This is an archive of tasting notes from participants in the UK wine forum, with notes from before 2002








UK Wine Forum - Bordeaux

N.B. This is an archive of older notes. Click here for most recent notes.

Notes from participants in the UK Forum are added in chronological order.

Red

02/01 Château Preuillac Medoc, Cru Bourgeois 1986
No, I'd never heard of it either. It appears to be on the same latitude as Chx. La Cardonne and Potensac. But there it was. Mature claret for £10 sitting in the original box. No sign of age. This must have been very well kept. The nose! The wine was positively billowing with that lovely fragrant cedary smell so characteristic of the Medoc. Despite its lowly status this was a joy to drink; it was so well balanced. 12% abv. £10 Nickolls and Perks. (Daron Fincham, UK)

02/01 1996 Château Angelus, St.Emilion 1er Grand Cru Classé
I bought some of this en-primeur but this is my first taste. Half bottle. Very dark ruby, still with the merest hint of purple, no lighter at the rim. The nose initially quite closed developed into higher notes of violetty flowers and lower caramel notes. Very full and thick, coating tannin on the inside of the mouth. Strong acidity is balanced with red fruit and perhaps a hint of vanilla. Allegedly a new wave earlier drinking style of St.Emilion, but I won't be trying it again in the next two years. Probably excellent! (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

02/01 Pauillac de Château Latour (1996)
Medium deep colour, quite solid to rim, and good legs. Nose fairly intense with red fruits, some cedary notes, but not hugely complex. Palate quite grippy, medium length and good fruit, with highish acidity. Probably got a few years of life in it yet, but won't go very far - it's a little hard and lean for that overall. (Stephan, UK)

02/01 Les Forts de Latour (1995)
Dark centre, just lightening to crimson at the edges. Dark fruited nose, some brown sugar, iodiny smells wafting about - quite closed and dumb right now. Tannic attach, and fruit seems asleep in midpalate right now. Medium length - not hugely convincing at this stage. Who knows , might open up to reveal something nice but this is quite a tough wine right now. (Stephan, UK)

02/01 Les Forts de Latour (1996)
Medium dark, solid to rim. Nose quite closed but has a typical '96 'fatness' with smoke and bacon coming through. Very tannic attack, fresh acidity, with tight fruit that will need a lot of time. 30mins later the nose opens up more with lots of chocolate and toffee, whilst the tannic stays big and tannic. Very good. (Stephan, UK)

02/01 Les Forts de Latour (1990)
Dark centre, just beginning to turn a lighter garnet coloiur at the rim. Chocolate and smoke on the nose, rich sweet fruit evident in midpalate, with a nice smoot mouthfeel, and mellower tannins here - the finish then turns very grippy though, and has good length. Minty, dried grass notes opening up over the next 20mins or so. Very good +. (Stephan, UK)

02/01 Les Forts de Latour (1991)
More evolved colour and nose - pencilly, cedary and sweeter red fruit. Attack still quite grippy with nice acidity, supporting a longish, reasonably complex finish. Quite open and developed now, but no rush with this. After some time in the glass brown sugar appears on the nose, with some dried black fruit opening (a late summer sort of smell). Very good. (Stephan, UK)

02/01 Château Latour (1994)
Medium deep, quite solid to rim. Rich fat nose with dark fruit, cassis, chocolate and toast. Huge tannic attack, some nice sweetish fruit coming through. After some time in the glass rich dark sugar and more chocolate on the nose - this is actually quite evolved already, or much more open than I thought it would/should be?! The palate just a touch thin on fruit then, given the riches already promised by the nose? Time will tell… very good ++ now. (Stephan, UK)

02/01 Château Latour (1997)
Medium dark colour. Nose very closed down at the moment, big tannic attack and midpalate. Fruit seems very asleep right now and quite backward, and neither nose nor palate opening up very much over time in the glass. Frederic Engerer said something about this wine not having closed down at all, but in that case it's a little disappointing. But who am I to say… (Stephan, UK)

02/01 Château Latour (1986)
Dark unevolved colour, with maybe just a touch of garnet at the edge. Nose more developed, more cassis and some leather on opening up in the glass. Massive tannic attach still, and fresh acidity - fruit there but overall impression austere and still backward. Then mineral notes developing, and sweeter flavours coming through on finish. This will be excellent but still seems 10 years short of yielding drinking *pleasure*! (Stephan, UK)

02/01 Château Latour (1988)
Very dark, young colour. Softer nose, opening up nicely with dark fruit, sweet cassis, chocolate and some menthol. Attack quite mild and open now, midpalate and finish still with lots of tannic grip and huge structure. Good length and mineral flavours, and there is sweeter red fruits and some smokiness there…. Fruit trying hard to appear but this will also take more time. Will also be very good/excellent. (Stephan, UK)

02/01 Les Forts de Latour (1989) (With Duck Terrine)
Dark, uneveolved colour solid to rim. Good legs. Nice spicey nose with evolved red fruit, lots of cassis. Almost smells tannic - oak, and toast still evident. Grippy attack. But then sweet red fruit in mid palate. Good length, lifted with fresh acidity and very lively. Opening up to reveal a fatter, bacony, smoky nose - very good!! (Stephan, UK)

02/01 Les Forts de Latour (1985) (With Grilled Red Mullet and Roasted Peppers)
Dark, youthful centre just starting to turn amber at the outer edge. Evolved nose - mature, cedary, very Bordeaux, and secondary aromas mingling in. Tannins much softer than in the '89, good length, medium bodied now and sweetly fruited. Excellent. (Stephan, UK)

02/01 Château Latour (1983) (With Supreme of Guinea Fowl on Bed of Lentils de Puy)
Incredibly dark and solid to rim, still! Quite classy nose, with soft red fruit showing, then secondary, farmyardy smells, leady and cedar mingling in. Very classic Bordeaux. Thick smooth mouthfeel, softened tannins in midpalate but great grip at finish…wonderful length. Years of prime life ahead but my first real glimpse of what smoothness and richness this Chateau's wines are capable of. Sweet black fruit opening up in the glass, texture if anything still improving. Really lovely wine.

02/01 Château Latour (1973) from a Magnum, Chateau Reserves
No way. Dark glowing purple - I thought wines are meant to get lighter in colour at 27 years of age! I would have guessed this came from the '90s, it looks so young. Subtle nose, cigarbox and tobacco clearly showing. Soft palate, silky mouthfeel before a dusty grippy finish. Long long finish - 20/30 seconds! Excellent wine.

02/01 Château Latour (1971) from a Magnum, Chateau reserves (with Noisettes of Lamb)
Turning amber at the edge but amazingly deep dark purple at the core. Immortal colour in these wines? Dark, leady nose, 2° tobacco, earthy aromas mingling in. Good acididy in mid plate and dry grippy tannic finish of considerable length. Midpalate maybe just a touch thinner than the '73 - not as rich and sweet, but beautifully structured and balanced for a 30 year old wine. After some time in the glass ripe blackberries suddenly appear on the nose, with leathery notes too - great complexity. Matches the lamb just right. Excellent/Outstanding wine…why does one read about this vintage being over the hill I wonder? (Stephan, UK)

02/01 Château Latour (1978) from a Magnum, Chateau Reserves (with cheeses)
Dark, solid core just lightening at the edge. Dark, dark black fruit on the nose, still amazingly young and almost held back After some time dried fruit and ripe tomato opening up?! . Rich smooth silky texture and then thick fruit. Good grip and seriously long lingering finish…still shifting about and revealing little nuances after 30 seconds or so! Years ahead of this wine still with no sign of fatigue - if anything the tannins could do with some more softening and the nose will evolve further. But lovely thick solid fruit coming through already. Outstanding wine. (Stephan, UK)

02/01 1994 Château Haut Lariveau (Fronsac)
100% merlot. Ruby red, fading to brick. The nose was dominated by warm plum and damson aromas with a suggestion of oak. Again the cooked plum and damson theme comes through of the fat palate. The tannin is hard to find, and the acid muted. This wine is seriously smooth with a gradually fading finish. Superb drinking right now. Excellent (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

02/01 Château Moulin Riche 1997, St Julien
Deep red/black colour. Slightly muted nose with minerals, smoke and a leafy edge. Classic palate showing ripe fruit, firm tannins and good balance. Not a big wine but still could age some. Very good (Jamie Goode, UK)

02/01 Château Moulin Riche 1998, St Julien
Deep red/black colour. Despite the slightly muted nose this is a powerful wine, with a bold, concentrated, dense palate. The firm tannins suggest this has great potential to develop. Very good+ (Jamie Goode, UK)

02/01 Château Le Crock 1996, St Estèphe
Deep purple/red colour. Nice minerally nose, and with a herbal edge to fruit on the palate. Medium bodied with good balance. Very good. (Jamie Goode, UK)

02/01 Château Le Crock 1998, St Estèphe
Youthful purple/black colour, with a herby fruity nose. The palate is medium bodied and displays firm tannins. This one could age nicely. Good/very good. (Jamie Goode, UK)

02/01 Château Le Croix 1998, St Estèphe
Second wine of Le Crock, this is currently drinking better than its big brother. Deep red/purple colour, with sweet smoky fruit. Concentrated and dense on the palate with firm tannins. Very youthful and quite impressive. Very good+ (Jamie Goode, UK)

02/01 Château Léoville Poyferré 1997, St Julien
Lovely, ripe herby/smoky nose is followed up with concentrated ripe fruit on the palate. Very attractive, showing nice balance, and drinkable now. Very good/excellent (Jamie Goode, UK)

02/01 Château Léoville Poyferré 1998, St Julien
Exotic nose: ripe and menthol-laced, smoky and herby. This is a huge wine. On the palate rich ripe fruit and new oak are nicely integrated, and the dense tannins indicate a promising future. Excellent. (Jamie Goode, UK)

01/01 Vieux Château Certan 1997
Lots of fruit, a hint of cork but improved (sulphur again?) give it another 3 years (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

01/01 Château Ramage La Batisse Haut Medoc, Cru Bourgeois 1990
Colour showing its age, a distinct orange tinge. Previous mint aromas noted in this wine (those I usually get with Chilean cabernet) have been replaced by a volatile lift. I think its the end of the line for this wine. Nice weight, some residuals and a lovely sweet palate. Firm dry finish. 12.5% alcohol by volume. (Daron Fincham, UK)

01/01 Château La Tour de By Medoc, Cru Bourgeois 1990
Deeper, brighter red than the Ramage. Not showing its age (bottle was less ullaged than the Batisse). Smokey nose that reminded me more of northern Rhone syrah than "Bas" Medoc cabernet. Not as sweet and giving as the Haut Medoc. More austere with drying tannins on the finish. 13% alcohol by volume (Daron Fincham, UK)

01/01 1999 Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux
Quite pale, but bright, clean colour. Very Sauvignon nose initially, intense with some toastiness. During the next 30 mins almost suddenly displayed much more complex vanilla, toffee, caramelly and nutty notes. Bone dry palate, good acidity just about balancing the high alcohol (14.5%, apparently!), making it lightly textured. Medium length. Quite zingy, and could do with a couple of years to soften up. Very good. (Stephan Mullar, UK)

01/01 1990 Pavillon Blanc du ChâteauMargaux
Mature, almost golden colour. Strong legs. On the nose rich and rounded with some toasty oak and less obvious Sauv Blanc character - quite salty, seasidy. Palate quite soft, medium length and for me just lacking a touch more acid to be really enjoyable. Would have probably drunk tis three or four years ago myself. (Stephan Mullar, UK)

01/01 Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux, 1998
Impenetrable purple core with good solid colour to the rim. Intense nose, initially lots of burnt toasty oak, some toffee and caramel, and lots of bacony smells wafting around. Quite 'fat', and fleshed out more and more over the next hour or so, with some vanilla and dark fruit appearing too. Big, but juicy, tannins on the palate, medium to full bodied with dark fruit lurking somewhere too. Moderate length now, and high acidity - quite tight. The nose is much more open now, so I wonder if the palate will follow? Excellent wine. (Stephan Mullar, UK)

01/01 Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux, 1988
Dark core, just slightly lighter at the edges and a touch amber - and not as bright and clear as the '98. Very evolved open nose of anise, cassis, toast, liquorice and tar (really!). Over the next hour or so some tobacco showing, then suddenly lots of menthol or eucalypt and then it started to fade somewhat. Palate quite grippy, with good bite and pleasant acidity - but maybe just thinning a little at the moderately long finish - is that what they mean by drying out I wonder? Very good wine. (Stephan Mullar, UK)

01/01 Château Margaux 1996
Dark, black core, all the way to rim. The nose initially quite similar to the '98 Pavillon Rouge with lots of toasted, bacony notes and solid, dark cassis fruit but more complex, changing and shifting all the time. Opening up to reveal a real monster - big, fat and deep…broody?!. Some eucalypt after 30 mins, and becoming harder and harder to describe as time went on. Wow. Palate with a tannic attack, and dusty thick fruit, hot mouthfeel in midpalate and feeling very tight and asleep. Medium length initially, and opening up a little more after an hour or so in the glass. Remarkable, gorgeously drinkable now - I thought these things needed much more time? Outstanding wine. (Stephan Mullar, UK)

01/01 Château Margaux 1986
No real age apparent at first sight, with solid dark purple going to the edge. Remarkably intense perfumed nose - menthol, eucalypt, allspice, sweet red fruits but these superseded by secondary, smoky notes after a while, some pencilly aromas. After an hour some dark chocolate popped up somewhere too…but overall seemed fuzzier and less pure than the '96. The palate confused me. Grippy tannins, good length and lots of acidity, but I couldn't decide if it was tightly built, or closed, or felt somewhat disjointed at the finish. The nose had promised a lot of intensity but in all honesty I was a little disappointed. Still - very good. (Stephan Mullar, UK)

01/01 Château Margaux 1953
Just a touch murky - my guess is that it wasn't given enough time to settle and be decanted after being brought to the tasting venue. Lovely amber glow, chocolately colour, looks completely mature. Lovely tears. The nose completely evolved, very high toned and intense. Some marzipan, tobacco, then tertiary meaty flavours coming through after a few minutes in the glass. Fading noticeably after 30 mins or so, where before it was supported, I suppose, by high volatile acid concentrations. Palate still sweetly fruited, and lots of tertiary flavours mingling about that I have found no description for at all, for which I apologise. Tannins completely softened, and some acidity keeping the wine alive but overall this seems to be an old lady that's just getting a little tired and faded. A real experience, but I would have probably drunk this ten years ago. (Stephan Mullar, UK)

01/01 Château Clerc Milon 1993
Colour - dark dense purple red,Nose of tarry, cedar with an underlying note of cassis fruit, Palate dense and chewy, still very tannic ( to me - no claret expert ) leather,cedar and the blackcurrant lurking somewhere in the background. Is this typical ? I have drunk a lot of wine with a sprinkling of bordeaux over the past few years but this just seemed a bit closed up and lacking fruit. I am not looking for a fruit bomb but is this a duff year ? should I have left it longer? or am I just misreading it? (Stephen Pickles, UK)

01/01 Château Coufran Haut Medoc Cru Bourgeois 1989
Richer orange colour, might be due to the "Angels" taking a larger share from this bottle (i.e. more ullage). Nose less apparent. Sweeter palate. Fleshier with a better, richer mouthfeel. Longer finish. 12.5% abv. (Daron Fincham, UK)

01/01 Château Coufran Haut Medoc Cru Bourgeois 1990 (bottled for Swedish state monopoly)
Brighter, slightly darker, "younger" colour. More obvious nose (certainly "charming"). Palate spoiled by a "dirty woody" taste. (I think Toby has remarked on this as "muddy".) Not my preferred wine on the Saturday, but last night this "woodiness" has disappeared and I liked this better than the '89! Thats wine drinking for you - a fickle business. 11.9% abv. (I know, I know, but thats what it says on the bottle. I suspect - and thats all it is - that the cuvee for Swedish export was different to the others, perhaps a different set of old barrels?). (Daron Fincham, UK)

01/01 Château Caronne Ste Gemme 1997
Dark in colour, there is an immediate "polished wood" scent upon opening the bottle. The wine is certainly ready for drinking. I get the "leathery" aroma I associate with merlot. The palate is simple and straightforward. No complexity here. No sweetness either. The wine lacks the weight and glycerol richness of a "ripe" vintage. The acidity is not high or aggressive and the oak has been administered with a light touch (necessarily as the fruitiness is so low). Not overly tannic (not swingeingly as in the 1994 of this wine) but its noticeable immediately because of the lack of sweetness. Consequently the dry finish is virtually one and the same as the "start" i.e. the wine is short. 12.5% abv. £6.99 from Morrisons (Daron Fincham, UK)

01/01 Château Lascombes 1990, Margaux
A mature-ish Claret drinking very nicely. Showing a mineralic, cedary, mushroomy nose and a reasonably complex palate with fine tannins, it's perhaps beginning to dry out a touch on the finish. Nice weight and balance (Jamie Goode, UK)

01/01 Château La Vielle Cure (Fronsac) 1996
Good solid colour. Not overly extracted or dense, but a lovely nose of cedary wood. This isn't a very concentrated wine of the creamy cassis kind achieved by the "growths", but it is a fine example of what Bordeaux does well. Fruity wine with a refreshing dry finish. 13% abv. (Daron Fincham, UK)

12/00 1995 Château Lagrange, Pomerol (CHF22 or £8.8 for 375ml)
A very deep ruby red, brick at the rim. The sweet black cherry nose was fresh and clean finishing with black chocolate, though was quite closed at first. Fat and mouth-watering. The tannin coats the inside of the mouth without getting out of hand. Very good. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

12/00 1995 Château Feytit-Clinet, Pomerol (CHF16 or £6.4 for 375ml)
Deep ruby, lighter at the rim. Initially the nose was more flowery than the Lagrange, also less sweet and deep - developed into red cherry aroma. Lighter tannins but definitely still there. With food the wine became ‘harsher’ and tasted more acidic. Okay (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

12/00 1995 Château Conseillante, Pomerol (CHF46 or £18.4 for 375ml)
Deep red fading at the rim. Very ‘clean’ and high toned flowery nose, not very deep or exciting. Tannins are quite smooth, but acidity is high and not so well balanced right now. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

12/00 1995 Château La Grave a Pomerol, Pomerol (CHF28 or £11.2 for 375ml)
Dark ruby. Closed on the nose. High acidity and medium tannin, hard to say anything positive - so I won’t. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

12/00 Château Beausejour-Becot 1995
Very dark, inky, looks very young indeed. Predominant on the nose is vanilla, supported by slightly floral undernotes and plenty of dark fruits. In the mouth the fruit is less apparent; the oak is very obvious and the tannin level rather obscures any subtler influences. A long finish though, and I suspect another couple of years cellaring will reap rewards (at least I hope so as I have 6 of these left!) (Bryan Collins, UK)

11/00 Château Plince, Pomerol 1995 (CHF19 or £7.5 for 375ml)
Deep ruby but brown at the rim. Pronounced chocolate coated fruit on the nose. Not very 'fat' but still heaps of fruit on the palate. The tannins are of the big variety and slightly rough, but nothing that food won't cope with. Reasonable length and good acidity. Not a bad price if those tannins were to soften with time. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

11/00 Château l'Enclos Pomerol 1996
A: Deep, dark red, almost black. Clear rim. Good legs.
N: Enticing nose of smokey wood, plums and damson.
P: Very concentrated fruit flavours of blackcurrants and plums with hints of chocolate and tar. Very mouthfilling and luscious, finishing long with supple tannins and a slight sweetness.
S: Very tasty Pomerol with decent balance, though perhaps a bit over-extracted giving a very rich wine. Drink now - 2008. (Paul Anderson, UK)

11/00 Château Bel Orme Tronquoy Lalande 1990
This was a Bordeaux cabernet year. A slightly dirty wood nose at first which blew away after a while. Lovely sweet caramelised fruit flavours and those "European drying tannins". More interesting than the Chilean partly because the estimated 12.5% alcohol doesn't get in the way of the other components. Looking back a bargain at £8.55 from Tanners two years ago. Again I should have bought more! (Daron Fincham, UK)

11/00 1996 Château Cheval Blanc, St.Emilion Grand Cru Classé (A) (CHF 93 or £36 for 375ml)
Deep ruby/brick red, clear at the edges. Only(!) 13%, but thick legs on the side of the glass. The nose is full of blackberries, spices and perhaps cassis - didn’t find the violets of other tasters. This wine is seriously smooth and fat. There’s plenty of tannin, but it’s the ‘velvety smooth’ kind. Beautifully balanced acidity, lots of fruit and still perceptible vanillin oak, finishing with black chocolate! This wine is a lovely drink today, I wish I could afford to see how it develops over the next few years (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

10/00 Château Cissac 1994
This has turned the corner. This was dull and hard about a year or so ago. I didn't think it would go anywhere, (a food wine!) but it has now opened out with a lovely complex nose of caramel and toffee. The finish still has that Barolo-like puckering typical of the tannins of the 94's, but even this seems to have softened a bit. (Chris Kissack, UK)

10/00 Château Coutelin-Merville 1996, St-Estephe
Very dark saturated red, black and red currants, some vegetal Cab Franc notes, quite herb-like, claret nose with just some plum emerging. Again, too much sweet fruit, vegetal and more plum, tannic, savoury herbs, good acid levels, slightly astringent leading to a plummy finish. Quite a full, enjoyable wine. 46% Merlot, 25% Cab Sauv, 25% Cab Franc and 4% Petit Verdot (Yixin Ong, UK)

10/00 Château Pitray, Cotes de Castillon, 1997
A: Dark purple and brick red flashes. Clear rim. Good legs.
N: Warm wet gravel, blackberries, damsons and charcoal.
P: Strong ripe flavours of black fruits and raspberries. Supple tannins and low acidity on finish.
S: Good solid claret approachable now. Now - 2003. (Paul Anderson, UK)

10/00 Château Bernadotte, Haut-Medoc Cru Bourgeois, 1996
A: Deep inky ruby red. Good legs.
N: Cedar, wet mushrooms and blackcurrant aromas with slight 'stink' to the background.
P: Very good palate of restrained blackcurrants, redcurrants and lightly charred wood. Nicely balanced on the finish with dry tannins and slightly tart acidity.
S: Lovely balanced and delicate claret with reasonable complexity and restraint. Now - 2005. (Paul Anderson, UK)

10/00 Château Rollan de By, Medoc Cru Bourgeois, 1996
A: Deep dark red, almost black. Clear rim. Good legs.
N: Aromas of violets, stewed prunes, blackberries and wet stones.
P: Rich creamy flavours of blackcurrants, prunes and blackberries. Also cedarwood and earthy flavours on a dry tannic finish with good acidity.
S: Very good wine that is well balnced and quite complex. Tasting nicely now but should improve over the next couple of years. Drink 2002 - 2008. (Paul Anderson, UK)

09/00 Château Haut-Brion '86.
A real funky Bordeaux nose to start. Undergrowth, barnyard and decay over predominately earthy red fruits. Expansive and attractive, turning cigar boxy with air. Palate is firm with acid as much as tannin for structure supporting an elegant core of earthy red fruits. Finish a bit drying without food but worked perfectly with. I'm not sure which direction this wine is going - I'm not convinced the palate will soften greatly and the nose really seems mature. I'd drink now with food where it really does work well. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

09/00 Château Gruaud-Larose '86.
A denser colour but on the nose, restrained in comparison. Much more densely fruit, only some signs of development. On the palate there's far more density and flesh than the Haut Brion, although the food/Haut Brion combination was better. A youthful wine that could be drunk now and over the next decade at least. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

09/00 Château Talbot, 4eme Cru Classe, St Julien 1983
A: Deep brick red, browning rim. Good legs.
N: Intense aromas of redcurrants and blackcurrants, followed by whiffs of warm tar and cough mixture.
P: Amazing complex medium bodied palate of ripe rich cassis fruit and blackberries. Bittersweet loganberries, damsons and soft mild tannins on the finish. The flavours seem to arrive in waves of different combinations of these flavours and the palate is held together by a nice tight acidity.
S: Tremendous wine. I was quite surprised to still find a decent amount of tannin and acidity suggesting there is a good bit of life in it yet. Now - 2005+ (Paul Anderson - UK)

08/00 Château Pavie Decesse 1959
Oldest unfortified wine I've ever drunk, and I must say it's a little strange pulling the cork on something that was slumbering in its bottle two years before you were born! Tasted blind I'd have guessed it was 10-15 years old, not over 40. Colour brick red with a mahogany edge. Lovely cedar and cinnamon nose. Amazingly taut and structured for its age, crisp but not overpowering acidity, plum and cherry flavours, with quite a long savoury finish. Overall a very good, but not outstanding, wine. I'll be pleased if the 89 Pavie Decesse I bought en-primeur holds up as long as the 59! (Paul Armstrong. UK)

08/00 Château Coufran (Haut-Médoc) 1991
Attractive deep purple hue, with little sign of age. The nose gives of classic aromas of cedar, wood-smoke, blackcurrant fruit and some oak. The palate has good body at first, with a firm tannic backbone, and correct balance. Towards the hindpalate the body fades, but after some aeration this seems to improve. A spicy, peppery finish. Little length. A very good effort for the weak 1991 vintage. (Chris Kissack, UK)

07/00 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 1995
This and the following 3 wines where served at the Château to accompany dinner of Lamproie a la bordelaise, Gigot d'Agneau de Pauillac, Fromage and Poires au Vin.
Deep inky puple in colour, intense cedar and mineral notes on nose, concntrated blackcurrant fruit with balanced fresh acidity and youthful tannins, but was a perfect match with the Lamporie. (Karen Douglas, UK)

07/00 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 1985
Still deep ruby purple with slight garnet at rim but hardly showing it's ten years extra age when compared with the 95. Nose had powerfull medicinal and leather aroma of a maturing wine.Lively black fruit flavours, good acidity and well structured tannins and good length to a still youthful wine. (Karen Douglas, UK)

07/00 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 1982
Deep purple, looks younger than the 85, strong cigar box aromas, good fresh blackcurrant fruit, good acidity balanced with smooth tannins, but still well structured. (Karen Douglas, UK)

07/00 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 1970
Ruby with garnet rim, coal tar aromas, rich dried fruit flavours, almost port like, backed by a fresh acidity and smooth tannins and lots of length. (Karen Douglas, UK)

07/00 Château Rausan Segla 1990
Heavy, very dark and tannic. All the classic flavour elements are present, but somewhat hidden under the closed exterior. Two hours in an open decanter had rather less impact than expected; aromas brightened somewhat but flavours still fairly impenetrable (at least to my amateur palate!) This wine still tastes very young, but promises great things once it starts to open up - however this doesn't appear to be imminent. Impatience got the better of me, but now I'll leave it 2-3 years before opening another (Bryan C)

07/00 Château Laville Haut Brion, 1984
This was not on the normal wine list, and when the owner popped this out of the fridge saying "I've got something you might find interesting" my first thought was that he really was trying to get rid of all the old stock. Bordeaux vintages are always defined by the red wines and 1984 has never been regarded very highly. Still the level was good and the wine was a fine straw colour. There was not much in the way of a nose, but the initial feel in the mouth was surprisingly good. The wine was not even slightly oxidised, but it did have a bit of a dilute watery feel. Not sure what the blend was, but it did taste like a typical white Grave - slightly mineral and flinty, but with a bit of the fruit gone. The finish was though very short and tart, although as the wine breathed and the food came, this appeared to disappear. Overal I found it a very interesting wine and I was really surprised by the drinkability of a dry white wine that old. (Cameron Clark, UK)

07/00 Château Lagrange, 1992 Pomerol
Just finished the white wine before the main course of beef arrived and so we decided to continue the evening with another wine from a disappointing vintage. Half a bottle of wine on what was an empty stomach can dent your senses a bit, but I really must say that I was amazed by this wine. Instead of the heavily tannic, fruitless wine I was expecting, I found what could have been a very nice Californian Cabernet. The colour was red, but not to dark or purple. The wine had a slight glycerine consistency, and so hung a little bit in the glass. The was a very open nose of cherries and cream, and the most noticeable thing in the mouth was the smoothness coming from the lack of tannins - Ernst and Gallo would have been proud. The wine was not super concentrated, but it was very well in balance and had a lovely flavours of cream and berries. Terroir it definitely wasn't, enjoyable it certainly was. I will drink this again. (Cameron Clark, UK)

07/00 Château Leoville Barton, St Julien 1990
Opaque purple. Cedary nose with plenty of juicy cassis/blackcurrant fruit. Tannins still powerful but the wine has considerable charm, best of the wines tasted. (Mark Robertson, UK)

07/00 Château Cos D'Estournel, St Estephe 1990
Nose is jammy with scents of black fruits. The wine displays the telltale higher acidity of St Estephe's. Medium to full bodied, fully open and delicious. (Mark Robertson, UK)

07/00 Magdelaine, St Emilion 1990
Dark ruby coloured. Nose of plum, jammy fruits. Medium to full bodied and not as "rounded" as other St Emilions I have tasted. (Mark Robertson, UK)

07/00 Dominique, St Emilion 1990
(This was tasted blind. The challenge was to match it to the apellation of one of the other wines. This was fairly easy to do.) Jammy, plum nose.Earthy and full bodied wine exhibiting very ripe fruit. We preferred this to the Magdelaine. (Mark Robertson, UK)

06/00 Moulin Saint Georges Saint Emilion Grand Cru 1993
Bought 6 bottles of this in 1996 for about 60FF per bottle direct from the property. I last tasted it about 2 years ago. At that time there was a very off putting "bottle stink" which reminded me of diesel, this did disappear after a few hours airing. Since then, the "bottle stink" has gone. There is a nice (well I think its nice) "animal" nose to the wine now and it has taken on quite a lot of weight. This bottle is certainly not in the "modern" style of St Emilion but right now, its drinking great!! This property is owned by Alain Vauthier, the owner of Chateau Ausone. When I bought this, the wine was made by Pascal Delbeck (who still makes the wine at Chateau Belair and used to make the wine at Chateau Ausone as well). Now (as with the other Vauthier owned property Ausone), the wine is made under the supervision of Michel Rolland, the style has changed significantly, and so has the price, which has trebled. The new Moulin Saint Georges is (to my taste) a typical modern style (Rolland) Saint Emilion, very upfront, quite easy and enjoyable to drink. IMHO you need to have severe puritanical tendancies not to like this wine. But........ it now costs over 20 UKpounds (30USD) a bottle, when it used to be under a tenner and it tastes just like all the others of this style.... its lost that "individuality". (Mike Davies – UK)

06/00 Château Batailley 1961
COLOUR: warm but dullish brick red. The friend we drank the bottle with (it was a long-hoarded present)has more experience of distinguished old wines and pointed out how the wine had "come right up the cork", possibly indicating some leakage.
NOSE: a faint fragrance of red fruits, but you had to sniff hard to get it.
PALATE: lovely mellow, long taste of summer fruit with cream, warmed by a distant dash of brandy. More like raspberries and strawberries than plums or blackcurants. Smooth as silk, with a trace of acidity as it went down. But there was no tannic claret "grip" and we all agreed that if we'd been tasting blind, we'd easily have identified this as fine old burgundy. Our friend again showed his superior form by talking of Vosne-Romanee. (Donald MacCormick - UK)

05/00 Château du Tertre, 1982 (5'eme Margaux)
Ruby core with a brick red rim. Slightly tarry, smoky, earthy nose with layers of mint and chocolate and undertones of overripe bananas. Supple, silky tannins. Medium bodied with earthy black fruit and a smoky, tarry, chocolatey finish. Devilshly drinkable. Still life in it yet. Some '82 Margaux' were not as well received as the rest of Bordeaux and their respective '83s, but this was wonderful, and I'm sad that it was the last bottle in the shop. (Graham Simpson - UK)

05/00 Château La Cardonne, 1995 (Medoc)
Deep ruby-purple colour. Ripe black fruit, cedar a hint of vanilla and undertones of sweet red berries on the nose. Firm, but ripe and smoothing tannins. Mid palate showed toasted oak, giving way to chunky black fruit and spice on the finish. Still very youthful, but should begin to open up in 2-3 years. (Graham Simpson - UK)

05/00 Château La Cardonne, Medoc Cru Bourgeois 1995
Deep ruby-purple colour. Nose showed ripe black fruit, cedar and undertones of sweet red fruit. The palate was very dry, with firm, but ripe fruit and smooth tannins. The mid-palate showed tosate oak and gave way to chunky black fruit on the finish. Still very youthful and reserved, needing time to open up on the palate. Should reward a further 2-3 years cellaring before reaching its peak. (Graham Simpson - UK)

05/00 Château Montrose '82
Doesn't have '82 stamped all over it and wins me over for it's complexity and elegance. Lovely maturing complexity on the nose with notes of wood smoke, cedar, undergrowth, cigar ash and red fruits. On the stucture is subtle yet well formed and it carries a perfectly weighted claret. Drinking well and surely has another decade of prime time to run. (Nick Alabaster - UK)

04/00 Château Grand Puy Lacoste '96
I drank this over three days. A superb claret ! Deep burgundy tinged ruby; the nose starts of dense, brooding mineral and earth laden black curranty fruit. Lots of complexity and only a suggestion of oak (many 96's come across as quite generous in their oaking). With time the masculine GPL softens and expands further but this is truly a lovely drink which can only get better I'm sure. I wasn't greatly impressed with it's persistence but overall lovely dense fruit and balance with complexity on the nose and palate. Not showing signs of closing up either, so if you are also tempted open the box, I'd recommend it. (Nick Alabaster - UK)

04/00 Château Le Bon Pasteur (Pomerol) 1994
A 100%Merlot from Michel Rolland's estate in Pomerol. There is a restrained, smoky, leafy nose with just a hint of greenness and some cigar-box elements beginning to emerge. The palate is dry, with prominent, fine tannins and some spicy elements. It is a restrained, complex wine with some appeal, but seems a touch austere. Very good, none the less. (Jamie Goode - UK)

04/00 Carruades de Lafite 1996
This has been on the more open and drinkable '96's on the market and I was forced to try another after reading Coates note on this wine, downgrading seriously to a 13.5/20 at a recent tasting. A similar markdown was given to Lafite itself which was one of the best wines I've tasted. The Carraudes is as lovely as ever. Gorgeous sweet soft black fruits with toastiness from the oak. On the palate this is not a blockbuster - which makes for even more enjoyment today than some the bigger wines of '96, rounded, soft and lingering and nothing green or out of place. I drank this wine over 2 days and it showed absolutely no signs of collapsing - rather it seem to grow further. It will improve for 3 years at least I'd say and then I'd say drink within 3. No harm in opening a bottle in the name of research in the meantime though! (Nick Alabaster - UK)

03/00 Ch. La Lagune 1981
Colour a deep brick red. Gentle cedary scent. Still some blackcurrants here. Soft palate. Dry finish but not austere. (Daron Fincham - UK)

03/00 Ch. Leoville Barton 1981
Deeper colour. A more concentrated wine. Not much on the nose fruit-wise, but did give a caramel impression. Dry. A bit acidic on the aftertaste. I preferred the La Lagune. (Daron Fincham - UK)

03/00 Chateau La Rose, Pauillac 1961
Tasted before and then drunk with a rosemary-roasted leg of lamb at home. The wine was well into the neck of the bottle and when drawn, the cork was quite firm and sound. Decanted one hour ahead of time, finding, thankfully, no great amount of sediment for the gravy. Tasted immediately afterwards the wine was a little too cool but clearly in good condition. The colour was quite youthful but almost opaque. The nose was fresh and there was plenty fruit evident. The palate was also sound with good clean cabernet flavours of black fruits and a little mintiness. Later, at the 10 minute gong, the nose and palate had developed nicely though the colour had browned noticeably. I know this because when opening my older wines (or even younger ones I suspect may be mature) I am in the habit of flushing the initial glass with my nitrogen cylinder so a comparison can be made with the subsequent glass. However, no further colour development was evident during our dinner though the nose did fade but not the palate which was very pleasing with the joint. All told, very savoury and entirely satisfactory. (David Riach - UK)

03/00 Château Leoville-Poyferre (St Julian) 1994
Good deep ruby with youthful pinkish rim. The nose is lovely sweet charry/smoky oak and blackcurrant with redcurrant undertones. The palate is nicely ripe, good weight of fruit and good, noticeably long finish of soft tannin. Good drinking already and no doubt as plenty of years left. (Nick Alabaster - UK)

02/00 Château d'Armailhac 1992
A: Good red-purple colour. Nice intensity through to rim. No real sign of age.
N: Classic Pauillac nose. Most obvious was lush, cassis-like blackcurrant fruit, but it was the combination of lead pencil, cedar/oak, violets and a plummy note that sang to me. Very good.
P: Medium body. Tannins, acidity and fruit suggest that this would age further. Blackcurrant flavours, silky texture. Enjoyable.
Overal: For an un-hyped year, and an unsung 5th growth this was an excellent effort. £5 less than retail price due to a ticketing error! (Chris Kissack - UK)

01/00 Wines of Château Talbot, St Julien

Talbot 1978
A: Darker wine, caramel (tawny) hue. Looks wicked!
N: Exotic, smoky, nose
P: Soft palate, less tannin than the other wines, but still present. Blackcurrant fruit on finish. A little inky/liquoricy. Elegant. Good length. Correctly spotted!
Talbot 1981
A: A redder wine.
N: Asian spices. Very up front. Smoke, ink, liquorice. Beautiful nose.
P: More fruit then the others. Lots of tannin. Fruit throuh to finish. Some ink and liquorice.
Talbot 1983
A: Red, pink-pale orange rim.
N: Beautiful. Caramel, spices, coffee. Smells ‘fat’.
P: Spice, liquorice and ink. Black fruit, tobacco. Soft, smooth finish. Very good.
Talbot 1985
A: Deep. Some orange-red to the rim. Thick oily legs.
N: Delightful. Meaty. Oak. Violets. Slightly spicy/curry notes.
P: Soft. Good body. Tannin. Finish alcoholic. Cigarsmoke. Good length.
Talbot 1986
A: Tawny rim.
N: Rich ink and liquorice nose.
P: Smooth palate, tannin, acidity good, balanced, fruit. Smoky. Finishes smoothly. Good length. Stonking!
Talbot 1987
A: Deep hue. Pink-orange rim.
N: Rich, christmas cake, spice and cigar-smoke.
P: Good. A little sweet. Fruit, oak. Finishes smooth. Nice tannin. Good length. Overall very very good.
Talbot 1988
A: Good
N: Intense, rich nose.
P: Spice, cigars, fruit. Very good.
Talbot 1989
A: Nice colour.
N: Very bad. Vegetal, green beans, seaweed-covered beach. Likened to “a river in Scotland with a dead rabbit in it” by one person, although I wouldn't go that far.
P: Still drinkable despite being faulty. Sweet black fruit. Well balanced tannin and acidity. Pleasant finish.
Talbot 1996
A: Looks young.
N: Loads of fruit. Herbs and cigarsmoke.
P: Fruit. Smoke. Well balanced. Good but young. Correctly spotted!
(Chris Kissack - UK)

02/00 Château Pichon Lalande 1985
Mature, decaying nose cedary, mocha, cigar smoke – a generally soft nose showing lots of development, even oxidation. Ripe red fruits on the palate but for me lacks the ummph I like in claret. Lovely elegant wine, just doesn’t do it for me though – maybe I’d have preferred this one younger – I thought so last year opening my only bottle. (Nick Alabaster - UK)

02/00 Château Léoville Las Cases 1983
More like it ! A brighter fruit character overlaid with a complex cedary maturity. Firmer palate, for me better cut and while youthful, has enough development to make this an excellent claret. (Nick Alabaster - UK)

02/00 Château Latour 1970
More along the lines of the Pichon, for me development and decay taking the upper hand. There is a density of fruit lurking there to but at the moment it’s held back or fading. The palate has the same impressions, density that doesn’t quite reach around the drying structure. Steve is convinced this wine will come round. I’m sure if the fruit can get over the tannins or further maturity takes on a sweeter character, this could be compelling but for me that’s not an obvious call. (Nick Alabaster - UK)

01/00 Bahans Haut Brion '89
I had high expectations of this wine, the second wine of Château Haut Brion from one of their greatest vintages. However, on reflection, this bottle perhaps was passing it's peak. Lightening amber at the edges to the mid-garnet core. Nose distinctly cigar box with notes of ash, forest floor and mineral like, leafy blackcurrant fruit. Palate follows nose with elegant, savoury mid-weighted palate and lingering cigar box notes on the finish. Perhaps drying out a touch (Nick Alabaster - UK)

White

11/00 Château Suduirat (Sauternes) 1990
Very, very rich with high levels of botrytis. Burnished gold in colour (looked rather older than 1990 actually). Scents of soft fruits and honey on the nose, carrying through to the palate where they were joined by hints of peach and raisin. High alcohol levels maybe not quite balanced by acidity, but still very good. Excellent partner to the pan fried foie gras, shame we only had a half bottle. (Bryan Collins, UK)

10/00 Château Lamothe Guignard, Sauternes 1995
A: Clean golden/amber colour. Good legs.
N: Ripe tropical aromas of peaches, apricots and coconut with strong whiffs of botrytis rot.
P: Mouthcoating oily flavours of honey, peaches and cream. Secondary flavours of caramel and melon. Long rich finish but low acidity means that it is slightly unbalanced.
S: Very tasty and rich wine but balance and potential longevity (and therefore development) are in doubt due to low acidity. Now - 2005 (Paul Anderson, UK)

02/00 Château Filhot (Sauternes) 1990
A good golden colour and fresh citrus and apricot fruit mixed with plenty of lanolin like botrytis. Quite weighty yet fresh and refreshing. A lovely dessert wine to drink with dessert. (Nick Alabaster - UK)

02/00 Sauternes vs. Barsac

Château Coutet 1975, Barsac 1er Cru
75% Semillon, 23% Sauvignon blanc, 2% Muscadelle. Deep golden colour. Rich nose of honey, spice and apricots. Rich and spicy on the palate: lovely fat texture and plenty of botrytis-derived spiciness. Still acidity left to hold it together. Very good.
Château Lafaurie Peyraguey 1981, Sauternes 1er Cru
90% Semillon, 5% Sauvignon blanc and 5% Muscadelle. Yellow/golden colour. This is a little more subtle than the Coutet (perhaps surprisingly). Lemony nose. Flabby on palate with some sweet, spicy and honeyed notes. Moderate acidity and botrytis, but overall this is quite a simple wine. OK/good.
Château Filhot 1986, Sauternes 2me Cru
55% Semillon, 40% Sauvignon blanc, 5% Muscadelle. Yellow gold colour. Medium bodied wine with a slightly muted nose. Moderately spicy with a rich texture, some sweetness and some botrytis evident. Pleasant wine: a good effort from this property. Good.
Château Climens 1986 Barsac 1er Cru
100% Semillon. Golden colour with a big, spicy botrytis nose. On palate there is marmalade and spice, with a touch of honey and high acidity. There is also some new oak influence. This is a lively wine which for me was the favourite of the night. Very good/excellent.
Château Coutet 1989, Barsac 1er Cru
Golden colour. Lovely lifted nose with a touch of oak, and spice and lemon notes. On the palate this is quite fat textured, with spice, toast, marmalade and barley sugar. Lively acidity is masked by the richness of the texture. Very good, possibly better.
Château Lafaurie Peyraguey 1989, Sauternes 1er Cru
Mature gold colour. Honeyed, waxy, spicy nose which lacks a bit of intensity. On the palate, marmalade-like spicy botrytis coupled with a rich, smooth, sweet texture. Quite soft, but still held together by reasonable acidity. Good to very good.
Château Guiraud 1990, Sauternes 1er Cru
65% Semillon, 35% Sauvignon blanc. Deep golden/amber colour. Unusual, lifted nose of nuts honey and new oak. On palate, powerful and rich with plenty of botrytis and with a toasty, nutty edge. Concentrated and intense, but quite unusual with its fat, rich texture only just held in check with moderate acidity. Very good, perhaps better.
Château Doisy Vedrines 1995, Barsac 2me Cru
Yellow gold with a bright nose of lemon and spice. On the palate there is intense citrus fruit (from the Semillon?) coupled with some new oak and moderate botrytis (marmalade notes). High acidity. It is a bit raw at the moment but may well develop nicely. Very good. (Jamie Goode - UK)