Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 1995 Bordeaux

The February installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Bordeaux from the the now 28 year old 1995 vintage. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this Saturday 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 Lynch Bages – A dense ruby/purple hue is accompanied by reticent, restrained aromatics suggesting earth, herbs and subtle fruit. The wine hits the palate with a brutal, tannic overlay, but behind that are impressive levels of black and red fruits. As is the case with many 1995s, the wine’s structural components still dominate, which makes one wonder if these cuvees will ever shed enough tannin to be charming and enjoyable to drink. Certainly depth, weight and richness are all present, but the tannins remain elevated and somewhat foreboding. 91 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 1995 Rauzan Segla – One of the few wines that I was only able to taste once after bottling. Nevertheless, it is a classic vin de garde, with a saturated ruby/purple color, and a tight but promising nose of sweet plum and cassis fruit intertwined with underbrush, vanillin, and licorice scents. The wine is ripe, medium to full-bodied, and rich, as well as unyielding, ferociously tannic, pure, and layered. The finish is extremely dry (sec, as the French would say), with a brooding angularity and toughness. In spite of this, my instincts suggest the requisite depth is present to balance out the structure. This effort will also require a decade of cellaring. 90 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 1995 Bordeaux Should I Open?

  • 1995 Lynch Bages (42%, 8 Votes)
  • 1995 Rauzan Segla (37%, 7 Votes)
  • 1995 Leoville Barton (21%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 19

Loading ... Loading ...

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 March Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

Tagged , , ,

Leave a Comment