TN: 2002 Pauillac Mini Horizontal

2002 is a little bit of a red headed stepchild after the two highly rated 2000 and 2001 vintages, but these wines showed extremely well last night and are settling into good drinking windows. All wines were decanted for an hour+ and consumed over the next 2-3 hours.

2002 Pontet Canet - this certainly opened up as the most hedonistic of the three wines. Dark color, lovely nose of rich blackberry fruit, graphite and a nice violet floral note. Lovely supple texture with lots of juicy rich blackberry fruit, cedar and a hint of earth. Very mouth coating but not out of balance, tannins resolved but not yet secondary. My only quibble would be just a little clipped on the finish and it flattened out a bit toward the end of the evening.
2002 Pichon Baron - very dark color, brooding nose with smoky black fruits, gravel and black pepper. Palate very consistent with nose, with lots of smoky blackberry fruit, good acidity. While tannins have resolved for the most part, still pretty stout and a little tannic on the finish. This felt like the wine that could benefit the most from a few more years of bottle age.
2002 Chateau Latour Grand Vin - this wine had a sheen to it that was beautiful to see and a lovely slightly lighter purplish red color. Exotic and deeply soulful nose of asphalt, tobacco, Asian spices, cool black fruit with a streak of minerality. Silky texture on the palate, with a great mix of the spices consistent with the nose, lovely fresh black fruit and acidity, all in excellent balance. Ready to drink with a short decant, but many good years ahead of it.
With a rack of lamb, life is good!


Appreciate these notes. For my palate, 2002 continues to surprise to the upside. So many good wines on the Left Bank.


Thanks for the notes. I like 2002 left bank wines. The term classic is overused, but they remind me of some of the older wines I have enjoyed.

1 Like

I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by 2002 as well, most recently Cos and Langoa Barton.


I’ve found the 2002s just…….boring. No faults detected I just don’t find them interesting to drink. I’ve liked other “average” or “off” vintages such as 1999, 2001, 2004 and 2008 but the 2002s have been altogether different. This opinion has been formed after multiple bottles each of Lynch Bages, Pontet Canet, Haut Bages Liberal, Leoville Barton and Malartic Lagraviere. I’ve finally decided to give that space in my cellar to something more worthwhile, for me at least.

Anyone try the Montrose recently?

2002 Leoville-Las Cases. What a great, great wine. Yes. A great 2002. Very young still, but after being decanted for about 90 minutes, the cassis and pencil notes arrived. This is a dense wine, but hardly heavy. Blackberries, blueberries, plum. Beautiful aromatics. The wine still needs several more years of undisturbed cellar time given the structure, but still, just a terrific bottle of classic/old school Bordeaux. Paired with local Maryland-farmed 40 day dry aged beef to tame the beast!


Thanks for that. I have a fair bit of early '00s (mostly '01, '02 and '04) LLC, and love their understated but still clearly LLC style.


Just opened the 2002 Pontet Canet and I have to admit this bottle is drinking very well for an off vintage. Has lively structure, seemingly drinking a little youngish, and is by far the most interesting of the 02s I’ve had so far. Enough to enjoy but no where near enough to consider backfilling. 3 (out of 5), a good showing for what it is.