This is an archive of tasting notes from participants in the UK wine forum, with notes from before 2003








UK Wine Forum - Bordeaux, red and white
Notes from participants in the UK Forum are added in chronological order.

N.B. some even older Bordeaux notes are archived here.

reds - whites

red

01/03 Château Lafite-Rothschild 1999
CS 74% CF 6% M 18.5% PV 1.5% . Deep garnet core, less depth of colour than the 1998. V elegant nose, the Cab Franc adding a roasted herb dimension. Surprisingly open-knit, much more than the 1998. On the palate, v beautiful and expressive. Moderate tannins. Amazing forward and approachable. Fleshy and supple with a plump mulberry/plum finish. You could drink this now! Marked down as it should have more structure. I don`t think this is a long-term Lafite. 21/25 (Neal Martin, UK)

01/03 Château Lafite-Rothschild 1998
CS 89% M 19% . Deeper hue than 1999. Very CS dominated nose - blackcurrant & cassis. Turning chocolatey after 20 mins in the glass. The palate matches the nose. Classic Bordeaux: firm tannins, a bit austere with wood/tobacco notes. Great definition and harmony with a lingering cigar-box finish. V concentrated. This was my favourite First Growth when I tasted en primeur and no wonder Parker up-graded it. Still under-rated in my book. Stunning wine (IMHO better than the 1996 and half the price.) 23/25 (Neal Martin, UK)

01/03 Château Lafite-Rothschild 1996
CS 84% CF 8% M 8% . Slightly deeper garnet core than the 95. The nose is relaively closed. Tobacco with a touch of liquoice. V austere. The palate is v concentrated and fuller-bodied than 98/99. V tannic. Quite tough and "masculine" for Lafite. Becoming spicy in the glass with a long but slightly dry finish. Certainly at it`s awkward adolescent stage. Don`t open for another 5-8 years. Not as harmonious as the 1998. (22/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

01/03 Château Lafite-Rothschild 1995
CS 74% CF 8% M 18%. The first wine to show secondary characteristics. On the nose, much softer than 1996 with blackberry, damp earth notes. A melted tar note later on. Palate is v elegant and feminine with a soft, fleshy texture. Good acidity. Meaty. Lighter than expected. Dark chocolate on the finish. Third time I`ve tasted this and it still does not have the weight I expected. But I still wouldn`t throw it in a casserole. (22/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

01/03 Château Lafite-Rothschild 1990
CS 57% CF 13% M 30% . Deep garnet core. A huge nose of chestnuts, figs and a little liquorice. V opulent. The palate is loaded with lush black fruits - v savoury and v complex. Raisins. V concentrated - a really decadent wine although not as harmonious as Latour. Damsons and figs on the finish. V v long. Even my mum would drink this instead of her Liebfraumilch - that`s how good it is. 23/25 (Neal Martin, UK)

01/03 Château Lafite-Rothschild 1989
CS 67% M 33% . More tawny on the rim. A stunning nose: minerals and earth. V complex - wonderful definition. The palate is very elegant and feminine. Less opulent than 90 and for me a better wine. Quite fleshy with just about perfect acidity. Drinking beautifully now but this will last another 20+ years. A smokey note on the finish. IMHO the best of the triumvate vintages. 24/25 (Neal Martin, UK)

01/03 Château Lafite-Rothschild 1988
CS 72% 28%. Appears more youthful than the 89. The nose has an almost rustic quality to it. Notes of griotte cherry and minerals. V typical for the vintage on the palate. Austere, v tannic without the concentration of 89/90. Quite a mean wine for Lafite and a little dry on the finish. Mouton has a little more depth. A traditional style of claret. Drink within 5-8 years. 21/25 (Neal Martin, UK)

01/03 Château Lafite-Rothschild 1986
CS 69% CF 16% M 15% . V deep - almost opaque colour. An immense nose - very alcoholic. One of the most complex noses I`ve experienced: griotte cherry, earth, cassis, coconut, dark choc. The palate is still tight with velvety smooth tannins. A hedonistic wine - the most New Worldy of the tasting. V exotic and a v long finish. I gave this a perfect mark last year but it lacked a bit of harmony this time. Leave it another 10-15 years before opening a bottle (with me!) 23/25 (Neal Martin, UK)

01/03 Château Lafite-Rothschild 1982
CS 66% CF 6% M 28% . Starting to show the first signs of aging. The nose is completely focussed, a subtle belnd of plums, chocolate, figs and dried leave. V different to the 86. The palate has stunning balance and definition. A wine just beginning to flex it`s muscles. Perfect balance. Tobacco, lead-pencil and ceder. Less opulent than Mouton but more harmonious. You know a perfect wine when you taste it - this was only my 11th one ever. 25/25 (Neal Martin, UK)

01/03 Chateau Andron Blanquet, Cru Bourgeois, St. Estephe 1997
I haven't had much lick with crus bourgeois before now, so was a little underwhelmed to finish the evening with this. My expectations were comfortably exceeded. A lovely, typical cedarwood/tobacco/leather nose, excellent balance. I guess this was just about at peak, but a real pleasure to drink. Very good/excellent. (Mark Pearce, UK)

01/03 Château La Tour de Mons 1996, Cru Bourgeois, Margaux
Deep ruby. Very dry nose, traces of fruit. Astringent and "thin" on the palate. Light-bodied, though with perceptible black fruit. Decent length. Good + (Hugh Millar, UK)

01/03 Château Giscours 1990, 3rd Growth, Margaux
Medium red, turning pale red-brown at the rim. Clean "claret" nose; positive fruit, slightly smoky. Firm tannins on opening, quite dry. Good length. Medium bodied and very well balanced. Approachable on opening, but develops quickly in glass. After 15 mins, tannins have softened. A very well-made wine. VG+ (Hugh Millar, UK)

01/03 Domaine de la Passion du Haut-Brion 1970
Very ripe cassis nose, gravely. Vibrant rich palate with plenty of good fruit. Complex and structured. Pleasingly mature but definitely not past it. Excellent. (David Strange, UK)

01/03 Château Montaiguillon St Georges St-Emilion 2000
(2nd wine of Château Belair St Georges) Crisp, fruity, almost cheeky number, almost like a cross between claret and beaujolais villages. Very easy drinking. G (Paul Armstrong, UK)

01/03 Château Citran Haut-Medoc 1995
Deep dark purple, still some bluish youth. Moderately intense black fruit and new oak nose, still primary. Deep mocha-edged black fruits, intense, dryish, quite long. Needs time. VG/E (Paul Armstrong, UK)

01/03 Château de Cruzeau Pessac-Leognan Rouge 1988
Still quite a deep ruddy-purple. Lifted leafy nose, still quite fresh. Weedy but very pure pleasnt fruit, nice acidity, mellow but not old. Impressive for 14 years old minor chateau. VG (Paul Armstrong, UK)

01/03 Château du Pavillon Canon-Fronsac 1997
Nice mid-weight claret, gently smoky, gently rustic, 'natural', drinking well now. G/VG (Paul Armstrong, UK)

01/03 Château Plaisance St Emilion Grand Cru 1998
Dark purple colour. Meaty, charred-oak nose leads into a tasty, chewy, long mouthful. Lots of flavour, but rather closed and lacking in complexity. Worthy but not really exciting. Day 2 (today): not much evolution, still flavoury but monolithic. (I enjoyed a bottle of this more a year ago, so maybe it's just closed down temporarily... but I'm a bit nervous). VG (Paul Armstrong, UK)

12/02 1991 Château Leoville-Barton 1985 – St Julien
Double decanted 1 hour in advance. I have drunk this wine several times and have not been disappointed – not even a corked bottle! A ruby red, with a nose of the inside of a wooden pencil box, and mature red fruits. Medium bodied taste of predominately Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a joy to drink. Fully mature now, both bottles were equally good. 92/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

12/02 1991 ChâteauMargaux 1983
Opened three hours before drinking, not decanted. The colour is superb: deep ruby, bright. The nose is a carousel of rare products: black truffle, Russian leather, amber, red fruit, violet, cuban cigar, smoked cedar, animal, pods of vanilla... Difficult to pick up my nose from the glass ! Finally the nectar reaches my mouth and overwhelms each pore of the palate. Immediately one is stunned by its silky side and its splendid roundness. No aggressiveness at all, the wine rolls and rolls in successive waves. The perfect definition of elegance and balance. The length is exceptionally long for a red wine. Several minutes after swallowing, one still smells it in "retro-olfaction" (sorry for this Frenchisized word). Really incredible... Any score between 95 and 100 ! (Alain, Sitzerland)

12/02 1991 Château Mouton-Rothschild 1979
Opened one hour before, not decanted. The hue is relatively light with slightly brownish edges. The nose seems a little bit closed at first, then it opens gradually as time passes: underwood, prune, black truffle. The mouth surprises me by its relative lack of width. Balance is not perfect even if tanins are indeed well integrated, but the fruit is nevertheless dominated by some awkward acidity. Finish is not excessively long. A unimpressive Mouton. Must have been better 5 years ago. 87/100. (Alain, Sitzerland)

12/02 1991 Château Carbonnieux 1985
Brownish dress. The nose is clearly dissociated , prune, smoked, jammy. Rounded mouth at first but dries up quickly. One hour later, the wine really starts to oxidize. To drink very quickly! 83/100. (Alain, Sitzerland)

12/02 1991 1970 Palmer
I've only had this wine once before and it was one of the best old Bordeaux I had at that point in my tasting career (side-by-side with a 1970 Latour). There is more Merlot in this blend than Cab, which is atypical for this Chateau. This bottle did not show as well as my memory of the first experience ("they" never do) and the medium ruby-orangeish color showed its 32 years of age. It is still very drinkable and the tame, mature fruit was gordian, very soft and perfectly balanced. Drink up and enjoy! (Roy Hersh, USA)

12/02 1991 1978 Château Lafite Rothschild
Medium ruby color with bricking and generous aromas of mushrooms, glove leather and dusty cherries. The soft fruit was pleasant but starting to fade and shortly the ubiquitous tannins will overwhelm what is left of this wine (at least from this bottle). I enjoyed the aged Bordeaux flavors of what was a bit of a lean let down from my high expectations. This was my first experience with Lafite from the 1978 vintage. In balance today, but drink up soon, unless this bottle is an anomaly. (Roy Hersh, USA)

12/02 1991 1983 Château Lafite Rothschild
There is so much going on in this well-aged sumptuous wine. Roasted notes of tobacco leaves, coffee and black truffles. Rich, expressive and balanced this is drinking beautifully today and a friend brought two bottles for our group to consume. Not a powerhouse and nearing its peak, this 1983 should probably be consumed sooner much rather than later. Regardless, its a classic, elegant wine with a persistent finish. My hope is to drink this again, side-by-side with the '83 Margaux which I prefer to this vintage of Lafite. (Roy Hersh, USA)

12/02 1991 1986 Château Lynch Bages
Well-extracted vibrant red color with onset of bricking on the rim. This wine depicts black and boysenberry with spicy flavors, some leather, cedar and chocolate notes. A formidable, texturally smooth finish with subdued tannins made this very approachable now. Far less tannic than many Bordeaux from this vintage and even other bottles of this LB that I have had in the past. Yummy! (Roy Hersh, USA)

12/02 1991 1989 Château Pichon Longueville Baron
Youthful deep purple color and a harmonious wine with lip smacking blackberry fruit that is dense and chewy. Great Pauillac nose of berries, tar and minerals that is delicious now but still has tremendous cellar potential. This Pichon Baron is one of the top stars of this excellent vintage. Approachable today, yet the tannins are round and mouth coating and some feel it is still too tight. I don't. I buy more of this wine every time I can find a fair deal with excellent provenance, as this is one of my personal favorites. (Roy Hersh, USA)

12/02 1991 1990 Château Cos d'Estournel
Still in puberty, keep it in a locked cellar to allow the tannins to mellow out a bit. Inviting scents of chocolate, coffee and cedar with a structure built for the long term and flavors that are very enjoyable today, but will only improve. Hold for at least another five years to see them get closer to developing secondary nuances and flavors. (Roy Hersh, USA)

12/02 1991 1990 Château Leoville Las Cases
The Las Cases is easy to describe. It is big, bold and boisterous and is best kept buried behind or below other bottles. Jammy blackberry and plum fruits with scintillating aromatics, fine balance and excellent LT potential. This LLC is a heck of a good drink on this particular evening, in spite of its youth. I preferred it to the Cos above, as this showed greater depth to me. (Roy Hersh, USA)

12/02 1991 1990 Château Beausejour Heritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse
I will admit that I have never even heard of this Bdx producer, so obviously I did not know it was a Robert Parker 100-point wine. Black and inky, it's more reminiscent of a vintage Port cask sample. Very berry flavors with some bacon fat and smoky notes. A huge wine with deep extraction, acid that attacks the palate, which is then barraged by Titanic tannins. Very clean fruit and still a chunky monkey, yet powerful and coarse. I don't agree with the 100 point rating but nonetheless it is going to be one excellent wine when it sheds the baby fat. (Roy Hersh, USA)

12/02 1991 Château Beaumont 1987
The 87 was bought at auction recently for £40.00 a case. (an complete steal imho) The first botle we tried was poor and i suspect now was slightly "corked" The 87 last night was superb with all the simplicity of a cru Borgeoius and lovely secondary development. A simple gentle wine well matched with food. (David Bennett, UK)

12/02 1991 Château Beaumont 1997
The 97 was heading the same way but the new oak clearly used was still a little dominant. the 97 was SIGNIFICANTLY better 12 hours later having been stored with the old cork closure in a cool place (David Bennett, UK)

12/02 1991 Château Pey Martin 1996
I'm not sure whether you see much of this Cru Bourgeois in the UK, but it came through our Ontario liquor monopole a few years ago. I bought a case and have been sampling it ever since. The wine has been through some funny phases, but it is now lovely: all summer fruits, with leather and leaf mulch on the nose. The alcohol may be slighly too dominant, but I can't complain, having spent the equivalent of five quid per bottle. (Timothy Hughes, Canada)

12/02 Château Cos d`Estournel 1966 (St. Estephe)
deep brick red colour. A wonderful ripe nose reminiscent of the 82. Bursting full of ripe cherry and roasted herbs. Palate had wonderful concentration. Very rich with plump sweet red fruits: cherries and raspberries. Very fleshy on the finish. I`ve slated Cos in recent vintage e.g. 97 but this out-performed all the Firsts I`ve tasted in this vintage. (23/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

12/02 Château Cheval Blanc 1971 (St. Emilion)
Broadbent gives it 5-stars, Parker a mediocre 84 points - so who is correct? On this bottle, definitely MB. A heady nose of black fruits, tar & dark chocolate. The palate is just about the smoothest I`ve ever tasted. Seamless is an understatement. V rich and very sensuous. Not as profound as 64 or 89 but it gives as much pleasure as the 82 at about 20% of the price. I wonder if the 70 is better than this? (22/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

11/02 Château de Fieuzal 1990 Pessac-Leognan, France - 12.5%
Colour: Brick red to the rim, no sign of ageing. Nose: Strong oak smell which many did not like, but the wine was excellent. Smooth, very little tannins, ripe and drinking very well now so don''t wait for much longer if you have any left. This is well priced Bordeaux at its best. 92/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

11/02 Château Macquin 1990 St Georges St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France. 12.5%
It was a faded red heading towards brown colour. The mature nose of pencil shavings and cooked plums seemed fairly balanced. It tasted quite flat, not much fruit with a short finish. It had been stored well and was not corked as far as we could detect. The drinking window was advised by the wine merchant to be 7-15 years. At 12 years old this was clearly over the hill. Drink up. 70/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

11/02 Château Chasse-Spleen 1983
Colour: deep red, very little trace of fading, maybe a slight browning. Nose: spicy, cedary, fragrant yet nicely concentrated. Palate: some fruit, good concentration, tannins still in evidence but rounded. Slightly leafy/earthy finish, but a well-made wine standing up nicely for its age. Complex. Very good. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

11/02 Chateau Leoville Lascases 1993 – St Julien – Bordeaux. 12.5% - £38 (US$80)
Double decanted 1 hour in advance, with very little sediment. Tasted in an ISO tasting glass. The 1993 vintage in Bordeaux was 'light' with some rain through the ripening / picking season. I was holding my breath on this one as a reliable wine merchant had recommended it to me. A deep ruby red, colour all the way to the rim. A wood shaving and slightly green stalky nose seemed lean. The taste is surprisingly soft, ripe, slightly sweet and well balanced, with a good finish. I like this! 88/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

10/02 Château Monbrison Margaux 88
Bright purple/garnet colour, surprisngly young looking. Fresh blackcurrant/cassis nose. Palate of bright cherryish fruit, silky texture, elegant, tannins fading, just entering maturity plateau. Lovely elegant wine but ultimately lacking just a little bit in the complexity department. VG/E (Paul Armstrong, UK)

10/02 Château d'Issan Margaux 83
Mature garnet colour. Over time, a very nice complex "fruit and earth" nose with fresh damp undergrowth. Unfortunately palate doesn't match the nose, quickly becoming tired and attenuated in fruit. An elegant old lady but the wrinkles are becoming rather obvious. G/VG (Paul Armstrong, UK)

10/02 Château Lynch Moussas 1970
Initially old wood and floorboards. Not really brown at all at the rim (I was quite suprised really) the fruit was there but in a n elementry form. The dominant pa;late was complex econdary wood really!!. In the end I thought this has had it's day but was an interesting oddment. (David Bennett, UK)

10/02 Cuvee Galius 1983 St Emillion GC (UDP St. Emillion)
Agan a bit dried out but the cigar box element was theret his time and lots of pencil shavings. fruit hiding behind some light tannins. Better then the Moussas but still past it's best (David Bennett, UK)

10/02 Château Tour St. Bonnet 1978
Getting better.... more furtie than the prvious 2 wines but still a bit thin. Past it's best, but nevertheless an interesting wine. I preferred this to the previous two. (David Bennett, UK)

10/02 Château Patarabet 1983 St. Emilion
Stunning reductive nose (afaiwa) with some earthy notes. Vert forward Merlot fruit in fact almost new world!! (in a wine30 years old I though this was fantastic). The palatee was as a great bdx ought to be. Completeyl integrated tannins and fruit and no elemt of the wine was too forward. I loved this lots. (David Bennett, UK)

10/02 Château Berliquet 1987
Harmonious St., Emillion from an OK year. Drinkig well now but will not last longer. Slihgtly taught palate which can be good in some cases. (David Bennett, UK)

10/02 Château Patarabet 1981
Totally different wine. Note similar to the 83 but the tannins had gone and the fruit shone like a beacon through the wine. VERY drinkable and ready now. Lovely fully mature right bank wine. (David Bennett, UK)

10/02 Château Parde de Haut Bailly 1995
The second wine of Haut Bailly. This was Really stinky !! Lots of pungent farmyard smells here and a dense rich colour not fading at all. I though the fruit was masked by the farmyard notes on the palate but others thought differently. Would have preferred a mushroom tart with this! Many though this was a point. and I would agree. (I liked the shitty smell a lot...as it happened!) (David Bennett, UK)

10/02 Château Leoville Las Cases 1982
Decanted 2 hours before and when we all tasted it, it still was not ready!. The bringer of this wine reckoned that it needed a good 4 hours to release all of it's aromas and nuances. I have to say that after the Patarabet my palate was a bit jaded!! However the wine was taut and clearly ripe fruited but was giving away very little on the palate....I woud have liked this to have been opened for a good 6 hours but time did not allow. (David Bennett, UK)

10/02 Château Grand Puy Ducasses 89
Bought by me as a bin end for 15 quid in 1999 this was a lovely wine. Elegant and slightly stinky of wood and farmyards again- must be unfiltered we thought - it had good length and fruit support by the tannins which were softeneing well. Probably had another 5 years but was good now. (David Bennett, UK)

10/02 Ch. Angludet 1990
"a point "- what a wine Sublime. (David Bennett, UK)

10/02 Château Chasse-Spleen 1983
Colour: deep red, very little trace of fading, maybe a slight browning. Nose: spicy, cedary, fragrant yet nicely concentrated. Palate: some fruit, good concentration, tannins still in evidence but rounded. Slightly leafy/earthy finish, but a well-made wine standing up nicely for its age. Complex. Very good. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

10/02 Chateau Cantemerle 1996
Cantemerle can be a bit up and down in my limited experience but this is really nice stuff. Slightly light colour. Nose is surprisingly peppery and smoky. Very good, classical Bordeaux backbone with still slightly assertive tannins but plenty else going on; peppercorns, tobacco and a hint of mint. Nice but not exceptional length. Good fruit but I don't think this will improve hugely hereon in; lovely drinking for the next couple of years or so, especially with food. (Bryan Collins, UK)

10/02 Chateau Lynch Bages 1988
Opened a lot since I last tasted it. V plump ripe nose of sweet red fruits, leather and mocha. Rich and very herbal on the palate. Fine tannins and acidity. A wine really coming into it`s peak now. For me it outshone Pichon Lalande 1988 (Neal Martin, UK)

10/02 Chateau Ferrand-Latigue 1997 (St. Emilion)
lovely violet nose with ample ripeness. Succulent sweet red fruits on the palate. Good acidity. Not amazing complex but very pure, well-balanced and will make fine short-term drinking. It was under a tenner a bottle in bond so it was affordable as well. (Neal Martin, UK)

10/02 Chateau Trotanoy 1997 (Pomerol)
Trot doesn`t reach the heights of the 70`s and early 80`s but this was another fine 97. A plummy farmyardy nose. Not terribly complex. But the palate has good depth, peppery black fruits, supple tannins and strong finish. Drinking now or over next 5 years. (Neal Martin, UK)

10/02 Château Pichon Lalande 1999
Jammy primary fruit, subtle background oak which adds vanilla without the corresponding spice – not necessarily a good thing as it seems to diminish complexity. Ripe, sweet, slightly jammy red/black fruit. Supple but noticeable supporting tannin. Good balance and I would say this undemanding wine should start to drink in 3-5. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/02 Château Pichon Lalande 1997
Earth, smokey fruit, a dusty quality from the oak I suspect. Good fruit entry on the palate but there's a firmness from not quite as ripe a tannin as you would choose. An admiral enough '97, where for me there's been little excitement from the vintage on the whole. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/02 Château Pichon Lalande 1996
Dense, sweet smoke tinged nose. Doesn't seem too closed until it's compared to the '95 which opened nicely in the glass. Much bigger than the '95 and probably more tannin but it's supple and just about completely covered by the dense fruit until the long finish. Big full bodied wine, and the biggest of the tasting. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/02 Château Pichon Lalande 1995
Closed to start, but opened quickly in air, showing a good depth of cassis fruit and cedary edge. Good medium/full weight, gentle tannin but drying and persistent on the finish. Seems like it could drink well quite soon, but the tannin on the finish perhaps hints that the structure might always be quite evident. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/02 Château Pichon Lalande 1994
Smokey, open red/black curranty fruit nose – touch of tar and caramel. Good medium bodied fruit and preferable to the '97. Tannin a little grippy but maintains good balance, but I suspect this may always be a firmish wine given the vintage. Needs more time, but no signs of weakness. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/02 Château Pichon Lalande 1986
Very closed, dense blackcurrant fruit. Soft, complex palate hinting at the mineral character often found in the '86s, but without the body and depth that marks out the best of the vintage. With enough airing the nose might come forward, as this seems ready to drink on the palate. While elegant, certainly very, very good. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/02 Château Pichon Lalande 1983
Developed caramel/cedar nose, a little closed to start but opens more with a meaty edge. Good mid/full red and black fruits on the palate, supple tannins, gentle lingering fruit. Certainly ready to drink and a very good one too. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/02 Château Pichon Lalande 1982
Dense, smokey oak, concentrated blackcurrant – a high top end too. Lovely dense, velvety palate. Some tannins still lurking but the palate builds and the finish goes on admirably. With air a bit of coffee/mocha notes come out. This is still youthful, but it's impressive today. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/02 Château Pichon Lalande 1955
When I nosed this first, it still seemed quite fairly fresh and fruity still with meaty,cedary and mulberry , but after coming back it comparatively showed a lot more age. Still, this is still vigorous enough to be enjoyed with little complaint given it's age, although it's on the gentle decline (the finish shows signs of acid as it dries out). (Nick Alabaster, UK)

09/02 1969 Carbonnieux
Wine was a light colour, with no noticable browning. Slightly tannic to begin with, it softened quite quickly and had some nice cedar flavours with some dark fruits. Given the quality of the Chateau and the Vintage this was an amazingly good bottle and very good value. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

09/02 1960 Chateau Guadet-St-Julien (St Emilion Grand Cru)
Level was upper top shoulder and given the age I was convinced this would be a duffer. Nope. A really good glass of wine. Again light in colour, the nose was more complex than the Carbonnieux and in the mouth the wine had more flavours and weight. Slighly medicinal in taste the texture was quite thick, probably due to the evaporation. Could have drank this all night. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

09/02 1964 Renard-Modesir (Cotes Fronsac)
First bad bottle. Very paper/cardboard nose and dusty. Still after a couple of hours this became less pronounced and we were able to drink a bit of it. Much like the St Emilion. Bottle had a low level and there are another 2 with base of the neck levels to try. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

09/02 1974 Chateau Pavie Decesse
Best wine of the 4. Still with a fairly dark colour, it was the one wine that still had some real weight in the mouth. Tannins had softened and the wine was again slightly medicinal. Longest finish of the 4 and think my mates onto a good thing here as there are 9 bottles still to go. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

09/02 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 1994
Still young, this wine was a beautiful, almost purple colour, with a lovely scented and fruity nose and exceptional weight and grip in the mouth. A little tannic still, but highly drinkable and great class. Excellent. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

09/02 Chateau L'Arrivet Haut Brion - 1996 - 12.5% - £26 (US$40)
From the Pessac-Leognan region of Bordeaux, this is the second wine of La Mission Haut Brion. A bright brick red gave me an oaky nose with closed cabernet sauvignon grapes somewhere. When tasted the tannins were definitely at the foreground with the fruit clearly playing second fiddle. This wine had been delivered to the store only 24 hours previously so the wine may have been feeling the effects and shut down temporarily. Not scored. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

09/02 1996 Château Poujeaux, Moulis en Médoc
Garnet with a ruby rim. This wine has subtle oak and very unsubtle 'stewing' black cherry and plum aromas. Good concentration on the palate, again black skinned fruit - mainly cherry and plum but a suggestion of blackcurrant too. The acidity is very good and paired with medium tannins. Still a couple of years required here, but a good wine. Surprisingly similar palate these two, concentrated and acidic. It was really only the fruit profile that differed. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

09/02 1995 Les Pensées de Lafleur, Pomerol
Full ruby coloured. Nose is restrained but with much swirling you can find traces of oak with black skinned fruit in the background. The palate, despite showing considerable tannin is nicely silky. Acidity is good, supporting medium intensity black fruit. Caramel notes on the finish. Not as good as the 1998 but much enjoyment. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

09/02 Château Cissac 1994
Quite a light colour, but with no sign of age. The nose was muted, and the wine tasted a little dilute and green/acidic. Just about enough fruit to rescue it. Moderate. (NB, tasted with a port and a Sauternes...!) (Matthew Mellor, UK)

09/02 Chateau Pape-Clement, 1990
Deep ruby with brick edge. Gorgeous warm, woody aromas, open and intense, with red and black fruits, game, pencil shavings, vanilla. Can I say "gorgeous" again?! Rich, silky, velvety attack opens to a ripe, lush cassis middle, with integrated oak, strong but smooth tannins and lovely balancing acidity. Long black fruit finish. Absolutely fantastic! Surely this will last another 10 years or more. It's a wine that's so harmonious it should form a male-voice chior! One of the best wine moments ever experienced by my humble palate. (Neil Jenkins, UK)

09/02 Chateau Pape-Clement, 1994
Medium/dark ruby - bit lighter in fact than the 1990. The nose is less open than the 1990, but there's a clear family resemblance! Oak, black fruits, and a sweet yet spicy component. The palate is also less harmonious than the 1990, and perhaps needs some time to sort itself out. Yet, it's lush, rich and tannic. Give it another few years? Still a wonderful experience though! (Neil Jenkins, UK)

09/02 Chateau Les Hauts de Savignac, Bordeaux 1996
This wine showed how good "everyday" Bordeaux can give such great pleasure. The fruit was ripe, there was good structure which promised a few more years, and (bought in France at €6 a pop) good value. Sweet length. Like a lovely ripe Loire with just a touch of darker fruits. Good plus plus. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

09/02 Chateau Canon, Canon-Fronsac 1989
Deep red at the core, but turning amber at the rim. The nose took two hours' breathing to develop from what was essentially a muddy and unfriendly aroma to a soft, fragrant, delicious bouquet, floral almost. Rich and sweet in the mouth, with good length. I would say this was at its best now, but, given the change after decanting, it had plenty of life. Very good but won't get better. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

09/02 Roc de Puisseguin Puisseguin St Emilion 2000
Medium bodied, good tangy fruit, tasty glugger from the cooperative of the appellation. QG (Paul Armstrong, UK)

09/02 Chateau Fongaban Puisseguin St Emilion 2000
Real depth of fruit. Firm tannins and new oak. Very promising I think with time. G/VG (Paul Armstrong, UK)

09/02 Chateau Fongaban Puisseguin St Emilion 1998
More earthy hints of maturity on nose than 2000 version. Not quite as good depth of fruit, perhaps a little bit too dry, though maybe just at an awkward stage. G (Paul Armstrong, UK)

09/02 Chateau Bel Air St Georges St Georges St Emilion 2001
My first barrel tasting, tasting from new and 1 yr old barrels. Fascinating to taste the difference between them . New barrel sample was very impressive, primary, rich, gently toasty vanilla kissed. 1 yr old barrel was softer, more muted and rounded, more 'integrated'. Very promising. VG (Paul Armstrong, UK)

09/02 Chateau Bel Air St Georges St Georges St Emilion 2000
Super rich velvet fruit in a firm young tannic glove with classy fine oak flavours too. VG/E (Paul Armstrong, UK)

09/02 Chateau de Parenchere Bordeaux Superior 2000
Good Merlot/Cab balance, quite soft but touch of backbone evident underneath. QG/G (Paul Armstrong, UK)

09/02 Chateau de Parenchere Cuvee Raphael Bordeaux Superior 2000
Lovely deep purple colour. Super rich-but-elegant blackcurrant/plum fruit. Richness and finesse in perfect harmony. VG/E (excellent buy at 10euros at the chateau, the owner tells me Oddbins will be flogging it for £11.99 soon - ouch) (Paul Armstrong, UK)

09/02 Chateau Bel Air St Georges St Georges St Emilion 1995
Colour just beginning to brick a bit. Rather closed nose of fresh damp undergrowth. Palate of piquant earthy fruit, expands to richness in the mouth, some maturity but perhaps still a bit tight. Improved with airing for an hour or so. VG (Paul Armstrong, UK)

08/02 Château L'Evangile, Pomerol 1993
Wow! Probably still got years ahead of it but cannot see it improving. Great mellow plum nose, excellent balance without any noticable tannin, mouthfeel more satin than silk with a good finish. Decanted 1 hour ahead. (Don Reid, UK)

08/02 Château Lascombes, Margaux 1989
The last of what has been a consistently good case from the first to the last. Possibly about to fade as the finish was just a little dry, the nose was full of vibrant berry fruits as I decanted & it then took over an hour to open up in the mouth. No berry fruits obvious to taste but showed wonderful mature almost burgundy style vegetable/damp/truffle nuances. (Don Reid, UK)

08/02 Château Jean de Gue Cuvee Prestige 1998, Lalande de Pomerol
Limpid ruby red colour, very expressive nose of sweet and concentrated cherries and plums, with impressive weight and concentration on the palate. Seems very extracted and a real "fruit bomb", dare I say it, and it needs food and although very powerful and sweet, it retains balance through good acidity. Very good plus. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

08/02 Château Cissac, 1995
I have had the 1995 twice before and found it excessively woody, like sucking ribena through a plank. But this showing was much improved, the oakiness still very much in evidence, yet the fruit had somehow come through. After a couple of hours, the wine had lost some of its initial impact and mellowed into a slightly less vigorous, and therefore less pleasing, but not displeasing, wine. Not complex, but pretty good, classic "British-style" claret, I'd say. At six quid a bottle from Leclerc, it's a real steal. Good Plus. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

07/02 1997 Château Clerc Milon, Pauillac
Deep ruby colour with some fading at the rim. Nose is a sophisticated mixture of roasted fruits, cedar and pencil lead - very appealing. The palate unfortunately is a bit of a let-down; weak density of fruit, with reasonable acidity and mild tannins. Length is okay, but this wine is not worth the outlay - disappointing. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

07/02 Château Batailley 1976
A still rather fresh fruits de bois nose with minor overtones of mushrooms and some concentration of cherry fruit left. Perhaps slightly biting and volatile but nothing excessive for its age. The palate shows more tertiary character than the nose, mainly a roasted coffee style but still lots of black fruit character left. Very fine. (Nerval, UK)

07/02 Château Batailley 1986
More damp-cellary and reductive than the 1976, seems younger but drier (dried-out?) in style; aromas of mushrooms and dried fruit, with some old barrel as well. Slightly hollow on the palate with a finish that is not watery, but lacking in intensity. Not bad, but not among the greatest 1986s. (Nerval, UK)

07/02 Château Batailley 1990
Immediately a more intense nose of concentrated Cabernet bell pepper character. This is followed by a suggestion of flowers, slightly stale fruit, chalk and biting citrus rind. This still needs some time in the bottle as the ingredients are not fused yet and the whole might seem bit crude aromatically. But a complex, captivating nose. On the palate this is still quite solid, with a tannic, unresolved finish. Lacks some weight and concentration, and certainly the softness and balsamic character of fruit of the subsequent vintages seems to lack here. Again, not the star of the vintage but very good indeed if given enough time or a proper match. (Nerval, UK)

07/02 Château Batailley 1996
Nose of coffee and some barnyard, with quite complex subsidiary notes of overripe strawberry and dark cherry. There's a light balsamic character of fruit here in a quite light and airy texture. The palate is less immediately pleasurable or Parkerized, slightly rough and tannic on the finish of course, plus with a slightly cooked or at least excessively warm character and a general lack of harmony. But a very good wine which is very open for a 1996, reminding me a bit - in a lower-keyt context - of Figeac. (Nerval, UK)

07/02 Château Batailley 1998
Il est sur le fruit, as they say, showing a bit of barrique funk but already reasonably complex non the nose which is worthy of cru classé status. On the palate there is dominant note of bell pepper wrapped in a convincing balsamic fabric, the whole still rather soupy and a bit bitter-petrolly but among the densest 1998s I've had. (Nerval, UK)

07/02 Ch. Phelan Segur 1993 (St. Estephe)
the owner of the Château keeps a couple of barrels of each vintage with extended oak maturing as an experiment. For the 2002 he will decide whether to extend aging for all barrels to 24 months or remain at 18 months. The wine was served blind and it was obvious which was which - one slightly stalky, the other with more cassis and vanilla notes. I was the only one who preferred the leaner version - it`s complexity not masked by the oak - I guess a sign of the times as our palates get used to fruity, oak-laden wines. (Neal Martin, UK)

07/02 Ch. Leoville Lascases, Ch. Latour & Ch. Margaux 2001
all three wines were very impressive, the Lascases being the pick for me (better than the 2000). At the moment critics are divided whether it is the best since 1990 (Clive Coates) or a vintage we should avoid (Robert Parker.) IMHO it`s a vintage over-shadowed by the 2000 and the wines are certainly worth picking up if you want fine claret rather than an investment portfolio. (23, 22 and 20 respectively). (Neal Martin, UK)

07/02 Ch. Poujeaux 1964 (Moulis)
perhaps a wine benefitting from being purchased direct from the property and drunk in Bordeaux. Touch of fig/damsons on the nose (which faded after 30 mins), fine concentration on the mulberry, leathery palate (again fading after a while.) But an impressive wine while it lasted. Anyone tasted other old vintages of Poujeaux? (19/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

07/02 Ch. Montrose 1961 (St. Estephe)
a great but not spectacular 61. A fine, slightly volatile nose of ripe black fruits and minerals. Well-balanced palate that is on it`s plateau. Not as complex as Gruaud of Ducru but more pleasurable now. Pure cassis/ceder finish. Very fine. (22/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

07/02 Le Pin 1989 (Pomerol)
one of the wines you have to ignore the price to taste objectively. Initially disappoitingly lean. But left 10-15 mins in the glass and it turned into a lovely Pomerol. Dark choc, wet sand notes on the nose (which was more like Petrus than usual). V expressive palate: blackcurrant, ceder with cinnamon. Very fat. Improved more and more in the glass like great wines should. Superb (23/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

07/02 Ch. Petrus 1987 & 1980 (Pomerol)
two off-vintages of Petrus. The latter was more impressive of the two: more concentrated with sturdy tannins, dry black earthy fruits and good length. The 87 was hollow mid-palate and was a little short on the finish. 18 for the first and 20 for the second. (Neal Martin, UK)

07/02 Ch. L`Eglise-Clinet 1975 (Pomerol)
now this is a serious Pomerol and half the price of Petrus. The nose of tar, liquorish and cassis leapt from the glass. Very complex with silky tannins, seductive minerally black fruits and almost perfect acidity. Velvety tannins. Drinking now. Great wine. (23/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

07/02 Ch. Mouton Rothschild 1975 (Pauillac)
I felt that the tannins had finally fallen away after 27 years, just as the fruits had begun drying out. A case of bad timing. I`d be interested if others had tasting this before and found it better than I did (17/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

07/02 Ch. Rausan-Segla (Margaux) 1985
Tawny to look at. Tobacco/cedar nose which went down a treat ("typical marguax perfume") with the others. Lovely style of medium weight claret, nicely resolved/mature, with some nice slightly sandy tannins at the end. Very nice wine. Top *** (Joel Hopwood , UK)

07/02 Ch. Latour a Pomerol (Pomerol) 1983
Hotter at first on the nose. Tight and reserved. A heavy, tannic wine. When re-visited, it hadn't really opened out, unfortunately. A wine out of balance, in my view. ** (Joel Hopwood , UK)

07/02 Ch. Leoville Barton (St. Julien) 1983
A deeper, plummier nose with cedar. Very good wine, with good ripe fruit. Balanced, with extract, style and length. A winner. Combines the body of the Latour-a-P with the aroma of the RS, and the extra oomph needed for **** (Joel Hopwood , UK)

07/02 Ch. Mouton Rothschild (Pauillac) 1983
All oak at first. Charry. Heavyweight, needs a little time in the glass. Comes out into convincing claret with very good concentration and length; fine balance. **** Possibly worth holding onto over the next 5 years. Much less herbaceous than the other wines - tempting to call it New-Worldy, as people often do with Mouton. (Joel Hopwood , UK)

07/02 Ch. Cissac (Haut-Medoc) 1982
Nothing wrong with this at all, a much smaller and simpler wine, but good honest claret drinking very well at age 20. Shows just how casually these wines can glide through the years in your cellar ** (Joel Hopwood , UK)

07/02 Ch. Larrivet-Haut-Brion (Graves) 1982
Slightly underwhelmed by this - it's hard to not to be excited by the vintage, or the holy "HB" designation, but Larrivet isn't La Mission after all, and what we had here was a very nice, medium bodied Bordeaux with plenty of ripe blackcurrant fruit and cedarwood. Totally typical *** (Joel Hopwood , UK)

07/02 Ch. La Conseillante (Pomerol) 1981
Intense, classic nose. Very full on the palate, this is a strong showing. Very good acidity, all together here, and the nose growing more refined with time in the glass. Very pleasant suprise for this averagely rated year. Top ***, maybe more (Joel Hopwood , UK)

07/02 Ch. Leoville-Las-Cases (St. Julien) 1970
Dull, but clinging on. A bit madeirised. Second bottle of this I've had that suggests it's past it. No stars (Joel Hopwood , UK)

07/02 Ch. Gruaud-Larose (St. Julien) 1978
Leafy, cool, green nose. Lovely tertiary aromas, and good depth. This is the epitome of a very classy, lightish claret right at the peak of its drinking. Top *** (Joel Hopwood , UK)

07/02 Ch. Pavie (St. Emilion) 1970
Great nose. Waves of raspberry scent. Lovely Merlot fruit, very elegant, and very good. Palate not quite up to the nose, but maybe that's St. Emilion? (Specially at 32!) *** (Joel Hopwood , UK)

07/02 Ch. Leoville Las-Cases (St. Julien) 1979
Pure blackcurrant and cedar nose, really lovely quality here. This has an extra dimension in the fruit quality. Crisp acidity, great finish. **** (Joel Hopwood , UK)

07/02 Vieux Château Certan (Pomerol) 1970
A totally different nose here: there's a chocolatey depth, much more fruity and ripe than the tobacco/cedar right bank wines. Good sound palate. Gunsmoke? Very refined. *** (Joel Hopwood , UK)

07/02 Ch. Leoville Las-Cases (St. Julien) 1966
Stunning nose, with caramel depth and pure blackcurrant fruit. All the ripeness and depth you could want. Lovely medium weight palate. Length and so much style here. Guess: we're told it's St Julien, so my guess is Leoville Barton 85 or 82. What a stunning drink, at 38 years old... I suppose this is what claret is all about. An easy **** (Joel Hopwood , UK)

07/02 Château La Tour de By, Medoc 1995
A disappointment. I've tasted the 78, 90 and 94 of this in the last couple of years, all of which were better. But I shall give it the benefit of the doubt and blame it on a clash with my mother-in-law's cooking (most things clash with it!). This wine was very dry, a real surprise after the almost sugar-sweetness of the 90, and reluctant to reveal much varietal character. If tasted blind, I would have put it down to a three-year old Bulgarian Cabernet Sauvignon. Perhaps this is mean... (Matthew Mellor , UK)

07/02 1983 Château D'Aungludet (Cru Borgeois)
Colour: Mature brick rim with quite a good central dense core still. Nose: Simply Stunning. Rich thick gamey start with alvery light floral lift of? roses/violets. I don't really want to taste this as I could just sit in a corner all night and smell it!! Palate: Ripe fruit and stil quite tannic although not harsh. The tannins were not completely "smooth" but gave something for the fruit to cling onto and it slipped down. Very long lengh especialy after opening for about 1.5 hours as it reached what my fellow diners and I thought was peak. At 2 hours we thought that it had begun to break up a it and the harmony of the acidity/fruit/tannin balance had gone. (David Bennett, UK)

07/02 1992 Chareau Issan (3eme Margaux)
Colour: Lighter core, rim fading to a wide watery margin but brick colours apprearing. Nose: Initially disappointing but....after 30 mins really evolving and more complex even that the Aungludet. Lighter though but with more nuance of violet and floral tones. Again the fruit was evident but in a more restrained and dare I say it,"feminine way". Palate; Very complex, lighter tannins than the Angludet but more minerally somehow. I preferred it over the angludet although the latter was better with food. (David Bennett, UK)

06/02 Ch. Le Gay (Pomerol) 1989
although other bottles have been magnificent from this under-rated Château, this one just didn`t sing. At first, Pauillac on the nose, but after a long time in the glass the Pomerol qualities began to show: sand, minerals and earth. V robust, masculine on the palate - certainly not an elegant wine. Almost harsh. Needs another 5 years by which time it will either dry up or be stunning. 18/25 (Neal Martin, UK)

06/02 Ch. Haut-Brion (Graves) 1974
the first in a series of wines that prove how surprising claret can be. A ripe Merlot nose. Quite intense. Palate is well balanced with no signs of drying out. Cedar & sweet red fruits. Med bodied with mature tannins. Much much better than expected. 19/25 (Neal Martin, UK)

06/02 Ch. Pape-Clement (Graves) 1971
another Château that showed its metal in an off-vintage. Surprisingly vigourous nose: black truffly fruits and pencil lead. Well-balanced on the palate. Rounded sweet black fruits/minerals. Good length. I preferred this to the H-B 74. V good for the vintage 20/25 (Neal Martin, UK)

06/02 Ch. Lynch Bages (Pauillac) 1962
a well-defined deep blackberry nose. Well-structured on the palate - this wine at its peak though a hint of dryness at the finish. Pencil-lead, leather and ink notes. V complex with a fine length. A great wine from an under-rated vintage. Much better than Lafite but not as good as Latour 62. 21/25 (Neal Martin, UK)

06/02 Ch. Palmer (Margaux) 1989
a very tight, blackcurrent, violetty nose. Not as well balanced as anticipated, v tannic and robust. V backward. Black fruits, tar and pencil-lead. Doesn`t display the floral characteristics of Margaux. Needs a serious amount of time. 20/25 (Neal Martin, UK)

06/02 Ch. Palmer (Margaux) 1966
a v well-respected vintage for Palmer but not quite as glorious as expected. Intense nose of leather, dry leaves and earth. The palate is well balanced though not as concentrated as expected and lacking a little fatness. Quite high acidity. Very good for the vintage but I expected more. 19/25 (Neal Martin, UK)

06/02 Château Rausan-Segla Margaux 1985
Lovely lifted leafy nose - Margaux perfume in abundance. Pure, slightly weedy fruit core. Very very satisfying. Perfect maturiy. Excellent. (I took this one home afterwards. Sadly but not surprisingly, it was cracking up somewhat when we finished it this evening) (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/02 Château Latour a Pomerol Pomerol 1983
Closed nose, some mulberry over time. Very deep plummy/mulberry fruit, incredibly weighty and flavoury, still young, and a bit "sullen" as somebody else commented. Less enjoyable than the Rausan Segla for now, but might open out with a bit more age perhaps. Excellent. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/02 Château Leoville Barton St Julien 1983
Savoury nose opens up over time. Still some tannin, very deep savoury flavour. Just a touch of VA-related complexity adds to it. Lingers very nicely. Excellent. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/02 Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 1983
Leafy, cedary, touch of fresh mushroom on the nose. Not a flashy nose, but impressively deep and layered as it opens up in air. Very smooth, complex palate, nicely integrated soft tannins. A sophisticated mouthful. Excellent/sublime. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/02 Château Cissac Haut-Medoc 1982
Tasty, savoury, bit simple after previous wines but a highly digestible food wine pretty much at its peak to my taste. Very good. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/02 Château Larrivet Haut Brion Graves 1982
Friendly, bright, gently herbaceous nose. Very clean balanced pure-fruit mouthful, with nice lifting acidity. Very easy to drink, this slips down beautifully. Possibly a slight spikiness to the acidity over time, so maybe a little fragile, but for now: Excellent. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/02 Château La Conseillante Pomerol 1981
Grassy, aromatic nose. Amazingly full, rich flavour, again with hints of grassiness. Chewy, slightly thick "brothy" texture. Lovely, though I find myself tiring of it slightly over time - whereas most of the previous wines have given more and more pleasure with contemplation. Very good/excellent. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/02 Château Leoville Las Cases St Julien 1970
Flattish nose, bit mouldy/mushroomy. Rather soupy, somewhat spiky acidity, rather maderised flavour. Good/very good. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/02 Château Gruaud Larose St Julien 1978
Cool leafy tobaccoey nose of excellent intensity. Lovely sinewy fruit, wild strawberryish, surprisingly mellow and elegant compared to other Cordier wines I've had. Excellent. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/02 Château Pavie St Emilion 1970
Not much nose to start, but a subtle floral whiff gradually emerges and hints at more to come. Lovely elegant supple silky fruit, plummy/strawberry. Haunting long aftertaste. Excellent. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/02 Château Leoville Las Cases 1979
Slightly volatile, nicely floral nose with a slight soapy edge that mars it just slightly. Good fruit, though with a touch of the same soupiness that marred the LLC70 we had earlier. Very long rich finish. Very good/excellent. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/02 Château Vieux-Chateau-Certan Pomerol 1970
Fascinating nose of cardomom, herbs, and a slight salty tang. Rich, savoury but elegant flavour. On recomparing with the Pavie 70, I think I preferred the more ethereal and feminine St Emilion, but both these 70s were remarkably fresh bright wines for their age. Excellent. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/02 Château Leoville Las Cases 1966
Tasted blind, it was clearly a bordeaux, and a very good one at that. Rich, clean, suave and savoury, neither young nor old. I correctly guessed St Julien, but everyone thought this was early or mid 80s by comparison with the ageing curve we'd experienced over the evening. I guessed 82. A very impressive bottle. Excellent/sublime. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/02 Château Giscours, 3eme Cru Margaux 1980
My employers specialise in reputed estates from ill-reputed vintages but this was a very pleasant surprise. Very savoury and mellow, with very mature claret notes and strong scents of cedar. Lacked concentration and oomph, but considering its age and the repute of the vintage, a highly worthy wine. Good. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

06/02 Dom de la Gaffeliere, St Emilion 1987
Clearly at the peak of its maturity, this wine was savoury and quite rich without much ripe fruitiness. However, clearly a wine of some structure to have made it this far from a mediocre vintage. A much, much better showing than previous examples. Good plus. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

06/02 Château Leoville Barton 1978
By no means a bad wine, but not terribly engaging. The nose lacks depth and has a off-putting metallic note. Palate is mature, possibly just over the hill, acidic and lacks some integration. Quite angular. Moderate tannins and thin sweet red fruit on the finish. Drink up if you still have a bottle. (17/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

06/02 Château Haut-Brion 1978
a lovely, fully mature H-B though not as good as Margaux or Lafite. Feminine nose with notes of fig, tar and ceder. Of course, much classier than the L-B on the palate with tobacco, tar and black fruits. Well-integrated. Not as tannic expected. V classic, austere Bordeaux. Drinking now though may last another 2-3 yrs. (21/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

06/02 Château Haut-Bourcier, 1eres Cotes de Blaye 2000
Deep red colour and youthful, very ripe nose. Quite concentrated, but really it's the fruit which dominates. I've never tasted a plum as plummy as this. Quite rich on the palate, with broody, powerful leathery fruit offset by still dominant, ripe tannin. Reminded me of Chilean Merlots at about six quid. Very good to drink now, probably needs a year or two to soften the tannins. At what was £3.99, it's an exceptional wine (Matthew Mellor, UK)

06/02 Château Certan Marzelle Pomerol 1998
100% Merlot. Not too dark colour with some rusty rim. Baked bread crust and minor barnyard, minor touches of unripe Merlot showing, though very smooth in mouth, almost creamy. Good integration, quite long, medium body, a pleasant wine, though at L20 a questionable QPR when one can have the incomparably superior La Pointe for L18. (Nerval, UK)

05/02 05/02 Château Magneau Graves Rouge 1990
Colour: garnet red with pale orange rim. Nose: fresh mushrooms, tobacco and undergrowth. Palate: cherry and strawberry, gently earthy, savoury and sauve mouthfeel. Almost classic claret from this underappreciated appellation. Peak of mellow maturity. Yum. VG/E. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

05/02 Château Chauvin, St Emilion GCC 1996
First tasted in 2000, and this wine has hardly developed at all. Creamy, rounded nose, brightly fruity, though fighting to balance with the oak which shows, along with tannin, quite strongly at this stage, achieving good harmony. There is enough concentration to suggest that in five years' time it will be very good. (Bought at the Château for 160FF a bottle - last year I saw it at a hypermarche for 100FF a bottle!) (Matthew Mellor, UK)

05/02 1998 Château Fonroque, Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé
(Half) Dark, almost opaque garnet. Nose is quite oaky with ahigh toast, but quite pleasing with something halfway between blackcurrant and black cherry peeping out over the oak. The palate is oakily fat with good acidity and medium length. A nice drink already. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

05/02 1998 Le Petit Cheval, Saint Emilion Grand Cru
(Half) Not as dense colour as the Fonroque, and more purple. On the nose a different beast; no obvious oak, just mild spice and sweet high toned red fruit. The palate has similar density to the Fonroque, with less persistent acid but more tannin. Oak induced creamy finish which is quite long. I prefer this style and would guess it will be at it's best over the next 5-6 years. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

05/02 1998 Château Belair, Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé (B)
(Half) Dark garnet colour. Nose is similar to the Petit Cheval, though a little less interesting. The fruit on the palate is also similar to the previous wine though denser, with higher acid & tannin. Certainly much more stuffing, and should be the basis of a longer lived wine. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

05/02 1998 Les Pensées de Lafleur, Pomerol
(Half) Very dark, almost opaque garnet. Nose is very oaky with high toast. Behind there is plum and bitter chocolate. The palate is silkily tannic with long acidity and good depth of fruit. This is much more of a challenge to drink right now than the previous three, I'm just trying to imagine what Lafleur itself must be like. I think I'd most like to have the baby Lafleur in my celler, but to drink over the next few years, the baby horse is the star. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

04/02 Château La Couspaude 1995, St Emilion Grand Cru
Slight peppery nose, but smells thin. Tastes thin as well, though is slightly jammy. Tannins are very noticeable and have yet to soften. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

04/02 Château Beaumont 1996
Great nose. all pepper and cigars. Lovely dark colour, this was great, good value claret. Initially a bit thin, it put on weight as the air got to it and it turned into a moorish red Bordeaux. Just as good as the Montes, but a totally different style. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

04/02 Amiral de Beychevelle 1995
Deep red, but fading at the rim to brick red. Nose reminds me of a Prieure-Lichine 89, but less concentrated - fragrant, yes, and a classic St-Julien cedary bouquet, but thinning and drying, lacking the concentration of the P-L 89. In the mouth, smooth, but drying out, with a lack of concentration which is surprising for a 95 of good provenance. I notice, FWIW, that WS gave it 80 pts (never saw the actual TN!), and I guess that translated to the 20 point scale, its score of 12/20 would be about right. Drinkable, recognisable, but not great or worthy by any stretch. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

04/02 Ch. La Mission Haut-Brion 1985
quite a light hue. A lovely open-knit, savoury nose with roasted herbs. Less showy than the 1986 which has more structure and longevity. Palate was just about mature although it could last another 5-8 yrs. A lush, supple wine but does not have the tannins to last as long as the 86. (21/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

04/02 Ch. Haut-Brion 1975
this is probably one of the best value First Growths on the market at the moment (goes for around £75 a bottle ex-VAT). Dense tobacco/leathery nose is only juts opening but the palate is fully mature. Full-bodied with impressive ripeness. Quite minerally, rustic black fruits and black olives. V good length. Everything you want in a H-B (23/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

04/02 Ch. Haut-Brion 1966
this was more backward than the 75 to my surprise. A similar feel to the 1975 but the nose was quite closed and the wine had more backbone. If you find an more forward bottle it will be absolutely delicious. (22/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

04/02 Ch. Cheval Blanc 1979
well two of us on the table couldn`t stand this. A lean nose of green peppers. Unattractive, mean palate lacking flesh and any sense of class. I would have expected much more from this even if it was a mediocre vintage. V disappointing. (15/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

04/02 Château Malescot St Exupery 1989
I expected more from this. A dark ruby red colour, fading to brick red at the rim (strange in a well-stored wine of this "youth"). The nose took some cajoling from the glass, hints of cassis and cedar, some fragrance. On the palate, concentrated but drying, with little indication of generous fruit content: slight hints of earth and caramel. Mellowed after a further 24 hours, but still not as great as it should be (vastly less attractive than the 89 Prieure-Lichine or Giscours, for example). Glad I didn't pay the full whack. Moderate to good. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

04/02 Château Laroque St Emilion Grand Cru 1994
Lovely dark ruby red colour, no sign of ageing. On the nose, quite open, well-rounded notes of ripe red berry fruits, very sweet, quite concentrated and attractive. In the mouth a degree of tannin and concentration of fruit which suggests a decent longevity, but it is delightful to drink now and may well be at or near its peak. Fleshy and rich, a really classy wine. It's not surprising that it was upgraded in 1996 to Grand Cru Classe status if it was producing wines of this quality in "difficult" years. Very good plus. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

03/02 Château Talbot 1979 (St.Julien)
a brick rim, looks it`s age. Palate is quite intense: black olives, tar. Palate is a bit sharp with high acidity but with fine ripe rustic black fruits mixed with notes of leather and earth. An unexpected elegent finish (I usually find Talbot more coarse than other St. Julien.) Drinking now. (19/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

03/02 Château Margaux 1984 (Margaux)
wine can often spring surprises and this "poor" vintage produced this stunning wine. In fact when I wrote up my notes I had given it the same mark as for the 1982! Incredible rich, almost exotic nose: chocolate and kirsch. Almost Petrus-like. V rich multi-layered palate, fleshy with spicy red fruits. A little VA. V long sweet finish. The Merlot seems to dominate in this year that the Merlot was supposed to be a wash-out! Everyone`s favourite wine of the night by a mile (and much cheaper than 1982!) (22/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

03/02 Château Haut-Brion 1970 (Graves)
Brown/orange rim. An intense nose of black olives, leather with a hint of madeira. Quite rich. V smooth palate, again with a little VA. Notes of ripe blackberries and expresso. Fully mature and drinking well now. V good considering it`s price comparitive to Latour 70. (20/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

02/02 Château Leoville-Barton 1975, St Julien
Cedarwood and leafy blackcurrant aromas. Lovely restrained palate showing black fruits and cedarwood and lovely classic structure going on to good soft tannin finish with hints of richness. 17/20 (Paul Anderson, UK)

02/02 Château Lynch Bages 1992
Good purple with browning rim. Simple nose of blackcurrant, wet earth & stewed cloves & herb. A robust palate of meaty flavours & jammy fruit with some peppery oak with reasonable weight but a weak mid-palate, very soft tannins and low acid. A very straightforward wine and probably past it. 13%abv. Give me a good CdR any day. (Phil Wilkins, UK)

02/02 1988 Château Leoville-Barton, St. Julien
Lovely sweet cedary nose, dark youthful colour to rim, still tannic attack and lively acidity. Fruit not as evident as I would have liked in midpalate, quite an austere, serious wine, but elegant enough. I'd leave this another five years or so to soften a bit, but I wonder how much further than that the fruit would carry it. Very good. (Stephan Muller, UK)

02/02 1988 Château Talbot, St. Julien
Dense, youthful colour at core with just a touch of amber at the edge. More evolved nose than the Leoville Barton, richer, smokier notes. Good thick fruit on the palate but a very pronounced acidity a bit distracting for me at this stage. Leave another five years and try again I'd say. (Stephan Muller, UK)

02/02 1994 Château Grand-Puy Lacoste
(From half) Deeply coloured, mature ruby with amber at the rim. From cold (14C), impressively intense nose with blackcurrant at the top end coming down to leather with earth and pencil lead at the bottom end. Palate is medium bodied with nicely lingering acidity which pushes the finish longer, though a little astringent. Tannins are almost gone, and the fruit is too diffuse to put your finger on anything in particular. The astringency disappears with food, but I would say this is a wine to drink up. Considering the vintage a lovely wine. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

02/02 1995 Carruades de Lafite
(From half) Maturing colour of deep ruby. Some high tones with mild almond and blackberry in the mix. Palate is a little short of fruit, nice acidity and not intrusive tannin. Long but not in a nice way as the finish is unpleasantly astringent. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

02/02 Château Giscours 1994 - Margaux
After 3 hours of decanting the wine was now a bit friendlier. Flowers (jasmine) and red fruit. The wine's structure is pretty straightforward with more tannin than fruit. Slightly acidic by the end. Nice but not very exciting. Another 3 - 6 years before maturity. 84/100 (Alain, France)

02/02 Château Pichon Longueville-Baron 1994 - Pauillac
Muted blackcurrant nose. Rather dull in mouth dominated by wood and green tannins. Short in mouth with an impression of dilution. One of the less appealing Bordeaux I had for ages. I doubt it can improve. 80/100 (Alain, France)

02/02 Château Cos d'Estournel 1994 - St-Estèphe
Pleasant nose - cedar box, spices, plumb. Rounded tannins with lots of ripe fruits and a solid long finish. Much nicer to drink today than Giscours 94, preferably with a nice slice of beef meat. 87/100 (Alain, France)

02/02 Château Mission Haut-Brion 1994 - Graves
Dark ruby hue. Typically Graves with scents of leather, cedar, tobacco and a slight tar undertone. Well-balanced fleshy structure. This wine should be ready for drinking by the next couple of years. Maturity 2008 - 2012. 89/100 (Alain, France)

02/02 Château Mouton-Rothschild 1994 - Pauillac
Dark ruby hue. Black truffle and berry nose. Well balanced with rounded tannins and black fruit. The wine ends a bit abruptly and lacks a bit of power. It would be exaggerated to mention dilution problems here but together with Pichon Baron, the Pauillac wines seem to have suffered from the rain more than others. Drink 2004 - 2010. 88/100 (Alain, France)

02/02 Château Lafite-Rothschild 1994 - Pauillac
Completely different from Mouton. Muted bouquet with scents of spices, pepper, leather. The wine is difficult to judge on the palate. The tannins are a bit harsh and deeply structured. Surprisingly this wine has little flavours, which are usually Lafite's trademark. Most of the participants had the feeling the wine was much too young. Wait for another 5 years before uncorking the next one. Possible maturity: 2015 and longer. The wine isn't currently very pleasant. Today's score should be no more than 86 with presumably a potential of 90/100 in 5 or 10 years. (Alain, France)

02/02 Château Haut Bailly (Pessac - Leognan) 1997
I've always wanted to taste this, enthused by Hugh Johnson's descriptions and despite it being a "bad year claret" I thought sod it, I'll have it! And what an inspired impulse buy it turned out to be. Subdued but unmistakeable Bordeaux nose, not at all thin to look at but what a lovely tasting wine. Savoury, meaty, rich - all from a '97, heaven knows what a "good" vintage would be like. This was a well balanced "standard 12.5% alcohol" beauty that has changed my mind about 1997. Not cheap: £18.99, Majestic. (Daron Fincham, UK)

02/02 Château Pichon Lalande 1989
all agreed this was much better than anticipated since both this and the 1990 can perform below par on occassion. This bottle had an intense, gravelly/herbal nose - almost Graves like. The high Merlot content gave it a fleshy open-knit feel with plum and tobacco notes, with a little green pepper on the finish. Just a hint of dryness at the end. Drinking now. (20/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

02/02 Château Cos d`Estournel 1982
I`ve had better bottles of this - it`s a wine like the next that seems to vary a lot. Mature nose of leather/cigar box. Quite open. The palate has great depth and class. Tobacco, cinnamon and black fruits. This bottle lacked the cohesion usually found in thies wine, and fell away a little at the finish. (19/25) but usually its 22/23. (Neal Martin, UK)

02/02 Château Latour 1970
another wine that varies. This was the most closed I`ve ever had it. Hardly any visible aging. Nose is very tight: dense cassis/blackcurrants. Well-structured with robust tannins, concentrated black fruits and notes of pencil-lead and dried leaves. V complex and "masculine". At least 20+ years ahead of it. (22/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

02/02 Château Leoville-Poyferré 1996 St julien
Considerably cheaper then Mouton and for my money a slight improvement. Very dark at present with a quite bumb nose at first. Some tobacco and dark fruit when aerated. Palte is still a long eay from ready with fairly fierce tannin levels but may have sufficient fruit to balance this. Very long finish if still quite tight. 15/20 now but will improve. (Anthony Taylor, UK)

02/02 Château Mouton-Rothchild 1993 Pauillac
Very expressive nose. Hints of wood, coffee, plum and cassis. Colour is lighter than the Poyferre. Palate a little thin, but still beautifully balanced with just enough fruit to balance acid and tannin. Not earth shattering but a very good effort from a poor year. Probably beginning to drink now. 15/20 (Anthony Taylor, UK)

02/02 Château Mouton-Rothchild 1994 Pauillac
Altogether more serious. Much deeper colour, deep red but not to purple. Nose much less open. Some wood in evidence and a little fruit, but giving little away. Palate is equally tight with some fruit appearing initially but then swamped by the tannic finish. Is very long but as yet not nearly so enjoyable as the 93. Keep another 5-10 yrs at least. 14/20 but will improve. (Anthony Taylor, UK)

02/02 1978 Château Beychevelle, St. Julien
Vegetal nose, totally lacking in any real flavour - six people left more than half a bottle, this was not a corked or bad bottle. (Dave Sansom, UK)

02/02 Château d`Angludet 1998
nose lacks the richness of 2000 and is more savoury/herbal. Tobacco infused palate with rustic black fruits. Well-structured, good grip with a black peppery finish. Could drink this now. (18/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

02/02 Château d`Angledet 2000
complex nose of rich black fruits and ripe cherries. V smooth. Wonderful balance and great definition. Velvety tannins with rich toasty New Oak. Pure Cabernet - absolutely delicious and good value (21/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

02/02 Château d`Angludet 2001
first 2001 I`ve tasted and it certainly supports talk of a Merlot vintage. Doesn`t have the structure of elegance of 2000. At this early stage it tastes like a ripe, fleshy early drinking wine. (Neal Martin, UK)

02/02 Château Palmer 1995
very muted nose that seems to lack the depth or ripeness expected. Burnt toast and nuts on the palate. Well-integrated New Oak with a savoury edge. Lacks the voluptuousness that other 95`s have. (18/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

02/02 Château Palmer 1996
similar nose to the 95 i.e. there isn`t much except notes of earth and sawdust. Cabernet dominated palate with ripe black fruits and pencil-lead notes. Better structure than 1995 but again I expected a lot more. (19/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

02/02 Château Palmer 1997
a light fragrant nose: violets and peppermint. Med to light bodied and forward. Could definitely drink now. Quite a sharp, bitter finish. Lacks fruit and depth on the finish. (17/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

02/02 Château Palmer 1998
definitely the best vintage for me. A dense rich perfumed nose. Quite earthy. Palate has the grip that previous vintages lacked. Full-bodied - quite muscular. Sweet black fruits with fine complexity. Has the structure to last. Excellent. (21/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

02/02 Clos du Marquis 1990
Slight garnet edge, nice nose, cassis cigar box, some pencil shavings pretty textbook, integrated tannins, very slight fading after 2 hours, so drink now and don't wait. (Roland Leung, Hong Kong)

01/02 Château Plaisance St Emilion 98
Colour: primary mid-depth purple. Nose: gentle vanilla/oak, reticent plums/violets. Palate: intense layered red fruit flavours, savoury/malty chewiness, very ripe Cab Franc aromatics. Silky long finish. Quite bright acidity that stands out a little now but should hopefully integrate more over time. Rating: very good/excellent (Paul Armstrong, UK)

01/02 Château Palmer 1981 - Margaux
one of the best 1981`s I have tasted along with Leoville Lascases. Brick rim with a deep garnet core. The powerful nose of violets, black fruits and black olives soars from the glass that is more akin to an 82. The palate has surprising ripeness, cassis and pencil-lead. A pretty wine with engaging green peppers on a long finish. Best drunk within 3 years but v pleasurable (21/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

01/02 Château Leoville Lascases 1991 - St. Julien
always performs well in off-vintage and this is no exception. Nose is pencil-lead, earth and burning embers. Fine concentration on the palate with moderate tannins. Cigar-box and cassis. Dry on the finish so I`d drink it with 2 years. V good 91 (20/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

01/02 Château Mouton Rothschild 1991 - Pauillac

01/02 Château Cissac 1990 Haut-Medoc
On decanting there was nothing but an odd, metallic (fishy?) iodine nose. After a couple of hours, just sweet blackcurrant fruit. Nothing else, just pure sweet blackcurrant. Very big in the mouth, almost soupy, reductive, completely disjointed and muddy, tannic mess. Yuck. Couldn't finish the glass let alone the decanter; what went wrong here? (Joel Hopwood, UK)

01/02 Château La Mission Haut-Brion, 1978
Dark, brownish colour. Coffee, barnyard, liniment and smoke, a truly complex and exciting bouquet. Dark fruit that feels almost sweet, medicinal tone, a huge wine. Beautiful now, with lots of potential left. 97p+ (tasted in December) (Roderick Hopkins, Sweden)

01/02 Château Haut-Brion Pessac-Leognan 1st Growth 1975
A: Deep dark ruby colour just starting to brown at the edges. N: Powerful whiffs of burning wood-smoke with brambles and black fruits coming through. P: Again very smoky on the palate with a core of ripe sweet blackberries and rich cassis. Hints of cedar and coffee beans underneath the fruit. The palate is not quite integrated yet with the tannins standing out as still quite dry and the acidity on the finish still obvious. S: Excellent wine still showing hints of youth. My impression that this wine still needs time to harmonise. Drink now - 2010 and beyond. (Paul Anderson, UK)

01/02 Château Lynch Bages 1982
After Tom's note on the front page of was seriously excited about tasting this! Bright crimson in colour and shining majestically. The nose was awash with sweet black fruit, cedar and vanilla - very elegant and refined. The palatte was very smooth with fine silky tannins marrying with the fruit nicely. Blackcurrants, vanilla, a few medicinal flavours. The length went on for 1 minute plus. (David Pearce, UK)

01/02 Château Pichon Baron 1982
In contrast to the Lynch Bages this wine is mature with a reddish brown colour to the rim. On the nose it was far more meaty and mushroomy and not as sweet although still wonderfully perfumed. A little lighter on the palatte but with a good selection of black fruits, cassis, cedar, mushroom and game. A very impressive length. I feel that this wine is at the peak of it's maturity. (David Pearce, UK)

01/02 Château Haut-Marbuzet St Estephe 96
Deep blood red. Nose of sweet vanilla/soft oak, touch buttery, almost waxy. Cardomom pods too? Palate very ripe and fleshy red fruits, nice acid structure, some faint tobacco and earth adding complexity. This is 'lots of everything' wine, very tasty indeed, and surprisingly ready to drink now given the appellation and the vintage. Very good/excellent. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

01/02 Château Poujeaux 1997
Dark slightly blackish red. Claret bouquet with slight woody tarry spice. On the palate there is fresh bright fruit with nicely balanced acidity and tannin. Slightly stalky. Excellent long finish. Seems to me to be a reasonably good claret but rather confirms my feeling that I prefer the fragrance of the Northern Rhone to the woody flavour profile of Bordeaux. (Charles Adams, UK)

01/02 Château Clerc-Milon, Pauillac 5eme cru classe 1996
A: Very dense ruby towards black. N: Strong cassis and black fruit aromas with hints of wood shavings and tobacco. P: Quite luscious at first with rich cassis and bramble flavours followed by quite a thump of tannin, cedar and hints of licorice. The finish is very long with more savoury black fruits coming through held up by stalky tannins. S: Very good/excellent wine, unsurprisingly not yet integrated but showing great promise. Probably drink from 2005 - 2015 (Paul Anderson, UK)

01/02 1988 Château Croizet-Bages, Pauillac
Mature coloured, a core of deep brick, browning at the rim. The nose has a bit of sulphur to start which becomes a little cheesy as it develops. But there is also a lift of sweet apple pie, followed by mixed dried fruit, meat & leather, pencil shavings but no cigar box. The palate is thick and smooth with very well covered acidity and some drying tannin. There is baked fruit, but not focused enough to characterise. Only medium length, and a touch astringent at the very end. A really interesting wine which is still enjoyable, but drying out and should be drunk, it lost a lot of interest after being open for an hour. Given the colour though, maybe this example hasn't seen the very best storage. Enjoyed this more than my Lynch-Bages '88 though! (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

01/02 Château Clinet (Pomerol) 1986
This vintage was less impressive on the right bank than the left and in this respect I thought Clinet over-performed. Little signs of aging, an expressive tarry, leather nose. Ripe black fruits with well-integrated tannins on the palate with a herbaceous finish. I`ve found Clinet a little over-extracted in recent vintages so this wine persuaded me even more that this more reserved style suits it better. (21/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

01/02 Château Leoville-Las-Cases (St. Julien) 1985
Probably the best LL I`ve tasted, alongside the 1988. Unlike other vintages, an intense fleshy, pencil lead nose with seamless super-ripe tannins on the palate. Velvety smooth texture with a rich cherry flavoured finish. A very seductive wine! (22/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

01/02 Château Prieure-Lichine, 4eme Cru Margaux 1989
A good nose, quite meaty, though refined and concentrated. Delicious on the palate: concentration and richness, even opulent, as well as classic claret notes (more cigar box than cedar wood) and vivaciously fruity. Good length, and though it's pleasingly mature now, it still has a good five years before it'll fade, on this evidence. Very, very good. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

01/02 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste 1989
Too young, even now, I thought, as despite a good seven hours' breathing, it still tasted a little closed. However, this was drunk concurrently with the Fonseca, so may have suffered as a result, despite my attempts to clear the palate with water. Rich and ripe, this had great weight in the mouth and good concentration; for me this had classic cedar wood notes, though it was a little earthier than I expected a Pauillac to be. A good length. Very good indeed. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

01/02 Château Clerc Milon 90
Colour: a fading rim but otherwise still fairly young and deep. Nose: prominent tobacco, tar, dark chocolate, touch VA, touch grilled almonds. Palate: Chocolate, plum/blackcurrant, bit of graphite but much less than two years ago, and a long spicy-but-fresh finish. Approaching maturity, but should drink well for 5-10 years. Rating: Excellent. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

01/02 1988 Château Lynch Bages (half)
Still deeply coloured, more garnet than ruby and browner at the rim. Freshly opened the nose gives leather, wood and . . . Münster cheese (!) At first the palate is dominated by the acidity and is not very rewarding. Given a couple of hours the nose is a little less expressive at least in the cheese department, but a little bramble starts to come through. The acid whilst still prominent is no longer the dominant feature. The tannin is still there and reasonably fine. The finish is good, just melting away. Good, but not very good. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

01/02 1998 Château La Pointe, Pomerol
My first 1998 right bank. Very dark garnet. Absolutely fantastic focussed black fruit on the nose. The palate has lovely furry tannins and good acidity but today the mid-palate is a bit thin, as is the finish. Probably drunk much too young, but more rewarding than normal for such a young Bordeaux. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

01/02 Château 1985 Lynch Bages
Appearance: Surprisingly light around the rim with a cherry colour moving to raspberry. Nose: Sweet perfume of cedar and other woods although my wife felt there was a rather unpleasent hint of lino! Palate: Although there was depth in the wine shown by traces of leather some jammy touches and soft round tannins, this was a disappointing bottle. The wine had a distinct edge of sharp harshness on the finish. I fear I may have left it in the cellar for a year or two, too long. (James Wright, UK)

01/02 Château Latour-a-Pomerol 1989
brick red rim. Expansive, herbal nose with a touch of lemongrass. V complex. But the palate fails to match the nose. Lots of sweet red fruits, but quite sharp acidity. More mature than expected with light/moderate tannins. Faded in the glass too quickly. Pomerol 89`s should be better than this. (18/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

01/02 Château Clerc-Milon 1990
still quite youthful in appearance. A tight earthy/tobacco nose. Well balanced with well-structured tannins. Lots of secondary flavours coming through: leather, tea and chestnuts on the finish. A very good, complete wine lacking the complexity of other 90`s but drinking now and relatively good value. (21/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

01/02 Château Leoville Barton 1988
12%abv. Amazingly youthful medium purple. Fantastic mature nose of cigarbox and soft cedar – wonderful. Nicely balanced on the palate, elegant but not overly complex. There was a slightly earthy green edge to this but the acids balanced well with food. Not too bad for a mature Bordeaux, but I'm glad I didn't wait 13 years for this wine to come round. Drink over the next 4-5 years. (Phil Wilkins, UK)

01/02 Sociando-Mallet 1986
Very dark intense colour with youthful vibrant purple rim, closed nose with just a hint of cedary wood-little fruit, Noticeable tannins quite concentrated palate, violets and black fruit. Some contradiction however seemed like it needed more time but deteriorated in the glass or had I had too much by then? (Jonathan F, UK)

01/02 Château Calon Segur 1985
Struck me as nicely developed, but I struggled to define how. As I contemplated the nose, the palate too struck me as somewhat dull and fading, no cedar, cigar box or wood smoke. Just a Bordeaux fading into the distance I guess. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

01/02 Château Nenin 1943
Reminded me much of the Musar '67 on the nose, all oxization and fatigue, but on the palate, unlike the Musar, this was re-enforced with drying, tired structure. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

01/02 Château Montrose 1986
A dense, closed but cabernet nose, closed again on the palate but not so tannic as you might expect. Expect better things from this wine I'm sure. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

01/02 Château Talbot 1986
Somewhat typical Cordier, stinky, certainly bretty, and missing the dense character of '86 I really admire. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

01/02 Château Talbot 1987
Showing cedary, smokey modest black fruits, nicely balance, ample length and presence for a lightly regarded year, drinking well. Nice claret (rather than breath-taking).

01/02 Château Palmer 1936
The cork fell into the wine which was undrinkable. Still it was only a fiver and I was hoping that some of the bottles would prove a pleasent surprise, which leads me onto... (Neal Martin, London)

01/02 Château Figeac 1955
2 halves bought for a fiver. Probably the best "quality" to "pound" wine I`ve bought. Both had an very deep inky colour. The first had a little VA but incredible nose of chocolate, kirsch and coffee. The palate lacked definition but was bursting with chocolatey spicy fruits. Had an almost "gloopy" feel. Very long. (21/25) The second had a slightly higher level, no VA, and had much more finesse and elegance. A more powerful version of the Canon 55. Again lots of chocolatey flavoured fruits. Still youthful - could last another 10 years. I can see why both Parker and Broadbent rate this wine. (23/25) (Neal Martin, London)

01/02 Château Calon Segur 1986
Quite easily identifiable as a St. Estephe on the nose. Quite herbal with ripe black fruits. Higher acidity than I expected and quite lean for this vintage on the palate. Lacks a little roundness. Has tasted better, more balanced and with more depth on previous occassion but good value. (19/25) (Neal Martin, London)

01/02 Château Rauzan Segla 1994 (Margaux)
I have to say I was a bit disappointed having had some excellent notes for 90, 95 and 98 recently. Similar to other 94`s, the nose was lacking some ripeness and it lacked the perfume of violets or cassis often found in Margaux. The palate was tannic, lacking depth and flesh with notes of tobacco and earth. This may dry out in the long term. Perhaps a longer decanting might have yielded more. (16/25) (Neal Martin, London)

01/02 Château Gruaud Larose 1970 (St. Julien)
From an unpredictable vintage, this Gruaud Larose was nearing the end of its drinkable plateau. An odd nose of cherry liqueur, leather and gravel. Not amazingly complex. There was adequate ripeness on the palate but severely lacked integration, as if the acidity was on one side and the wine on the other. Kirsch and leather notes on the finish. Not amazingly long. Very heavy sediment here. There are better 70`s to be had. (17/25) (Neal Martin, London)

01/02 Château Cheval Blanc 1983 (St. Emilion)
A lucid amber rim. CB always has amazing purity on the nose, akin to Petrus. Herbs and roasted chestnut aromas. The palate was more forward than expected with sweet strawberry and coffee notes. Tannincs were v ripe and mature. Fantastic balance and very long. Not as complex or as massive as 82 and 85 but better than those two to open now. (22/25) (Neal Martin, London)

06/02 Château Bastor-Lamontagne, Sauternes 1995
Really uninteresting. Quite high on acidity, low on the lovely botrytised complexity of truly great Sauternes. Sweet, well balanced by acidity, but again a wine lacking real interest. At this point, I was feeling let down for the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University and it was clear that the guy who chose the wines had really not tasted them to make sure of their "worthiness". Good. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

06/02 Château Bouscaut Graves Blanc 89
Nice semillon waxy nose, moderate oxidation. Quite bright acidity still, nicely balances the gently oxidised palate. Good lingering intensity on the back palate. Very good. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

05/02 Château Roumieu-Lacoste, Sauternes 1998
I'm not a connoisseur of young Sauternes, but this was a very pleasant, lightish Sauternes (on offer at £7.49 from Waitrose): palish in colour, with a pleasant sweet nose and decent concentration and depth in the mouth, but best for drinking pretty much now. Good plus. It went very well with a slab of Roquefort (call me a traditionalist!) and very badly with lemon tart. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

02/02 Château Coutet Barsac 88
Nice balance of luscious fresh fruit and dried apricots, pretty much a point to my palate. E

02/02 Château Suduiraut 1983, Sauternes
Excellent wine with peaches and cream and hints of marzipan on the nose. Lovely creamy palate with peaches and pineapples building up to a big rich powerful finish. 19/20 (Paul Anderson, UK)

02/02 Les Cypres de Climens 1992, Barsac
Surprising quality of ripeness and richness from a poor vintage that saw a lot of properties de-classifying. 14/20 (Paul Anderson, UK)

02/02 1988 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey (Sauternes)
Gold. Lovely fresh peachy fruit on the nose with lots of botrytis in there too. Ready to drink, but this has aged beautifully and developed nice complexity. Acidity fresh and lively still, with lots of apricot, peach, pear and grapey notes on the palate. Excellent, with easily 10+ yrs ahead of it. (Stephan Muller, UK)

02/02 1986 Château Rabaud-Promis (Sauternes)
Very rotten, lots of botrytis, rich dried fruits (apricots) on the nose. Lovely to drink now, mature but no rush. Excellent. (Stephan Muller, UK)

02/02 1995 Château Fargues
Light golden, good legs, texture appearing on the light side. Intense initial nose of orange peel, and strong botrytis. Some dark sugar and crème brulee on opening in the glass. Quite dumb attack, noticeably high alcohol on midpalate and finish. Good length and intensity, but not much complexity at this stage. Sweetness discernible, but pretty firm acidity supporting the whole package and adding some lemony, tangy notes. This wine is made in 1 year old barrels from d'Yquem - but the oak didn't show at all. V. good with fine potential, but needs time to evolve. (Stephan Muller, UK)

02/02 1990 Château Fargues
Much darker, burnt golden colour. Immediately alcoholic impression on nose, and a feeling of closedness. Raisins, figs and cinnamon lurking behind the alcohol somewhere, and a distinct flor/fino sherry note too? Interesting, but not 100% to my liking. Nice balance in the mouth - clearly high, very high, res. sugar but nice acid, keeping the texture quite light for such a sweet wine. Finish not quite smooth in that it suddenly lifts and kicks in with high alcohol and some volatility again. Very good length though, leaving with some faint apple notes. Interesting. After 20mins in the glass turning quite 'seasidy', salty on the nose and then strongly towards pine honey - superquick evolution in the glass towards something quite one-dimensional, not sure how this will perform over the long term. (Stephan Muller, UK)

02/02 1996 Château Yquem
The latest release. Golden with a distinct green sheen. Monolithic nose of menthol and some anise. Smells somehow powerful but so, so closed. Huge res. sugar, big body, and what R.P. would call unctuous texture. Pretty classy toasted oak very evident in midpalate. Roasted nuts and almonds trying to mingle in but overall very subdued impressions at this stage. Hard to judge the acid structure too, sems buried somewhere within the oak and sugar at the moment. Monumental texture though and clearly high alcohol. Slowly, very slowly with much swirling begins to reveal some caramel, butterscotch nuances. Hard one to call for absolute quality, and would have confused me if served blind. Try this again in 2020+, it's clearly a baby, if a well-muscled one! (Stephan Muller, UK)

02/02 1988 Château Yquem
Darker gold, but glowing and fresh in the glass. Initially intensely cool, salty, mineral, anise and menthol nose - remarkably reminiscent of a top dry white Graves like Pavillon Blanc du Ch. Margaux, and not discernibly sweet on the nose. Hot, alcoholic, big bodied palate of phenomenal intensity and extraordinary power. Residual sugar high, but acid shining through quite happily. Seamless finish of considerable length and alcoholic heat, but leaves with lively Bramley apple acidity - this is just about the only really elegant aspect of this wine at the moment, but may be the sign of more finesse and subtlety to come? After a while in the glass dried fruit and apricots poking through, and botrytis becoming a little more evident. This wine needs to mellow a lot - it knocked my palate flat out after about three sips. So much flavour, intensity and breeding - give it 10 yrs before trying again, and 25+ to enjoy it! Some experience. (Stephan Muller, UK)

02/02 Lafaurie Peyraguey Sauternes 1990I thought this was gone as well, but maybe I don't like old Sauternes. Nose was closed and the lack of fruit made me suspicious. On the plate the wine was lacking in fruit and slightly oxidised. Corked, but as usual the bottle was finished by the others. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

02/02 Doisy Dane Sauternes 1998
First bottle was slightly corked,although the other drinkers didn't really notice. Second was all grass and nettles. Put on some weight in the last 3 months, but was not any better for it. Still a great glass of wine but last bottle will be drunk soon. (Cameron Clark, Holland)

03/01 Château d'Yquem 1989
Yquem's a funny old thing. It's so complex that the compexity disappears - fine-grained aromas overlapping so perfectly that the wine just smells of Yquem. The result is a nose of such calm beauty that strong emotional reaction is impossible. It's just very, very good. In comparison, the Clos du Pape, with its very specific aromas of iodine and white fruit, seemed coarse. (George Horton, UK)

01/02 Doisy-Daene 1989
Lovely ripeness of gentle botrytis fruit, but in a more laid back Barsac way of doing it, again an excellent desert accompaniment (Nick Alabaster - UK)

N.B. some even older Bordeaux notes are archived here.