We spent Christmas on a Caribbean cruise. With a little advance research, I discovered that I could bring my own wine for a corkage fee of $18. So we hauled a six-pack of wines with us for the seven days on the ship.
I saved the best bottle for Christmas Day. It was the Langoa Barton St.-Julien 2001, and it cost $60. We had already enjoyed a few Bordeaux reds from the 2005 vintage; whereas they were riper and richer in style, the Langoa Barton was textbook claret.
The nose was complex, with a touch of coffee enhancing the cedar and black currant notes. Elegant and savory, the wine was balanced and long, an ideal red to accompany the roast turkey dinner. 91 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Château Langoa Barton St.-Julien 2001 (92, $30).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated red Bordeaux.