Suggest 12 bottles of Bordeaux

Stealing someone else’s thread idea…if you were backfilling on 12 great bottles of Bordeaux what would you buy? Price limit is ~$500 per bottle. I’m new to the region and have been picking up bottles here and there, but would love a guided tour. Both left and right bank are game.

My gosh on that budget you could have a field day of greats!

1998 Trotany
1998 VCC
1998 Magdelaine
1998 Figeac

I have had these very recently and they are flat out fantastic, each better than their 2000 counterparts. In the zone but can easily go 20+. I circled back for more.

I like these choices as they are young enough to minimize the risks associated with backfilling.

I could list 20 others, but having just backfilled (again), they are on my mind. Curious to see what others list. I’ll circle back later as I have some left back thoughts. Oh fuck it, definitely 89 and 90 Montrose. And 86 Gruaud Larose. And 89 Pichon Baron.

Lots of 01s; all the first growths and select 2nd growths.

$500 is a generous price point. Robert’s suggestions are excellent. I’d add 1989 Angelus, Pichon Lalande, Lynch Bages. 1990 of the same.

1996 Leoville las Cases
1970 or 1989 Palmer
2016 Pichon Lalande
1982 Ducru Beaucaillou
1989 or 1990 Montrose

Good selection of SuperSeconds. Goes well with Robert’s list of 1998 right bank wines.

Then add 1982 Meyney and Sociando Mallet.

Appreciate the first few suggestions and I’ll seek them out. Just to be clear I’m not looking for 12 bottles at $500, just saying that a few bottles at $500 are okay. I don’t want to exclude first or second growths from older vintages that have appreciated; I get that I”m not going to be able to buy ‘96 Mouton at EP cost, but don’t want it excluded from suggestions because of current price. Maybe max of $500 for 1-2 bottles is a better guide?

Thanks Howard. I have a few of these in newer vintages, so it would be great to seek these out with some age.

Not gonna play this game. With that kind of coin I imagine you could get near anything you desire.

1989 La Dominique
1990 La Conseillante
1995 Clinet
1999 Mouton Rothschild
2000 Palmer
2003 Haut Brion

So why bother to reply?

Hey Markus, I just didn’t want to put an unreasonable cap on good bottles that have appreciated. If there are excellent ‘82 Bordeaux you could suggest (picking an obvious high cost year), then I’m game if they are regularly available at retail. Saying I have $100 per bottle budget for great examples of first growths from good years is an example of the opposite extreme. Maybe I didn’t make it clear enough that I’m not opposed to high cost bottles but of course am happy to hear suggestions of moderate bottles that represent great aged Bordeaux.

Recently had a fantastic 2001 Haut Brion. Grabbed more at $425.

Try to grab some benchmark left banks that I know you’ve seen repeatedly praised here.

89/90 Montrose
90 Lynch Bages
89 Pichon Baron
86 Gruaud Larose

These are a handful that have, time and time again, blown me away.

I have not had 1982 Lalande or 1983 Palmer, so from what I have read, I might try those as well, but don’t know if they break the budget these days.

Off the top of my head, and w/ the caveat that I don’t have nearly the experience of some of the other members here:

  • '82 Pichon Lalande (if you can get for $500, not a sure thing)
  • '96 Calon Segur
  • '70 Lafleur-Petrus
  • '00 Cantemerle
  • '05 Domaine de Chevalier
  • '09 Lascombes. It’s a weird outlier, absolutely a Rolland-ized modernist “Bordeaux”. But for whatever reason it’s the one wine in that style that I positively love. The exception that proves the rule.
  • some old vintage of Pichon Baron
  • some old vintage of Lynch Bages
  • some old vintage of Sociando-Mallet
  • some old vintage of Bel Air Marquis d’Aligre
  • Haut Brion and La Mission, if you can find a vintage <=$500

Also, if some of the bottle were only $200, does that mean some could be $800? Opens up a ton of options if so.

1998, perhaps? Haut Brion might be tough, but I picked up one a bit over a year ago from of all places with cash back for right under $500 if I remember correctly. 2014 could be the way to go if you are willing to hold them.

You are right- I just searched. '98 La Mission = $400

There was '95 Haut Brion at a local shop near me for $450 (they’re not on Winesearcher). I did not buy it. Sort of wishing I did. Might swing by and see if it’s still there.

89/89 Pichon Baron
89/90 Lynch Bages
1986,1990,1996 las cases
89/90 montrose (but be over $500 now),2000 montrose
1996,2000 lalande
1983, 1988,1989,1998 Palmer
2001 Latour
1989 angelus
1989,1990,2000,2001,2003 pape clement
1982,2003, 2009 Cos
2009 Pontet canet
1982, 1990, 1998 Figeac
1998 La mission Haut Brion
Any of those are all amazing

With this sort of budget, you could have a lot of fun - my suggestions would be Gruaud Larose 1982 and Pichon Comtesse 1989.

One more suggestion. If you can find them, try a wine or two that is pre 1982. Bordeauxs had a different taste profile prior to 1982 - they had a lot more finesse. Hard to source I would imagine and you have to know what you are doing - a lot of great properties now were underperforming then. Two vintages I recommend are 1970 and 1979. Some wines I have had over the past few years that I would recommend would be 1970 Lynch Bages, Leoville Barton (does drinking this 20 years ago count as recently?) and Leoville Poyferre and 1979 Pichon Lalande and Palmer.

Rauzan Segla 1986. Perfect drinking window.
Figeac 1998
Pichon Lalande 1989
Haut Bailly 2008 drink last
Ducru 1996
Canon 1982
Leoville Las Cases 1996
Gruaud Larose 1982
Pichon Lalande 1970
VCC 2005
Magdelaine 1970
Trotanoy 1998

No first growths. Good ones are way over your $500. If you can bear to part with $700 and change, Cheval 1998, but Trotanoy is about as good at half the price.

I had the 96 Ducru and the 1970 Magdelaine about a month or so ago on the same night. The Ducru is magnificent, I had it above an 86 Latour popped that night as well. The 70 Magdelaine is gorgeous, and a wine everyone should try if you like classic St Em from the good old days, but I do prefer 98 and 82. I just got that 82 Canon from Berserker Day, so psyched to see it in your list.

I concur on Trotanoy. In fact, of the four 98 right banks I promoted above, it was my fave.

I would definitely try to get a 1982 or 1986 Talbot or Gruaud Larose, though it will likely just lead to laments that wines like these aren’t being made any more.