1988 Raymond Lafon, Sauternes (375ml)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The beautifully proportioned, surprisingly massive 1988 is impressive from all perspectives. The floral, honeyed bouquet suggests a great deal of botrytis and ripeness. The wine does not possess the size of the 1989, but it is more elegant, with wonderfully precise, botrytised flavors. Full-bodied, rich, and intense, this gorgeous wine should provide stunning drinking for at least two decades. Anticipated maturity: Now-2010. Last tasted, 1/93
Attractively balanced and distinctively floral, lilac notes marrying nicely with the orange-peel, melon and honey flavors. Medium-to-full bodied. Drinkable now.
Robert Parker says: "Raymond-Lafon is a name to watch in the Sauternes district, particularly if one is looking for a wine that is close to the brilliance and majestic richness of Yquem for less than one-third the price. This small estate abuts Yquem's vineyard and has an excellent reputation. Unfortunately, the wine is extremely difficult to find because of the tiny production (1,300 cases) and the fact that the proprietor Pierre Meslier sells much of it to private clients in Europe." The estate of Raymond-Lafon fell into neglect, and it was not until 1972 that Pierre Meslier, the manager of Yquem, purchased this vineyard and began to rebuild this wine's once fabulous reputation. Yield of 9 hectoliters per hectare (even less than Yquem's), with the same grape blend and winemaking techniques.