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Aug 11, 2006 07:17 PM


I am a fan of quite a few '96 Bodeaux from the Left Bank. I don't recall having had it, but how was the Gruaud Larose?

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  1. Lovely nose, probably not at its peak yet but drinking nicely. Makes me want to track down a bottle of the 1990.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I popped open a bottle of the 90 G-L (scored a case on close-out) about 3 years ago --- talk about an inky, black wine! It's going to take ages to come around.

      I'm a fan of the 1996 vintage too, they're so well-balanced and are just starting to be approachable.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        yeah, i just broke out a bottle from a case of 96 lynch-bages that i scored in similar closeout fashion. very well balanced, but definitely needs some time.

      2. re: Robert Lauriston

        I ordered a couple of ex-chateau bottles of the '90 from Rare Wine Co. Guess I should cellar them for a while?

        The '59 that was by an order of magnitude the best wine I've ever had we drank in its early 20s.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Not sure what to tell you about ex-chateau bottles. When I was in Bordeaux in the spring, I was shocked that the 95 and 96 wines that came directly from chateau were more advanced than what I've tasted at home from my own and friends' cellars. I recently tasted from a direct from chateau magnum of 1994 Pichon Lalande magnum at K&L that was significantly more advanced than a 750 ml bottle from my cellar. I opened my bottle shortly after tasting K&L's because I was worried it might have aged faster than anticipated since the last time I tried it. My smaller bottle that I've had in controlled storage for about 9 years was in much better shape and so much fresher.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Early last year, our local wine group had an offline with some Bordeaux winemakers as guests, as well as local importers/members. Included, among others, was the winemaker from Ch. Lagrange. Prior to the offline, the majority of us felt that the ’90 Lagrange was at or near it’s drinking peak, but the bottles (a magnum and some 750s) that our guest from the Chateau brought consistently showed more substantial years ahead of them. The 750 bottles of 1990 Pichon Lalande that we had that same night, and which were brought by an importer who had just procured them from the Chateau, also showed more years of drink-ability than most us already had it pegged for.

            On the other hand, I have a few bottles of the ’94 and ’96 Rauzan (or is it Rausan) Segla that I bought locally and held on for the last 5 - 7 years and which showed to have aged more slowly (in the nose, taste and color) than the bottles that I tasted with a local store, and which the owner claimed to have just arrived ex-chateau. BTW, in spite of my claim, I think that the '94 should be drunk very soon.

            I don’t think I have enough ex-chateau buying experience to draw a definitive conclusion, but I believe that a lot of factors, including storage conditions, bottle variation, shipping and handling, etc., all contribute to the ex-chateau vs. other storage in terms of provenance. But, if offered the same bottle at the same price, I’d definitely go with the ex-chateau bottle.