POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

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Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

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Br1an Th0rne
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POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#1 Post by Br1an Th0rne »

To follow up on Howard’s poll, I’m curious as to what others consider the best vintage for red Bordeaux from 1980 - 1999. Most of these vintages are approaching maturity, so there’s less “projection” required than for more recent years.

My pick would be 1990; I’ve had more profoundly great wines from this vintage than any other. Remarkably consistent as well. If I had two votes, which I don’t, I’d go with 1990 and 1982.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#2 Post by Rich K0rz€nk0 »

This will be a crap shoot between 82, 89, and 90. Honorable mention to 86. I'm feeling 82.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#3 Post by Marcu$ Stanley »

The high votes for 1990 here speak well of 2009, which I think of as a modern day 1990. It is certainly the most 1990-ish vintage of the 21st century.

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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#4 Post by Mike Evans »

I had a very hard time choosing between 1982, 1989, and 1990 (and 1996 if I limit it to the Left Bank). I ended choosing 1990, but it was by an incredibly narrow margin over 1989.

The highs of 1982 are extraordinary, but I give the edge to 1989 and 1990 because there are several top chateaux that I think were making better wine by the end of the decade than were in 1982, such as Pichon Baron, Montrose, and Leoville-Poyferre. I’ve also had more excellent inexpensive 1989s and 1990s than 1982s.

The choice between 1989 and 1989 is much harder. Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Lafite, Margaux, and Latour were much stronger in 1990, Haut Brion and La Mission HB were better in 1989 but the 1990s were still outstanding, and Mouton wasn’t even close to First Growth quality in either vintage so the First Growth edge goes to 1990.

Looking a notch below, I prefer 1989 Montrose, Palmer, and Pichon Lalande to their 1990 versions. On the other hand, I give the edge to all three Leovilles in 1990, along with Certan de May, L’Evangile, Gruaud, Ducru, Pape Clement, and Beausejour-Duffeau. Lynch Bages, Rausan-Segla, and Pichon Baron are toss ups, as are Angelus, Clinet, Fleur de Gay, and La Conseillante. Moving down the ladder a little more, I prefer 1989 Clerc Milon and Meyney, but 1990 Lagrange and GPL. La Dominique is a toss up. Finally, I’ve had more random inexpensive 1990s turn out to surprisingly lovely than 1989s, so that pushes 1990 to the win.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#5 Post by Kris Patten »

Had to vote 1989 as I have very little experience with 1982, and i prefer the structure in 1989 vs. 1990.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#6 Post by Howard Cooper »

Marcu$ Stanley wrote: January 18th, 2021, 5:13 am The high votes for 1990 here speak well of 2009, which I think of as a modern day 1990. It is certainly the most 1990-ish vintage of the 21st century.
To me, 2009 is 1990 on steroids, and not in a good way. That said, I would put 1982 first, 1989 second and 1996 third (at least for the left bank). I have not seen as much complexity as I would have hoped for so far from 1990s.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#7 Post by Brady Daniels »

I would vote 1998 right bank, given the option.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#8 Post by David Glasser »

Mike Evans wrote: January 18th, 2021, 8:35 am I had a very hard time choosing between 1982, 1989, and 1990 (and 1996 if I limit it to the Left Bank). I ended choosing 1990, but it was by an incredibly narrow margin over 1989.

The highs of 1982 are extraordinary, but I give the edge to 1989 and 1990 because there are several top chateaux that I think were making better wine by the end of the decade than were in 1982, such as Pichon Baron, Montrose, and Leoville-Poyferre. I’ve also had more excellent inexpensive 1989s and 1990s than 1982s.

The choice between 1989 and 1989 is much harder. Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Lafite, Margaux, and Latour were much stronger in 1990, Haut Brion and La Mission HB were better in 1989 but the 1990s were still outstanding, and Mouton wasn’t even close to First Growth quality in either vintage so the First Growth edge goes to 1990.

Looking a notch below, I prefer 1989 Montrose, Palmer, and Pichon Lalande to their 1990 versions. On the other hand, I give the edge to all three Leovilles in 1990, along with Certan de May, L’Evangile, Gruaud, Ducru, Pape Clement, and Beausejour-Duffeau. Lynch Bages, Rausan-Segla, and Pichon Baron are toss ups, as are Angelus, Clinet, Fleur de Gay, and La Conseillante. Moving down the ladder a little more, I prefer 1989 Clerc Milon and Meyney, but 1990 Lagrange and GPL. La Dominique is a toss up. Finally, I’ve had more random inexpensive 1990s turn out to surprisingly lovely than 1989s, so that pushes 1990 to the win.
I voted 1982 but I think you changed my mind...
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#9 Post by Paul Jaouen »

I chose 82 but really hard to pick between 82 and 90 for me.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#10 Post by PCLIN »

Either ‘82 or ‘89 and I picked ‘89.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#11 Post by Mark Golodetz »

Brady Daniels wrote: January 18th, 2021, 8:58 am I would vote 1998 right bank, given the option.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#12 Post by Kelly Walker »

'82 probably in an apples-to-apples comparison but for current drinking I am finding many of the '82s tired and would easily select the '89 if offered.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#13 Post by O.G. Nikolai »

89 edges 82 today and will do in years to come.
More and more 82s going downhill for some years now already. This may not be true for some exceptional top wines that will outlive us but is fact for many middle range classified and unclassified wines i know.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#14 Post by Nick Christie »

Mike Evans wrote: January 18th, 2021, 8:35 am I had a very hard time choosing between 1982, 1989, and 1990 (and 1996 if I limit it to the Left Bank). I ended choosing 1990, but it was by an incredibly narrow margin over 1989.

The highs of 1982 are extraordinary, but I give the edge to 1989 and 1990 because there are several top chateaux that I think were making better wine by the end of the decade than were in 1982, such as Pichon Baron, Montrose, and Leoville-Poyferre. I’ve also had more excellent inexpensive 1989s and 1990s than 1982s.

The choice between 1989 and 1989 is much harder. Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Lafite, Margaux, and Latour were much stronger in 1990, Haut Brion and La Mission HB were better in 1989 but the 1990s were still outstanding, and Mouton wasn’t even close to First Growth quality in either vintage so the First Growth edge goes to 1990.

Looking a notch below, I prefer 1989 Montrose, Palmer, and Pichon Lalande to their 1990 versions. On the other hand, I give the edge to all three Leovilles in 1990, along with Certan de May, L’Evangile, Gruaud, Ducru, Pape Clement, and Beausejour-Duffeau. Lynch Bages, Rausan-Segla, and Pichon Baron are toss ups, as are Angelus, Clinet, Fleur de Gay, and La Conseillante. Moving down the ladder a little more, I prefer 1989 Clerc Milon and Meyney, but 1990 Lagrange and GPL. La Dominique is a toss up. Finally, I’ve had more random inexpensive 1990s turn out to surprisingly lovely than 1989s, so that pushes 1990 to the win.
Mike lays it out so Perfectly. Well, with the odd typo :).

But even as an 1982 Kid, I see the '89/'90 strength. I am rather fond of the ever improving '86 vintage for its underrated majesty, but it's outside the Pinnacle Three.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#15 Post by Kelly Walker »

Nick Christie wrote: January 18th, 2021, 12:43 pm
Mike Evans wrote: January 18th, 2021, 8:35 am I had a very hard time choosing between 1982, 1989, and 1990 (and 1996 if I limit it to the Left Bank). I ended choosing 1990, but it was by an incredibly narrow margin over 1989.

The highs of 1982 are extraordinary, but I give the edge to 1989 and 1990 because there are several top chateaux that I think were making better wine by the end of the decade than were in 1982, such as Pichon Baron, Montrose, and Leoville-Poyferre. I’ve also had more excellent inexpensive 1989s and 1990s than 1982s.

The choice between 1989 and 1989 is much harder. Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Lafite, Margaux, and Latour were much stronger in 1990, Haut Brion and La Mission HB were better in 1989 but the 1990s were still outstanding, and Mouton wasn’t even close to First Growth quality in either vintage so the First Growth edge goes to 1990.

Looking a notch below, I prefer 1989 Montrose, Palmer, and Pichon Lalande to their 1990 versions. On the other hand, I give the edge to all three Leovilles in 1990, along with Certan de May, L’Evangile, Gruaud, Ducru, Pape Clement, and Beausejour-Duffeau. Lynch Bages, Rausan-Segla, and Pichon Baron are toss ups, as are Angelus, Clinet, Fleur de Gay, and La Conseillante. Moving down the ladder a little more, I prefer 1989 Clerc Milon and Meyney, but 1990 Lagrange and GPL. La Dominique is a toss up. Finally, I’ve had more random inexpensive 1990s turn out to surprisingly lovely than 1989s, so that pushes 1990 to the win.
Mike lays it out so Perfectly. Well, with the odd typo :).

But even as an 1982 Kid, I see the '89/'90 strength. I am rather fond of the ever improving '86 vintage for its underrated majesty, but it's outside the Pinnacle Three.
1982 Trotanoy 10 years ago was a real stunner. The one we shared last year in the garden was definitely past peak.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#16 Post by Nick Christie »

Kelly Walker wrote: January 18th, 2021, 1:57 pm

1982 Trotanoy 10 years ago was a real stunner. The one we shared last year in the garden was definitely past peak.
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I think you're right, of course; the softer, fleshier wines are probably past their bouncy apex. That said... I do wonder about whether a longer decant might have released a bit more warmth from the wine and maybe bring it closer to that stunner phase. Hard to say.

Speaking of stunners, hope the Maisie Pup is wearing down Turk's indignation ;)

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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#17 Post by Shoshana Filene »

1982 Left Bank, 1998 Right Bank...People poo poo the 1982, but imo they are just wrong :)
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#18 Post by Howard Cooper »

Kelly Walker wrote: January 18th, 2021, 11:04 am '82 probably in an apples-to-apples comparison but for current drinking I am finding many of the '82s tired and would easily select the '89 if offered.
I do not disagree with what you are saying, but to me this raises a fascinating question. The 1982s provided really wonderful drinking for 30-35 years and some still do. How long is enough? Do we judge vintages by how long they last or by the quality of the wines at peak drinking?
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#19 Post by Br1an Th0rne »

Marcu$ Stanley wrote: January 18th, 2021, 5:13 am The high votes for 1990 here speak well of 2009, which I think of as a modern day 1990. It is certainly the most 1990-ish vintage of the 21st century.
I hope you’re right. I was blown away by several 1990’s before they were 15 years of age (Haut Brion, Margaux, L’evangile, Montrose, Conseillante, GPL, Lynch Bages, LLC et al) but I’ve not had a similar experience with any 2009’s yet. I know it’s a little early to be comparing the 2009 today vs 1990 back in the 2005 timeframe, but for me the early results for 2009 has me thinking they will take a bit longer than the 1990’s to reach similar heights.

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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#20 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

Mark Golodetz wrote: January 18th, 2021, 10:15 am
Brady Daniels wrote: January 18th, 2021, 8:58 am I would vote 1998 right bank, given the option.
Yes
Mark -

In 1998 right bank, I have Magdelaine, Trotanoy, Petrus, VCC and l’Evangile. What else should I seek? This is a vintage that I missed, new baby, new business, wife no longer working, and all that back then. I was poor.

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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#21 Post by PCLIN »

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: January 19th, 2021, 4:38 am
Mark Golodetz wrote: January 18th, 2021, 10:15 am
Brady Daniels wrote: January 18th, 2021, 8:58 am I would vote 1998 right bank, given the option.
Yes
Mark -

In 1998 right bank, I have Magdelaine, Trotanoy, Petrus, VCC and l’Evangile. What else should I seek? This is a vintage that I missed, new baby, new business, wife no longer working, and all that back then. I was poor.

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I had fantastic Trotanoy, Figeac, and Tetre Roteboeuf from ‘98 vintage.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#22 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

PCLIN wrote: January 19th, 2021, 5:28 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote: January 19th, 2021, 4:38 am
Mark Golodetz wrote: January 18th, 2021, 10:15 am

Yes
Mark -

In 1998 right bank, I have Magdelaine, Trotanoy, Petrus, VCC and l’Evangile. What else should I seek? This is a vintage that I missed, new baby, new business, wife no longer working, and all that back then. I was poor.

Thanks.

Robert
I had fantastic Trotanoy, Figeac, and Tetre Roteboeuf from ‘98 vintage.

Good call on the Tetre Roteboeuf, the 99 is fantastic. Had it last month.

Just checked, I have a single bottle of the Figeac. Need to grab more.
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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#23 Post by Jayson Cohen »

I said I couldn’t pick 2000-2019 because they are too young.

Now I can’t pick 1980-1999 because it’s like choosing a favorite child.

But I predict that in ten years 1986 and 1989 will advance further in stature here —they are just starting to go. And 1990 Latour will be even better than it is now, which is a little scary.

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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#24 Post by Steen T Olsen »

1982- spectacular wines from both banks.
1985- glorious wines from both banks.
1986- glorious, but still quite tannic wines from both banks.
1989- haven´t tasted enough of them to compare the general quality.
1990- glorious wines from both banks.
1996- the left bankers I have tasted have practically all been nothing less than spectacular. The right bank 1996ers I have tasted have been surprisingly brilliant.
1998- wonderful wines from the right bank. Varying wines from the left with some really spectacular ones in between.

However, I haven´t tasted anything as spectacular as the 1996 left bankers. So my choice is 1996... I wonder why only one other voter agreed with me.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#25 Post by William Kelley »

Mike Evans wrote: January 18th, 2021, 8:35 am
The highs of 1982 are extraordinary, but I give the edge to 1989 and 1990 because there are several top chateaux that I think were making better wine by the end of the decade than were in 1982, such as Pichon Baron, Montrose, and Leoville-Poyferre. I’ve also had more excellent inexpensive 1989s and 1990s than 1982s.
The problem with this line of argument is that there are also plenty of important properties than didn't match what they achieved in 1982 in either 1989 or 1990. For a start, none of the Pauillac first growths matched their 1982s in either 1989 or 1990, and in some cases notably underperformed in those years. Nor did Ducru Beaucaillou (even allowing for the TCA issues), nor did Gruaud Larose, nor did Pichon Lalande, nor did Talbot, nor did Beychevelle... There are other more contentious calls: how one comes down on 1982 vs 1990 Léoville-Las Cases (I prefer the '90) will depend a lot on one's palate, as will 1982 vs 1989 La Mission Haut Brion (I prefer the '82). But all this is to say that I am not sure the admittedly superb performances of Pichon Baron, Montrose and Léoville-Poyferré in 1989 and 1990 cancel out the sub-par—or sometimes just less stellar—performances of some estates that produced stunning 1982s.

I think there would also be a very strong case to be made for 1982 just based on the heights of the highs. If you put a left bank top-five of La Mission Haut Brion, Latour, Pichon Lalande, Mouton and La Tour Haut Brion up against a top-five from 1989 (which I suppose might be Haut Brion, La Mission Haut Brion, Lynch Bages, Pichon Baron and Montrose), or a top-five from 1990 (which I guess the consensus would say would include Margaux (even if I have not loved this wine lately), Montrose, Haut Brion, Pichon Baron and perhaps Lafite), I would not have a hard time choosing the 1982s (though I would love to put this to the test over lunch some day if anyone is tempted). And then, when one includes the right bank, there is the phenomenon that is 1982 Lafleur, for me one of the best wines made in Bordeaux since 1945, and which alone could almost carry the vintage....
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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#26 Post by Howard Cooper »

Now this is getting fun.
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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#27 Post by Herwig Janssen »

If you only look at the top wines , it is impossible to chosse. There is 82 , 89 and 98 .
The absolute best wines imho :
In 1982 : Latour , Mouton , Lafleur , Pichon Comtesse ( Trotanoy , Petrus , Gruaud , Cheval Blanc and Evangile are close )
In 1989 : Haut Brion , Mission , Montrose , Petrus , Pichon Baron , Palmer , Lynch Bages
Difficult to choose .
But then 1998 : Petrus , Haut Brion , Trotanoy , Cheval Blanc .

But if you look at overall , maybe it’s 82 . ( but I voted for 89 )

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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#28 Post by M.Kaplan »

What William Kelley wrote. 1982.
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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#29 Post by Brady Daniels »

Steen T Olsen wrote: January 19th, 2021, 6:18 am 1982- spectacular wines from both banks.
1985- glorious wines from both banks.
1986- glorious, but still quite tannic wines from both banks.
1989- haven´t tasted enough of them to compare the general quality.
1990- glorious wines from both banks.
1996- the left bankers I have tasted have practically all been nothing less than spectacular. The right bank 1996ers I have tasted have been surprisingly brilliant.
1998- wonderful wines from the right bank. Varying wines from the left with some really spectacular ones in between.

However, I haven´t tasted anything as spectacular as the 1996 left bankers. So my choice is 1996... I wonder why only one other voter agreed with me.
To help our calibration, could you please rank spectacular, glorious, brilliant, and wonderful?
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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#30 Post by Jud Reis »

If you rank based on wines when they were drinking at their peak, 1982 had so many successful wines it is hard not to vote for it. Yes, some of the wines are on a downward slope now, but that shouldn’t be held against the vintage.

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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#31 Post by Steen T Olsen »

Brady Daniels wrote: January 19th, 2021, 11:18 am
Steen T Olsen wrote: January 19th, 2021, 6:18 am 1982- spectacular wines from both banks.
1985- glorious wines from both banks.
1986- glorious, but still quite tannic wines from both banks.
1989- haven´t tasted enough of them to compare the general quality.
1990- glorious wines from both banks.
1996- the left bankers I have tasted have practically all been nothing less than spectacular. The right bank 1996ers I have tasted have been surprisingly brilliant.
1998- wonderful wines from the right bank. Varying wines from the left with some really spectacular ones in between.

However, I haven´t tasted anything as spectacular as the 1996 left bankers. So my choice is 1996... I wonder why only one other voter agreed with me.
To help our calibration, could you please rank spectacular, glorious, brilliant, and wonderful?
Variations over the same theme, Brady. In fact, I have a difficult time choosing one vintage over another. I might as well have chosen 1982 or 1990. But yesterday I felt 1996ish [cheers.gif]
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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#32 Post by Brady Daniels »

Steen T Olsen wrote: January 20th, 2021, 12:54 am Variations over the same theme, Brady. In fact, I have a difficult time choosing one vintage over another. I might as well have chosen 1982 or 1990. But yesterday I felt 1996ish [cheers.gif]
I was mostly teasing, but didn’t want to use the neener symbol. Thanks for not being offended. [cheers.gif]
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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#33 Post by Craig G »

I voted for 1985. I don’t really believe it’s the best of these vintages but the combination of friendliness and quality has made it my favorite for many years. I can only remember one 1985, Cos D’Estournel, that didn’t seem ready to drink when I had it. Wines like Mouton and LLC drank really well much younger than they normally do.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#34 Post by Mark Golodetz »

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: January 19th, 2021, 4:38 am
Mark Golodetz wrote: January 18th, 2021, 10:15 am
Brady Daniels wrote: January 18th, 2021, 8:58 am I would vote 1998 right bank, given the option.
Yes
Mark -

In 1998 right bank, I have Magdelaine, Trotanoy, Petrus, VCC and l’Evangile. What else should I seek? This is a vintage that I missed, new baby, new business, wife no longer working, and all that back then. I was poor.

Thanks.

Robert
Main omission is Cheval; it really is superb, and by Cheval standards, relatively cheap. My wine of the vintage.

I like Lafleur, but it is a bit of a beast, and still needs a minimum of ten years. Figeac is glorious, Pavie’s last great vintage before it went dark. La Conseillante is good, will appeal to the Loire lover in you with its touch of greenness.
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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#35 Post by jordan jacobs »

I see a lot of votes for 82 but I must say, wine for wine 1990s are drinking better today than 1982s did 8 years ago. More so, they seem to have longer lives ahead of them. While not in this poll, I would also assert that 1990 was drinking better 10 years ago than 2000 is today. As years go in, I am becoming slightly, only slightly less enamored with 2000than what was once speculated.

And 1990 is successful on both banks. I argue 1982 favored left vs both. 98 , except for graves and Pauillac, favored right bank and st. Em overvpomerol.

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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#36 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

Mark Golodetz wrote: January 21st, 2021, 6:35 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote: January 19th, 2021, 4:38 am
Mark Golodetz wrote: January 18th, 2021, 10:15 am

Yes
Mark -

In 1998 right bank, I have Magdelaine, Trotanoy, Petrus, VCC and l’Evangile. What else should I seek? This is a vintage that I missed, new baby, new business, wife no longer working, and all that back then. I was poor.

Thanks.

Robert
Main omission is Cheval; it really is superb, and by Cheval standards, relatively cheap. My wine of the vintage.

I like Lafleur, but it is a bit of a beast, and still needs a minimum of ten years. Figeac is glorious, Pavie’s last great vintage before it went dark. La Conseillante is good, will appeal to the Loire lover in you with its touch of greenness.
Your post timing was great, I had just pulled the trigger on two more bottles of the 1998 Magdelaine. Checking now, I think I have a bottle of Figeac, but no Conseillante. Need to remedy that. Cheval and Lafleur are out of my pauper’s league. Pavie was excellent but I would not call it great like some other 1998s that I have had. It was the last honest Pavie
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#37 Post by Jayson Cohen »

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: January 21st, 2021, 7:08 pm
Mark Golodetz wrote: January 21st, 2021, 6:35 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote: January 19th, 2021, 4:38 am

Mark -

In 1998 right bank, I have Magdelaine, Trotanoy, Petrus, VCC and l’Evangile. What else should I seek? This is a vintage that I missed, new baby, new business, wife no longer working, and all that back then. I was poor.

Thanks.

Robert
Main omission is Cheval; it really is superb, and by Cheval standards, relatively cheap. My wine of the vintage.

I like Lafleur, but it is a bit of a beast, and still needs a minimum of ten years. Figeac is glorious, Pavie’s last great vintage before it went dark. La Conseillante is good, will appeal to the Loire lover in you with its touch of greenness.
Your post timing was great, I had just pulled the trigger on two more bottles of the 1998 Magdelaine. Checking now, I think I have a bottle of Figeac, but no Conseillante. Need to remedy that. Cheval and Lafleur are out of my pauper’s league. Pavie was excellent but I would not call it great like some other 1998s that I have had. It was the last honest Pavie
If you need yet another ‘98 starting to drink, Latour a Pomerol was lithe and beautiful two weeks ago. Next to it, L’Evangile was young, but deep and heading toward divine with a few more years. Both were even better the next day.

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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#38 Post by Pat Martin »

The 1998 Grand Mayne is pretty great too, albeit more in the QPR vein of course.
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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#39 Post by Steen T Olsen »

Brady Daniels wrote: January 21st, 2021, 2:46 pm
Steen T Olsen wrote: January 20th, 2021, 12:54 am Variations over the same theme, Brady. In fact, I have a difficult time choosing one vintage over another. I might as well have chosen 1982 or 1990. But yesterday I felt 1996ish [cheers.gif]
I was mostly teasing, but didn’t want to use the neener symbol. Thanks for not being offended. [cheers.gif]
Actually, I can easily understand your sentiment and reaction. I have always been quite serious about selecting favourite Bordeaux vintages and evaluating/comparing them to each other, while carefully considering each vintage´s quality compared to the other heralded vintages every single time I had a big-vintage bottle etc etc bla bla blahblah .. after having posted my 1996 recommendation, I immediately thought "Wow, those were stupid indistinguishable descriptors". I am usually quite serious about these subjects.
However, I do think that some of the very best Bordeaux wines I have ever tasted, even considering their youth, are the 1996s. Especially Latour, Léoville Las Cases and other famous left bank stars, but remarkably also way down in the hierarchy to the modest petits châteaux have been overperforming, to say the least. Also right bankers like Ausone, La Conseillante and Troplong Mondot have been huge upside surprises. I consider 1996 the "go-to" Bordeaux vintage for me to buy and consume in the coming years. flirtysmile
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#40 Post by Ian S »

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: January 21st, 2021, 7:08 pm Checking now, I think I have a bottle of Figeac, but no Conseillante. Need to remedy that.
Yes, absolutely. And while you're at it, Chateau Clinet wouldn't be a clanger either.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#41 Post by William Kelley »

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: January 19th, 2021, 5:32 am
Just checked, I have a single bottle of the Figeac. Need to grab more.
Wait a bit longer on the 1998 Figeac if you can bring yourself to, it will be even better in five or six years.

The last bottle I opened was served to a group that included someone who claimed to prefer the considerably inferior 1996 Cheval Blanc, saying that she had been "weaned on Cheval Blanc". Still ranks quite highly among the irritating things I've heard said at a wine dinner.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#42 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

William Kelley wrote: January 22nd, 2021, 2:13 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote: January 19th, 2021, 5:32 am
Just checked, I have a single bottle of the Figeac. Need to grab more.
Wait a bit longer on the 1998 Figeac if you can bring yourself to, it will be even better in five or six years.

The last bottle I opened was served to a group that included someone who claimed to prefer the considerably inferior 1996 Cheval Blanc, saying that she had been "weaned on Cheval Blanc". Still ranks quite highly among the irritating things I've heard said at a wine dinner.
I use the “suckled on Petrus” line often at night clubs. Must be said in the right pitch and with a rather smug expression.

Thanks for the tip on the Figeac, As I only have one bottle. I just checked wine searcher, and the average price made me choke. And cry.
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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#43 Post by Doug Hein »

I voted '89.

Difficult choice between 82, 89 and 90. '82s from top producers have been exceptional, but it seems to me that 89 and 90 both had perhaps greater breadth. However, my perception may be attributable to sampling bias. It seems that 89 and 90 wines have been very consistent and good across the board.

Next I would say 96 and 98.

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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#44 Post by William Kelley »

Doug Hein wrote: January 27th, 2021, 12:46 pm Next I would say 96 and 98.
Just imagine a vintage which had combined 1996 Médoc with 1998 right bank... now, that would have given 1982 a run for its money!
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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#45 Post by Steen T Olsen »

Seriously. How can 1999 have more votes than 1996???!!!.. flawed poll respondents 🤣🤣🤣
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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#46 Post by Craig G »

Steen T Olsen wrote: January 28th, 2021, 3:16 am Seriously. How can 1999 have more votes than 1996???!!!.. flawed poll respondents 🤣🤣🤣
Must be the Burgundy drinkers.
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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#47 Post by Steen T Olsen »

Craig G wrote: January 28th, 2021, 7:03 am
Steen T Olsen wrote: January 28th, 2021, 3:16 am Seriously. How can 1999 have more votes than 1996???!!!.. flawed poll respondents 🤣🤣🤣
Must be the Burgundy drinkers.
Indeed. I think you have a point, Craig. They didn´t look at the title, just chose 1999. [thumbs-up.gif]
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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#48 Post by Michael_D »

I am still working through the first growths. I've had all but Margaux as of last night. We had a 2000 Latour last night, and it was my first. I have to admit that the Latour was a bit disappointing. It did not wow me, and when considering the price.....

I'd like to get a bottle of Margaux now, but not sure what vintage to look for? This is to simply drink after it rests for a month after shipping. I do not flip wines. I just buy and drink.
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Re: POLL: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#49 Post by Br1an Th0rne »

Michael_D wrote: February 21st, 2021, 1:49 pm I am still working through the first growths. I've had all but Margaux as of last night. We had a 2000 Latour last night, and it was my first. I have to admit that the Latour was a bit disappointing. It did not wow me, and when considering the price.....

I'd like to get a bottle of Margaux now, but not sure what vintage to look for? This is to simply drink after it rests for a month after shipping. I do not flip wines. I just buy and drink.
The 1990 and 1996 Ch. Margaux are absolutely off the charts, and far and away my favorites vintages of Ch. Margaux.
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Re: Top vintage for red Bordeaux 1980 - 1999

#50 Post by brodie thomson »

William Kelley wrote: January 19th, 2021, 8:02 am
Mike Evans wrote: January 18th, 2021, 8:35 am
The highs of 1982 are extraordinary, but I give the edge to 1989 and 1990 because there are several top chateaux that I think were making better wine by the end of the decade than were in 1982, such as Pichon Baron, Montrose, and Leoville-Poyferre. I’ve also had more excellent inexpensive 1989s and 1990s than 1982s.
The problem with this line of argument is that there are also plenty of important properties than didn't match what they achieved in 1982 in either 1989 or 1990. For a start, none of the Pauillac first growths matched their 1982s in either 1989 or 1990, and in some cases notably underperformed in those years. Nor did Ducru Beaucaillou (even allowing for the TCA issues), nor did Gruaud Larose, nor did Pichon Lalande, nor did Talbot, nor did Beychevelle... There are other more contentious calls: how one comes down on 1982 vs 1990 Léoville-Las Cases (I prefer the '90) will depend a lot on one's palate, as will 1982 vs 1989 La Mission Haut Brion (I prefer the '82). But all this is to say that I am not sure the admittedly superb performances of Pichon Baron, Montrose and Léoville-Poyferré in 1989 and 1990 cancel out the sub-par—or sometimes just less stellar—performances of some estates that produced stunning 1982s.

I think there would also be a very strong case to be made for 1982 just based on the heights of the highs. If you put a left bank top-five of La Mission Haut Brion, Latour, Pichon Lalande, Mouton and La Tour Haut Brion up against a top-five from 1989 (which I suppose might be Haut Brion, La Mission Haut Brion, Lynch Bages, Pichon Baron and Montrose), or a top-five from 1990 (which I guess the consensus would say would include Margaux (even if I have not loved this wine lately), Montrose, Haut Brion, Pichon Baron and perhaps Lafite), I would not have a hard time choosing the 1982s (though I would love to put this to the test over lunch some day if anyone is tempted). And then, when one includes the right bank, there is the phenomenon that is 1982 Lafleur, for me one of the best wines made in Bordeaux since 1945, and which alone could almost carry the vintage....
Thanks William for articulating this so well.

Another vote for 1982 here. Have had the good fortune to have been served the 1982 Latour a couple of times about 6 year ago. I do not score wines but this was perfect and was everything I could ever dream of in a Bordeaux. Have had many lovely 1982s and I am not concerned about them being over the hill as others here seem to be (each to his own)

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