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1995 Bordeaux


Michael Laiskonis
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A quick search on these boards didn't turn up much, so I open my question here: I recall in my youth, preceeding the release of '95 Bordeaux, that it was being touted as the vintage of the decade and that was when it seemed the futures market really exploded. As, I assume, these wines are approaching drinkability, are the overall predictions holding? What have emerged as your favorites and disappointments?

Particularly, in recent months I've been given one bottle each of the '95 Mouton and Pichon-Baron. How are these showing? Are they more worthy of patience and storing or are they 'ready' now? I've consulted Parker's 5th edition (1999) on both, but value the opinions here as much if not more...

Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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Craig is absolutely spot on. I did wonder a year or two ago whether or not the 1995s might be coming round, but it was an incorrect assumption based on the tatsing of some minor clarets. In the past year I've tasted a number of classed growth 95s and found little pleasure in any of them at the moment. They taste muddy and confused (sorry to use these vague terms but that really is how the wines come across). I would certainly let the two bottles you mention rest for a while yet - several years at the minimum.

I don't think 1995 was the vintage of the decade - at the time this was hype mixed with blessed relief for the Bordeaux vignerons who had just been through two rotten vintages, one poor vintage and one questionable vintage (all sweeping generalisations - there are of course a number of decent wines to be found from 1991-1994).

I like 1996 for the northern left bank, and 1998 is also good on the left bank but seems to be 'the forgotten vintage' - overshadowed by the great success on the right bank that year. 1999 OK. 1997 buy with extreme caution.

BWs

Chris Kissack

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Michael,

in plain speak the 95's are a rounder year, with prettier, lacier fruit than the 96's which are all concentration, tannin and thrust. They are indeed very much closed, at least the 1st growths certainly are. I think without question it is the most even vintage of the nineties (ex 90) in that both left and right bank flourished. I tend to favour the right, as the merlot benefits more naturally from the vintage character.

Neither the mouton nor pichon baron enjoyed relative success in this vintage. Perfectly nice wines, but many felt they had the opportunity to achieve more. The Baron is a particular disappointment, which lacks dimension and complexity. You could certainly get away with this one now.

The mouton needs 5 - 8

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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