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Château Coufran, Haut-Médoc 2001 - caveat emptor


Some unprecedented member reviews for this wine:

21 in total
5 star = 2
4 star = 8
1 star = 7
0 star = 4 (3 unfavourable, 1 favourable, apart from the bad state of the corks)

That’s a lot of bottle variation. Time to delist - or at least post a warning?


A very mixed bag in terms of reviews … Seems familiar to the Pedrosa 18months ago… reviews here if anyone wants to take a look ;


I think there’s a danger with some of these offers raising unrealistic expectations. I suspect there’s a risk of thinking it’s an 18-year-old Bordeaux and therefore it should be quite exceptional. However it’s a £19 18-year-old Bordeaux so a little realism is probably called for. For myself I’m never going to expect that much from an 18-year-old Bordeaux going at such a (relatively) low price. I’d expect it to be good, very good even, but not exceptional. If I’m going to drink such a relatively old Bordeaux then I think I’d look for something a little more expensive that is likely to have had the structure to last that long.

I’m not saying this isn’t good enough to have lasted that long but at that price I wouldn’t be expecting too much. CellarTracker gives this vintage a window ending in '17.


Spot on.

Differing expectations of Claret too. Some people won’t expect the likely tertiary notes!


I think well over 10,000 bottles of this have been sold in the run up to Christmas. Given people are more likely to leave a review when disappointed (my assumption) those few comments are statistically insignificant (my assumption). Nevertheless sales seem to have halted around Christmas, so probably will disappear from the list anyway.


I think the latest (22nd) review puts it best:

‘It seems clear from our collective responses that when this wine is still good, it is very, very good, and when it is bad it’s horrid … and there seems an element of pot luck in who had which.’


If you don’t like old Bordeaux you don’t like old Bordeaux and this will be unlikely to change your mind. Said as someone who doesn’t like old Bordeaux!


I like old Bordeaux but I don’t want to buy a case of 6 and find 2 of them undrinkable.


Well yes there is that. But then when it came to the Rib D mentioned above (which I sent back) apparently based on a fairly rigorous sample there wasn’t undue bottle variation and it was simply a case of mismatched expectations as to the style of the wine. It would be interesting to see the results of a similar exercise here


For what it’s worth, I bought two, and drank one which was absolutely fine as an “old” Bordeaux of £19. The other one awaits opening sometime soon. In 2019 I have had good experiences with Bordeaux wines from this period. A 2002 Angludet bought at auction tasted superb, all six of them. A 2005 Tour-St-Bonnet also bought at auction was great, and I am looking forward to the other 11 remaining bottles.


Can I ask which auction you use?


Various auctions in Yorkshire, where I can attend and/or collect in person, and from further away Bacchus Auctions, which I think are really good in all aspects including delivery. I got stung for delivery costs by buying from Chiswick auctions, who store the wines off-site at Southall UB2 5LB, and nobody seems to be keen to collect and deliver at reasonable costs.


I had a bottle on Christmas Day without realising there was such apparent bottle variation. It was fine and everything I would hope a reasonably priced, twenty year old Claret would be.

If there is a wider problem with this wine, which we’re only guessing at, I hope it doesn’t put the society off taking a chance in the future. I was talking to one of the family in D. Byrne’s recently and he was telling me that they had stopped stocking old vintages of Musar. Not because there was a problem with the wine, but purely because too many people were returning bottles with imperfect corks.


I’d echo this with the recent 1999/2006 Rosso offer. Very disappointing to say the least considering the overly gushing write-up. Just because something is 20 years old, it doesn’t make it good!


Majestic currently have the 2006 for £15 a bottle if anyone is interested.