Chateau Giscours Margaux Bordeaux Wine

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Chateau Giscours Margaux Third Growth , Bordeaux wine producer profile, with wine tasting notes , wine ratings , a history of the property, information on wine making and terroir, along with wine tasting reviews . If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Giscours was first written about in 1330. At the time, it was listed on historical records as a fortified property. The first reference to Giscours for making Bordeaux wine dates back to 1552. Skipping ahead to slightly more modern times, before the start of the French Revolution, Chateau Giscours belonged to the Saint-Simon family. It was confiscated during the revolution and was resold in 1793 to two Americans from Boston, John Gray and Jonathan Davis. After that, a myriad of owners took over ownership and management of Chateau Giscours until it was bought in 1845 by Count de Pescatore. Two years later, he hired a new manager for the Bordeaux wine property, Pierre Skawinski.

Interestingly, de Pescatore got lucky with Skawinski who later became one of the most respected agriculturalists of the time in Margaux as well as in Bordeaux. Some of Skawinski contributions include the invention of a type of plow in 1860 which still bears his name. He was one of the most important figures in the fight against mildew. Pierre Skawinski managed du Tertre for 50 years. During his tenure, Pierre Skawniski came up with the idea that everything in the cellar should be moved by gravity. While most of the top Bordeaux chateau use gravity in their cellars today, this was a revolutionary development at the time. Pierre Skawinski remained with Chateau Giscours even after it changed hands and became the property of the Cruse family. The Cruse family sold Giscours in 1913. After the sale, Chateau Giscours went through a long, rough patch. By the time the vineyards were purchased by the Tari family, the vineyards were in such poor condition, less than 10 hectares of vines were bearing grapes .

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In 1954 Chateau Giscours was purchased by Nicolas Tari. Nicolas Tari learned about wine from his time as a wine maker in Algeria. Nicolas Tari helped rebuild and enlarge the property. In 1976, the then-owner of the chateau Tari, who was also the Secretary General of the Association des Grandes Crus Classes, was selected as one of 11 judges to take part in the historic “Judgment of Paris” wine competition when the results of a blind tasting had many California wines beating much more famous wines from Bordeaux. In 1995, Chateau Giscours was sold to Eric Albada Jelgersma.

The darkest moment for Chateau Giscours took place in 1998, when Chateau Giscours was accused of breaking the AOC laws of the Margaux appellation. They were accused of blending fruit from the Haut Medoc appellation with some of their vines to produce 16,000 cases of the 1995 La Sirene de Giscours. Further allegations stated the blend was doctored with milk, water and fruit acids. Admitting to the charges, former director Jean Michel Ferrandez said he knew his actions were illegal, but that “lots of people do it”. The accusations were brought as a result of a former employee. Since that time, things have turned around at the estate. A large part of that credit goes to the managing director, Alexander van Beek who is also in charge of their other Margaux estate, Chateau du Tertre. Alexander van Beek began his career as a young man, just a few years out of college in 1995.

More than making wine takes place at the Left Bank estate of Chateau Giscours. The Bordeaux Giscours Cricket Club in the Aquitaine Division of the French National League uses the fields at Giscours as their home base.

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Alexander van Beek arrived at Giscours in 1995. Alexander van Beek started out at the estate with plans to spend 2 weeks during the harvest. He was later promoted to the managing director. One of the first things that took place with the young Alexander van Beek at the helm was a continued replanting of their vineyards with the marked increase of Cabernet Sauvignon . The replanting was vast with more than 30,000 vines replanted in one year. To better illustrate how much needed to be done, by the time they were finished replanting the vineyards, over 130,000 vines were replanted! This was needed because the vineyards had been allowed to lapse into poor conditions with some parcels missing close to 50% of their vines. The efforts began to pay off in a few short years. Another change took palce under the direction when Giscours switched from machine harvesting to manual harvesting.

Starting with the 2000 vintage, Alexander van Beek truly turned the fortunes of Chateau Giscours around. Each vintage after that shows signs of slow, but steady improvement in this Bordeaux wine. The estate’s 2009, with its rich textures and ripe cassis filled personality is the finest vintage Giscours I have ever tasted. Although, in all fairness, the 2010 Giscours could give it a run for the money and in time, might even be the better wine. However, the 2015 vintage is even better. And if you talk with Alexander Van Beek, the best is yet to come!

The best vintages of Chateau Giscours are: 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2005, 2001, 2000 and 1961.

Chateau Giscours is a large estate with 165 hectares that are divided as follows: 102 hectares of vines are planted in the Margaux appellation. Those vines are used for the exclusive production of Chateau Giscours. The vineyard of Chateau Giscours is divided into 43 separate plots. 63 hectares of vines are planted in the Haut Medoc appellation which are used to produce Le Haut Medoc de Giscours. However, even the casual observer cannot help but notice there are also 50 hectares of perfectly landscaped, verdant park surroundings and lush gardens that are part of the Chateau Giscours estate.

The 102 hectare vineyard of Chateau Giscours is planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot , 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot . The current plantings show a marked increase in Cabernet Sauvignon. Previously, more than 50% of their vineyards were planted to Merlot in the mid 1990’s. As you can see, that is no longer the case as the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon has been dramatically increased. This is one of the key decisions made by Alexander van Beek, who started replanting the vineyard in 1995. The terroir is mostly gravel with sand and some limestone in the soil. On average, the vines are close to 45 years of age. However, the estates has vines that are up to 70 years of age. The vine density is on average, 10,000 vines per hectare. The vineyard of Chateau Giscours is divided into 43 separate plots. Today, a portion of their vineyards are farmed using biodynamic techniques. That is expected to increase over the next few years.

To produce the wine of Chateau Giscours, vinification takes place in in a combination of stainless steel vats and concrete tanks. There are 26 stainless steel tanks and 42 concrete vats that range in size from 20 hectoliters all the way up to 250 hectoliters. 80% of the Malolactic fermentation takes place in tank and 20% occurs in barrel. The wine of Chateau Giscours is aged in 50% new, French oak barrels for an average of 18 months.

While Chateau Giscours is a traditional Bordeaux estate, they were one of the first properties in the Medoc to embrace optical sorting technology. In fact, they were also one of the first estates to employ gravity to filling the vats in the late 1800’s! The production of Chateau Giscours is close to 25,000 cases per year. There is a second wine , La Sirene de Giscours.

A 63 hectare plot of vines adjacent to Chateau Giscours, but just outside the boundaries of the Margaux appellation, is the grape source for their wine produced and bottled as Le Haut Medoc de Giscours. Other Bordeaux wines produced by the estate include Chateau Dutheil and Chateau Houringe. Both those estates are classified as Cru Bourgeois wines from the Haut Medoc appellation.

http://www.chateau-giscours.fr

Wine Tasting Notes

Displaying 30 vintages | 225936 Views Sorted by vintage

  1. 2015 La Sirène de Giscours

    1. Cassis, flowers and licorice in character, medium-bodied, forward and fresh, this wine will be ready to drink on release. 85 - 87 Pts

      86 points - Tasted
      692 Views
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  2. 2015 Château Giscours

    1. With a dark, ruby color, the violet aromas really get you going, that is until you get hit with the sweet, black, juicy plums, cocoa, black cherry and thyme. Full-bodied, plush and polished with more concentration, structure and opulence than you normally find at Giscours. The finish is all about the freshness and focused vibrant, spicy, sweet, ripe, dark, red berries. This wine was produced from a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, reaching 13.7% alcohol and a 3.6 pH. The picking ranged from September 10 to October 9 and the Grand Vin represents 68% of the harvest. 94 - 96 Pts

      95 points - Tasted
      3046 Views
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  3. 2014 Château Giscours

    1. A complex nose of earth, tobacco, mint, black cherry and raspberries, this wine is soft and polished and there is a fresh, unadulterated plum and fresh, black raspberry sensation in the silky finish. The wine was produced from a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot. 91-92 Pts

      92 points - Tasted
      3438 Views
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  4. 2013 Château Giscours

    1. Medium bodied with soft textures, the wine has an open, fresh, bright, red berry, earthy and floral character. This is already providing early drinking pleasure.

      89 points - Tasted
      1314 Views
    2. Shy aromas of vanilla, flowers, dark strawberry and earth get stronger with coaxing. The wine is medium bodied, bright and fresh with cassis and crisp, soft strawberries in a finish that leaves a good impression. This is a very strong wine for the vintage. From a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.3% alcohol with a pH of 3.64. With yields of 40 hectoliters per hectare, the Grand Vin represents 50% of the harvest. The wine is aged in 47% new, French oak. 89-91 Pts

      90 points - Tasted
      1149 Views
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  5. 2012 Château Giscours

    1. Truffle, fresh herbs, blackberries and black cherry scents create the perfume. A few years in the cellar will help add more layers of complexity and softness to this charming wine.

      91 points - Tasted
      1815 Views
    2. Blending 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Dark ruby in color, licorice, flowers, cocoa, cherry and cassis notes open to soft, refined, medium-bodied dark cherry- and cassis-filled wine with good freshness, supple textures and a red berry-dominated finish. 90-92 Pts

      91 points - Tasted
      2835 Views
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  6. 2011 La Sirène de Giscours

    1. With cassis and spice, this is an open, light and easygoing cherry-filled wine. 85-86 Pts

      85 points - Tasted
      1719 Views
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  7. 2011 Château Giscours

    1. Spicy berries, forest scents, black plum and wet earth notes greet your nose with little effort. This early drinking vintage of Giscours offers fresh, peppy dark red cherries and spice in the finish.

      90 points - Tasted
      1634 Views
    2. Blending 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot, the wine reached 13.2% alcohol. With flowers, spice, black cherry, cassis and coffee, this medium-bodied wine is round and fresh with ripe black cherry. 90-92 Pts

      91 points - Tasted
      2327 Views
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  8. 2010 La Sirène de Giscours

    1. Le Sirene de Giscours opens with cassis aromas, coupled with a medium body and easy to drink textures, this will be fun to drink on release. 85-87 Pts

      86 points - Tasted
      2842 Views
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  9. 2010 Château Giscours

    1. Still young and tight as expected, yet it is impossible not to see the potential here. Fresh, ripe, fragrant and energetic, give this another 5-8 years and it should be showing great!

      93 points - Tasted
      3348 Views
    2. Licorice, espresso bean, black cherries, truffle and forest notes open to a rich textured, full bodied, plush, potent Margaux, filled with fresh, pure, clean, ripe, black and red fruits. The final blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Merlot is going to develop into a very special wine with a decade or so of bottle age. This is probably the best vintage I've ever tasted of Chateau Giscours!

      94 points - Tasted
      4745 Views
    3. Spice, blackberry, jam, flowers and toasty oak scents open to a full bodied, rich, structured, fresh, concentrated and classy Margaux wine. The long, ripe, dark, fruit filled, long, polished finish is fresh and pure. This should age well.

      93 points - Tasted
      4579 Views
    4. Deep in color, the intense perfume is packed with crème de cassis, blueberries, spice, flowers, tobacco, earth and spice box aromas. Rich, opulent and plush, this deep, ripe wine ends with a supple, fresh, elegant, dark berry filled finish. This is clearly the best vintage of Giscours I’ve ever tasted! It improved a lot since tasted in April. Bravo. 93-95 Pts

      94 points - Tasted
      5566 Views
    5. Giscours Produced from a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Merlot, this is the highest concentration of Cabernet Sauvignon in the history of the chateau! The harvest produced yields that were slightly lower than they produced in 2009. That combination created a deep ruby colored wine offering floral, cassis, boysenberry and smoky aromas. Round tannins, supple textures and more muscle than usual led the way for a long, fresh, pure, ripe, cassis. According to Alexandre Van Beek, he’s happy with the masculine edge to the wines style in this vintage. He graciously stated, “Credit goes to their consultant Denis Dubordieu, who began working with Giscours and du Tertre starting with the vintage.“ 91-93 Pts

      92 points - Tasted
      5408 Views
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  10. 2009 Château Giscours

    1. Vanilla, earth, blackberry, cocoa, stone, truffle and espresso bean notes create the complex perfume. In texture, the wine is rich, opulent and packed with layers of sweet, juicy, silky dark plums with fresh, spicy, black cherries. The wine was made from a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot.

      93 points - Tasted
      7540 Views
    2. Truffle, tobacco, cassis, black raspberry and forest floor notes produce the complex perfume. The blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc creates layers of deep, long waves of voluptuously textured, dark chocolate covered, fresh black cherries.

      93 points - Tasted
      8166 Views
    3. Spicy blackberry, tobacco, crème de cassis, blueberry, earth and toasty oak aromas are the perfect introduction to this suave, rich, ripe Margaux. Fresh, round and soft, this ends with layers of sweet blackberry and cassis. As this wine develops, it could increase in score.

      92 points - Tasted
      7860 Views
    4. 2009 Giscours shows cassis, cocoa, espresso, citrus, and black raspberry in the nose. Full bodied with ripe tannins, the wine finishes with sweet black raspberry and chocolate notes. The finest Giscours I have tasted. The wine was made from a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot. 91/93 Pts

      92 points - Tasted
      8778 Views
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  11. 2008 Château Giscours

    1. Earth, truffle, tobacco leaf, cassis and notes of bitter chocolate are easy to find. The smooth textured, refined, charming wine finishes with chocolate covered cassis sensations. The wine was made from a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot.

      91 points - Tasted
      5382 Views
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  12. 2006 Château Giscours

    1. Better on the nose with its earthy, spicy, forest floor, tobacco and cherry personality than on the firm, medium bodied, tannic, fresh, red berry centered palate. Perhaps, time will help soften the wine. The wine was made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. The Petit Verdot was not ripe enough to add to the blend this year.

      89 points - Tasted
      2183 Views
    2. Medium bodied with more of a focus on red than black fruits, this is on a rapid march to maturity. I’d probably drink this on the young side.

      87 points - Tasted
      3606 Views
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  13. 2005 Château Giscours

    1. Not mature, but approachable, with a core of soft, sweet fruit and a polished, smooth finish. Air will help if you're going to drink it young. The wine was produced using a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot.

      92 points - Tasted
      2615 Views
    2. Medium to full bodied, with elegant, silky textures, refined tannins and core of fresh, softly polished cassis and blackberries that carry through from start to finish. This is starting to wake up and promises to be even better with more time in the cellar. This is still quite young. Give it a few more years and it should be even better.

      92 points - Tasted
      3709 Views
    3. Lush, silky, red and black fruits with earthy, truffle notes welcome you to a soft, elegant, sensuous expression of Margaux that is already starting to drink well and will only get better with age.

      92 points - Tasted
      6358 Views
    4. Blackberry, cassis, truffle, woodsy aromas with hints of flowers prepare you for this medium/full boded, refined Margaux wine. With its plush, silky textures, ripe dark berries, structure and balance, this will only get better with another 5-10 years of bottle age.

      92 points - Tasted
      9102 Views
    5. Cassis, earth, blackberry and spice aromatics are held together in this ripe, fresh, and round Margaux which ends in a tannic, cassis and blackberry filled finish. This wine needs time, at least another 5-7 years.

      90 points - Tasted
      11096 Views
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  14. 2004 Château Giscours

    1. Fresh earth, cassis, wild berries and tobacco scents open to a soft, polished, ready to drink, elegant, classic Bordeaux wine. The wine was made from a blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon and 42% Merlot.

      90 points - Tasted
      2266 Views
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  15. 2003 Château Giscours

    1. Light ruby in color, smoke, truffle, earth, cigar box, fennel and jammy black cherry scents create the complex aromatics. Medium bodied, silky, sexy and filled with black raspberry and spice. This is not a wine that requires more age. I’d drink this over the next 6 to 9 years. The wine was made using a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot.

      91 points - Tasted
      2945 Views
    2. With black licorice, back cherries, truffle and cassis aromas, this silky textured, ripe, medium/full bodied, elegant wine is developing nicely. The wine, which is on a fast track to maturity, ends with a refined, spicy, cassis and kirsch filled finish.

      91 points - Tasted
      7348 Views
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  16. 2002 Château Giscours

    1. Showing quite nicely today with the floral edge to the black cherry, tobacco, earth and spicy profile. Soft, almost silky, medium bodied and refined, the wine avoids the curse of under ripeness and cool weather flavors that mar many wines from the vintage. The wine was made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot.

      90 points - Tasted
      1078 Views
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  17. 2001 Château Giscours

    1. With a perfume filled with blackberries, earth, tobacco, smoke and cedar scents, this silky, medium bodied Margaux wine ends with an elegant, cassis filled finish. Another 2-3 years will more complexity to the wine. The wine was made using a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot.

      90 points - Tasted
      4209 Views
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  18. 2000 Château Giscours

    1. On the nose, the floral, tobacco, blackberry, cedar and cherry aromatics are in full force. The texture is soft and polished with a blast of freshness and sweet fruits in the finish. You can drink this now, or age it for more secondary development. But I really like how it is showing today. The wine was made using a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc.

      93 points - Tasted
      3502 Views
    2. Drinking great today, the wine is filled with sweet black and red fruits, tobacco, earth, spice, smoke, spice, plum and truffle, Supple textures, ripe fruit and soft tannins are found in the round finish.

      93 points - Tasted
      8139 Views
    3. This expressive nose displays tobacco, smoke, forest floor, cassis and earthy notes. The wine has really fleshed out, ending with soft textured, fleshy, dark berries, cherry and spice.

      93 points - Tasted
      8718 Views
    4. Still young in appearance, this wine is filled with floral, crème de cassis, spice, tobacco and truffle scents. Soft textures and good concentration of flavors are found in the supple, fresh, ripe, dark plum finish. Still young, this Bordeaux wine will only get better with age.

      92 points - Tasted
      9672 Views
    5. Dark purple color. Blackberries, cassis, blueberries cranberries and oak on the nose. Hints of tobacco develop after an hour in the glass. This smooth palate offers ripe, chocolate covered blackberries in the finish.

      91 points - Tasted
      3709 Views
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  19. 1999 Château Giscours

    1. Fully mature, with a floral, tobacco and red cherry nose, the wine is medium bodied, soft and fresh, with a sweet and spicy, almost red berry finish. There is no reason the age this any longer. The wine was made from a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot. This is the first vintage that showed all the improvements that young, Alexander van Beek had been working on, since he joined the estate in 1995.

      90 points - Tasted
      910 Views
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  20. 1998 Château Giscours

    1. Cassis, forest floor, tobacco, earth and blackberry aromas lead to a medium bodied wine that ends with a red and black fruit filled finish. The wine was made from a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc.

      88 points - Tasted
      3357 Views
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  21. 1995 Château Giscours

    1. Crème de cassis, tobacco, earth and cherry aromas, medium bodied with some tannin to resolve, this lighter style of Margaux ends with a cassis and strawberry finish. This is the first vintage for Alexander van Beek at the chateau. The wine was made from a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is fully mature and will not improve with further aging.

      88 points - Tasted
      4268 Views
    Average Selling Price: ($158)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  22. 1990 Château Giscours

    1. Cedar chest, tobacco, forest floor, menthol, and cassis aromas show a wine that is fully mature. This medium bodied wine ends with a short kirsch finish. Drink up as this is already starting to gently decline.

      88 points - Tasted
      4576 Views
    2. Earthy. forest floor, tobacco, cassis and green olive tapenade scents are easy to find. Medium bodied, with cassis and hints of green flavors, this is fully mature and should be drunk up.

      88 points - Tasted
      4672 Views
    Average Selling Price: ($160)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  23. 1989 Château Giscours

    1. Light crimson and tea in color, the wine offers earth, tobacco, cassis, barnyard and cherry flavors. With a short, red fruit finish, this is beginning to dry out. Consumers should drink this sooner than later.

      86 points - Tasted
      4265 Views
    2. Tobacco, barnyard aromas, and stewed fruit make up the perfume. Austere on the palate and well past its prime. Drink up.

      83 points - Tasted
      2434 Views
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  24. 1986 Château Giscours

    1. Severe bricking in color, with stewed prunes and wet earth sensations, this wine is in serious decline.

      80 points - Tasted
      4027 Views
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  25. 1985 Château Giscours

    1. Smoke, cassis, cedar wood, damp earth and spice aromas open to a medium bodied wine that ends with a cranberry, cassis and green olive finish. The fruit is fading from this wine. It requires immediate consumption.

      82 points - Tasted
      3961 Views
    Average Selling Price: ($144)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  26. 1975 Château Giscours

    1. Tobacco, earth, cassis, forest floor and tea aromas lead to a medium bodied, lean wine that ends with a slightly tart, strawberry finish. Drink up.

      83 points - Tasted
      3223 Views
    2. Tobacco, truffle and earthy, forest scents are the best of this wine. The austere, lean and unripe style is not pleasing to the palate. Drink up.

      82 points - Tasted
      4206 Views
    Average Selling Price: ($183)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  27. 1970 Château Giscours

    1. From magnum, light ruby with tea accents in the color, the wine offers earth, truffle, tobacco, stone and hints of cassis. Medium bodied and already in decline, this needs to be drunk up sooner than later.

      87 points - Tasted
      3356 Views
    Average Selling Price: ($218)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  28. 1961 Château Giscours

    1. A complex perfume filled with earth, forest floor, truffle, smoke, blackberry, cigar box, spice and ash. Full bodied and concentrated, but the black cherry flavor was marred by the tart cranberry sensation in the short, but soft, polished finish. I imagine this wine was even better about 10-15 years ago.

      90 points - Tasted
      3642 Views
    Average Selling Price: ($545)  • Find this wine to buy on Wine-Searcher
  29. 1957 Château Giscours

    1. Coffee colored, with earthy, spice notes, this light wine finished with a sweet and sour berry note.

      78 points - Tasted
      2264 Views
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  30. 1920 Château Giscours

    1. With a ruby and rust color that was dark for its advanced age, tobacco, ash, cigar box, truffle, forest floor, earth and hints of strawberry opened to a rustic, medium bodied, tart finish that in reality, was not bad considering the vintage. However, this bottle has been in cold storage in Bordeaux since the day it was bottled. At close to 100 years of age, from a weak vintage, it was a nice showing.

      72 points - Tasted
      2337 Views
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