Single-Owner Bordeaux Cellar
Cheval Blanc, Cos d'Estournel, Haut Brion, Latour, Lynch Bages, Pétrus, Pichon-Lalande and more...
1982 - 1985 - 1986 - 1989 - 1990 - 1996 - 2002
There's a difference between loose bottles that have been floating through retail shops for the last 20 years and bottles that were bought close to release and kept in a single cellar, left to slumber...
As we all know, legions of classic Bordeaux churn relentlessly through the U.S. (not to mention Europe and Asia), traded from hand to hand to hand to hand until the original owner, the provenance and the transportation can't be verified - or even accessed.
Today's email has nothing to do with any of this.
Instead, today we present something that should inspire much more confidence: A single-owner cellar of Bordeaux, with bottles bought on release and safely cellared until we recently acquired them.
Please see the entire list below - there's nearly something for everyone in this cellar, from the legends of Bordeaux (1982 Haut Brion) to beautifully mature, top-caliber wines that won't break the bank (1989 Cos d'Estournel).
This was a modest cellar, at least in terms of size: Most wines are available in 12-bottle quantities or less. In order to keep the integrity of the cellar together as much as possible, we will give priority to full-case purchases as many of the bottles come in the original wood cases (OWC).
The full list with reviews is below. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the store at (212) 980-9463 to order. All orders subject to confirmation.
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits
Quantities are extremely limited! Click here to view list online.
1988 Château Cheval Blanc
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate: "The 1988 is more structured, less alcoholic and less intense than the 1989. It exhibits fine ripeness, and a cool, almost menthol, plummy bouquet intertwined with aromas of smoke and new oak. In the mouth, there are some aggressive tannins, but it does not possess the sheer drama of the 1989. It is a very good Cheval Blanc, but having tasted it numerous times in cask and bottle, I had expected it to be more impressive than it appears to be."
1985 Château Cos D'Estournel
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate: "The 1985 from cask could have been a lighter version of the 1982 and 1953 vintages. Forward, with a fabulously scented bouquet of pain grille and concentrated red and black fruits (especially black cherries), it is rich, lush, long, and medium to full-bodied. Very fragrant, with gobs of sweet black fruits, minerals, and spice in both its flavors and aromatics, this is one of the most forward wines from Cos."
1989 Château Cos d'Estournel
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate: "The 1989 Cos d'Estournel is very good, but uninspiring. The 1989, although good, does not live up to expectations given the terroir and the vintage. Its deep ruby color is followed by a spicy vanillin, curranty nose, medium body, excellent depth, but a monolithic personality. It possesses neither the concentration nor dimension of the exceptional 1990. The 1989 possesses some hard tannin in the finish, but it is well-integrated with the wine's ripe fruit."
1986 Château Ducru Beaucaillou
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate: "This wine remains backward, tannic, and in need of another 5 or more years of bottle age. The 1986 Ducru possesses a dark ruby color with purple nuances. Initially the bouquet is restrained, but with coaxing it reveals scents of lead pencil, sweet cranberry and black currant fruit nicely intertwined with aromas of steel, minerals, and earth. Rich and medium to full-bodied, but excruciatingly tannic, this is an intensely concentrated Ducru-Beaucaillou with formidable aging potential. Readers should note that 1986 is the first vintage where some bottles were marred by off-aromas of damp cardboard. The last three times I tasted the wine the bottles were totally pure, with no evidence of this disturbing irregularity."
1982 Château Haut-Brion
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate : "I know Jean Delmas, whom I respect as one of the world’s greatest wine producers, has always thought the 1982 Haut Brion was similar to the 1959, but I have yet to see that. It seems to me the 1989 is closer to the 1959, another perfect wine and one of the all-time great Haut Brions. While the 1982 is a beauty, it has never hit the highest notes this vintage or terroir can achieve. Complex aromatics of scorched earth, smoked herbs, and sweet red and black currants are followed by a full-bodied, silky-textured wine, but I have never felt this offering has possessed the concentration, texture, or multidimensional personality found in such vintages as 1989, 1990, and more recent years. Nevertheless, this is essentially splitting hairs as the 1982 remains a superb Haut Brion."
1996 Château Haut-Brion
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate : "The backward 1996 Haut-Brion was bottled in July, 1998. Even administrator Jean Delmas was surprised by how closed it was when I tasted it in January. Only 60% of the crop was utilized in the final blend, which was 50% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 11% Cabernet Franc. Out of barrel, this wine exhibited far more forthcoming aromatics as well as a sweeter mid-palate than it revealed from bottle. I had expected it to be more forward, and thus slightly down-graded the wine, although I am thrilled to own it and follow what appears to be a slow evolution. It will be a potentially long-lived wine. The 1996 exhibits a deep ruby/purple color, and a surprisingly tight bouquet. With aeration, notes of fresh tobacco, dried herbs, smoke, asphalt, and black fruits emerge ... but reluctantly. It is tannic and medium-bodied, with outstanding purity and a layered, multidimensional style. However, the finish contains abundant tannin, suggesting that this wine needs 5-8 years of cellaring."
2002 Château Latour
Compare at $400 to way higher
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate : "The wine of the vintage? There are only 10,000 cases of this extraordinarily rich, dense 2002 that is as powerful as the 2003 (even the alcohol levels are nearly the same, 12.85%) . It is dark ruby/purple to the rim, with notes of English walnuts, crushed rocks, black currants, and forest floor, dense, full-bodied, and opulent, yet classic with spectacular aromatics, marvelous purity, and a full-bodied finish that lasts just over 50+ seconds. Huge richness and the sweetness of the tannin are somewhat deceptive as this wine seems set for a long life. Administrator Frederic Engerer seems to be more pleased with what Latour achieved in 2002 than in any other recent vintage. Hats off to him for an extraordinary accomplishment in a vintage that wouldn’t have been expected to produce the raw materials to achieve something at this level of quality."
1985 Château Leoville-Barton
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate: "Anthony Barton's 1985 may turn out to be a remake of the chateau's splendid 1953. Deep ruby/garnet with a complex, complete, and intense bouquet of sweet, superripe, curranty fruit, minerals, cedar, spice, and baked herbs, this medium-bodied wine has exceptional balance, fine length, gobs of fruit, and soft tannin in the velvety finish. This classic claret is a joy to drink."
1990 Château Leoville-Barton
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate: "Believe it or not, the 1990 Leoville Barton can actually be drunk - something that cannot be said about the broodingly backward, still excruciatingly tannic 1982. The exceptionally concentrated 1990 reveals more polished, sweeter tannins along with a big, sweet kiss of black currant, forest floor, cedar, and spice box notes. While it still has some tannins to shed, this full-bodied, powerful, long wine is approachable. It should continue to evolve for another two decades."
1985 Château Léoville-Las Cases
Compare at $250-$300
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate: "This is one of my favorite vintages of Las Cases for present day consumption. The wine reveals a youthful deep ruby/purple color, followed by a classic Las Cases bouquet of pain grille, lead pencil, minerals, and ripe black currants. Medium to full-bodied, with outstanding concentration, and soft tannin, this is a classic, fleshy 1985 that reveals none of the potential dilution noticeable in many wines from this vintage. At one time I thought this might turn out to be a modern day clone of the 1953, but it possesses a lot more flesh and intensity."
1985 Château Lynch-Bages
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate: "The 1985 has been totally disarming, seductive, and sexy since birth. Its corpulence, medium to full-bodied personality, low acidity, attractive silkiness, and copious quantities of herb-tinged cassis fruit have always made this wine a winner. It is beginning to display a few signs that it is at its peak of maturity and will not get any better. In fact, it might be best consumed over the next 5-10 years. As it sat in the glass, the 1985 faded more than any other vintage, but its immense up-front pleasure cannot be denied. This is a wine to decant right before serving, and not to linger over. It is a beautiful, elegant style of Lynch Bages. It is sure to please both connoisseurs and neophytes."
1989 Château Lynch-Bages
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate: "Consistently backward and dense, with enormous potential, this admirable wine will not be ready for prime time drinking for another 5-7 years. The color is not quite as opaque as the 1990's, but reveals more purple and no lightening at the edge. Hugely concentrated flavors have just begun to offer up a nose of cedar and creme de cassis. Powerful and muscular, with high tannin and superb concentration, this is Lynch Bages at its biggest and most beastly. However, everything is in balance for a stunning evolution."
1985 Château Pétrus
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate: "This wine was splendid from cask, but it was bottled during a period where Petrus was probably fined and filtered entirely too much (since the late-eighties, Petrus is no longer filtered). The wine comes across as herbaceous, with medium body, good but uninspiring concentration, and a distinct weedy, cherry, berry fruitiness. The color is a diffuse ruby with considerable amber at the edge. I would opt for drinking this wine over the next decade, or better yet ... sell it!"
1982 Château Pichon-Lalande
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate: "One of the monumental wines of the last century is the 1982 Pichon Lalande. Since bottling, it has flirted with perfection, and was a sprinter out of the gate, which gave rise to questions about how quickly it would begin its decline. However, at age 27, it retains all its glossy, rich, flamboyant cassis fruit, chocolaty, berry jam-like notes, and plenty of earthy, foresty flavors. This is a full-bodied, extravagantly rich Pichon Lalande seemingly devoid of acidity and tannin, but the wine is incredibly well-balanced and pure. It is an amazing effort!."
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