1994 Bordeaux wines tasting notes : 

Horizontal tasting, Bordeaux wines

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Fev. 2003


Giscours Pichon Longueville Baron Cos d'Estournel Mission Haut Brion
Mouton Rothschild Lafite Rothschild 



>   1994 GISCOURS

Margaux - Bordeaux France

After 3 hours of decanting the wine appeares to be friendlier. Flowers (jasmine) and red fruit. The wine's structure is pretty straightforward with more tannin than fruit. Slightly acidic at the end. Pleasant but not very exciting. Another 3 - 6 years before maturity. 84/100

> 1994 PICHON LONGUEVILLE-BARON  Pauillac - Bordeaux, France 

Muted blackcurrant nose. Rather dull in mouth dominated by wood and green tannins. Short in mouth with an impression of dilution. One of the less appealing Bordeaux I had for ages. I doubt that it can improve much.  80/100  


Saint Estephe - Bordeaux France

Pleasant nose - cedar box, spices and plum. Rounded tannins with lots of ripe fruits and a solid long finish. Much nicer to drink today than Giscours 94. A good match with a slice of beef meat.  87/100


Pessac-Leognan-Graves - Bordeaux France

Dark ruby hue. Typically Graves with scents of leather, cedar, tobacco and a slight tar undertone. Well-balanced fleshy structure. This wine should be ready for drinking by the next couple of years. Maturity 2008 - 2012. 89/100


Pauillac - Bordeaux, France 

Completely different from Mouton. Muted bouquet with scents of spices, pepper, leather. The wine is difficult to judge on the palate. The tannins are a bit harsh and deeply structured. Surprisingly this wine shows limited flavours, which are usually Lafite's trademark. Most of the participants had the feeling that this wine was still too young to drink at this stage. Wait at least another 5 years before uncorking the next bottle. Possible maturity: 2015 or longer. At the present time Lafite 1994 is not very pleasant. Today's rating is close to 86 but this wine has presumably a potential for a better score (90 / 100?) in 5 or 10 years.


Pauillac - Bordeaux, France

Dark ruby hue. Black truffle and berry nose. Well balanced with rounded tannins and black fruit. The wine ends a bit abruptly and lacks some power. It would be exaggerated to mention dilution problems here but together with Pichon Baron, some Pauillac wines seem to have suffered from the rain more than others. Drink 2004 - 2010 - 87/100

Alain Bringolf - for ccvo-bg.org


Clearly these wines didn't give us the thrill of our lives. Five or six years ago, some of the reviewer's comments were certainly too optimistic. Apart from Lafite (?) these wines will certainly not keep for your grand children. Excepted Pichon-Baron, dilution wasn't a big deal. The winemakers seem to have decently extracted the tannic side of the wines but missed out some of the fruit. I wouldn't recommend any further purchases of any of the above mentioned wines. Further tastings should be done with wines coming from the Saint Emilion and Pomerol regions, where some of the vintage's successes can apparently be found. According to some comments, Haut-Brion is the wine of the vintage

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For the commemoration of our 10th wedding anniversary, my wonderful wife Evelyne and I had invited a few friends for a 1994 mini-horizontal blind-tasting review on a few left bank wines (Medoc region) followed by a "light" meal. I hadn't tasted any Bordeaux 1994 reds for quite a while. I was therefore very interested to revisit them at their present stage of evolution.

The vintage can be considered as one of the missed opportunities in the 90's. The weather that Summer was extremely warm (July / August) and everything went on positively until the end of August. The grapes by the end of the Summer were prematurely ripe and winemakers were hoping that the vintage would be greater than the three previous poor years (91, 92 and partialy 93). Unfortunately, heavy rains and unusually cold temperatures after the end of August ruined most of their hopes. That Autumn, many specialists argued that the grapes finally hadn't been hurt by dilution after several weeks of extremely wet weather, thanks to their anticipated ripeness and to the cool temperatures. Was this assumption really true or was it just another marketing effect due to the huge pressure coming from producers and local retailers trying to boost the "en primeur" sales after three consecutive years of declining prices? 

Just before uncorking my bottles I had a quick glance at the "guru's" tasting notes (dated 1996-1997). His comments were generally positive and Parker's scores for the most renowned estates ranged on average between 88 and 93+, which is very decent. It is usually admitted that the Cabernets came out a bit better than the Merlots.

All the wines were decanted three hours prior to tasting. The samples showed identical deep ruby hues and similarly the six bottles tasted had very muted fragrances before decanting.

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