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Insight: Pauillac’s pulling power

Though soils and microclimates play a vital role in Pauillac, Ian D'Agata finds it is the human touch that provides the key to this region's sheer magnetism and longevity...

D’Agata’s pick: a mixed case illustrating Pauillac’s appeal

Château Mouton Rothschild 1CC 2010
20/20pts (100/100pts)
A legendary wine, probably one of the best ever. Balance, power, silk. If you and your friends were to splurge on just one wine in your life, this would be a fine choice.
Price £425(ib)-£863 Bordeaux Index, Justerinis, Millésima, Roberson
Drink 2025-2120
Alc 14%

Château Lafite Rothschild 1CC 2001
18.75/20pts (95+/100pts)
Amazing finesse: lead pencil, cassis, cedar, and unforgettable. A very underrated vintage.
Price £460(ib)-£800 Bordeaux Index, Bancroft Wines, Cadman’s Fine Wines, Hedonism, Millésima, MWH Wines
Drink 2016-2075
Alc 13.5%

Château Pichon-Longueville- Lalande 2CC 1986
18.75/20pts (95+/100pts)
Marvellous old Bordeaux with delicate cassis, graphite, and faded violet nuances. A legendary wine for this estate, equal to the 1982 but ageing better.
Price £126-£170 Fine & Rare, Peter Wylie
Drink 2014-2020
Alc 13%

Château Pontet Canet 5CC 2008
18.5/20pts (95/100pts)
Beautifully poised and balanced, with memorable fruit density. Smart buyers know this is one of the year’s top wines, and almost as good as the much more expensive ’09 or ’10.
Price £33.03(ib)-£85.84 Bancroft, Cadman’s Fine Wines, En Primeur, Fine & Rare, Millésima, R&B
Drink 2020-2060
Alc 13.5%

Château d’Armailhac 5CC 2009
18.25/20pts (94/100pts)
Amazingly perfumed and sleek, with vibrant Cabernet Francinfluenced red fruit aromas and flavours. I’d guzzle away without shame.
Price £32-£45 En Primeur, Frazier’s Wine, Justerini & Brooks, Millésima, MWH Wines, Nicholls & Perks, R&B, Z&B
Drink 2020-2030
Alc 14%

Château Haut Bages-Libéral 5CC 2010
18.25/20pts (94/100pts)
Classic lead pencil and blackcurrant, attractively fresh and balanced; sneaky concentration and length.
Price £34-£42 Christopher Piper, Fine & Rare, Laithwaite’s, James Nicholson, Millésima
Drink 2023-2035
Alc 13.5%

Château Lynch-Bages 5CC 2005
18.25/20pts (94/100pts)
Almost forward but still young; spicy cassis lifts and lengthens its rich dark berry flavours. One of the best Lynch-Bages ever.
Price £90(ib)-£150 Bordeaux Index, Berry Bros & Rudd, Fine & Rare, Hedonism, Lay & Wheeler, Millésima, Nickolls & Perks
Drink 2018-2040
Alc 13.5%

Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 2CC 1995
17.25/20pts (90+/100pts)
Ripe but fresh, with cedary and flinty blackberry and plum fruit still lingering on.
Price £70-£92 Ancient & Modern, Frazier’s Wine, Lay & Wheeler, Peter Wylie, Robert Rolls & Co
Drink 2014-2030
Alc 13.5%

Château Batailley 5CC 1975
17/20pts (90/100pts)
Catch a glimpse of wonderful red Bordeaux as it used to be: glorious leafy elements, delicate blackcurrant and cedar mingle with ’75’s telltale chewy tannins. From an estate that has an exceptional stock of old bottles.
Price £79 Fine & Rare
Drink 2014-2020
Alc 13%

Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste 5CC 2004
17/20pts (90/100pts)
Charming blackberry and blackcurrant fruit aromas and flavours with the ’04 telltale leafiness. Glorious drinking now but will last another half decade.
Price £24-£42.06 Berry Bros & Rudd, Fine & Rare, KWM Wine & Spirits
Drink 2014-2020
Alc 14%

Château Fonbadet CB 2009
16.5/20pts (88/100pts)
Supple rounded and juicy. Medium-bodied and still reasonably fresh.
Price £10.50 Fine & Rare
Drink 2014-2020
Alc 14%

Château Lynch-Moussas 5CC 2009
16/20pts (86/100pts)
Lovely precision to the raspberry and blackcurrant aromas; graphite and cedar adds complexity. Politely styled, easy-drinking, almost light claret in keeping with the terroir and winemaking style.
Price £20-£33 Farr Vintners, Fine & Rare, Millésima, R&B, Roberson
Drink 2017-2025
Alc 13.5%

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