6 November 2018

1988 Bordeaux vintage report


By Julie Carpentier

Julie Carpentier’s past is deeply rooted to the Loire valley. She has shown a remarkable understanding of native varietals together with an overall taste for exceptional and unique products…


With a large crop equivalent in volume to 1982, Bordeaux 1988 is an excellent and full-bodied vintage, offering wines with loads of concentrated fruit and color, firmly-structured and greater-than-usual accessibility in that decade. Ageing beautifully (initially a bit austere – it needed 10-15 years cellaring to realize its very good potential), the 1988s were overshadowed by 1989 and 1990, but their “classic” style, with firm tannins and not overtly fruit-drive in their youth allowed the 1988 to a long cellarage. And there we are: the 30th anniversary!!

Amongst the red producing appellation, the Graves probably produced the best wines of Bordeaux in 1988, followed by Pauillac, St-Julien and Pomerol.


Fragrant and floral on the nose, but predominantly leather and tobacco. Smooth tannin. Lingering aftertaste. Plenty of time ahead.

La Mission Haut-Brion
Classic nose of black fruits, smoke, cedar, tobacco. Still a fair amount of tannins, but polished and graceful at the same time. Remarkably young.


Lafite Rothschild
Needs time to fully reveal in the glass. Fresh and fruity, beautiful aromatic. Velvety and vigourous palate. A truly magnificent wine!

Attractive nose (cedar, tobacco leaves, sandalwood). Palate is generous, not austere and beautifully balanced, with a lingering smooth finish.

Mouton Rothschild
Very brown color. Dark fruits and coffee-driven aromas on the nose and the palate. Tannins very smooth and integrated – very pleasurable now.

Pichon Comtesse
Dark ruby color, with smoke, tobacco and blackberries scents. On the palate, the wine shows spectacular: structure, deepness, complexity, with gentle tannins and acidity on the finish. A lovely wine that can be kept much longer.

Chalky, herbaceous and earthy character on the nose. Leathery with good ripe Cabernet fruit on the palate. Can last for another 10 years.


Remarkable dark color. Red fruited palate, freshness and well-integrated tannins. Long finish. An elegant, mature and well balanced wine that is holding well.

Slightly orange tinged color. Dried-herbs, forest scents. Smooth, integrated graphite, leather, tobacco palate. A wonderful St-Julien at its peak.


Petit Village
Fragrant, delightful Pomerol-nose (red fruit, cocoa, cedar, leather). Great ripe fruit, balanced and refreshing on the palate. Long fruit-finish.

Sweet White

The super-star 1988 is one of the greatest vintage of the 20th Century for sweet wines. The weather conditions allowed the formation of botrytis, producing a remarkably rich, unctuous, opulent, therefore zesty and balanced sweet wine.


Deep gold-amber color. Coconut, saffron, creme brulee and dried apricots  on the nose. Elegant texture : honey, sirup, tangerine marmalade. Superb acidity and honey finish. Drinking superbly now, and for another 2-3  decades.

Autumn Bliss” wine o’clock
Tuesday 20th of November

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