Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 1995 Bordeaux

The December installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Bordeaux from the the now 25 year old 1995 vintage. The intent behind Pick My Next Bottle is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened on Christmas Night and a Bottle Note will be published the following week.

James Suckling, formerly of the Wine Spectator, first compared the ’95 vintage in Bordeaux to classic vintages like ’47, ’59 and ’82. The vintage was rated 95 points by the publication. I have followed the vintage for 20 plus years now. The vintage is definitely a throwback to a bygone era with tannic wines that will undoubtedly be long lived. Many wonder whether the tannins on some of the classified growth wines will ever resolve.

The Contenders

  • 1995 Léoville Barton – Somewhat closed and reticent after bottling, but still impressive, this 1995 possesses a dark ruby/purple color, as well as an oaky nose with classic scents of cassis, vanillin, cedar, and spice. Dense and medium to full-bodied, with softer tannin and more accessibility than the 1996, but not quite the packed and stacked effect on the palate, the 1995 is an outstanding textbook St.-Julien that will handsomely repay extended cellaring. 95 points from The Wine Advocate.
  • 1995 Léoville-Poyferré – While not as backward as the 1996, the opaque purple-colored 1995 is a tannic, unevolved, dense, concentrated wine that will require 8-10 years of cellaring. The 1995 exhibits pain grille, blackcurrant, mineral, and subtle tobacco in its complex yet youthful aromatics. Powerful, dense, concentrated cassis and blueberry flavors might be marginally softer than in the 1996, but there is still plenty of grip and structure to this big wine. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2030. 90 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 1995 Grand-Puy-Lacoste – Unbelievably rich, multidimensional, broad-shouldered wine, with slightly more elegance and less weight than the powerhouse 1996, this gorgeously proportioned, medium to full-bodied, fabulously ripe, rich, cassis-scented and flavored Grand-Puy-Lacoste is another beauty. It should be drinkable within 4-5 years, and keep for 25-30. This classic Pauillac is a worthy rival to the other-worldly 1996. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2025. 95 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 1995 Bordeaux Should I Open?

  • 1995 Grand Puy Lacoste (56%, 15 Votes)
  • 1995 Léoville Barton (33%, 9 Votes)
  • 1995 Léoville-Poyferré (11%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 27

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another and your thoughts on the ’95 vintage as a whole.

Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the January Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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