necessity.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPThe 2008 Tignanello is unquestionably one of the wines of the vintage. The 2008 isn’t a huge or obvious Tignanello, rather it is a wine that impresses for its sublime elegance and precision. Understated layers of fruit caress the palate like cashmere in this impeccable, soft wine. There is not a hard edge to be found. Black cherries, tobacco, smoke and licorice are some of the notes that come through on the finish. The flavor profile is decidedly on the dark side, but the wine’s structure is medium in body and intensity. In 2008 the Tignanello has more energy, focus and length than the Solaia. It is a fabulous achievement! The 2008 Tignanello is 80% Sangiovese aged in 300-liter French oak barrels (1/3rd new), 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, both aged in 100% new 225-liter French oak barriques.Antonio Galloni | 94 AGThis landmark Italian wine continues to show the best of Tuscany, as it faithfully does year after year. The quality is obvious, thanks to rich notes of chocolate, black cherry and spice that are wrapped tight within a lush, soft and texture. The close is velvety and very long.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEAromas of dried berries and Christmas cake follow through to a full body, with velvety tannins and chewy finish. Beautiful finish. Lots of fruit and pretty oak but in a pretty combination. Best after 2013.James Suckling | 93 JSCompact, linear and very pure, revealing cherry, tobacco and subtle iron flavors.—Non-blind Tignanello vertical (October 2019). Drink now through 2030. 8,000 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

94
RP
As low as $1,179.00
2009 canon Bordeaux Red

One of my favorite vintages from this incredible terroir located on the upper plateau of Saint-Emilion, the 2009 Château Canon is just about pure perfection in a glass. It delivers a monster bouquet of blackberries, raspberries, white truffle, and flowery incense that develops beautifully with time in the glass. Rich, full-bodied, and powerful, it’s still classic Saint-Emilon, offering incredible minerality as well as structure. This brilliant wine can be drunk any time over the coming two decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDMedium to deep garnet colored, the 2009 Canon is a little reticent to begin, opening out to notions of rare beef, cast iron pan, cigar boxes and cloves with a core of baked plums and mulberries plus a waft of dried lavender. Full, richly fruited and sill quite youthful, the palate has a firm yet velvety texture and seamless freshness supporting the generous fruit, finishing long and mineral laced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPA fleshy and generous St.-Emilion with a great interplay of fresh and super-ripe plum aromas. Behind this is quite a major tannin structure and plenty of chalky minerality that carries the bold finish beautifully. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019).James Suckling | 95 JSHugely dense, foursquare wine with great fruit and the purest tannins. Chocolate and coffee predominate at the same time as sweet tannins and acidity. A wine that combines charm with great power.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WE(Château Canon) The 2009 Canon is an unequivocally great wine in the making and will probably end up resembling the 1982 Canon in style, but prove to be superior to that fine bottle. As is the style of classically made wines such as this, today the ’09 Canon is tight, structured and only hinting at the superb complexity to come, but with its superb quality clearly evident. The bouquet offers up an excellent aromatic mélange of black cherries, dark berries, espresso, woodsmoke, herb tones, tobacco leaf, lovely soil tones and a touch of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, ripe and rock solid at the core, with impeccable balance, firm, ripe tannins and great focus and grip on the long, properly reserved and chewy finish. A great classic in the making. (Drink between 2020-2070).John Gilman | 93-94+ JGThe director of Canon in 2009 was John Kolasa, a less deft touch perhaps than Nicolas Audebert today, but still making some great wines. This has ripe fruits and a generous attack. It’s still very young but there are hints of a wine that’s starting to evolve, with moments of tobacco and leather. The mouthwatering juiciness through the back half of the palate is really appetising, and although it’s less precise than a Canon of today, you can certainly see all the building blocks here. It has a slightly savoury quality to the fruit, not displaying the excess of some St-Emilions in this vintage. A good quality wine, this is entering its drinking window but has plenty of time left. Drinking Window 2019 - 2038.Decanter | 93 DECThis is a creamy, lush, hedonist’s wine, with suave, textured layers of fig sauce, puréed plum and cassis woven with hints of mocha and pain d’épices. Picks up grip though, joined by a roasted mesquite hint on the finish for added length. Best from 2014 through 2025. 4,415 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WSThe 2009 Canon has a surprisingly muted bouquet despite rigorous aeration, reluctantly offering black fruit, meat juices and light garrigues-like aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy, slightly coarse tannin, quite spicy but overall, rather overbearing and lacking tension on the finish. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting.Vinous Media | 91 VM

99
JD
As low as $260.00
2009 la mission haut brion Bordeaux Red

The 2009 was not part of this vertical tasting, so I am repeating the tasting note published in issue #199 of The Wine Advocate from a tasting done in January, 2012.A candidate for the wine of the vintage, the 2009 La Mission-Haut-Brion stood out as one of the most exceptional young wines I had ever tasted from barrel, and its greatness has been confirmed in the bottle. A remarkable effort from the Dillon family, this is another large-scaled La Mission that tips the scales at 15% alcohol. A blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (47% of each) and the rest Cabernet Franc, it exhibits an opaque purple color as well as a magnificent bouquet of truffles, scorched earth, blackberry and blueberry liqueur, subtle smoke and spring flowers. The wine’s remarkable concentration offers up an unctuous/viscous texture, a skyscraper-like mouthfeel, sweet, sumptuous, nearly over-the-top flavors and massive density. Perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime La Mission-Haut-Brion, the 2009 will take its place alongside the many great wines made here since the early 1920s. The good news is that there are nearly 6,000 cases of the 2009. It should last for 50-75+ years. Given the wine’s unctuosity and sweetness of the tannin, I would have no problem drinking it in about 5-6 years. The final blend was 47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc.Robert Parker | 100 RPAs with its sibling, Haut-Brion, you immediately get a sense of the generosity of the year here. It has a striking nose with touches of kirsch, black cherry, liquorice and dark chocolate, while the exoticism of 2009 is clear in the plush, ripe, fleshy and velvet-textured fruit. It’s gourmet and well built, with plenty of life ahead of it. On the finish, a slate character does an excellent job of lifting everything up together, bringing a sense of balance and a welcome savoury bite. Exceptionally good. Drinking Window 2020 - 2042Decanter | 97 DECDark, cool and sleek, this is a very sophisticated wine with great structure and polished tannins that’s just beginning to give its best. The cassis and blackberry fruit is brightest on the long finish and that suggests this has great aging potential. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019).James Suckling | 97 JSThe 2009 La Mission Haut-Brion has a wonderful, extravagant bouquet with a slight medicinal note (not apparent on the bottle poured blind the following week) infusing the precocious red fruit, all beautifully defined with star anise and bayleaf developing. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, very well judged acidity, precocious in style with a long finish that maintains that medicinal leitmotif. Wonderful. Tasted at BI Wines & Spirits’ Ten Year On tasting.Vinous Media | 97 VMSuch a generous and ripe wine, with a dark core of tannins surrounded by opulent fruit. Black fruits, coffee, very concentrated flavors, a powerhouse of structure and richness. The warmth of the wine is palpable, as is the aging potential.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEThis is forcefully rendered, with dark tar, espresso and chocolate up front, backed by dense layers of fig sauce, currant reduction and smoldering black tea leaves. There’s dense flesh and great drive on the finish, which has serious grip. Best from 2016 through 2035. 6,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS

100
RP
As low as $655.00
2009 le pin Bordeaux Red

Very rich and lush, but also extremely refined, this has a lightness of touch that some top Pomerols of the vintage lack. That has a lot to do with the stunningly fine tannins that glide through the long super-fine finish. Better than ever. Drink or hold (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019)James Suckling | 100 JSExceptional purity and a blockbuster nose of mocha, black cherry liqueur, mulberries and plums are followed by an extravagantly rich wine that seems to have a nearly endless finish. Truly haute couture of Merlot, so to speak, this wine has a finish that goes well past a minute, with wonderfully sweet tannins and a provocative, concentrated, broad mouthfeel that is remarkably luxurious. This is amazing stuff! It should drink well for 20-25 years.This is undeniably the greatest Le Pin I have tasted at such an infantile age. There are about 500 cases of this wine, which is made by the Thienpont family, the owners of Vieux Chateau Certan. One hundred percent Merlot, it continues to possess the exoticism of previous vintages, but the oak at present is far better crafted and integrated than in the debut vintage of 1979.Robert Parker | 100 RPThis is still very expressive, as is the vintage in general, with a core of glistening warm raspberry puree laced with anise, black tea and mineral notes. Brighter in profile than the ’10, and just as long. Harder to resist now, too, and just missing that little extra something through the finish that sets the ’10 apart. That’s splitting hairs though.--Non-blind Le Pin vertical (December 2015). Drink now through 2035. 400 cases made.Wine Spectator | 98 WSThe 2009 Le Pin has a very gorgeous, mellow bouquet with plenty of red fruit infused with leather, mocha and light Cuban cigar aromas. This is not a million miles away from Petrus. The palate is medium-bodied with velvety tannin, slightly lower acidity than its peers yet remaining balanced. Gains depth and complexity towards the finish with touches of cedar and sage. I love the way this fans out and lingers in the mouth. Not a perfect wine, but an outstanding Le Pin. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting.Vinous Media | 97 VMVoluptuous and silky, this is deceptively soft and open yet with singing acidity flowing through it, giving it grip. It’s extremely ripe and generous in fruit, with notes of ground coffee and cappuccino and great persistency. It manages to combine hedonistic appeal with thought-provoking moments, demanding that you slow down rather than gulping the whole glass. It manages to seduce without overpowering, but is certainly signature Le Pin. Drinking Window 2019 - 2046Decanter | 97 DEC(Château Le Pin) This will be the last vintage of Le Pin made in the quaint old chais in the middle of the vineyards, as plans are in place to modernize the facilities in the very near future. The 2009 Le Pin is a very good example of the vintage, as it offers up scents of ripe black cherries, black raspberries, chocolate, woodsmoke and spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, fairly complex and impressively tangy, with a great core of fruit, plenty of ripe tannins and fine length and grip on the long and palate-staining finish. Le Pin has always had one hundred percent of its malo done in barrel, and it seems to me that one of the differentiating characteristics between this wine and the very greatest Pomerols such as Trotanoy or Vieux Château Certan is the less impressive signature of soil that seems to emanate from wines such as Le Pin in which all of their malos are done in barrique. This is certainly a superb wine, but it does not come close to moving me the way some of the other top estates in Pomerol have done with their monumental 2009s. (Drink between 2020-2060)John Gilman | 92-93 JG

100
RP
As low as $28,955.00
2009 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

Let yourself go and sink into this deep dark chasm that will swallow you whole if you let it. Enormous concentration, but every bit as much finesse, the finish extremely long and fine. And this is just beginning to give its best! Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019).James Suckling | 99 JSThe 2009 Leoville Las Cases may be the most open-knit and forward Las Cases I have tasted to date. Analytically, it is high in tannin and the alcohol is 13.8%, nearly a record at this estate. This blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc was showing brilliantly at the 2009 tasting I did in Hong Kong and at a later tasting. It boasts an inky/purple color, monumental concentration and lots of sweet, jammy black currant, black cherry and kirsch fruit intermixed with crushed rock and mineral notes. As always, proprietor Jean-Hubert Delon has built a massive wine with exceptional precision, unbelievable purity and aging potential of 40-50 years. I was surprised by the lusciousness of this cuvee on several occasions, and how much more forward it is given the fact that Las Cases can often be forebodingly backward and in need of 10-15 years of cellaring (at age 30, the 1982 is still a baby in terms of development!). The super-concentrated 2009 needs another 5-7 years before additional nuances emerge. This is a brilliant, full-throttle St.-Julien.Robert Parker | 98+ RPThis is gorgeously layered with cassis bush, anise, roasted fig and plum reduction notes all framed by racy espresso and graphite. Very deep and very long, with terrific intensity on the finish thanks to razor cut from the seemingly endless iron spine. With its purity and precision, this mineral-driven Cabernet should cruise for two decades. Best from 2020 through 2035. 14,165 cases made.Wine Spectator | 98 WSStill a baby, the 2009 Château Leoville Las Cases is largely in the mold of the 1990 and 1982, offering a sexy opulence while staying in the classic, structured style of the estate. Based on 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, its still ruby/purple hue is followed by a sensational array of blackcurrants, cedar pencil, green tobacco, exotic spices, and incense. With incredible purity, ultra-fine tannins, full-bodied richness, and that rare mix of power and elegance, this magical Saint-Julien is just now starting to reveal some secondary nuances and won’t hit full maturity for another decade. It should see its 75th birthday in fine form.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDA beautifully structured wine, with its tannins layered between the ripest black plums, damsons and black currants. It is opulent while remaining dense, concentrated and very serious. Certainly a wine for long-term aging.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WEThe 2009 Léoville Las-Cases simply delivers on the nose with intense blackberry, wild hedgerow, graphite and crushed stone aromas on the nose. You would put this down as a Pauillac if served blind, unsurprising given that it borders that appellation. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, silky smooth in texture with immense depth. It is blessed with quite brilliant delineation and the precision on the finish is magnificent. Chapeau Mon. Delon. Tasted at BI Wines & Spirits Ten Year On tasting.Vinous Media | 97 VMBeing Léoville-Las Cases, it is, as you would expect, still pretty determined to play its cards close to its chest. And yet the exuberance and generosity of 2009 is beginning to peep though. For those of us who lack patience, these kind of years are just brilliant for checking out what Las Cases is all about: brooding tannins are just starting to stir, controlling a tight-knit cassis, cigar box, pencil lead and liquorice body. You feel the skill in the unpeeling of the tannins, opening to reveal the perky fresh core, and you can see just why this is such a great estate. Drinking Window 2022 - 2040.Decanter | 97 DEC(Château Leoville las Cases) The last vintage of Leoville las Cases to really move me was the 1978, so I am probably underrating this very powerful and seamlessly constructed wine a bit. The nose today on the ’09 is very deep, sappy and quite primary at this point in its evolution, as it offers up scents of black cherries, cassis, a touch of blueberry, dark chocolate, tobacco smoke and raw (but integrated) new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full and sappy at the core, with plenty of firm tannins, excellent focus and balance and a very long, still somewhat woody finish. There is little doubt that there is sufficient stuffing here to fully absorb its sixty-five percent new oak with further evolution, and I am sure that there are other tasters that will really love this wine for its deep and powerful personality. But for me it is a bit of a brute and I have a hard time imagining the wine ever developing any breed or nuance to go with its raw power. Very well made in its style. (Drink between 2020-2050).John Gilman | 90-92+ JG

99
RP
As low as $679.00
2009 les forts de latour Bordeaux Red

Deep and dark with a ton of smoke and earth, the cassis fruit very much in the background, this is a concentrated and complex wine. Powerful yet racy palate with an elegant mineral finish. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019)James Suckling | 96 JSThe 2009 Les Forts de Latour is engaging and quite complex on the nose with blackberry, bilberry, hints of brine and freshly rolled tobacco, all very well delineated and gaining vigor with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine but firm tannin that frame layers of black fruit laced with pencil lead and tobacco, very convincing on the finish that has one of the longest lengths of any Pauillac in this flight. Excellent. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners’ 2009 Bordeaux tasting.Vinous Media | 96 VMPossibly the best second wine ever made at Latour (and I love how the 1982 is drinking at age 30), the 2009 Les Forts de Latour is composed of two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot blended with a tiny dollop of Petit Verdot, and finished at 13.5% alcohol. Juicy notes of creme de cassis, licorice, camphor, smoke and crushed rocks are followed by a rich, unctuously textured, thick, juicy, exceptionally pure, long wine. This beauty will be at its finest in several years and should keep for three decades.Proprietor Francois Pinault and his director, Frederic Engerer, have pulled out all the stops to produce one of the most monumental Latour’s ever made.Robert Parker | 95 RPMint aromas hint at the wood, but more important is the massive Merlot fruit that is an essential element in the blend. The result is a wine that blends richness and power with an initially severe character. Slowly it opens to reveal opulent blackberry jam flavors, immensely ripe.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEMore muscular and closed than the Petit Mouton, here the tannins are beautifully flexed, with real purity of fruit and lovely texture. It’s excellent quality, showing focus and a sense of poise and purpose. A brilliant wine, and one that will age well. These first-growth second wines in 2009 are amazing! Drinking Window 2019 - 2038Decanter | 94 DECThis has purity and precision, with mouthwatering blackberry, black currant and steeped plum fruit racing along, nicely laced with graphite and studded with enticing ganache and iron notes through the finish. Sleek, but the grip is there. Best from 2014 through 2028. 10,830 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS(Les Forts de Latour (barrel sample)) The 2009 Forts de Latour is the spitting image of the grand vin, as it is deep, pure complex, broad-shouldered and quite structured. The bouquet is a very fine, quite reserved mélange of black cherries, dark berries, tobacco leaf, a great base of complex, gravelly soil tones and cedary wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and tight, with a rock solid core of fruit, plenty of ripe tannins, very good acidity for the vintage and a very long, firm and classy finish. A superb Forts de Latour in the making (Drink between 2022-2050)John Gilman | 90-91+ JG

95
RP
As low as $405.00

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