The 1995 is a bigger, sweeter, riper wine than the 1994, that was obviously made from more mature fruit. It has low acidity (as do most 1995s), and plenty of tannin in the finish. The wine's jammy, rich black fruits are already round and silky, giving the wine a 1985-ish personality, with more body, glycerin, and depth. I would not be surprised to see it merit an outstanding rating. It should age well for 15+ years. All of the wines in this segment were tasted between March 19 and March 28 in Bordeaux. Most of the important wines from both the 1994 and 1995 vintages were tasted three separate times during my ten-day stay in Bordeaux. Drink: 1996-2011.
This wine has put on considerable weight and intensity since I tasted it last spring. It exhibits an opaque black/purple color, followed by an explosive nose of cassis fruit, licorice, and new oak. Full-bodied and dense, with superb richness and huge levels of extract and glycerin, this appears to be a great Grand-Puy-Lacoste that may rival the profound 1990 and 1982. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2025. Last tasted 1/97.
Grand-Puy-Lacoste is the drinker's Pauillac. It is not an investment wine (having been largely forgotten by the trophy hunters and investors looking to make a quick buck), although certain vintages (1982 and 1990) have tripled in price. Grand-Puy-Lacoste, usually loaded with character and personality, has enjoyed three fine vintages in 1993-95, with each of these years under-priced for such quality. This wine has put on considerable weight and intensity since I tasted it last spring. It exhibits an opaque black/purple color, followed by an explosive nose of cassis fruit, licorice, and new oak. Full-bodied and dense, with superb richness and huge levels of extract and glycerin, this appears to be a great Grand-Puy-Lacoste that may rival the profound 1990 and 1982. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2025.
Another 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 a 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. Wow! What extraordinary wines Grand-Puy-Lacoste has produced in both 1995 and 1996. At present, I have a marginal preference for the blockbuster 1996, but I am not about to argue with anybody who prefers the 1995! Both are compelling wines.
Grand Puy Lacoste sits on top of one of the steepest slopes in Pauillac, a whole 16 metres above the main flatlands! Hardly Himalayan, but the extra 16 metres of pebble-enriched soil results inparticularly excellent drainage. François-Xavier Borie is at the helm of this very impressive château which was purchased in 1978 from Monsieur Dupin.
Due south of St Estèphe lies the appellation of Pauillac, the king of Left Bank communes. It is home to three first growths as well as a plethora of other classified growths. Pauillac's renowned well-draining, gravelly soils enable its dominant grape Cabernet Sauvignon to reach fantastic heights of complexity and concentration. As a result, Pauilac's wines tend to be full-bodied with compact tannins and good freshness. Its aromatics are often what one associates with classic Bordeaux: pencil shavings, black currant and occasional mint. Some of the most famous châteaux of the commune are Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande and Lynch Bages.