Another Birthday...3/3/07


The wines from Bordeaux

The French Wines specially selected from Phuc's personal cellar.


I am a novice when it comes to wine so when I hear people talking about 1st cru, grand cru, etc.... What does it really mean?

I did my research and here is a little history on how the French rank their vines.

To make a long story short basically they go with the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 (classification system for France's best Bordeaux wines). The wines were ranked in importance from first to fifth growth (crus).

Premier cru, meaning in French "first growth" is the highest subcategory of cru classé (classed growth). Bordeaux wines that achieve this ultimate ranking may put "Premier Grand Cru Classé" on their labels.  Let's visit the the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855- I highlighted the wine labels that we are having tonight!


First Growths (Premiers or 1er Crus)

  • Château Lafite-Rothschild, Commune de Pauillac, Haut-Medoc (archaically known as Chateau de la Fite, Laffite, Lafitte)

  • Château Latour, Commune de Pauillac, Haut-Medoc (archaically known as La Tour de Segur)

  • Château Margaux, Commune de Margaux (archaically known as Chateau Margau)

  • Château Haut-Brion, Commune de Pessac, Graves (archaically known as Chateau Hautbrion, Houtbrion, Ho-Bryan, Obryan, Ho Bryen)

  • Château Mouton Rothschild, Commune de Pauillac, Haut-Medoc
    (reclassified from Second Growth status in 1973) (archaically known as Chateau Branne-Mouton)

Second Growths (Deuxièmes Crus)

Third Growths (Troisièmes Crus)

Fourth Growths (Quatrièmes Crus)


Fifth Growths (Cinquièmes Crus)


Phuc's selection:

Deuxieme (2nd) crus: 2 bottles of 1989 Château Pichon Longueville Baron, Pauillac

and 1989 Château Cos d'Estournel, St.-Estephe

3eme (Troisièmes) Cru: 1990 Château Lagrange, St.-Julien

Cinquièmes (5th) Cru:  1989 Château Clerc-Milon, Pauillac


Talking about Phuc spoiling us with the wine selection tonight!  I am  including the reviews by professional like Robert Parker (see below).


Review of  the wines

1989 Cos d'Estournel - Saint Estephe

Deuxièmes Crus

Grape Type: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot  

Region: Bordeaux


95 points Wine Spectator. According to Robert Parker: "The 1989 Cos d'Estournel will, in all likelihood, prove to be an outstanding wine... It is a medium-bodied, rich, concentrated wine displaying an impressive color, and a nose of super-ripe black fruits, toasty oak, and licorice. It tastes like a blend of the 1985 and 1982... The finish is long, alcoholic, and lush."


1989 Baron de Pichon Longueville

Deuxièmes Crus

Grape Type: Cab-Sauv/Merlot
Region: Bordeaux

We had two bottles and drank it all!

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate: 95 points
...dense, full-bodied 1989 is brilliantly made with huge, smoky, chocolatey, cassis aromas intermingled with scents of toasty oak. Well-layered, with a sweet inner-core of fruit, this awesomely endowed, backward, tannic, prodigious 1989

By Wine Spectator -Rated: 98
Youthful and gorgeous. Hedonistic. Superyoung ruby, black color. Masses of ripe fruit. Blackberry, cassis and spices. Full-bodied and very soft, with round, caressing tannins and a deliciously fresh berry, plum aftertaste. Hard not to drink it now.--1989 Bordeaux horizontal. Best after 2005

You need to check out Phuc's comments


1990 Château Lagrange St. Julien

3eme (Troisièmes) Cru

Grape Type:Bordeaux Red Blends

Region: Bordeaux

Robert Parker online, the best of St Julian. Review on 6/2004

1990 Chateau Lagrange - 94 rating Deeply colored; youthful for a 14 year-old wine. Open, expansive nose featuring spicy, jammy fruit; powerful, complex, concentrated, and altogether impressive. Follows through nicely on the palate, combining power and elegance.

The wine is sweet and delicious with heavily extracted cherry fruit at the core. There’s a little tannin to shed and the acidity is fine. It’s a balanced wine with a long finish. Seems to be very close to entering peak drinking years. Not quite as good as 2000 Lagrange but a great success on its own.




Château Clerc Milon 1989

Fifth Classed Growth, Pauillac

Grape Type: Bordeau Blend

Region: Bordeaux

Wine Spectator: 96 Pts

Big, young, chewy wine. Good dark-ruby color. Black cherry, green tobacco and mint aromas. Full-bodied and tannic, yet there's lovely mint and cherry character. Still tight and closed'




Last but not least the Vintage 1994 Fonseca Port- Country:  Portugal

Port is a fortified wine made by stopping the fermentation with brandy. The result is a heavy sweet wine, most often red, that is dense, rich and high in alcohol. Port is made all over the world with some great results in Australia and South Africa, but the most famous of these dessert wines come from Portugal.

Vintage 1994 Fonseca Port


By Robert Parker: 97 points

One of the most spectacular 1994s, this opaque purple-colored wine is an exotic, flamboyant, ostentatious port. Extremely fragrant and pungent, with a flashy display of jammy cassis, pepper, licorice, and truffles, this port is an attention-grabber. Awesomely rich, and full-bodied, with superb length, richness, and overall balance, it possesses a huge mid-palate, layers of flavor, an unctuous texture, and a blockbuster finish. Everything is in place, with the brandy and tannin well-integrated, even concealed by the masses of fruit and glycerin

By Winespectator: 100 points

Hold on to your hat. This is the best Fonseca since 1977, and it's probably even better than that classic vintage--more like the breathtaking 1948. Mind-blowing, with masses of color, aroma and fruit flavor. Smells like fermenting berries, boasting loads of crushed grape, violet and berry character. Big, full-bodied and very sweet, with tons of tannins and a sweet finish. Tannic and huge, it's a long-term, great Port

This is probably the best port I ever had.  Great aroma, so fragrant and it sure goes down smoothly!


Map of Wine Regions in France

Map of Bordeaux region.  All of the wines we drank  are located on the upper right hand side ( St Estephe , Pauillac, and Saint Julien)


Again, if you missed Phuc's comments in this page, here is your last chance to read it...Phuc's comments

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