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Guigal Lalala 1988 comparison


La Landonne + La Mouline + La Turque 1988: all 100 Parker Points...

Does it have the perfect score ?
Robert Parker gives the La Mouline 1988, La Turque 1988 and La Landonne 1988 the perfect score of 100 points. Well, let’s find out if we agree…….

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In 1988 Guigal made his lalala’s with much less influence of wood. So a little more elegancy and less power.

Guigal La Mouline 1988 – Bouquet contains lots of spices, leather, wood. Tastes creamy, beautifully balanced, typically French Syrah print. Nice wine, but on the edge of best drinking period. We rated it on average 8-/10.

Guigal La Turque 1988 – Shows age, with orange rim. Very nice bouquet, with curry, bouillon, spices, some wood, tabacco, raisins. On the palate leather, nice fruit, silky but balance is not perfect. Smelling the wine promised everything, tasting was slightly disappointing. BOW 8+/10.

Guigal La Landonne 1988 – Still in top shape, will last another 15 years. Took some time to open up, but there it was. Lalala complexity, so aromatic, so fine, so complex. A great wine which shows what a terroir it is. BOW 9/10.


Petrus, La Fleur Petrus, Lafleur


Three great terroirs 2000 - Pétrus, Chateau La Fleur-Petrus, Chateau Lafleur 2000.

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The three chateaux lie besides each other. So terroir is of major influence in the final quality of the wine. Let’s start with Petrus 2000.

Petrus 2000 – darkest color of the 3 wines. Lots of cassis, but also berries, cocos, vanilla. Palet is full of liquorice, so fat, but so smooth and sweet. The Merlot works like liquid silk, creamy and gives the wine the perfect balance. Comparable to Petrus 1989 and 1998, but with the charme of 1990. Is this the best Petrus of the last 50 years? BOW 10/10.


Nice cellar pictured


Just checking the pictures of the new additions Domaine Leflaive from a perfect cellar. The proof is in the drinking.: Bourgogne Blanc 2004 from OWC drinks like a 2012. What a way to end the day. BOW 7+/10

Lynch Bages 1970


We bought this bottle from a private cellar in the Canalzone in Amsterdam. It was a very old cellar, also containing Burgundy from the 1930’s thru 1960’s.

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We opened a Bichot Volnay 1934 with a 10 cm level, and it was still beautiful! The Lynch Bages 1970 had a high shoulder level, so there was a risk. But as this cellar proved to be very good, we knew that this bottle would be great. And it was! The color was dark red, the first sip was of a wine in its youth... . A cabernet classic, with cassis fruit, chocolate, truffel. It changed in texture and complexity and character during the first 10 minutes. One of our tasters reminded the wine as a Latour 1970 which he drank only a few days ago. Bottles with top shoulder level or higher will last another 20 years. A treat ! BOW 9-.


Haut Brion battle


Last week the great wine critic and our friend René Gabriel from WeinWisser visited us for an exclusive tasting. We had a wonderful evening with some beautiful wines.

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We started with the battle between Château Haut-Brion Blanc, Château Laville Haut-Brion and Château La Mission Haut-Brion blanc 2011

La Mission Haut Brion Blanc 2011 – Medium yellow, lots of spices, some mint. Floral notes, and beautiful tropical fruit. Smooth, concentrated, complex nose. Perfect for drinking now, but will last at least another 20 years. BOW 9/10.

We still have 6 bottles available for €650,- the bottle at http://www.bestofwines.com/uk/wines/view/7203

Haut Brion Blanc 2011 – Light yellow wine, with some green notes. First impression a little bit closed but on tasting the wine shows concentration, but is not as concentrated as the La Mission. Complex nose, but still not showing its potential. Maybe the element wood is too present in relation to concentration. The La Mission shows more and even on age will be the better wine. BOW 8+/10.


Coche Dury Corton Charlemagne 2003


White Burgundy 2003 can show a “tired” impression. On opening this bottle we were again not surprised didn’t show much, a little cork maybe ? But we

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decanted it, let the wine breathe for 10 minutes and then it showed what a Corton Charlemagne from Coche Dury can do: very complex bouquet, a little “chaud”, but beautiful fruit, chamomille, floral elements and a concentration and terroir typical for Coche Dury. BOW 9+.


Lafleur 2003


Remember our wine tasting with René Gabriel two weeks ago ? This one was chosen as best wine of the evening by 30% of the tasters. It was our last bottle in stock, so we are hurrying to buy some more….. The 2003 Bordeaux can show some contradictions. Some are very disappointing and “chaud”. But some MORE ...

domains really outperformed in this vintage. First impression: this is a Céléstine von Henry Bonneau or a Burgundy wine from Henry Jayer. But it contains very ripe Cassis, some citrus elements. Very creamy and thick, elegant and a milky finish. What a wine, perfectly vinified. But still very young, needs at least 5 more years. BOW 9, but will get better.


Palmer 1989 imperial 6 L


This week we have a grand tasting in Mallorca. After some fabulous Rioja Reserva bottles on Monday we sat down for an exceptional bottle: an imperial 6 litre Palmer 1989. We have (highly) rated this wine a couple of times, but big bottles always tend to show greater quality. The bottle came from MORE ...

a private cellar, was stored in a conditioned environment since release. Level was high fill. The first 15 minutes were like a roller-coaster, the wine changed every couple of minutes. After 30 minutes it showed its best. Smell of sweet reserva elements, wood, cinnamon, some tea and mocha. And a unbelievable load of black fruit. The taste is so soft, silky and delegate, astonishing! The complexity on the highest level, the acid, softened tannins and sweet fruit gives the wine a perfect balance. So much power but so elegant. We tried to finish the bottle but luckily kept some for today. To pair it with Italian and Rhone stars. Big bottles indeed show better quality.

Palmer 89 always scores 9.5 or higher. This bottle BOW 9,5/10


“The concept of quality over quantity really does matter”.


John Glaser, The Compass box; “The concept of quality over quantity really does matter”. MORE ...

This week I had a little gathering with John Glaser, founder of the Compass Box whisky company, for a masterclass and I had a nice little chat accompanied by a dram afterwards.

As a company, we mainly focus on single malts with our bestofwhiskies.com division, but we do love blends as well.

We think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a good blend. I have sometimes tricked my friends, in a blend in our monthly blind tasting sessions. We all agree that they do hold their own against malt whisky.

John Glaser and myself share the same passion for old blends. 95% of the time they will beat any single malt today by both taste and quality. John asked me: “Why is it that old blended whisky is that good”?

The answer is pretty simple, so let me give you a little history lesson to answer that question.

Scotch whisky hasn’t always been as popular as it is today. In the Victorian age the wealthy and the gentlefolks had taken a liking to Brandy-soda and French cognac. It was only due to the fact that the grapevines had been infested by grape lice (esca) and insect pests that the production of wine and the distilling of wine (brandy & cognac) had instantly seized production and stopped.

The noblemen had to look for another drink that would be to their liking, since the brandy and cognac had become very scarce. Now back in the day, Single Malt was considered a “poor man’s drink’. It was a totally inconsistent drink, often very harsh, under proofed and mostly not matured in wood.

It was only by the invention of “blending” by smart businessmen like Alexander Walker in 1857 (Johnny Walker & Sons) and A.J Cameron of the Dewar’s blending company in 1899, that the production of Scotch whisky blends thrived under their smart entrepreneurial spirit. They really had a foreseeing gift in understanding what the market needed. It was due to their work that whisky became the gentleman’s drink that it is today.

To understand the concept of “blending” you have to understand that these smart business men understood that blends needed to be consistent in taste. They made “easier”, more consistent style of whisky. They understood that it was the quality that made the sales, not the quantity that mattered. They turned blending into art, it became the drink everybody was after and the rest is history.


John Glaser is a humble man that speaks with a passion unlike you have ever seen before when speaking about his work. His take on blending for the Compass box, is exactly the art form that seems to be forgotten by the big blending multinationals today.

Compass box is all about quality over quantity. John Glaser stands for transparency of the components actually used for making up the end product. He strongly believes in the consumer’s right to know what the contents of their product actually are when they’re purchasing a quality Compass Box blend. The people ought to know, it’s their right as a consumer.

John is very open about the casks he uses, the distilleries and the age…Wait! Not anymore. The Scottish Whisky Association (SWA) won’t allow him to share the age statements of the cask used. I can rant about this a for thousand more words, but really; you’ll should read about it from the man himself and support his campaign on transparency.

You can read all about it here.

I guess I must have made you all a little thirsty by writing this blog. You can view one of the Compass box gems right here at our site!


Gal Granov scores this high quality blend 92/100 points.


Nils van Rijn

Whisky Specialist for Best Of Whiskies


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Sassicaia 1985


Yesterday evening we had a wonderful dinner in one of the best Asian restaurants in the Netherlands Restaurant Royal Mandarin. For this occasion we brought a Super MORE ...

Tuscan legend: the Sassicaia 1985.

The bottle came from a private cellar, the wine was bought on release and stored in a conditioned environment till yesterday. The level was into neck and we decided not to decant.

The colour was dark red and the bouquet displayed a wonderful sweetness and softness, quite a right bank Bordeaux character. Indeed strange for a cabernet wine. But we noticed immediately that the wine was still flattened, it had to open up. And it did ! After 5 minutes we were staring at each other, this is a 100% Mouton Rothschild 1986 nose. Then we tasted and were overwhelmed by the concentration and intensity of the cassis and dried (tutti frutti) fruit, the spices, licorice and sweetness of the oak.

The wine is so unbelievable concentrated (glycerine on your lips) and so complex. On every sip you discover new elements. And so elegant and delicate. Balance is without any doubt perfect. Length > 60 seconds. In our opinion Sassicaia makes wines that last and need time to soften. The 1985 shows what this means for Sassicaia: a perfect wine, and the best Sassicaia ever. Monumental, a wine you should drink once. Ratings are almost without exception max. And we agree. BOW 10/10. This wine will last till at least 2030.

We still have one bottle of this perfect wine available.


Mouton Rothschild 2002


Last night we visited Samhoudt places, a 2 star Michelin restaurant in Amsterdam with small and really surprising dishes in their tasting menu. For the MORE ...

meat course we brought the still underrated Mouton Rothschild 2002. Almost black colored, very impressive nose, fruit  (cassis) bursts from the glass, mint, eucalyptus, wood, spices.

A very concentrated wine, tasting it is overwhelming, with clear Cabernet, mocca, vanilla and very elegant and integrated tannins. Top line Mouton in such a "classic"  vintage, will improve as it just started to get in its best phase. BOW 9.

We still have several bottles available at our website


Armand Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin Clos St Jacques 2001


Restaurant La Rive in the Amstel Hotel, one of Amsterdams most famous restaurants MORE ...

, was visited by our Best Of Wines tasting team. We had a lot of nice discussions with the Fine & Rare Wine expert and sommelier Ted Bunnik. Together we enjoyed an Armand Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin Clos St Jacques 2001. The label was stained due to some leaking of the cork, but the wine was stored in a very good cellar, so it should be ok. And it was. We enjoyed the bottle during a nice summer evening looking over the Amstel river. Beautiful cherries and raspberries, silky texture and tannins, big and concentrated, wines lingers on and on. Typically 2001 with some reserve and the terroir of St Jacques was so present. BOW 8.5.


Domaine des Perdrix Echezeaux 2006


In the little village Loenen aan de Vecht, we had a lovely dinner at Tante Koosje. This one Michelin star restaurant is located by the church and has a MORE ...

lovely terras with a lot of sun after 5 p.m. We choose for Domaine des Perdrix Echezeaux 2006, this is muscular with intense fruit of black cherries and integrated wood expressions, which went great with the three types of lamb. BOW 8.


Montrose 1990


For this special occasion we choose a bottle of Chateau Montrose 1990, we already wrote several times about this monument of a wine MORE ...

and when you have a perfect bottle it’s party time. It’s all we have wrote before and got BOW 10 again. We enjoyed by a dish of pigeon from Bresse created by Wilco Berends the chef of the one star restaurant “De Nederlanden” in Vreeland.


Lynch Bages 2000


Drinking wine with friends, what more needs to be said, especially with this Lynch Bages 2000. This wine is getting better every time MORE ...

we drink it for the last 3-4 years. Very dark colored, astonishing bouquet (this is Pauillac !). Reminds me of old-school Lynch Bages. Thick, fleshy, very concentrated, but so elegant. Cassis, caramel, tutti-frutti. Tannins well integrated, this 2000 will last till at least 2040. BOW 9 (Peter).


Pontet Canet 2007


Dinner with winefriends, we took some Bordeaux 2007 with us to the beautiful city of Breda. And what an evening we had: 2007 is still an MORE ...

underestimated vintage and doesn't have the sexy fingerprint of 2000, 2005, 2009 etc. Classic Bordeaux, what you see is what you get. This Pontet 2007 showed extremely well, but will improve in the years to come. Blueberry, wood, truffel, some asian spices. One of the best Medoc 2007's, if you get hold of some, drink or store. Will drink well till at least 2036. BOW 8+ (Peter).


Vega Sicilia Unico 2000 vs. Mouton Rothschild 2002


Battle of the bulge

In sunny "Palma de Mallorca”, we tested 2 outstanding wines heads up. MORE ...

The Vega Sicilia Unico 2000 versus the Mouton Rothschild 2002. Both where magnum sized!

To conclude: Both score 9/10 points, no way to tell which is the winner. Both wines are almost perfect in balance, very well concentrated, but yet so elegant. It’s really a tsunami of silk and fruit. The finish longs for more than 60 seconds!

To sum it all up: The difference is what your preference is: The power, portrayed in its most elegant way for the Vega Sicilia Unico 2000 or the more silky and smooth terroir in the “Pauillac” for the Mouton Rothschild 2000.
It’s hard to choose anyways… we couldn't. BOW 9


A dessert dessert


Sauternes and a sweet dessert always proofs to be a fantastic combination. A classic with an apple pie or creme brulee. But vanilla and warm MORE ...

cherries always shows the best out of this pourriture noble-wines. Rieussec 2006 was the choice and the result was a dessert-dessert. The dessert stood out alone perfectly, the wines was a dessert on its own. But toghether they multiplied. The price-quality of this difficult sauternes vintage is very very good. BOW 8+.


Dauvissat grand cru vs. Coche Dury


We enjoyed a 7 course dinner at De Leest, a 3 star Michelin restaurant near Apeldoorn, Netherlands. The winelist was impressive, with a big emphasis on White Burgundy. MORE ...

And the prices were very reasonable. We started of with Dauvissat Chablis les Clos 2009. For a Dauvisat Clos of 7 years old it was very open and impressed us from start to finish. Will have at least 15 years ahead. Tropical fruit, floral notes, minerals, it's all there and what you can expect from a big grand cru Chablis. Paired perfectly with the 3-star elegant dishes. Next bottle was the Coche Dury Puligny Enseigneres 2007. Not a cru and a lesser vintage, But Coche stands out, so unique in its winemaking and taste. A bit like D'Auvenay. Citrus, heavy and concentrated fruit (peach, lemon) but still well balanced. This bottle was priced very nice and therefor worth every euro. It's such a shame that prices of Coche have gone up so rapidly. BOW Dauvissat 9-. BOW Coche 8. 


Glendronach Exclusively selected for the Duchess


We are very pleased to announce our very first single cask for the Duchess.

The Duchess is our independent bottler trademark brand for all our future single cask bottlings that we will consecutively release for Bestofwhiskies.com.

GlenDronach 2003 Virgin Oak Hogshead Cask 1751 250 bottles 53.9% Exclusively selected for The Duchess MORE ...

Tasting Notes by the chaps at GlenDronach:

Nose: Tarte tartin drizzled with apricot syrup and dusted with toasted coconut. All spiced with waves of delicious sweet oak.

Appearance: Glowing harvest gold

Palate: Candied peel and ginger syrup poured over roasted orchard fruits with a fantastic combination of  cinnamon sugar and gentle vanilla.

In our honest opinion, it’s a stunner indeed. We totally agree with Billy Walker and his team on their tasting notes, but still we couldn’t resist adding our very own personal tasting notes.

Nose: Lots of fruitiness. The likes of plums. Accompanied by a warm swell of butterscotch and spices; Cinnamon and hazelnuts.

Mouth: Butterscotch is eminent on the foreground. Lots of pleasurable spices like the aforementioned cinnamon, ginger and a little sugarcane sweetness in the background.

Finish: long and dry herbal finish; Laurel and liquorice.

Balance: A very stunning dram it is. Very well balanced in both and the nose and mouthfeel. The thing that attracts me the most is the overwhelming complexity of this GlenDronach…Don’t we all love ginger spices and liquorice ???89/100 points

 We are very excited about his single cask bottling. You can order a bottle directly through this link.

We are very curious about your opinions when you have experienced this gem. Your opinion is very important to us.

Please email your tasting notes to us.


Nils van Rijn

Whisky Specialist for Best Of Whiskies 



Classic Bordeaux 1997 - so nice


Bordeaux 1997 and 2007 are so called classic years. A term used to describe an average year. However, our experience is that these vintages always show what Bordeaux can do just "on its own". MORE ...

Mouton Rothschild 1997 is a wine we haven't drunk much, just out of habit you always pick the more "special" vintages, Beautiful cassis, some blackberry, spices, typical Mouton terroir. A bit light styled, even though only 55 % of the harvest was used. We enjoyed the 1997 very much, but if you compare this to 1993 (same classic vintage) we prefer the 1993. BOW 7.5.


Sassicaia 1991 versus 1992


We had a lovely dinner in 1-star restaurant Bridges in Amsterdam with bring your own bottle. Pichon Baron 82, Vieux CH Certan 82 and Leoville 83. But the stars of the evening were Sassicaia 1991 and 1992. MORE ...

Indeed, off-years, but everyone who is familiair with Sassicaia will agree - Sassicaia needs time, a lot of time. Both bottles were impressive, but so very different in style and taste. It was like Bordeaux against Burgundy, one said. The 1991 showed real power, as if only 10 years old.  It seems to take time to open up. Dark fruit, spices, cinnamon, some wood, tabacco. Tuscan power, with a beautiful balance. The 1992 was fruity, cherry, raspberry, sweet styled and lighter than the 1991. Even in color. Much more easier to drink and so elegant. Indeed Bordeaux - Burgundy. It was a question of preference, I preferred the 1991 (but not many did). Ratings 1991 BOW 8+, 1992 BOW 8.


Astonishing St Vivant


What shall we have to accompany some fusion French-Asian food ? That was the challenge we faced after a nice wine tasting with amongst others Napanook. We decided to go for a Burgundy from a less known producer with MORE ...

a very good reputation. And top vintage. Unfortunately no 1999, but 2002 can stand the test. The Robert Arnoux Romanee St Vivant was so overwhelming that we had at least 5 minutes without any conversation. So silky, so elegant but so concentrated. Strawberry, raspberry avalanche. How great can top Burgundy be ? Together with the spicy accents it reminded me of Lafite 1986 or even 1996. Finish lasted at least 90 seconds. We still have the 2005, I think I have to reserve this one..... BOW 9+.


The elegant Salon Le Mesnil 2004


The small but mythical champagne house Salon has released their Le Mesnil 2004 vintage earlier this year. MORE ...

With only 46.000 bottles of the 2004 vintage produced the harvest was even for Salon quite low.


Since we are all huge lovers of this champagne we couldn’t wait to taste the wine, even though we knew that the champagne would still be very young. 


After opening the bottle the champagne shows hints of the chalky grounds. The champagne is very elegant and offers a palate of lemon and oyster shell. Full of elegance however it will even more evolve over the next 10 years.

BOW 8.5/10

We still have several bottles available:



Big Battle


In two ways: two great wines from a stellar vintage. And both in magnum. To start with the conclusion - it is just of matter preference. The Cheval Blanc was at its peak. Regular bottles tend to be past the best drinking period, but magnums are in optima forma. So fruity, so silky, Cabernet Franc at its best. The la Mission opened up after 10 minutes and proved to be the better wine: superb balance, all perfect. We tasted with 10 persons, 6 voted for Cheval, 4 for La Mission. So the better wine did "lose" - it was just a matter of preference. BOW Cheval Blanc 9+, La Mission 9.5.

2003 - an underestimated vintage


A very warm vintage, which makes some of the wines "chaud". But the alcohol level of Lafite 2003 is just 12.7 %. With 86 % Cabernet sauvignon and only 50 % of the grapes in the final blend, this very ripe 2003 competes with the best Lafite vintages ever. A power Lafite in magnum, but still so elegant. BOW 9.5.

Jaboulet Chapelle 1990


Perfection, only one word suffices. We have tasted the Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle 1990 a couple of times. But for the first time the wine seems to be fully mature and not completely purple colored. An explosion of blackberry fruit, coffee, chocolate, spices. Overwhelming, astonishing. This wine will last for another 30 years. This magnum bottle was at its best. BOW 10.