Bordeaux 1988: Tasting in 2000
Twelve years after the vintage and this tasting, the notes of which are presented below, was my first look in any detail at the vintage. As I have discussed in my summary of the vintage, this was a year characterised by damp weather early on, followed by a dry but not warm summer. It was the warm temperatures of October that really brought on the ripening and quality of the fruit, creating yet another worthwhile vintage in what turned out to be, at the end, a most interesting decade for Bordeaux acolytes.
This tasting looked specifically at the left bank communes, focusing on a number of leading and popular estates, five each from Margaux and St Julien. The five wines from the former of these two communes were certainly instructive; it was surprising to see both Château Durfort-Vivens, an oft-derided second growth, and Château d’Angludet, a cru bourgeois which probably receives less attention than it should, come out on top in this quintet. Against Château Cantenac-Brown and Château Malescot St-Exupéry this might not raise many eyebrows, but we were perhaps expecting Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux to show a little better than it did, although inspection of my scores demonstrates that it was very close in quality to the two top wines.