This is an archive of tasting notes from participants in the UK wine forum, with notes from before 2004

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

N.B. older Bordeaux notes are archived here.

reds - whites


11/03 1962 Ch. LaTour Haut Brion
Brett and VA on the nose, with an intense blackcurrant streak with [illegible] and heavy cigar box. Soft, rather oxidised palate. Lacking fruit and drying. Acidity on the finish. OK but completely past it. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

11/03 Les Tourelles de Longueville 1997
Medium deep colour. Earthy strawberry nose (merlot ) with some blackcurrant a little bit of green pepper (slightly unripe cab.) Quite sweet on the palate with some richness. Nice enough, but nothing great. (Jan-Tore Egge, Norway)

11/03 Château Cantenac Brown 1997
(60% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot.) Medium deep. A slightly more evolved nose with cabernet, plum and a bit of wood. Quite a fresh wine with a nice dry finish from the tannins and moderate acidity. Jolly good for 1997. (Jan-Tore Egge, Norway)

11/03 Château Petit Village 1997 (Pomerol)
(78% cabernet sauvignon, 17% merlot, 3% petit verdot, 2% cabernet franc.) Quite deep colour, if slightly brown at the rim. Quite developed, earthy nose with spice (I would say anise; my neighbour at the table insisted on eucalyptus), mushrooms, leather and chocolate. The palate isn't quite in the same league. Quite earthy and juicy, with mouthdrying tannins. (Jan-Tore Egge, Norway)

11/03 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 1995
Quite deep. Nose slightly reticent at first. Some slightly overripe fruit (presumably merlot) and some unripe, peppery aromas. Far from ready to drink. Still tight and with a dry finish. Not the most charming 1995 in its present state, though I assume it will get a lot better. (Jan-Tore Egge, Norway)

11/03 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 1996
Deeper colour than the 95. Ripe cabernet fruit which seems to mask what I assume must be considerable (but ripe) tannins. Blackcurrants, plum, leather... Fresh and fleshy. Long. Very charming, not least when you consider how young it is. My kind of vintage, indeed. Very promising. (Jan-Tore Egge, Norway)

11/03 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 1997
Not as deep colour as the 1996, and it looks more developed than either 95 or 96.We're back to a combination of sweet merlot fruit and some unripe aromas. Much more drinkable at the moment than the 1995. Rather enjoyable and with some tannic structure, but nowhere near a 2ème cru from a great vintage. (Jan-Tore Egge, Norway)

11/03 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 1998
Looks more like the 96, but not quite as deep. On the nose, too, there is ripe cabernet fruit. Great depth of flavour, but with drier tannins than the 1996. Perhaps not quite in that league, but nonetheless very, very good. (Jan-Tore Egge, Norway)

11/03 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 1999
I'm beginning to see a pattern of odd and even years. This one has very pleasant, sweetish fruit on the nose. Quite forward. Juicy and fruity on the palate, only slightly drying. Very enjoyable. I could drink this now, at least with food, but I would never have guessed the wine's classification had this been served blind. (Jan-Tore Egge, Norway)

11/03 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 2000
Opaque. Very impressive ripe, opulent blackcurrant fruit with oak, spice (anice verging on liquorice) and cedarwood. Great fruit in the mouth, too, and plenty of ripe tannins which will keep the wine alive so it can mature for many years. Lovely wine, but I would have preferred a bit more acidity. (Jan-Tore Egge, Norway)

11/03 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 2001
Quite deep and young colour, slightly watery at the rim. Quite rich, ripe fruit (getting sweeter after a while), some coffee. Doesn't have the same weight in the mouth as the 2000. Tannins seem drier (presumably because they're not wrapped up in the same massive fruit). Very young. Promising. (Jan-Tore Egge, Norway)

11/03 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 2002 ("barrel sample")
Opaque! Lovely smooth, ripe cabernet fruit. Good concentration and acidity. Ample ripe tannins wrapped up in fruit. I love the balance of this wine. Very stylish. (Jan-Tore Egge, Norway)

11/03 1966 Ch Rausan-Ségla 2e cru classé, Margaux.
A very unusual (in my experience) square bottle. Good old claret nose - sweetish wth minor volatility. Delicate and quite scented, though mainly secondary. A bit of reallocation of pourings followed as it was immediately obvious that the bottle that had been poured on the other side of the table had gone over and was now pure VA. Very elegant with a slight sweetness on the palate - merest hint of fruit remains. Still some tannic structure. With more exposure to air, the touch of VA on my bottle seemed to blow off almost completely allowing more cassis notes to become apparent, together with some walnuts. Excellent. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

11/03 1952 Ch. Branaire-Ducru, St Julien
Another unusual bottle - this one's a normal shape, but has no punt. Extraordinarily deep nose with quite a lot of VA. Astonishing amount of fruit on the palate. Very drying middle with tannins building towards finish. Pretty huge structure. A curious combination of sweet fruit and dried-out-ness, but still just enough fruit and structure to carry it. Much less satisfying than the Rausan. More tannins and more fruit, but it seems to be on a plateau descending. Excellent indeed. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

11/03 1997 Chateau Pichon Longueville (Pauillac, France)
A subtle nose of oak and fruits, with a very drinkable and balanced finish. Nice, drink now. 89/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

11/03 1998 Chateau Pichon Longueville (Pauillac, France)
This was more open on the nose than the 1997. Soft black fruits with integrated oak, this is drinkable now and shaded the 1997 for me. 90/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

11/03 1999 Chateau Pichon Longueville (Pauillac, France)
Mostly blackcurrant pastilles with a little oak on the nose. The palate was leaner than either the 1997 or 1998, and more tannic. Drinkable but I am not sure how much fruit will remain once the tannins subside. 87-89/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

11/03 2000 Chateau Pichon Longueville (Pauillac, France)
Clearly darker than all of the other Pichon wines shown, the nose showed more depth of blackcurrants and also was sweeter. The soft velvet power on the palate led to a long finish. Clearly the best of the six vintages - excellent. 94/100.

11/03 2001 Chateau Pichon Longueville (Pauillac, France)
Mostly new oak with some black fruits on the nose. The tannins were powerful but had respectable levels of fruit as well. 91/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

11/03 2002 Chateau Pichon Longueville (Pauillac, France)
A barrel sample, the nose was mostly focused blackcurrant fruit. Very flattering to taste and with a good length. 91-93/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

11/03 1982 Chateau Talbot (St Julien, Bordeaux)
Decanted about 15 minutes before we tried this bottle. Some damp forest leaves with a touch of green bell pepper. So elegant, the palate bows down to the black gloved beauty of this demure wine. Long finish, mature, outstanding. 94/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

11/03 Chateau Tour Haut Caussan 1990
Slightly murky appearance but with good depth of plummy colour. Rim small, but very mature looking brick colour. Not an overly complex nose but quite broad and reasonably intense with lots of cedar and brambly fruit. Medium bodied, seems fully mature in the mouth with very little tannin and excellent acid balance. Shows a blend of blackcurrant and plum fruit with some tobacco and woody notes. Decent length although the finish was a little alcoholic. On the whole pleasant, but quite simple and not looking likely to improve. B (Tim Haddon, UK)

11/03 Les Forts de Latour 1981
Extraordinarily pale, showing a lot of legs, but with a large watery brown rim. Nose was a little stinky, intense but lacking any very appealing character. Incredibly light bodied in the mouth, this seems to have lost all fruit character, wood is the dominant flavour and the wine seems very tannic almost to the point of astringency. Remarkably good but boring length. Seems like a gutted shell of a wine, the structure is there but it isn't supporting anything. C-/D (Tim Haddon, UK)

11/03 Chateau Pontet Canet 1983
Another very mature looking wine, very pale with an almost orange colour and a large watery browning rim. Deliciously attractive nose, a mix of currants, cinnamon and clove. Light bodied but full of flavour. Lush fruit flavour with notes of spice and cedar coming through. There's a little tannin here giving the wine some grip, but it seems perfectly mature. Very good length, with red currant becoming the dominant flavour and great acidity making this a lovely palate refreshing wine. B+/A- (Tim Haddon, UK)

11/03 Chateau de Sales 1983
Again a pale orange colour, with quite some legs on it. Rim broad and terracotta coloured. Medicinal nose, hints of plum but seems to have a slight aura of decay about it. Light bodied and rather underpowered in flavour. A lot of coaxing brings out some leafy flavours and slightly mushy summer fruits. Medium length. Seems past maturity. C+ (Tim Haddon, UK)

11/03 Chateau Latour 1983
Cherry red colour with some depth, broad bricking rim and high glycerol. Somewhat insipid medicinal/vegetal nose, some rather hidden red fruit there. The palate is much better than the nose with decent body, shows rich blackcurrant flavours and toast but without being terribly complex. Very nice if rather tannic finish but the wine on the whole seems very well balanced. B (Tim Haddon, UK)

11/03 Chateau Margaux 1983
Beautiful bright plum red colour, still appears very youthful with a very small rim. Excellent nose, cassis and cigar box / pencil shavings together with some spicy notes. Very complex and with an attractive lofted & perfumed character. Mass of slightly peppery blackberry fruit, hefty quantity of ripe tannin, balanced by fruit and acidity. Tremendous length, shows a very ripe character, quite simply delicious. A (Tim Haddon, UK)

11/03 Chateau de la Riviere 1985 (Double Magnum)
Colour of cut garnet with reasonable depth of colour, but with a slightly orange rim. Reasonable intensity of nose with brambly nature, seems rather one dimensional, although it does carry some notes of menthol and tobacco together with a slightly gamey character. Medium bodied and very dry, seems somewhat austere (would doubtless benefit from food). Oddly given this the fruit if anything seems overipe and somewhat sappy. High acid and tannin, overall a rather adequate wine that needs food. C (Tim Haddon, UK)

11/03 Chateau Troplong Mondot 1985
Bright red, pretty youthful in appearance. Very intense, but slightly stinky nose. Quite high toned with a smell of bottled plums, not much secondary or wood character apparent. Very soft, ripe palate full bodied and tasting of rhubarb. A rather bitter edge detracts from the fruit and the finish is remarkably short. Overall a little leathery and not very enjoyable, somehow manages to be both flabby and austere at the same time. C- (Tim Haddon, UK)

11/03 Chateau Leoville Barton 1985
A very attractive looking wine with a bright cherry red colour. Strong and intriguing nose, shows character of blackcurrant fruit and leaf together with tobacco and mint notes. Extremely complex and really makes you look forward to putting the wine in your mouth. Full bodied and showing a very ripe character, without being jammy. Beautifully balanced with a strong herbal/herbaceous edge balancing the full cassis dominated palate. On top of this some secondary cedar wood character adds further interest. The finish is fantastic, very long and full of fruit but showing a fantastic palate cleansing character. An absolutely beautiful claret and for me edges Margaux to be the Wine of the Tasting. A (Tim Haddon, UK)

11/03 Palmer 1985
below par for Palmer standards, with a hollow midpalate, shortish finish and little fruit. (nick wise, UK)

11/03 Figeac 1990
typical cedar and vanilla nose and a marmite and chocolate drop flavours. Medium bodied but full of flavour and a long fine finish. High acidity-food wine-totally a point-wouldn't leave it longer. (nick wise, UK)

11/03 1983 Leoville Lascases
Quite a dark red with a little browning at the rim, classic lead pencil cedar nose, restrained and slightly lean,(quite typical of 1983) surprisingly lush and opulent initially with a velvet but powerful mid palate and elegant finish. Very good/excellent wine and on its plateau. (Paul Redfern, UK)

11/03 1950 La Mission Haut Brion
It is not everyday that you try a fifty three year old wine for lunch and this was a special moment in the meal. Dark strawberry red, the sous bois nose was enticing. So soft initially, the truly elegant mouthfeel was caressing my tongue ever so slightly. This wine has held together well and will probably drink for a few more years. 92/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

11/03 Chateau Langoa-Barton 1982
Another one afflicted by bottle variation, and I got the wrong end of it this time. There was a slightly musty quality to it, which some (including myself) suspected of being corkiness, although this wasn't completely clear. At any rate, the wine was certainly rich and well-endowed with fruit, but with quite a raw edge to it still - plenty of tannin there and quite a firm grip. General consensus that this had some time to run still before it reached its best. Difficult to tell from what was apparently a duff bottle. (Lucian Holland, UK)

11/03 Chateau Palmer 1982
Mmm. Now we're cooking on gas. This was delicious and extremely seductive. Masses of rich, elegant fruit on the nose, and addictively smooth, dense palette. Very long and very yum. 4/5 (Lucian Holland, UK)

10/03 Cheval Blanc 2000
Served blind: dense, minerally - irony, overripe black fruits; Spanish like ripeness and density - could be New wave Italy perhaps, or possibly even serious New World. Palate has dense, very ripe fruits covering good structure. Good balance and finish. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/03 Cheval Blanc 1985
Mid ruby colour - moderately intense cedary/mocha development over mulberry like fruits. Attractive, some earthy notes to the nose also. Modest but balanced palate . Very slightly drying finish but fully resolved tannins - at peak. Coming back to this it had opened fully revealing more cigar boxy notes, palate seemed rounder and fuller also. In fact creeps up enough to make this one of the best '85s I've tried, albeit it's elegance over concentration. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/03 Cheval Blanc 1979
Sweet but developed nose - a little decay - some coffee - attractive, deeper than the '85 - a mineral aspect also. Palate moderately dense, but a bit short even though balanced fruit -v- structure. Fresh acid cut - at peak also. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/03 Cheval Blanc 1983
Lean, green nose - not very attractive -stalky. Angular, acidic green palate - short dry. Pass, no enjoyment here. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/03 Cheval Blanc 1982
A roasted, ripe fruit quality to the nose, not unexpected for an '82. In fact not my style - or I should say, yet. As it seems to be heading towards that mocha like development that I like. A fair degree of development also hints that this wine is mature though, so I'm not sure how to read it. Palate is quite dense and structured, in fact the structure does seem to hold the fruit in check, not quite winning out with a dryish but reasonable finish. Could open out and be '61 I suppose, but also could firm up and dry out further. Which way will it go? I'm not sure, I give it a good chance of making considerable old bones with style. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/03 Cheval Blanc 1995
Deep ruby red. Good ripeness on the nose, sweet fruits and oak. Quite elegant really, although it may just be a bit closed. Palate showed good, ripe, rounded tannins. Good fruit covering structure and good long finish. Very good all round and lots of promise. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/03 Cheval Blanc 1993
Also a deep ruby red. Attractive smokey/cedary oak - not particularly fruity though - slightly weedy blackcurrant. Firmish on the palate, not the fruit sweetness that you choose but also not too green for a '93. A bit too much acidity, somewhat drying on the finish. Perhaps never going to soften, so drink now. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/03 Cheval Blanc 1989
The most overtly fruity nose so far (of them all) - quite unevolved but excellent density. Palate follows with same dense fruit - firm underlying structure carries this higher than most '89s though, although it only gets the upper hand on the long finish. Really still yet to evolve, but a very impressive '89. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/03 Cheval Blanc 1986
Very closed, first sniff picked up a slight off taint I thought. I came back and didn't find it - it just seemed very closed, a little rustic. A couple of calls for TCA though and I held off for a bit. Still no direct taint that I could pick up but certainly came across as backward, getting more disjointed in air. I was disappointed not to be able to pick the TCA up directly, but perhaps mitigated to a degree by the cold that's come out. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/03 Cheval Blanc 1961
Fully developed nose, perhaps a little over developed - a bit diffuse. Good ripe fruit still in evidence on the palate, a sweet lift which may be VA or a little oxidation. Lovely suppleness though, fully mature tannins - drink up. Lovely mature wine though, albeit might be a good few years past it's peak. A re-pour a hour or so later showed obvious varnish remover VA on the nose and more acid (getting disjointed) the palate. Clearly not a wine to decant for too long. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/03 Cheval Blanc 1966
Minerals, undergrowthy, lovely development on the nose. Good fruit on the palate entry, but does seem to drop quite quickly mid-way, albeit leaving some dry fruit on the finish. Fully mature, would be better still with some of the suppleness of the '61 combined, but I don't see this one balancing out completely. Very impressive though. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

10/03 Cheval Blanc 1970
Open cedary nose, good sweet fruit too. Ripe, sweet entry - good dryish elegant fruit but perhaps too drying. Finishes quite tannic - could open out further, but certainly nice development and an excellent food styled wine that could be drunk now. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

09/03 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, 1964
One of a lot of '64 claret bought at auction earlier in the year, as its my birth year. The first of the lot had been utterly shot and I had low expectations for this, despite its high fill (well into the neck). I couldn't have been more wrong. The wine was a good strong red, with only a hint of orange around the rim. A fantastic claret nose promised much. On the palate it was clear this was a little over the hill, lacking enough structure to make it really fine, but nonetheless a lovely claret. Any more like this from the case and I'll be delighted. Very good/Excellent. (Mark Pearce, UK)

09/03 Château Palmer 1988
Overtly green, somewhat stalky on the nose. The palate did show some nice medium bodied fruit, with the green edge more in check - but then it also showed a bit too much structure and dryness where you'd chose more fruit and ripeness. It just may soften, and improve, but perhaps that's against the odds. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

09/03 Château Gruaud Larose 1982
Lovely lead pencil/cedary nose. Didn't show its 21 years - even a hint of smoke still in evident. Good medium bodied fruit, but a little too much tannin showing and tailed off quite quietly. Although I find '82s do seem to pull up short in the main, this was not considered a good bottle. Amazingly, it didn't seem any more evolved than wine I last had it over 5 years ago. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

09/03 Château Leoville Barton 1986
Closed in comparison, but with trademark dense, ripe fruit on the nose. Meaty, quite full bodied but the tannic bite holds the palate back on this one. Does need time and will probably reveal quite an improvement overall. A very good '86, but not ready. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

09/03 Château L'Angelus 1995
Smokey, sweet ripe blackcurrant/berry fruit on the nose - almost vies with overripeness. Primary in comparison, but shows clear Bordeaux characteristics in a more modern style. Very young, certainly heading toward the excellent '90, but hang back at least 5, possibly 10 years to get the best from it. With air it veers more towards cassis and a meaty ripeness. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

09/03 Château La Mission Haut-Brion 1966
Beautiful, elegant, perfuymes nose of soft, ripe plums and gravel. Ripe and rich but with great finesse. A beautiful nose. Some tarry character to it? Palate is maybe a touch dry, but still has great fruit and lovely complexity. Finesse, beauty. Truly great. (David Strange, UK)

09/03 Château Verbois Bordeaux Rosé 2002
Quite a bright raspberry/strawberry juice colour. Fairly full nose. Soft restrained fruit, not giving much away. Fairly light, quite refreshing. Clean with a good flavour. Perhaps a bit innocuous, but very acceptable. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

09/03 Château Lynch Moussas 1997
Fairly even deep colour, not especially old. Late '90s? Powerful nose - very farmyardy and not a lot of fruit. Quite light on the attack. Soft and integrated. Full flavoured. Slight touch dried out, maybe. A bit uni-dimensional. Softish tannins on finish. Good length. Almost seems a bit cabernet franc-y to me. Lacks fruit. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

09/03 Château Fourcas Hosten 1996 Listrac
Rather bizarre nose. Initially a hint of banana and polish. Bit mushroomy and farmyardy. Very concentrated plummy fruit, and also rather minerally. Fair attack. Lots of tannin. Decent fruit which grows on me. Finish dominated by tannins. OK. Better after being open a while, but still rather rustic. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

09/03 Château Caronne Ste Gemme 1985 Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel
Smoky nose - gamey and jammy. Very attractive. Very pleasant attack with plenty of fruit. Excellent and all in perfect harmony. My wine of the night. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

09/03 Château Beau-Ste Estephe 1996 Cru Bourgeois
Very delicate, elegant nose. Blackcurrant/raspberry leaf with blackcurrant fruit. Lovely attack. Fills well, but rather hard and almost slatey on middle. Quite light on finish. A touch short. Good. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

09/03 La Tour de By 1990 Cru Bourgeois
Even colour, starting to mature. An oddly bitter, slightly malic nose, with some mint too. Very light, slightly acid fresh attack. Remarkable bitter on the palate. Light, quite fruity with a bit of youth. Lots of soft tannins on the finish. Medium length. I don't like it, but I can't quite work out why I don't like it. I had a bit of a problem with this wine, not shared by others present. I didn't like it one bit (my written TN actually starts off "really quite nasty"), and despite going back to it a few times, I could not work out why. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

09/03 Carruades de Lafite Rotschild 2000
Very dark with youth on appearance. The nose has mint leaf and is immediately attractive in an in-yer-face sort of way. Soft, lots of fruit on the attack. Quite rich and rounded. Light tannins. Guess at 2000. Guess at Pauillac, purely on the basis that I can imagine drinking this with a roast leg of lamb. Very young. Very smooth. Good tannins, which seem to me to be just starting to soften. Guess at 2000 Forts de Latour. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

09/03 Château La Barde 1973 Cru Bourgeois 73cl
Looks a bit like madeira. Very old nose, but far from dead. Sweet nose, but sweet doesn't quite describe it. More than a touch of cigar box to it too, with a slight hint of sour cherries. Good attack. Sweetish again, slight baked flavours. Very mature. Very acceptable. Still some fruit. Very much still alive and really impressive. Curiously for a wine of this age, when tried again at 1 a.m., it hadn't faded, but in contrast had really opened up and improved still more. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

09/03 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 1962
Murky! But, the wine had a sweet and pleasing nose. Not a great deal of fruit there, but sweet aromas with hints of cedar and a bit of mushroom, damp cellar. In the mouth, this retained its sweetness, but had lost interest for irony, earthy notes began to dominate to the exclusion of all else. I think this has been a good wine, but definitely in the past! Good. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

09/03 Château Lafite-Rothschild 1992
30 years younger, and boy did it show! But again, the fruit was conspicuous by its absence. Despite the troubles of the vintage, the wine was an impressively dark colour, with sandalwood/cedar notes to the fore, a bit of astringent shoe polish, and some cassis in the background. Rich in the mouth, with good weight and concentration, but a slightly bitter and crisp finish. Good - in the context of Lafites (I guess, from sadly limited experience); Very good by comparison to most wines!

08/03 Chateau Lilian-Ladouys 1990
I bought a case of this from release and every bottle has been good, with none corked. This is the last bottle and I pulled it as my starter red. The 1990 vintage in Bordeaux has been good to me and this is no exception. A deep strawberry red with no hint of browning, some cedar wood on the nose. Mature fruits mingle happily with a touch of damp leaves. A seamless, silky wine with some acidity on the finish, but after ten minutes the acidity was almost gone. Fully mature, so drink now. 90/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

08/03 Chateau Leoville Barton 1985
A ripe cherry red, the nose showed more green pepper than I have ever remembered it to. A touch of aniseed as well as some earthiness on the nose. This mature wine held a medium bodied leanness to it that made it easy to drink but not that enticing. Of the last half a dozen bottles I have tried of this wine (from the same case), this has been the most disappointing. Is this wine beginning to tire? 87/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

07/03 Connetable Talbot, St. Julien, 1997
12.5%. Carrefour Lille, Euros 18, Ch Talbot 2nd wine. Smoky, vegetal nose. Firm, dry. Vinous palate, decent length. Good, well-made, but basic, claret. Must try Ch. Talbot again - haven't had one for 15 years at least. Enjoyable enough, but poor value for money. G+. (Hugh Millar, UK)

07/03 Ch. Les Trois Croix [Fronsac]1989. 11.5% Majestic
One from the Swedish Monopoly parcel of 3-4 years ago. Garnet, fading slightly. Pleasant vegetal nose; firm vinous palate. Anyone holding should try now. Needs food [osso buco in my case]. VG (Hugh Millar, UK)

07/03 1953 Pichon Baron -- English Bottled
On the nose, my first reaction was "PORT"! The colour was still red, though amber was creeping in. On tasting the wine, the first impression was that it had oxidized, but after that that I was surprised that there was still fruit left after fifty years. My wife was in raptures declaring: "This smells like the wine we used to have at Great Aunt Leonine's flat in the 16th arrondisement!" On reflection, I decided that it was perhaps a little bit more like maderia than port. (David Lester, UK)

07/03 La Lagune 1995
(retail £25) : Dark garnet, fading slightly at rim. Good nose of black fruit and spice, with just a hint of wood and chocolate. Round and velety in the mouth with a strong streak of acidity. A little astringent tannin, good length. (Peter Sidebotham, UK)

07/03 La Lagune 1989
(£40) : Same dark garnet colour, right up to the rim, but with a hint of brown. Slightly meaty, more vegetal nose : rich plum/chocolate depth but no upfront fruit. Great smooth mouthfeel, meium length and just a touch of astringency. (Peter Sidebotham, UK)

07/03 La Lagune 1982
(£ 60) : Still the same dark garnet colour ! Still vibrant and deep-coloured to the rim. Great nose has sweet, rotting vegtation with chocolate/plum underneath. Lovely soft velvety mouthfeel with thrilling fruit and acidity. Good length, without any astringency. Great wine at its peak. (Peter Sidebotham, UK)

07/03 La Lagune 1975
(£ 22) : Dark garnet, but now with distinct orange at the rim. Stronger, harsher, nose of blackcurrant and green pepper, with cedarwood beneath. (Much more classically cabernet ?) Nice mouth with good fruit and some acidity, but not very soft, and not much length. Good value wine to drink with food. (Peter Sidebotham, UK)

07/03 Chateau Lynch-Bages 90
Some garnet noticeable, but still a very solid colour.To smell and taste, this matches my idea of classic Pauillac. Muted dark fruit and graphite nose gradually opens up to become richly smoky but still very clean somehow. Great fruit, smoky complexity, softening tannins, huge finish. E/S (Paul Armstrong, UK)

07/03 Château Léoville-Poyferré 1997
Deep, dark red colour. Strong notes of cedar wood on the nose and some good berry fruits. Angular palate which suggested a good deal of acidity and it's hard to know whether this will really open out. Crisp, tangy finish, not overly long. It was a good drink nonetheless. Good plus plus. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

07/03 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste 1997
A distinctly lighter colour, but still dense, than the Poyferré. More approachable on the nose, with classic cassis and soft red fruits mingling sweetly together. Straightforward on the palate, quite sweet and certainly pretty low in acid. This was a better wine to drink (now) than the Poyferré and may always be so. Good plus plus to Very good. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

07/03 Château Patache d'Aux
First bottle opened from my one full case of 2000 claret. Surprisingly light in colour, but a pretty ruby. Delightful nose of red fruits, hints of tobacco, a little but not overly closed at present. Nice weight in the mouth, less concentrated than expected, but follows nicely through from the nose and is ripe and with sweet, soft tannins. Good finish. Good plus plus (Matthew Mellor, UK)

07/03 1988 Chateau d'Issan Margaux
A good solid drop of claret, has plenty of fruit to match the '88 structure but already complex and ready to go. Also a nice combination wine, this time with the cheese. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

06/03 2000 Ch. Closerie Mazeyres, Pomerol 13.0%
Given a few hours after decanting. In the glass, deep crimson with quite prominent legs. On the nose, youthful (surprise surprise....great talent for detecting the bleeding obvious) aromas of blackberry, bramble and woodsmoke. The palate is medium bodied, dry and savoury, ripe fruit in the blackberry/redcurrant vein - I suspect there's a reasonable amount of Cab Franc in this wine - it's certainly giving the wine its structure at this point. Initially tight, the wine opened up over a couple of hours to reveal some typical Pomerol merlot richness. Finishes with very fine grained tannins. On the whole, a good wine that will age well over the next 5-8 years. Not a superstar, but a good wine and for a 2000 Pomerol, reasonably affordable at £17.50. (Phil Shorten, UK)

06/03 Château Les Ormes de Pez 1970, St. Estèphe
Deep red colour, fading a little to tawny at the rim. The nose began with irony notes and was a little closed at first, but it was sweet and ripe and developed aromas of crushed red fruits. In the mouth, sweet again, good structure and tannic grip, though the fruit is harder to define. A function of age? Decent, sweet finish. This wine never seemed to be in total balance and faded in and out of attractiveness. Nonetheless, a good wine. Good plus/Very good. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

06/03 Château Puygueraud 2000, Côtes de Francs
From the Thienpoint stable. Deep red colour, rich leathery, creamy nose, still tight though decanted for 10 hours. On the palate, some tangy acidity, quite rich, with noticeable, slightly drying tannins and a decent finish. A very well made wine which probably needs a bit of time to come into perfect balance and which will be good drinking for four or five years after that. My only reservation was that, despite its lovely drinkability, it seemed to lack a sense of being Bordeaux. Good plus/Very Good. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

06/03 Château Haut-Bourcier 2000, 1ères Côtes de Blaye
The fruit has definitely thinned out on this wine since I first tasted it about twelve months ago, but there is still enough depth and freshness to make it a good companion for food, in this case a roast chicken. Not a long prognosis, however! Good. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

06/03 Chateau Poujeaux 79
Leafy, mature, fading elegance with a "prickle" that suggests this is beginning to crack up a bit. G/VG if you drink up soon. (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/03 Chateau L'Enclos 70
Healthy garnet colour. Mellow but with good depth still, and I'm impressed initially. After a few minutes though, I thought I started to detect a funny slightly sour/vomitty edge to the finish, but no time to peruse because it's time to empty my glass to make way for the next wine… (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/03 Chateau Haut Brion 71
Leafy, leathery, very slightly rubbery nose. An understated mellow, tobaccoey, reflective claret which opens up nicely in the glass. E (Paul Armstrong, UK)

06/03 1985 Chateau D'Angludet, Cru Bourgeois
Clear claret colour, with browning rim. Good depth of colour. Mature, evolved nose, with oak and fruit both evident and a slight cedary / cigar box note. Very light and elegant, but not much on the mid-palate leaving the impression of a rather hollowed-out wine. slightly drying out with tannin all but gone. Nice enough, but definitely on the downward slope. Good. (Ray Abercromby, UK)

05/03 Chateau Poujeaux Moulis en Medoc 1997
Brought by Mark to see if the wine was passed its best as recent postings on wine-pages had suggested. Classic Medoc nose of chalk and blackcurrants with a nice background of spice. Wearing the oak very well. Good structure on the palate and tannins just starting to come round. Lovely finish. Passed it? Not on your Nelly mate! My wine of the night based purely on how well it was drinking. (Philip Vaughan, UK)

05/03 Palmer 1983
Decanted one hour before lunch. Nice garnet colour with a slight orange fringe. Intense and complex nose of ripe fruits (fig, prunes) cigar box, tobacco and roasted toast. In the mouth the wine shows a large structure, very dense and full-bodied with a great long finish. This mature Palmer seems to be at peak today (more evolved than Margaux 83 for instance) but should manage to stay there for another 2 - 5 years. Highly recommendable! 94/100 (Alain, Switzerland)

05/03 Pichon Comtesse 1986
The colour is surprisingly dark red. At first the nose was strangely mute but got much better after a while by developing lots of spice, cedar and red fruits flavours. Solid tannins and full bodied balance for this still very youthful wine. The finish is a bit tight and could be a bit longer. This Pichon 86 isn't so generous at this point and needs another couple of years before being reviewed again. If I hadn't chosen this wine myself, I never would have imagined it was almost 17 years old! 89/100 for now and potentially 92/100. (Alain, Switzerland)

05/03 Calvet Reserve 2000
Good red colour with a light core. Nose is pronounced blackcurrants and raspberries with a lovely spicy integrated oak background. Pallet is full and rich with lovely silky tannins. Good length and finish. Obviously a modern style, but for everyday drinking under a fiver (£4.86 from Waitrose), I'd say it was astonishing value. And it made an excellent, rich red wine sauce too! (Philip Vaughan, UK)

05/03 CH Camansac, Bdx Sup 2000
Deep purple, big ripe nose of dark fruits,plums and a hint of oak. Palate follows - quite fleshy, plummy merlot leads but the Cab S backs it up and the oak is just there , the tannins are still quite dominant though. A rather nice, well made,balanced wine. I think another year or so may let it settle more. Good + and not bad for £5.95 from the Wine Soc. (Stephen Pickles, UK)

05/03 Ch. Giscours, Margaux, (1970)
Dark core, but bright brick at the rim. Sweetish but fairly simple, low key nose of pencil lead and a touch of bitter chocolate. Palate still with pronounced tannic bite, lots of structure and good acid but a feeling of an empty shell where the fruit should be filling in the picture. Finishing a bit on the thin side. (Stephan Muller, UK)

05/03 Ch. Courant, Haut-Medoc (1964)
Dark colour. Smells of old socks, and a touch of blackberry. Bit sweaty and stewed. But surprisingly good texture on attack and mid-palate, good sweetness remaining but oh, let down by very flat finish. Interesting for having retained that sweetness though. (Stephan Muller, UK)

05/03 Ch. Pontet-Canet, Pauillac (1961)
Dark core, outer rim brick. Somewhat lose, ill-defined chemical nose but this blows off to reveal some cut grass, skinned almonds, hay. Palate with lovely ripe tannins, good if not great texture and sweetness going pretty smartly into a fine finish. Fading somewhat on the whole, but interesting - would have drunk 10 years ago for greater pleasure, maybe. (Stephan Muller, UK)

05/03 Ch. Haut-Batailley, Pauillac (1972)
Older colour. Strong notes of green, and some roast, peppers, then riper tomato. Palate very nicely balanced but at a low level of intensity of all components, acid, tannins, fruit (well, a bit of fruit) all there but not exactly shouting out loud. Smart. (Blimey - it's a '72 which everyone's written off as dismal - I could happily drink this wine over lunch!) (Stephan Muller, UK)

05/03 Ch. Gruaud-Larose, St. Julien (1937)
Old appearance, garnet/brick throughout. Intriguing nose, some varnish, some lightly scented sweetness, hard to define and a bit tired but interesting. Palate OK on attack with some quite pleasing texture remaining, if little pleasing taste but finish tasting burnt, quite acrid and disjointed with a v. peculiar aftertaste of rubber or burnt plastic. This gets a bit better over the next ten minutes, but it's pretty dead. Nose worth going back to though. (Stephan Muller, UK)

05/03 Ch. Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Martillac (1955)
Darker. Very different nose, high toned, quite open with lots of coffee, tomato, granite, wet slate, very nice complexity. Palate follows this with similar flavours, good texture if perhaps a little coarse and finish a bit spiky - acidity going a bit astray. Very interesting though, and a very enjoyable mature wine. (Stephan Muller, UK)

05/03 Ch. Haut-Mazeris, Canon-Fronsac (1961)
Brown, cloudy, stewed, nose gone. I dared to taste though, and was surprised that the palate had hung on to some sweetness and texture - didn't taste nice, mind. Nose getting worse rapidly, palate then tasting plasticky within minutes….RIP. (Stephan Muller, UK)

05/03 Ch. Lagrange (1975)
Nice, sweet nose, initially touch of green pepper but then well defined demerara sugar and molasses, liquorice, really quite interesting. Overall impression of sweetness persists for a while. Texture OK, finish a bit coarse, still tannic. Palate doesn't feel like it's going to do much, but I like the nose. (Stephan Muller, UK)

05/03 LeovilleLas-Cases, St. Julien (1992)
Nice, fresher nose of good intensity and feels like it's just opened up to reveal its first secondary aromas, if a touch spirity. I do like it though. Palate somewhat simple in flavour, but good grip and texture is OK. Bit weak overall, but I could drink a lot of this (over 5 years, not longer). (Stephan Muller, UK)

05/03 Ch. Ducru-Beaucaillou, St. Julien (1985)
Nose has very similar characteristics to the Leoville-Las-Cases but more mature. Palate thick and very well textured - yum. Still feels too young on the finish which could do with softening a bit further, and has a good few years in hand. Very good food wine with lots of juicy acid. (Stephan Muller, UK)

05/03 Ch. Lafite, Pauillac (1979)
Dark, with only a hint of brick at the rim. Very good nose, ripe dark fruit just beginning to evolve, very elegant, touch minty and restrained, smells cool. Some people guessing at '82 because the palate has very considerable concentration, sweetness and texture. Lovely balance into the finish, which is lighter than the midpalate would maybe suggest, but has surprising length. Yum. (Stephan Muller, UK)

05/03 Ch. Margaux (1992)
Lovely, deep, sweet nose vanilla, roasted nuts, just gorgeous. Very good palate with high tannin, great structure and very good ripeness of all components. Beautiful definition of fruit, if still a bit dominated by new oak. Nose filling out more and more over the next 30 mins, beeswax, honey and mint coming through. Delicious. (Stephan Muller, UK)

05/03 Brainaire-Ducru, St. Julien (1975)
Corked, sadly. Now I'm v. bad picking out TCA in particular, but others did - to me it just smelt of nothing much, a bit damp, dank, and the palate was flat. Shame. (Stephan Muller, UK)

05/03 Leoville-Las-Cases, St. Julien (1978)
Nose a bit strange but not unpleasant, then goes dead. Palate doesn't taste of much. Disappointing for what others in the group report to be a fabulous wine. Duff bottle? (Stephan Muller, UK)

05/03 Ch. Margaux (1983)
Dark. Very serious nose - dark molasses, demerara sugars, thick blackberries, lovely fragrance opening up, very appealing but quite profound at the same time. Palate well textured, 10 years developing to do, and needs to fill out to follow what the nose is hinting at. So yes, impressive now, but not quite together (yet?). (Stephan Muller, UK)

05/03 Ch. Mouthon-Rothschild, Pauillac (1982)
Initially soaring nose, jumps out with burnt roasted, new oak. V. high quality oak, too. Very concentrated, slightly wild, touch coarse flavours but such ripeness. Very impressive but needs more time, much more time to be together and actually pleasant - straining at the leash a bit with flavours in all sorts of places and tannin/acid/fruit not quite together yet. (After being told what the wine is - blimey - it's 20 years old and still a baby - wonder what this will be like in another 20 years! Or 50 for that matter) (Stephan Muller, UK)

04/03 Château Palmer 1988 – Margaux
I brought this along to see how well it would be showing and also as the only Bordeaux wine there. No decanting, straight from the bottle. A classic performed nose, the palate was silky, very complex and evolved beautifully over the time in my glass. Put simply it was so enjoyable that we all took our time to appreciate its finer points. My WOTN and I believe most others there as well. Phew! I believe that this wine has a few more years of development in it – keeping it 10 years in proper storage conditions will not do it any harm. 96/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

04/03 Château Brane-Cantenac (Margaux) 1961
Hurrah. It looks like Bordeaux, it smells like Bordeaux, and for once, it is Bordeaux. I was way out with the age though. Beautifully fragrant, scented, resolved nose, very pretty, cedary palate with lovely, lovely sweet fruit and not a bit of tannin or acid out of place - still there though, keeping it interesting and alive. Excellent, and a real treat. I do like Margaux. (Stephan Muller, UK)

04/03 Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron 1994
Served with dessert (fruit, Bath Olivers). I was surprised to see such a grand wine at a Pembroke dinner. The nose was delightful: much more fruity than cedarry, I guess red and black fruits predominated. In the mouth, this was a disappointment, lacking perhaps a little concentration and richness. It was firm but a little thinner than I would have hoped on the finish. Good plus. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

04/03 Château Berliquet Grand Cru Classé St-Emilion 1998
Dense crimson and purple colour. At the opening, the nose is powerful and extremely pleasant, very fruity (raspberry, blackcurrant) with some floral and mentholated aromas. The body shows an astonishing laminated structure: at the begining it is all fruit. After a few seconds, one feels the wine's beautiful tannins. Lastly, a vibrant acidity provides focus. At the end the three components meet together in a perfect equilbrium giving an outline of what the wine will be in a few years from now. Beautiful finale. Very nice wine that still asks for another few years of patience. 89/100. (Alain, Switzerland)

04/03 2000 Château Lamothe Bergeron, Haut-Médoc
Deep colour. Cassis and a little spice on the nose. Concentrated with forward tannins. Long but a suggestion of cork - not rated. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

04/03 2000 Château d'Escurac, Médoc
Almost saturated purple. The nose has tons of sweet toasty oak with faint blackcurrant. Astringent tannins, a black fruit profile and lots going on - quite impressed by this. Long too with a trace of vanilla. Very good but needs plenty of time (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

04/03 2000 Château Beau-Site, St.Estèphe
Again very deep colouration. The nose is oaky, but less so than the previous wines showing nice blackcurrant. Lovely fat palate but the tannin is very drying. Good concentration and acidity. Much longer finish than the previous wines. Very good. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

04/03 2000 Château Lilian Ladouys, St.Estèphe
Very deep colour. The first wine whose nose nose shouts "fruits". A gorgeous mix of blackcurrant and blackberry. The black fruit is also excellent on the palate, again with strong astringent tannins. Good acidity and quite long too. Easily the best wine of this tasting, excellent value too. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

04/03 2000 Château Batailley, Pauillac
Quite deep ruby colour with a purple rim. They obviuosly use a lot more oak today than when I last bought (1995). It's toasty but with sweet fruit supporting. Medium tannins, good acidity and good fruit concentration coupled with reasonable length make this not bad at all. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

04/03 2000 Château Chantegrive, Pessac-Léognan
Deep ruby. The nose has more subtle and creamier oak than many. The tannins are astringent and slightly bitter, good fruit and excellent length though. Good. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

04/03 2000 Château La Pointe, Pomerol
Deep ruby with a purple rim. The nose is reticent but shows more fruit than oak. Nice concentrated fruit on the palate. Tannic with good acidity and good length. Very good. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

04/03 1999 Château Lafite, Pauillac
I've only drunk Lafite once before and that was the 1996. So it's interesting to note a strong family resemblance with the blackcurrant core wrapped in a graphite and cedar coat. Just a suspicion of oak too. Again a nice core of black fruit on the exceptionally smooth palate. This hasn't the concentration of the 1996 but it's cut from the same cloth. Still excellent I'd say. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

03/04 Château Nenin 1990 (Pomerol)
I purchased a few bottles of this wine when prices were much saner for well made Bordeaux wines from stellar years. I double decanted this 30 minutes before consumption which revealed light sediment. An unashamedly old fashioned wine from this small domaine. How refreshing to see an alcohol level of 12%! A medium cherry red, slightly browning towards the outer 'centre' of the body of wine with a dull pink rim. The nose is a heady mix of sweet red fruits and damp leaves. A sweet tongue sensation changes as the wine opens up nicely on the mid palate. It seems to tail off elegantly but then changes gear to reveal another layer of berry fruits on its highly enjoyable finish. Easily 90/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

03/04 1996 Charmes de Liversan (Haut Medoc)
This is the b-lister wine from ch.Liversan. Initially very horsey over pencilly oak and blackcurrent. Palate has a slightly gamey blackcurrent fruit pastille character. For the same money a coonawarra cabernet rips it to pieces. (Gary Walsh, Australia)

03/03 Château Haut-Bages Libéral 1996
The wine had a very dark, opaque red colour. A tightish nose which opened up after a few hours' breathing to reveal notes of blackcurrant, cedar and even violets. In the mouth, very ripe and rich, but with firm structure. A lovely, sweet finish of no mean length. I'd say this was still young, but in an ebullient and friendly way, making it easy to drink now. Very good plus. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

03/03 1976 Château Clairac, AC, Cotes de Blaye
Second last bottle; high fill; the short LB. branded cork comes out in one piece and looks good for another 27 years; very shallow punt on 70cl bottle makes decanting tricky but not much sediment in this one. Decanted immediately prior to carving the lamb and then poured. Bright, conker colour through to rim of glass. Nose develops in glass to suggest fading, lightly-scented roses, but no noticeable fruit. However, on the palate there is soft sweet red berry fruit and a touch of tannin. The finish is relatively short and the fruit leaves before the tannin. Before the end of dinner the nose faded further. Times up soon for the final bottle, I think. (David Riach, UK)

03/03 Château du Lort 2000 £5.49
(Oddbins) Cork popped out nicely, decanted and was surprised to see so much sediment already. For the price this has a good deep nose - unmistakably Bordeaux, tannin, length, depth of flavour, good nose. Compared with the Durrels (about to be returned to Madje) this is far better value (IMHO). For a Bordeaux controlee it is quite some wine. Far better than the '97 Gazin consumed last weekend. (Christopher East, UK)

03/03 1996 Château Thieuley Graves
Austere yet perfumed, with a very grainy texture, coffee bean aromas and black berry fruit, albeit in muted form. Good. (Ray Abercromby, UK)

03/03 Château Haut Brion 1975, Pessac-Leognan
The remaining bottle of a couple of weeks ago. Very similar to that one as well with good concentrated blackcurrant fruit. Well balanced and complex palate. Long finish with mineral acidity. Again lacks the smokiness (and therefore additional complexity) of the bottles opened a year ago. I'm beginning to find it difficult to work out where it is going as it still tastes youthful but less complex. Excellent wine all the same. (Paul Anderson, UK)

03/03 2000 Château Latour
Appearance of a young Port and a fully opaque ruby-purple color. Very ripe dark berry fruit that combines concentration and power without the heavyness. Not nearly as tannic as I expected. Excellent balance at this stage and impressive mouthfeel for such a youngster. Bottled 8 mos. ago with mostly free run juice and almost no pressed wine at all, which explains the moderated tannins. 95 points (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1999 Château Latour
Extracted ruby color and unfortunately decanted only 1.5 hours before the tasting which did not allow this to show better. Rich, ripe cherry flavors with a backdrop of truffle and massive tannins underlying the fruit. Quite fleshy but the finish underwhelms and I wonder if the rain late in the harvest had a significant effect. 89 points. (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1998 Château Latour
From a hot vintage with rain appearing too early during harvest. Medium ruby in color, dark cherry and plum flavors with a touch of anise. Approachable today and certainly not for the long haul. 90 points. (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1997 Château Latour
Redish purple with strawberry, rhubarb and cinnamon spice depicted here. Due to the weak, dilute fruit a "concentrator" was used for this vintage. Light in acidity with drying tannins and although approachable now, this feminine Latour has no place in my future plans. 84 points (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1996 Château Latour
The real deal. The best of all young Latours. Great body weight and packs a palate punch with laser focused Cab laden fruit that given the incredible structural components of this wine, will be drinking well in 30 years (it will probably resemble the way 1970 showed at this tasting). Deft balance along with round tannins and mouthfeel that will only get better and just one heck of a great Bdx. Don't touch for at least a decade or more. 96 points. (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1995 Château Latour
A big bruiser and much more typical of a powerful young Latour then its more approachable younger sibling above. I liked this wine a lot although it is still very unforgiving. Delicious black cherry and jammy raspberry fruit. Aromatics are reserved but do show up with enough air time. Still it is tight as a drum and the raspy tannins are tough to contend with but it shows like many 1986s did when in a similar stage of evolution (heck some even today!). This is one that truly needs 2 decades to reward the patience of those young enough to wait. 94 points (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1994 Château Latour
Light ruby color that is starting to show early signs of aging on the rim. Supple mouthfeel with chewy, rich fruit and overall decent structure. The finish shows better than the initial attack with a very dry streak. Masculine style that is not aging well and shows too much oak, but it's fun to drink now. 90 points (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1991 Château Latour
This is not a very good wine by any means, I just did not find it as weak as others did. Some grenadine and dried fig notes with some attractive spice. Very ripe tannins and would be a bit better with a proper meal. 84 points (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1990 Château Latour
The color of cherry wood. Overtly ripe blackberry fruit with a very fresh mineral characteristic. This was tasted right after the 2000 which made it a bit of a chore. Well developed with tobacco and chocolate on the finish but such a smooth operator. Powerful, and possessing the requisite tannins to carry this the distance. A classic in the making. 93 points (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1989 Château Latour
I enjoyed this wine but my biggest dissatisfaction was textural as the raspy mouthfeel (not a tannin issue) was distracting. Great aromatics here with green olives, truffles and roasted notes, showing more development than I expected from this youngster. Good fruit character but not captivating at this point. 1989 Latour had both power and balance but was more of a sous bois fest than a typical first growth Bordeaux. Hold onto your HB and LMHB! 92 points (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1988 Château Latour
Light ruby starting to show its age prematurely on the rim and a bit cloudy too. Good development of fruit and minerals showing strong here. This vintage began the more significant pruning and lower yields at Latour according to Frederic. Huge tannins here that may outlast the fruit. Drink up in 5 years and at outside, maybe another decade. Might just be this bottle. 86 points (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1986 Château Latour
Slightly underripe cassis fruit and minerals are depicted in this wine that some loved and others clearly had issues with. To me it showed young and spicy but the tannins ripped at the insides of my mouth. I don't think it has enough fruit to outlast the massive tannins here but I am not so sure. Tough to evaluate but I gave it 91 points. (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1985 Château Latour
Med. ruby w/ bricking on the rim and showing more maturity than the 1986. Charming Merlot softness here with tobacco, leather and animal notes. Slightly oxidative qualities showing through here but the generous red fruit was round and quite appealing to me. Great length on the complex finish with hints of mocha. 94 points (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1982 Château Latour
redish brown with an orange tinge concerned me until this was smelled and tasted. Voluptuous and very approachable with immense, dense and layered blackberry fruit, with anise, mint and eucalyptus. Big tannins that were obscured by clouds with a finish that was simply, huge. My first '82 Latour experience and one I won't soon forget it. Wish I owned a case or even a few bottles. I look forward to trying this in a decade or two. 96 points...WOW (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1975 Château Latour
This was all about aroma therapy with gamey, beef blood, leather and autumn leaves. Nope not a Burgundy but a well aged Bdx. Soft and still juicy fruit but it is starting to fade and drink 'em if you still have any left. Fully resolved tannins yield a very smooth finish. Fun in the scheme of the vertical. 89 points which is probably generous. (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1973 Château Latour
I don't know that I have ever had ANY 1973 wine before. Hmmm. Orangeish red with light brick color on the rim. Herbal with tobacco leaves and mocha. Pleasant, fully ready to drink and better than I thought it would be but it needs to be consumed now or at least very soon. Good length on the finish. 86 points. (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1971 Château Latour
darker ruby than the '71 with orange rim. Aging very well for an unheralded vintage. Given its 32 years of age, I was more impressed than the 1973. Good nose and lively tannins. 91 points (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1970 Château Latour
a very nice surprise after a very disappointing bottle I had this summer. I know about the bottle variation and was extremely glad to know that this too came from Latour's cellars. I loved this wine and it was in my top 3 of the tasting. I found the '96 to have a lot in common with this particular wine. No spitting was done here. It took a while to be forthcoming but once it opened it was racy and sleek like a cougar in full stride. Earthy and resinous aromas that were enhanced by pine and very ripe plum/prune flavors. Vibrant tannins and a fantastic finish that I thought about hours later. A great treat, that could replicate itself again in 20 more years. In a word, "Incredible!" 98 points (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1961 Château Latour
Holy @!#$%^&*!!! Ok, now I understand the hype. Still dark ruby in color with slight amount of bricking starting to show up. 42 and still kicking and looking really good like Bardot did at the same age. This wine showed NO aromatic or flavor profile components that gave any inclination that this was four+ decades old. Best wine aromatics in the vertical and anyone with a nose can wax poetic here...dark chocolate, cigar box cedar and subtle minty nuances with sweet complicated layer upon layer of dense fruit and a good dose of acidity to boot. Phenomenal balance and overall experience. 99 points (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 1959 Château Latour
I loved the 1961 and devoured every drop, but prefered this wine. The 1959 to me offered greater complexity in an earthier style (which appeals to my Burgundian side). The 1961 was more about power and finesse. The 1959 was more sensual and elegant. (In my Port terms...the difference between Taylor and Fonseca in old vintages like 1945). Dusty cherry flavors with black truffles and that cedar and tobacco thread I have loved in this vertical. Also amazingly youthful for a wine nearly my age with zesty tannins that still show a few decades are definitely left for further cellaring. Slightly more fruit here than the '61 too. Finishes like an after sex dream. This epitomizes a "desert island wine." 100 points and please forgive my gushing here. I doubt I will ever be privvy to this wine again. (Roy Hersh, UK)

03/03 Château Caronne Ste Gemme 1993
Just finishing up the "bad year clarets" and what do I find but this little revelation. Beautiful cedary nose (the colour quite orangey showing its age) but a very pleasant wine with a refreshing finish. Lovely. 12.5% abv. (Bought in Morrisons ages ago for around £7.99) (Daron Fincham, UK)

03/03 Château Ramage La Batisse 1993
Darker colour than the CSG, more full bodied (for a so-so year if you see what I mean). Nose less evolved than the CSG. More tannic but still quite nice (my wife liked it better than the Caronne Ste Gemme). Another good eight quid claret from Thresher I think? 12.5% abv. (Daron Fincham, UK)

03/03 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 1983
Deep solid core with a rim of garnet. Initially closed but after 20minutes in the glass, really opened up. Classic black fruit, Cassis, Cedar box, slight cigar smoke. Silky mouthfeel, fully integrated tannin, drying at first but harmonious and non obtusive and not austere. Perhaps not the most persistent of finish e.g. compare to the 1982 but non the less a very good bottle of wine. I drank it with Chinese Roast Pork but I guess, lamb a sunday roast beef with traditional gravy would have been more perfect. Drinking very well and no hurry, don't think it will go any further so why wait. (Roland Leung, Hong Kong)

03/03 Château Caronne Ste Gemme 1994
I fully expected this to be as dry as the Gobi desert, but horray! it wasn't. Really nice nose and smooth palate (I'm sure I've had other bottles of this that were frankly dreadful) but its seems to have matured and "aged through it". I'll try the rest on Mrs. F. tonight to see if I'm imagining things otherwise this little Cur Bourgeois does seem to survive well and get better. 12.5% abv. Again about £8 from Morrisons (Daron Fincham, UK)

03/03 Château Leoville-Poyferre 1978
An excellent wine full of bramble fruits, cedar wood and vanilla on the nose (with hints of herbs, black truffles and Christmas pud), and a full, well balanced palate. The palate was also quite spicy, with medium to firm tannins and showed good acidity. It had a creamy fruit character, dominated by a mix of herbs, plum and blackcurrant. It had a deep red/garnet core, with a mid brown/orange rim. Although the wine is approachable now, I would stick my neck out and say that the acidity, fruit and tannins that remain would still allow it to age for some time yet. (Mike K, UK)

02/03 Château Montrose 1994
Classic cedary blackcurrant, with some chocolate appearing with air. Youthful, firm but not overly tannic, with a lovely balance acid cut. Very worthy '94 claret. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

02/03 1994 Château La Rose Cote Rol Grand Cru, St Emilion
Red core with terracotta/orange edge. Faded fruit and old plum on the nose. Soft light and slightly hollow. Very ineffectual, without any character to speak of. Possible hint of smoke and coffee bean on the palate but only after aeration, together with some rustic, lingering tannin. Very forgettable wine, and thus disappointing. Poor. (The following day, so poor that the sink got it) (Ray Abercromby, UK)

02/03 1979 Château D'Angludet
Fired earth red with pale brown edge. Smoke, coffee and old wood on the nose – almost charred wood. Very evolved. The wine provides mature flavours, with some drying residual tannins. Reasonable length. Still drinkable, but very much for those who like their wines OLD. Good. (Ray Abercromby, UK)

02/03 Château d'Armailhac 1995
Deep dark red, gorgeous maturing nose; red and black fruit and leather and hints of spice and savoury tones. Sweet and finely structured on the palate with good length. A good few years ahead of it, beginning to reach its apogee now (I can't imagine it being more enjoyable). Very good. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

02/03 Château Lafite-Rothschild 1978
Clear, bright red, with a little browning at the rim. Lovely nose: very deep, complex, fragrant, sweet and firm. Less perfect in the mouth, where the fruit seems to have a faded a little and the acids come to the fore. An earthy/stony edge to what is a long and oh so nearly lovely finish. Would probably have been lovely five to ten years ago, now on its way out, but attractive and giving a fine glimpse into the life it once had. Good plus / Very good (for the nose). (Matthew Mellor , UK)

02/03 Château l'Angelus 1998
Plenty of sweet oak, a lot of vanilla on the nose – not as much toast as expected. Tannic entry, quite grippy with good fruit – quite long, needs times clearly but promising. On back tasting this wine was about oak, oak and more oak, really one dimensional, and quite frankly, to me un-impressive. Time will no doubt be a big improver helping the oak integrate, but not very impressive overall. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

02/03 Château l'Angelus 1997
Light red fruits, oaky backdrop on the nose. An earthy, only just ripe enough edge. Lighter than the '98 on the palate, and quite grainy tannins. Others didn't find the tannins grainy at all, and on back tasting (another pour), the wine had gained weight and the tannins where better integrated and not grainy – maybe sediment was to blame first time around. OK on this showing, and not bad for a '97. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

02/03 Château l'Angelus 1996
A bit closed compared to the others, shows dense black fruits with a smoky, oaky overlay – certainly compared to the '98, the oak showing signs of integration and additional complexity. Good entry, good tannins: full and ripe with good rounded fruit atop and good length, showing some of the tannin and wood smoke. Clearly not ready, and no real doubts that it will improve, but put them away for now. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

02/03 Château l'Angelus 1995
Dense black fruits, cassis and plums. Solid entry, solid dense black fruits, tannins in support but still quite firm. Good length and quite open. Although some recent TN's encourage drinking, this showing wouldn't suggest so – but then the pours weren't great, the temperature down and a poor indication of what would happen over a meal. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

02/03 Château l'Angelus 1994
Not on show – but having had it before recently, I can say it is a top '94, ripe, round, still some way off maturity and compares well with the '95/6 rather than the '93/7/(8 currently) which it clearly surpasses. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

02/03 Château l'Angelus 1993
Lighter smoky nose, more red fruits present but quite complex mulberry edge. Palate has OK ripeness (esp. for a '93 at this age), and fruit to cover the tannins initially, although turns firm and a perhaps a signs all it not well on the finish where the tannins really start to pop out. A wine to decant well ahead of time and drink now with a meal. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

02/03 Château l'Angelus 1990
Smoky, toasty edge initially to the primarily blackcurrant fruit which has that almost roasted/meaty quality, and then later syrupy edge from the hot vintage. Huge entry, warming alcohol, mouth-filling and perfectly balanced against soft, but what must be good solid tannin support that is drowned in fruit. Finish is long and balanced with just the right acid cut. I don't see this becoming any more 'drinkable', but it's certainly youthful in the complexity stakes, and should develop more nuances before time runs out. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

02/03 Château l'Angelus 1989
Ripe, dense, but a bit more syrupy. Doesn't quite hold the interest on the nose as the '90. A bit less rounded on the palate, and the first time around the alcohol really notices and cuts it short mid-way through the palate. However, a re-taste later shows this wine to not be too far behind the '90 overall with the fruit & alcohol in better balance. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

02/03 Château l'Angelus 1988
Cigar boxy, cedary, smoky – classic Bordeaux barrel treatment with a bit of age is the main characteristic on the nose. The fruit is there, red and black, medium bodied, but smoke is the dominant feature to this wine, really toasty oak which is all that's left on the finish. Seems to round out a bit with air (warming in cup of hand); but it's future is doubtful in my mind. I may be convinced given better conditions, but the oak seems to be wining the battle in this wine. (Nick Alabaster, UK)

02/03 Domaine de Chevalier 1983
Mature colour with bricking at the rim, elegant nose with cedar and Graves warm bricks and earth, lovely sweet fruit on first taste fully mature, excellent balance, so delicious, none of your modern blockbusters here, and a good finish. Excellent. (Paul Redfren, UK)

02/03 Château La Lagune 1995
Deep ruby-red, hints of purple. Nose was restrained, but hints of blackcurrant and stewed plums. Medium bodied and ripe, with expressive fruit at the core though lacking roundness. Still grippy tannins, as you would expect. Long finish. Not as rich a wine as expected, but plenty of life ahead. Good plus. (Matthew Mellor, UK)


12/02 1991 Château d'Yquem 1980
Decanted one hour before drinking. Don't hesitate to decant much earlier than I did! Served together with an excellent caramelized pears' cake . Intense gold. Good density in the glass. The nose is great, with almond, quince, candied fruits. The mouth is very noble, everything's perfectly in place and nothing is vulgar nor excessive. However the wine lacks a bit of explosiveness . Not a very spectacular d'Yquem but extremely well done. 89/100 (Alain, Sitzerland)

12/02 1991 Château Latour-Martillac 1998 (white)
Matching an excellent seafood plate, this wine is perfect, as well on oysters and shells than on crawfish and lobster, never crushing, always respectful of the iodized savours of the food. Whereas the nose is rich with perfumes of white peach and honeysuckle, the fat of this Latour-Martillac is perfect on the palate and finishes beautifully. A very pleasurable bottle to hold in your cellar at a reasonable price (30 Swiss Francs - about 12£). (Alain, Sitzerland)

10/02 Château Richard Saussignac Coup de Coeur 97
Intense apricotty flavour with a long piquant finish. But a bit hot and disjointed compared to my fabulous memories from two tastings at the Chateau this summer. VG (Paul Armstrong, UK)

10/02 Château Roumier 1990 (sauternes)
Stunning dark yellow/ to dense Gold. sublime nose of honey and marmalade mainy the latter and an incredib;e dense maramelade taste. Very long length. On the Hugh Johnson (fun) scale of wine assessemt I wanted to "buy the vineyard." (David Bennett, UK)

10/02 Château Filhot 1996
Disapionting after the Roumier. A bit thin and weedy. Hardly a trace fo botritis on the palate or nose just simple sweet fruit. Not a bad wine by amy stretch of the imagination but just a bit simple. It needed food to bring oit around but even thenthere was little length or complexity there. (David Bennett, UK)

10/02 Sauternes Ch Lafon 1999 (in Halves)
More flowery and herby than the Roumier or the Filhot. A simple sauternes rather than complex and not much botrytis but nevertheless well made. (David Bennett, UK)

10/02 Chateau Haut Mallet Blanc 1998
A slightly disappointing white Bordeaux - Deep, golden colour with both Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc showing on the nose but with rather too obvious oak. Similar story when drunk - nicely developed fruit showing but with too much oak that did not feel integrated with the rest of the wine. 13/20 (Simon Wharton, UK)

09/02 Château Guiraud 1988
A beautiful deep yellow, heading for golden colour. A creamy and heady bouquet of peaches and cream and beautiful balance of sweet caramelised fruit and acid in the mouth. This would seem to have many years ahead of it, but if I had my way, I'd drink it all now. Excellent / Outstanding. NB, RMP calls this "understated", but, as my friend remarked, "b*****ks!" (Matthew Mellor, UK)

09/02 Château Liot, Sauternes 1995
Nice to compare this with the 95 Bastor-Lamontagne from last week. This was a lot more approachable, in my view. Golden colour, honey and peaches on the nose, quite rich and fat on the palate but with good structure. More forward than the B-L and a better wine for now. Good/Very Good. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

09/02 Cave de Monbazillac Grande Reserve Monbazillac 1999
Deep golden yellow colour. Rich peach, plus bit of bitter peach stone, with nicely judged acidity that just about wards off any cloyingness. G/VG (Paul Armstrong, UK)

09/02 Domaine de Pecoula Monbazillac 1999
Good acidity/sweetness balance. Good silky mouth texture too. Very pleasant basic cuvee. G/VG (Paul Armstrong, UK)

09/02 Domaine de Pecoula Monbazillac Medaille d'Or Paris 1998
Beautifully integrated soft waxy/vanilla oak flavours and texture. Lovely stuff. VG/E (Paul Armstrong, UK)

09/02 Domaine de Pecoula Monbazillac Cuvee Millenaire 1997
Half way between the basic and top cuvees in style and complexity. VG (Paul Armstrong, UK)

09/02 Chateau Bastor-Lamontagne, Sauternes 1995
Sweet and rich, but didn't seem to be particularly complex or botrytised. The acidity was fine, though there was a curiously medicinal taste to it. Good. (Matthew Mellor, UK)

07/02 Ch. d`Yquem 1979 (Sauternes)
one of best Yquem`s I`ve had and better than more praised vintages such as 75. Incredible gold colour, massive nose of marmalade, peach and apricots. Impeccable balance with the acidity to balance the weight of the fruits. Very long apricot/quince finish. Brilliant wine (23/25) (Neal Martin, UK)

07/02 Ch. Bouscaut (blanc) 1989
Deep colour. Honeycomb, butterscotch nose, waxy. Gentle, attenuated but a classy drink. Went a bit hollow and metallic after an hour or so, but still nice to drink. ** (Joel Hopwood , UK)

07/02 Ch. Guiraud (Sauternes) 1983
Nice enough Sauternes, a bit of a comedown after a stunning series of reds. Not much botrytis, medium sweet, nothing spectacular and nothing wrong with it either. ** (Joel Hopwood , UK)

N.B. older Bordeaux notes are archived here.