Vintage Tastings (click to search again)

Vintage Name Variety Publication Reviewer Score More...
Red

1986 Château Cheval Blanc

St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The last wine of this fascinating retrospective was the 1986 Cheval Blanc. The Cheval had its classic wintergreen aroma, along with red fruits and green olives. There were great flavors of cranberry, strawberry, interior leather and curds n’ whey. It was tender and pretty, more open than the previous two wines, adding wintergreen and game flavors (93). 93 points
Red

1986 Château Cos d'Estournel

St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The 1986 Cos d’Estournel had much more peanut brittle in the nose, along with coffee, spice, candle wax and beef. The palate was nutty and quite gamy for a Left Banker, with a pinch of sugar dropped in. It was toasty up front, but waxy on its finish. Lots of minerals and cigar lingered, and it was hailed as ‘rich and dense’ (94). 94 points
Red

2005 Château Cos d'Estournel

St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The 2005 Cos d’Estournel quickly brought sexy back with its classic aromas of cedar, nut and caramel. While more elegant than expected, there were great flavors of cedar and what I call fireplace action. This was classic every which way, and it got two ‘fantastics’ from the crowd (96). 96 points
Red

2005 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou

St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The 2005 Ducru Beaucaillou was also big, more cedar city in the nose. There was big-time ‘vanilla bean,’ as someone noted. Tasty and nutty, it had mocha, vanilla and milkshake flavors. It continued to gain in the glass and get bigger (95+). 95+ points
Red

1986 Château Gruaud Larose

St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The Talbot was followed by its sibling, the 1986 Gruaud Larose, which also had a bit of that bathwater to it at first. Someone hailed the nose ‘more voluptuous.’ The nose became perfumed and also developed aromas of cola, cherry and wool, and it left a clean and spiny impression. The palate had the minerals, earth, game, carob and cassis. It was smokier and bigger than the Talbot but still distinguished, stylish and long (94). 94 points
Red

2005 Château Haut-Brion

Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The 2005 Haut Brion was full of cigar smoke in the nose to go along with the usual suspects of tobacco, earth and black fruits. There was a tender quality to this powerful wine, which exerted its influence in a quiet and easy way. It was an Obamawine lol. Flavors of earth, tobacco and charcoal were more classically rendered than its sibling La Miss, and definitive bacon emerged in the nose, so much so that I wrote it in caps with an exclamation mark to boot like some hungry dog – BACON! The Haut Brion lived up to its lofty status (97). 97 points
Red

2005 Château La Mission Haut-Brion

Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
We transitioned to the First Growths with a 2005 La Mission Haut Brion, arguably a First Growth in its own right. The La Mission was so exotic compared to the rest. There was great fruit here, and wild aromas like coconut and blueberry standing side by side with classics like charcoal, black currants and truffles. The flavors were also kinky and gamy with exotic marzipan, and its finish popped with more noticeable acidity than anything prior. It was a wild and crazy wine whose outstanding quality could not be denied, but I couldn’t help but wonder if all this exoticness would come back to haunt it later in life (96). 96 points
Red

2005 Château Lafite Rothschild

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The 2005 Lafite Rothschild was a bit unusual at first, emitting this mentholated rub in the locker room vibe, which someone else likened to ‘barnyard.’ It did get more cedary and classic with time, but needed more coaxing. There was a soft and subtle minerality here that provided a beautiful backbone to the wine, like good posture. Its elegant style was overshadowed by the Latour in the beginning, but it, too, had undeniable breed and over time gained on the Latour, closing the gap. Its elegance and breed were ultimately remarkable (96). 96 points
Red

1986 Château Lafleur

Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
A flight of two Pomerols was next, beginning with the 1986 Lafleur. The Lafleur had a kinky and sexy nose, that tutti-frutti side of Lafleur that comes out more in certain vintages. Aromas of sweet grape, game, musk, white chocolate and a hint of caraway were all present. The palate was big and thick with rocky and black fruit flavors, unraveling with slow and squeezing tannins. A hint of motor oil and prune rounded out this delicious boa constrictor of a wine, and there was enough acidity to match (95). 95 points
Red

2005 Château Latour Grand Vin

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The 2005 Latour had the nose of the night. There was fantastic and undeniable breed here. ‘Nutty nutty, long long and dry dry’ were my first notes. It had enough length to last through double overtime, and the marriage between its signature cedar and walnut aromas and flavors said, ‘happily ever after’ (97+). 97+ points
Red

1986 Château Léoville Las Cases

St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The 1986 Leoville Las Cases had a big nose and was blacker and inkier. Its purple fruit was decadent and its musk great, and it also had a sexy vanilla quality to it. The palate was rich, long and thick with a nice finish that had lots of unfolding tannins. The palate was refined, and Julieanne called it ‘a nice package.’ It was (95). 95 points
Red

2005 Château Léoville Las Cases

St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The 2005 Leoville Las Cases was tight and a touch anise-y. Stony and cedary, its nose was much more reticent than the other ‘05s. The palate was also very stony, but its length and breed were outstanding. While a bit muted, and much more reserved already, the Las Cases was still serious stuff. Every case should come with a sign, ‘wake me when it’s over’ (95). 95 points
Red

1986 Château Margaux

Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
It was on to the final flight of three, beginning with the 1986 Margaux, which was extremely spiny and the most wound wine of the night. There were lots of spice, minerals, leather, iron and gyro beef aromas. The palate was again more polished than I expected, especially given the nose. Flavors of carob, spice, dust, earth, leather and waterfall were all present on the palate, but there was a hole in the middle of this wine, or at least this bottle, that held it back (94). 94 points
Red

2005 Château Margaux

Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
We closed with the 2005 Margaux, which was classic all the way. Cedar, cassis, earth and minerals abounded in its long, smoky and elegant nose. The palate was long, decadent and smoky. The Margaux ended up the evening in stylish fashion, as it is prone to do (96). 96 points
Red

1986 Château Meyney

St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The ‘warm-up’ was a 1986 Meyney. The Meyney had a nice nose, with aromas of green bean, carob, hay and a little benevolent animal. Its profile was dark and nutty overall. The palate was round, also nutty and also with carob flavors, possessing nice spice and still flashy on its finish – I did notice some heat. There were a touch of bitters to its flavors, along with earth and slate on its finish. I liked it overall, even though it fell a step out of balance with time. It was soft and tender, tasty stuff that everyone was loving. Someone remarked it was ‘spiny, with a touch of wood and a surprising amount of legs.’ It was a good show for this good value (90). 90 points
Red

2005 Château Montrose

St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The 2005 Montrose had a bigger nose with much more fruit. It was concentrated and rich with big, buttery flavors, coffee again and some toast while Alexander The Great noted ‘bitters.’ Despite its bigness, it maintained elegance and had softness. Although its tannins were long, they were fine (94). 94 points
Red

1986 Château Mouton Rothschild

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The last Left Bank wine was its most renowned, the 1986 Mouton Rothschild. Its nose was deep and dark, a touch stinky and gamey with a strong whiff of wood and cedar. The palate was also deep, dark and black with oceans of cassis, cedar and minerals. Its finish was by far the longest of the night. This was the only bottle that had a bit of that theoretical 1986 squareness, the only one that still said, ‘give me more time,’ but there was no doubting its raw materials (96+). 96+ points
Red

2005 Château Mouton Rothschild

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The 2005 Mouton Rothschild was the first of our First Growths, and we had them all ready. Tar, smoke and a little marijuana green crept out of its nose. The flavors were mocha, and the wine was softer and easier. Someone called it simplistic, and while that might have been a bit harsh, it definitely under-impressed compared to some of the wines already sampled (94). 94 points
Red

2005 Château Palmer

Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
Someone noted ‘mushroom’ in the 2005 Palmer. I did pick up on forest floor, but it was shier and more elegant in the nose. Alexander picked up on a little ‘blue cheese,’ but it was not pungent. It was perfumed and sexy, getting a little grapier as it opened. The palate was great, full of oil, leather, coffee and smoke flavors. There was exquisite balance to this superb wine. It really got my attention (97). 97 points
Red

1986 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The ‘odd bull’ of the Left Bank was next, which was called odd due to its high concentration of Merlot. The 1986 Pichon Lalande had aromas of green bean, cleaner, roasted hazelnuts, roasted walnuts and pencil shavings. Its nose was meaty and musky, while its palate was pretty, soft, round, sensual, tender…just beautiful. There were classic flavors, and its elegance and style could not be denied. In the end, this was one of the group’s favorite wines (95). 95 points
Red

2005 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
We began with a disappointing 2005 Pichon Lalande. Its nose was lightly roasted and nutty with aromas of coffee. While elegant, the dryness of its tannins and acidity jumped out. There were lighter, nutty flavors of black tea present, but it did not have the depth I have come to expect for this reliable Chateau (91). 91 points
Red

1986 Château Talbot

St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The second flight led off with the 1986 Talbot. There were lots of green beans and olives in the nose, which was a bit waxy and spiny, though also clean. Some tickling crushed red fruits rounded out the nose, which also had a little bathwater edge to it. The palate was much more classic; it had sweet, tasty and nutty fruit and a spicy palate that had mineral, earth and game flavors. Sweet cassis, nut and caramel flavors were also there. It was thick in the mouth but balanced, classic and delicious despite a bit of awkwardness to its aromatics (93). 93 points
Red

1986 Château Trotanoy

Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
Bordeaux Horizontals (5/11/2009)
The 1986 Trotanoy was not a match for the Lafleur. It was gamy like the Lafleur, but more figgy. Aromas of carob, caramel and wild boar were followed by round, figgy flavors and a soft and smooth palate. There was nice slate and spice around its edges, and still a touch of heat like a fire that is starting to dwindle. It was pleasant and pleasing, and Julieanne liked the Trot ‘better now’ (91). 91 points
  • Reviews: 23 /
  • Wines: 23

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