1990 and 2000 Bordeaux Tasting

Hart Davis organizes an annual Bordeaux retrospective, and this year’s event was particularly impressive. It was held in the private room above Spiaggia overlooking Michigan Avenue in Chicago. It’s a beautiful space, although Spiaggia itself is a fairly terrible restaurant.

Since 1990 and 2000 were both excellent years, I was really looking forward to this event. Dani and I spent about 90 minutes comparing the 40 wines on offer, opting to pour the two vintages from each chateau side by side, so we could compare them.

I took a fair number of notes, but most were in agreement with professionally published tasting notes, so I will omit them. Here are my numeric rankings, with the 1990 followed by the 2000 in each case. Bold faced entries are particularly good buys:

Château Calon-Ségur 95, 93

Château Cheval Blanc 97+, 97

Château Clinet 90, 88

Château La Conseillante 95, 94

Château Cos d’Estournel 90, 95

Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 90, 89

Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste 90, 92

Château Gruaud Larose 88, 97

Château Haut-Brion 98, 100

Château Lafite Rothschild 98, 99

Château Latour 97, 98

Château Léoville-Las-Cases 99, 95

Château Léoville Poyferré 90, 89

Château Lynch-Bages 95, 94

Château Margaux 92, 98

Château La Mission Haut-Brion 96, 98+

Château Montrose 96, 94

Château Mouton Rothschild 97, 100

Château Palmer 94, 96

Château Pichon-Longueville, Baron 92, 99

Château Pichon-Longueville, Lalande 94, 99


After the tasting we joined our friends Ron and Bev for a dreadful dinner at Spiaggia. But we brought some of our own wines, which redeemed the meal:

59 Charmes-Chambertin Pierre Ponnelle (Steve)
Really youthful, mint, cherries, lemon curd,  vanilla, orange, cedar, coffee, drinks like a wine from the 80s, 94 pts

59 Clos St Denis Pierre Ponnelle (Ron)
Old burgundy nose, mushrooms, caramel, sweet, mouth filling, 94 pts

1966 Haut Brion (Steve)
Soy sauce, chewy, wood, older Bordeaux nose, yet still lots of fruit, 94 pts

1966 La Mission Haut Brion (Ron)
Cherries, not quite as complex as the Haut Brion, very youthful, 94 pts