First Growths

Search Available Vintages
Vint Description Cl ? Cs Bt Cs (£) Bt (£) +
2013 Haut Brion Blanc ( owc 3-pack ) 75 IB 0 3 - 530
2012 Mouton Rothschild 75 DP 0 1 - 295
2009

Latour

75 DP 0 6 - 816
Tasting Notes for Latour, 2009:
The 2009 Latour has off the charts concentration in addition to the highest level of tannin ever measured at the estate. The final blend was somewhat unusual in that it consists of 91.3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8.7% Merlot, and clocked in at 13.7% alcohol (even higher than the 2003). Possibly a 100-year wine, it boasts an inky/black/purple color as well as an extraordinary perfume of super-intense blue and black fruits, graphite, and a liqueur of rocks-like minerality. Enormously full-bodied yet at the same time incredibly fresh, vibrant, and precise, it coats the mouth, and builds incrementally to skyscraper-like texture, and a whopping finish that lasts over a minute. This remarkable wine reveals a certain accessibility already, yet one senses that it will be even richer, more nuanced, and fuller by the time it is bottled in mid-2011. A monumental wine from a monumental vintage in the Medoc, this is our children's children's children's elixir. (Tasted once.)
Parker Points: 98-100
Drinking Period: N/A
2005

Lafite Rothschild ( owc 6-pack )

75 DP 0 6 - 634
Tasting Notes for Lafite Rothschild ( owc 6-pack ) , 2005:
While the 2005 is another brilliantly classic Lafite Rothschild, for my taste, it comes in slightly behind their extraordinarily opulent 2003 as well as the dramatically powerful 2000. A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Merlot, the 2005 boasts a dark ruby/purple color in addition to that exceptional Lafite perfume of graphite, spring flowers, crushed rocks, and sweet black cherry and black currant fruit that exudes class and nobility. The wine is medium-bodied with extremely high levels of tannin in addition to sensational purity, length, and overall harmony. However, it is exceptionally backward, and even more tannic than either the 1995 or 1996. Wine Advocate # 176 Apr 2008
Parker Points: 96
Drinking Period: 2020-2050
2004

Margaux

75 DP 0 3 - 310
Tasting Notes for Margaux, 2004:
The supple-textured 2004 Chateau Margaux is reminiscent of the 2001 or 1999. It exhibits a superb blue/purple color to the rim as well as sweet aromas of flowers, blueberries, creme de cassis, licorice, and smoke, superb fruit intensity, medium body, classic elegance, and silky, sweet tannin in the long finish. This beauty can be drunk now or cellared for two decades or more. The Wine Advocate #171 Jun-07.
Parker Points: 93
Drinking Period: 2007-2027
2000

Lafite Rothschild

75 DP 0 1 - 1150
Tasting Notes for Lafite Rothschild, 2000:
Well, well, well - Lafite Rothschild does it again. Ever since manager Charles Chevalier was transferred from his beloved Sauternes property of Rieussec (also owned by the Rothschilds) to Lafite in 1994, there has been a succession of profound wines to emerge from this noble estate. The 2000 Lafite Rothschild, a blend of 93.3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6.7% Merlot (only 36% of the crop made the grade) has an opaque ruby/purple color, followed by an extraordinary aromatic expression of liquid minerals/stones interwoven with the tell-tale graphite notes, mulberry, black currants, caramel, and tobacco. In the mouth, it is remarkably light on its feet, but somehow seems to pack intense flavors into layer upon layer of fruit and richness that cascade over the palate. A compelling wine, with extraordinary precision, great intensity, and a seamlessness in spite of what are obviously elevated levels of tannin, this wine was provocatively open and beautiful when tasted in January and February, but I am sure it will soon close down. The finish lasted a whopping 72 seconds! This is utterly fascinating stuff. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2050. The Wine Advocate, #146 Apr-03.
Parker Points: 100
Drinking Period: 2011-2050
1998

Margaux

75 IB 1 0 3850 -
Tasting Notes for Margaux, 1998:
The 1998 Margaux's color is a dense ruby/purple. The wine is tannic and austere, but elegant, with notes of asphalt, blackberries, acacia flowers, and sweet, toasty oak. Subtle, rich, nicely-textured, and medium-bodied, it is built for the long haul. Wine Advocate #134 April 2001
Parker Points: 91
Drinking Period: 2006-2030
1996

Margaux

75 IB 0 6 - 509
Tasting Notes for Margaux, 1996:
99 points. The 1996 Chateau Margaux, which was bottled in September 1998, is undoubtedly one of the great classics produced under the Mentzelopoulous regime. In many respects it is the quinessential Chateau Margaux, as well as the paradigm of this estate, combining measured power, extraordinary elegance and admirable complexity. I tasted this wine on three separate occaisons in January and in short it's a beauty. The colour is opaque purple. The wine offers extraordinary pure notes of blackberries, cassis, pain grille and flowers, gorgeous sweetness, a seamless personality and full body with nothing out of place. The final blend (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc) contains the highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon since the 1986. Both Corinne Mentzelopoulos and administrator Paul Pontallier claim they prefer it to the 1995, which is saying something given how fabulous that wine has turned out. When tasted side by side, the 1996 does taste more complete and longer, although just as backward. My instincts suggest this wine will shut down, but at present it is open-knit, tasting like a recently bottled wine. The fruit is exceptionally sweet and pure and there are layers of flavour in the mouth. I posed the question last year as to whether it was capable of surpassing the quality of the 1995, 1990, 1986, 1983 and 1982? Time will tell. Personally, I prefer the opulence and viscosity of the 1990 from a purely hedonistic standpoint, but I do believe this wine will develop an extraordinary perfume and possess the same level of richness as the most concentrated vintages Margaux has produced. It is one of the strongest candidates for the wine of the vintage. Anticipated maturity 2005 - 2040. Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate 4/99.
Parker Points: 99
Drinking Period:  -
1996

Haut Brion

75 DP 0 1 - 310
Tasting Notes for Haut Brion, 1996:
92 points. The backward 1996 Haut-Brion was bottled in July, 1998. Even administrator Jean Delmas was surprised by how closed it was when I tasted it in January. Only 60% of the crop was utilized in the final blend, which was 50% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 11% Cabernet Franc. Out of barrel, this wine exhibited far more forthcoming aromatics as well as a sweeter mid-palate than it revealed from bottle. I had expected it to be more forward, and thus slightly down-graded the wine, although I am thrilled to own it and follow what appears to be a slow evolution. It will be a potentially long-lived wine. The 1996 exhibits a deep ruby/purple color, and a surprisingly tight bouquet. With aeration, notes of fresh tobacco, dried herbs, smoke, asphalt, and black fruits emerge ... but reluctantly. It is tannic and medium-bodied, with outstanding purity and a layered, multidimensional style. However, the finish contains abundant tannin, suggesting that this wine needs 5-8 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2030. Wine Advocate 4/99.
Parker Points: 92
Drinking Period:  -
1996 Haut Brion Blanc 75 DP 0 1 - 540
1995

Haut Brion

75 IB 0 1 - 325
Tasting Notes for Haut Brion, 1995:
96 points. This wine has been brilliant on every occasion I have tasted it. More accessible and forward than the 1996, it possesses a saturated ruby/purple color, as well as a beautiful, knock-out set of aromatics, consisting of black fruits, vanillin, spice, and wood-fire smoke. Multidimensional and rich, with layers of ripe fruit, and beautifully integrated tannin and acidity, this medium to full-bodied wine is a graceful, seamless, exceptional Haut-Brion that should drink surprisingly well young. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2030. Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate 2/98.
Parker Points:  -
Drinking Period:  -
1990

Haut Brion

75 DP 1 0 6900 -
Tasting Notes for Haut Brion, 1990:
96 points. Haut-Brion has been the most consistent first-growth over the last decade, producing top-notch wines, even in such tough years as 1987, 1993, and 1994. I have had a tendency to forget just how exceptional the 1990 Haut-Brion is because of the huge shadow cast by the 1989. However, in this blind tasting, the 1990 proved itself to be a great wine. Its price has not risen nearly as much as one might expect given its quality. The 1990 is a decadently ripe wine with much more evolution to its fragrant cassis, mineral, smoked-herb, hot rocks, tobacco, sweet, toasty nose. Fat, rich, and medium to full-bodied, this superbly-concentrated, forward, awesomely-endowed wine requires 4-6 years of cellaring; it is capable of lasting for 20-25+ years. It is an unheralded, underrated 1990 that deserves more attention. Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate 2/97.
Parker Points:  -
Drinking Period:  -
1990

Haut Brion

75 DP 0 3 - 570
Tasting Notes for Haut Brion, 1990:
96 points. Haut-Brion has been the most consistent first-growth over the last decade, producing top-notch wines, even in such tough years as 1987, 1993, and 1994. I have had a tendency to forget just how exceptional the 1990 Haut-Brion is because of the huge shadow cast by the 1989. However, in this blind tasting, the 1990 proved itself to be a great wine. Its price has not risen nearly as much as one might expect given its quality. The 1990 is a decadently ripe wine with much more evolution to its fragrant cassis, mineral, smoked-herb, hot rocks, tobacco, sweet, toasty nose. Fat, rich, and medium to full-bodied, this superbly-concentrated, forward, awesomely-endowed wine requires 4-6 years of cellaring; it is capable of lasting for 20-25+ years. It is an unheralded, underrated 1990 that deserves more attention. Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate 2/97.
Parker Points:  -
Drinking Period:  -
1990

Haut Brion, Magnums

150 IB 0 1 - 1400
Tasting Notes for Haut Brion, Magnums, 1990:
Haut-Brion has been the most consistent first-growth over the last decade, producing top-notch wines, even in such tough years as 1987, 1993, and 1994. I have had a tendency to forget just how exceptional the 1990 Haut-Brion is because of the huge shadow cast by the 1989. However, in this blind tasting, the 1990 proved itself to be a great wine. Its price has not risen nearly as much as one might expect given its quality. The 1990 is a decadently ripe wine with much more evolution to its fragrant cassis, mineral, smoked-herb, hot rocks, tobacco, sweet, toasty nose. Fat, rich, and medium to full-bodied, this superbly-concentrated, forward, awesomely-endowed wine requires 4-6 years of cellaring; it is capable of lasting for 20-25+ years. It is an unheralded, underrated 1990 that deserves more attention. Wine Advocate # 109 Feb 1997
Parker Points: 96
Drinking Period: 2001-2022
1989

Lafite Rothschild

75 DP 0 10 - 595
Tasting Notes for Lafite Rothschild, 1989:
As 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. Wine Advocate # 109 Feb 1997
Parker Points: 90
Drinking Period: 2006-2025
1988

Haut Brion

75 DP 0 1 - 310
Tasting Notes for Haut Brion, 1988:
A Possible Legend Candidate Wine Advocate # 95 Oct 1994
Parker Points:  -
Drinking Period: 2000-2025
1988

Haut Brion

75 DP 0 2 - 315
Tasting Notes for Haut Brion, 1988:
A Possible Legend Candidate Wine Advocate # 95 Oct 1994
Parker Points:  -
Drinking Period: 2000-2025
1988

Latour

75 DP 0 5 - 375
Tasting Notes for Latour, 1988:
The best showing yet for a wine from this under-rated vintage, the dark garnet-colored 1988 Latour reveals slight amber at the edge. A bouquet of melted tar, plums, black currants, cedar, and underbrush is followed by a sweet entry, with medium to full body, excellent ripeness, and mature tannin. It is a classic, elegant Latour with more meaty, vegetable-like flavors than are found in a riper year, such as 1989 and 1990. The 1988 has just begun to enter its plateau of maturity, where it should remain for 25 years. Robert Parker Wine Advocate
Parker Points: 91
Drinking Period: 2000-2025
1986

Mouton Rothschild

75 DP 0 2 - 710
Tasting Notes for Mouton Rothschild, 1986:
After 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, Stag's 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.Wine Advocate # 106 Aug 1996
Parker Points: 100
Drinking Period: 2011-2096
1982

Lafite Rothschild

75 DP 0 5 - 2400
Tasting Notes for Lafite Rothschild, 1982:
The 1982 Lafite possesses a dark, dense ruby/purple color with only a subtle lightening at the rim. Spectacular aromatics offer jammy cherry and black fruits intertwined with lead pencil, mineral, and smoky wood scents. Powerful for a Lafite, this wine unfolds to reveal extraordinary richness, purity, and overall symmetry in addition to stunning flavor depth and persistence. The finish lasts for nearly a minute. Plenty of tannin remains, and the wine displays a vibrancy and youthfulness that belie its 18 years of age. The modern day equivalent of Lafite-Rothschild's immortal 1959, the 1982 will enjoy another 30-70 years of life! An amazing achievement! Wine Advocate # 129 Jun 2000
Parker Points: 100
Drinking Period: 2007-2070
1982

Latour

75 DP 0 6 - 1395
Tasting Notes for Latour, 1982:
As I indicated in the review of the 1982 Bordeaux, this is an unusual Latour in the fact that it has always been precocious. It has been jammy, forward, and delicious no matter when the cork was pulled, in total contrast to its two first-growth siblings, Mouton Rothschild and Lafite-Rothschild. The dense, opaque garnet-colored 1982 Latour reveals slight amber at the edge. Sweet, smoky, roasted aromas in the nose combine with jammy levels of black currant, cherry, and prune-like fruit. It possesses extraordinary concentration and unctuosity, with a thick, fat texture oozing notes of cedar wood, tobacco, coffee, and over-ripe fruit. Low acidity as well as high alcohol (for Bordeaux) give the wine even more glycerin and textural chewiness. The finish lasts forever. The only Latour that remotely resembles the 1982 is the 1961, which has a similar texture and succulence. Wine Advocate # 129 Jun 2000
Parker Points: 100
Drinking Period: Now-2040
1982

Haut Brion ( very faded label )

75 IB 0 1 - 350
Tasting Notes for Haut Brion ( very faded label ) , 1982:
This was one of the best showings yet for this wine, which, to my palate and mind, has never lived up to its early potential. In this tasting, the 1982 revealed a healthy dark ruby color with lightening at the edge. Intense, persistent aromas of saddle leather, roasted herbs, scorched earth, and sweet black currant fruit were followed by complex flavors of minerals, spice box, and cedar. Although this medium-bodied, fleshy, ripe, concentrated wine is not a blockbuster, as it unfolds, it reveals layers of flavor in addition to this vineyard's tell-tale complexity. Wine Advocate # 129 Jun 2000
Parker Points: 94
Drinking Period: 2002-2020
1982

Haut Brion

75 DP 0 2 - 575
Tasting Notes for Haut Brion, 1982:
This was one of the best showings yet for this wine, which, to my palate and mind, has never lived up to its early potential. In this tasting, the 1982 revealed a healthy dark ruby color with lightening at the edge. Intense, persistent aromas of saddle leather, roasted herbs, scorched earth, and sweet black currant fruit were followed by complex flavors of minerals, spice box, and cedar. Although this medium-bodied, fleshy, ripe, concentrated wine is not a blockbuster, as it unfolds, it reveals layers of flavor in addition to this vineyard's tell-tale complexity. Wine Advocate # 129 Jun 2000
Parker Points: 94
Drinking Period: 2002-2020
1960 Lafite Rothschild 75 DP 0 1 - 550
1954 Margaux 75 DP 0 1 - 495
1928 Haut Brion, Halves 37.5 DP 0 1 - 550
 
Wine List Last Updated: 13/10/2017 17:25:52