This Week's Must-Try Wines from Vinous

Welcome to this week's Vinous Top Ten! Each week we compile a list of top ten wines from the Vinous database that you need to add to your wine wish list. With all the various regions, producers, and grapes, no week will be the same! All of the wines listed in this feature are available for purchase on Banquet . This week's must-try wines are from Neal Martin’s article Cellar Journal: Bordeaux 1920-2015 . Enjoy an excerpt from his article and his notes for this week's top ten below! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "As the year winds down, this article gathers Bordeaux tasting notes from old to young, derided to legendary vintages, and value-for-money wines to ridiculously expensive...with a few surprises along the way." --Neal Martin, Cellar Journal: Bordeaux 1920-2015, December 2019 1. Cheval Blanc 1990 Cheval Blanc 2. Cheval Blanc 2005 Cheval Blanc 3. Lafite-Rothschild 1985 Lafite-Rothschild 4. Lafite-Rothschild 1990 Lafite-Rothschild 5. Léoville Las Cases 2010 Léoville Las Cases 6. Léoville Las Cases 2004 Léoville Las Cases 7. Léoville Poyferré 1982 Léoville Poyferré 8. Lynch-Bages 1990 Lynch-Bages 9. Mouton-Rothschild 1982 Mouton-Rothschild 10. Trotanoy 1970 Trotanoy

Château Cheval Blanc

St. Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend 1990

Delectable Wine
9.8

The 1990 Cheval Blanc is a vintage that once upon a time I drank regularly, although I had not seen it since March 2016. Poured against the 1990 Lafite-Rothschild, this is the clear winner. Still youthful in color with modest bricking. The bouquet explodes from the glass with kirsch, mulberry, antique furniture and black truffle scents. With aeration it becomes more savory, the Cabernet Franc wanting to see more of the olfactory action. The palate is medium-bodied and comes equipped with a stunning velvety texture. This Saint-Émilion feels spherical, conveying a sense of controlled decadence but avoiding any ostentation. This is as good a bottle as I have encountered over the years. Brilliant. Tasted at Noble Rot's “Xmas” dinner. (Neal Martin, Vinous, December 2019)
— 4 months ago

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Château Léoville-Las Cases

Grand Vin de Leoville du Marquis de las Cases Saint-Julien Red Bordeaux Blend 2004

Delectable Wine
9.3

The 2004 Léoville–Las Cases has the tough job of following the 2005. It offers black fruit mixed with sous-bois, smoke and sage aromas, now moving into its secondary stage but without the intensity of great vintages like 2005 or 2010. The palate is well balanced, with off-dry tannin. Classic in style, fresh and poised, leading to a lovely, quite sensual finish that leaves you wishing for another sip. Very fine. (Neal Martin, Vinous, December 2019)
— 4 months ago

Château Mouton Rothschild

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend 1982

Delectable Wine
9.8

The 1982 Mouton-Rothschild continues to be the extravagant Pauillac that it has always been. This has an irresistible, exotic bouquet of precocious kirsch, hoisin, graphite and blueberry scents that gain intensity in the glass. The palate is a little headier than previous bottles, sensual and almost glossy, presenting a glycerin-rich smorgasbord of dark cherries, black currant, crème de menthe and mint that almost knocks you off your feet. Fabulous. Tasted from an ex-château jeroboam at the Palace of Versailles charity dinner. (Neal Martin, Vinous, December 2019)
— 4 months ago

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Château Trotanoy

Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend 1970

Delectable Wine
9.4

The 1970 Trotanoy is a wine that I have encountered several times and – caveat emptor – it is variable and prone to TCA issues. This bottle initially sports a metallic note on the nose, although it dissipates to reveal engaging scents of dark berry fruit, undergrowth and the hint of traditional Japanese green tea that I have noted before. Perhaps it does not quite deliver the precision of the best bottles I have come across. The palate is structured and tannic – a “serious” Trotanoy that is determined to impress despite a touch of rusticity. This is a broad-shouldered, rather stocky Trotanoy with impressive depth and just a hint of black olive on the long finish. It will not improve with cellaring but it remains a great Pomerol that has tasted so well for almost half a century. Tasted at Fook Lam Moon in Hong Kong. (Neal Martin, Vinous, December 2019)
— 4 months ago

Daniel, James and 5 others liked this

Château Cheval Blanc

St. Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend 2005

Delectable Wine
9.8

The 2005 Cheval Blanc has a very intense bouquet, conveying so much energy that it almost knocks you sideways. That strong marine influence remains, the aromatics have opened up since I last tasted it. The palate is medium-bodied with firm backbone, yet more pliant than previous bottles, offering dense black fruit laced with mint and quite a potent saline note that drives the finish. This is surprisingly peppery on the aftertaste that is incredibly long. Awesome, but it needs more time. Tasted from an ex-château bottle at Berry, Brothers & Rudd. (Neal Martin, Vinous, December 2019)
— 4 months ago

Château Léoville-Las Cases

Grand Vin de Leoville du Marquis de las Cases Saint-Julien Red Bordeaux Blend 2010

Delectable Wine
9.6

The 2010 Léoville–Las Cases has a very intense, multifaceted bouquet of blackberry, raspberry, orange blossom, pipe tobacco and light white pepper aromas. The oak is now fully enmeshed, and if anything it blossoms with aeration. The palate has softened a little since I tasted this in 2014, but there remains a wonderful arching texture, a fine bead of acidity and enormous length. The persistency here is outstanding, but there is also plenty of freshness. This may be a little more open than I imagined, though I would still give it another two or three years in bottle. Tasted at the château. (Neal Martin, Vinous, December 2019)
— 4 months ago

Château Lynch-Bages

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend 1990

Delectable Wine
9.6

The 1990 Lynch-Bages remains the towering Pauillac it has always been, even if Jean-Michel Cazes personally prefers the 1989. It has a riveting, graphite-infused bouquet that is brilliantly defined, very focused and sharp as a razor-blade. Poured directly against the 1990 Lafite-Rothschild, this Fifth Growth beats it hands down. The palate is very well structured; this is an aristocratic Lynch-Bages with impressive grip after 28 years. There is a symmetry underpinning this wine, a sense of energy undiminished by the passing years, that makes this 1990 Lynch-Bages so compelling. Just awesome. Tasted during the Christmas Dinner at Noble Rot restaurant. (Neal Martin, Vinous, December 2019)
— 4 months ago

Château Lafite Rothschild

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend 1985

Delectable Wine
9.3

The 1985 Lafite-Rothschild is only a modest success in the context of the vintage. Here, it is totally outclassed by the 1985 Las Cases. Light, slightly loose-knit red berry fruit on the nose is complemented by warm gravel and smoky aromas, though it lacks a bit of energy. The palate is nicely balanced, not powerful but focused, with adequate freshness. As mentioned in my previous tasting note, this has dispensed with some density in recent years, and if your expectations are modest, it remains enjoyable. Tasted at Hameau de Barbaron in Burgundy. (Neal Martin Vinous, December 2019)
— 4 months ago

Château Lafite Rothschild

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend 1990

Delectable Wine
9.0

This bottle of 1990 Lafite-Rothschild replicates the one poured at the château several months earlier. The bouquet offers black fruit, a little dustiness, leather and light marine notes, but again, it never slips into fifth gear. It just lacks vivacity. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly hard tannin, modest fruit concentration and a monochromatic finish that feels suppressed by that summer’s warmth. To reiterate, there are Super Seconds that clearly outperform this First Growth in 1990. Tasted at Noble Rot's “Xmas” dinner. (Neal Martin, Vinous, December 2019)
— 4 months ago

Château Léoville Poyferré

Saint Julien Red Bordeaux Blend 1982

Delectable Wine
9.4

The 1982 Léoville Poyferré has long been one of my favorite Saint-Julien wines, and this does not disappoint. Dark in color, it has a gorgeous bouquet of mulberry, raspberry, melted tar and rose petal aromas, and a little exoticism courtesy of a dab of fig. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and quite dense black fruit that merges with blue fruit in the latter half. There is fine backbone to this Saint-Julien, which reveals cedar and graphite toward the fresh, convincing finish. Bottles are just reaching their peak, while large formats will last many more years. Tasted blind at "Xmas" lunch in London. (Neal Martin, Vinous, December 2019)
— 4 months ago

Daniel liked this