Shows plenty of mint, currant and mineral character on the nose. Full-bodied, with big and soft tannins. Plenty of mushroom, berry and fruity character. Opulent and beautiful. (JS, Web-2009)
The 1988 Léoville Barton has a lovely nose of brambly black fruit, melted tar, tobacco leaf and undergrowth, very traditional in style but after three decades, remaining fresher and more vibrant than many of its peers. The palate is medium-bodied and possesses more fruit and greater density than the Langoa-Barton. I love the acidity here - very fresh - no sign of hardness or greenness, adorned with a spicy, black pepper and sage-tinged finish that suggest this Saint Julien will offer another decade’s worth of pleasure. Excellent wine from Anthony Barton. Tasted at the château. (NM)
Delightful and fully mature. This was the red wine served (blind) at the AGM lunch of the Royal Household Wine Committee and charmed us all. The 1988s were chunky and austere for so long but, to judge from this wine, the best have come into their own at last. This was beautifully balanced, even if pretty dry but had evolved a delightfully classic perfume. No more than medium weight but with no tannins left in evidence. Very fragrant and complex. 17.5/20
Like several other 1988s, this wine’s rather hard, unyielding, early style has given way to a classically structured Bordeaux with a very youthful color (younger than the 1989), deep, earthy, cassis fruit intermixed with wood, smoke, mineral, and a hint of roasted herbs. The wine has excellent depth, medium to full body, moderate tannin, and a very youthful, vigorous feel. It is approachable, but seems destined to outlive the more renowned and expensive 1989. Somewhat of a sleeper of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2018. Last tasted, 9/01. (RP)
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