TN: Bordeaux 1989 Right Bank wines in NYC

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Ramon C
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TN: Bordeaux 1989 Right Bank wines in NYC

#1 Post by Ramon C » April 12th, 2019, 8:36 am

Bordeaux 1989 Right Bank wines in NYC

Met up last Tuesday (4/09/2019) with 6 other jovial and highly-knowledgeable Bordeaux enthusiasts at a midtown Manhattan restaurant to sample 30-year old wines from the Right Bank that all showed generally well, and included drinking some good Champagne and Chablis along the way.

1995 Heidsieck ‘Blanc des Millenaires’ Champagne Blanc de Blancs
Lemon, some hard candy notes, love the smooth and slightly lean style. Very tasty finish. A-

2008 Dom Perignon Champagne Brut
Heady mousse, highly intense with defined cuts. Nice contrast to the Heidsieck. B++

2014 Domaine Raveneau ‘Chapelot’ Chablis 1er
Intensely youthful, but refreshingly drinkable. Acidity, defined layers of fruit, mineral, rocks.. Can still be better with some age. Good length. B++

1989 Ch. du Domaine de L’Eglise, Pomerol
The black-based label with gold letters is a first I've seen with bottles from this house. The bouquet of leather and sweet fruit; more sweetness and ripeness in the mouth. Nicely made. B+

1989 Ch. Magdelaine, St. Emillon
Earth, chunky, meaty, some savory notes, with fresh ripe black fruit and even some mint. Long. A-

1989 Ch. Anglelus, St. Emillon
Wet leaves and herb in the alluring smell. Ripe, a full-bodied brute of a wine. B+

1989 Ch. L’Evangile, Pomerol
More chunky, fleshy mouth feel. Good balance of fruit, savory notes and hint of spiciness. Impressively consistent with previously-tasted bottles. A-

1989 Ch. Certan de May, Pomerol
At peak with layers of red and black fruit, but with a little hollowness in the middle. B

1989 Ch. La Conseillante, Pomerol
An enigmatic wine for me based on OK to great bottles that I had tasted before. This is in the great bottle category and which can compete with other great ones from both banks in this vintage. From the perk-up-your-attention initial attack to the graceful power displayed all throughout, with fine fruit component and an impeccable balance. Memorable. A

1989 Vieux Chateau Certan, Pomerol
A solid VCC with tobacco notes, meaty broth, red fruit acidity and long finish. Another vintage success. A-

Dale Williams
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Re: TN: Bordeaux 1989 Right Bank wines in NYC

#2 Post by Dale Williams » April 12th, 2019, 9:25 am

I like when there's some disagreement

A nice group got together at Quality Italian for a 1989 Right Bank Bordeaux tasting last night. The main room at QI is quite loud, but service was good and so was the food.

As we gathered and chatted, a couple of bubblies and a couple of still whites

1995 Charles Heidsieck “Blanc de Millenaires” Brut

Rich and sweet, pears, vanilla, and chalk. Full bodied, refined, long. A-

2008 Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon Champagne
Obviously young, but tasty nonetheless. Good acids, great length, creamy without being fat. A-

2014 Raveneau “Chapelot” Chablis 1er
I’ve never had this bottling before. Again, young but lovely. Chalky, citrus and apple, quite floral. I love it. A-

2014 Domaine du Clos des Rocs Pouilly-Loché Les Barres
Well, we were on a streak but something had to give. This has Red Delicious and lemon fruit but with a touch of Epoisses stored in a tanning booth. Strange wine, though apparently respected producer. C

Table shared calamari, baked clams, Italian style guacamole (pistachios), agnolotti, etc before we moved to the Bordeaux. With the reds I had lamb chops with farro, yogurt, and a mint pesto, table had spinach, fries, and polenta creme brulee (!!!)

I believe all double-decanted in advance.

1989 Ch. du Domaine de l’Eglise

Fragrant when decanted, had somewhat shutdown by serving time, but bounced back in glass. Red fruited, light tannins, smooth, not very complex, but only one I thought “ready” B

1989 Ch. Magdelaine
A bit subdued at first, opened up, black cherry, herbs, tobacco leaf. . Really quite good but not best showing I’ve seen. A-/B+

1989 Ch. Angelus
Iis this first year without the L' ?)Lush plum fruit, cocoa, Nice nose and flavors, it’s just on the finish that the tannins are a bit tacky. Some liked a lot more than I did, some less. B/B+

1989 Ch. Certan de May

This was somewhat brutish at first, but calms down. Black cherry, mushrooms, cigarsmoke, just a hint of barnyard. Lovely but needs time. B+

1989 Ch. L’Evangile
Young, lush red fruits with a little meaty note (smoked duck breast!), touch of coffee, not as big as some of the other wines but long and balanced. A-

1989 Vieux Chateau Certan
Black cherry, plum, mocha, very long, very young, very complex. A-

1989 Ch. La Conseillante

This is pushing the ripeness window for me, but there’s enough tannin and acid to keep it balanced. Ripe black plum and cassis, mocha, some sandalwood and spice. Another delicious wine that needs time. A-

I admit I came into this with bias, always loved these wines, expectations were met. But everything (absent maybe the Domaine de L’Eglise) would show better with some time I think.
Really fun group, good food (thanks Jon for arranging), interesting wines. Do again in 2029.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C drinkable. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice.Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.

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Ian A
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Re: TN: Bordeaux 1989 Right Bank wines in NYC

#3 Post by Ian A » April 12th, 2019, 2:32 pm

Fantastic notes guys and well done; shame both of you could not join us for the BWE 1989 extravaganza in Denver two weeks ago, but your super notes provide a nice foil for our experience. La Conseillante was a notable omission from our tasting, glad it showed its class.

My sense is that the 1989 vintage is equally strong on both banks.
Ian Amstad

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Mark Golodetz
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Re: TN: Bordeaux 1989 Right Bank wines in NYC

#4 Post by Mark Golodetz » April 12th, 2019, 2:42 pm

Fun tasting; not surprised by how well VCC showed, I have just finished the last of six bottles, and if anything, it still had plenty more in reserve.

Conseillante is a favorite, but I think I have been lucky with the bottles. I don't think Angels should not be allowed out to play with the others. It’s heft and extraction makes it difficult to enjoy against prettier more perfumed wins although on its own, it is ok.

Jayson Cohen
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Re: TN: Bordeaux 1989 Right Bank wines in NYC

#5 Post by Jayson Cohen » April 13th, 2019, 6:17 pm

It’s nice going to dinner with Ramon and Dale because they do the excellent, hard work of complete notes and write-up, not to mention they are good company. So I can just kibbutz. My thoughts are pretty aligned with Dale.

All of the better wines needed air, particularly Certan de May and Magdelaine. Overall I think VCC was the “best” wine but followed closely for me by Certan de May, Magdelaine, and L’Evangile, all on the same level. I was in the minority on La Conseilante. I found it good but a bit one-dimensional, particularly next to the four above.

A few more comments below without repeating what Ramon and Dale said.

1995 Charles Heidsieck “Blanc de Millenaires” Brut

This has been lovely for about 15 years, now with a tinge of caramel bottle age on the finish. Delicious, and now heading into what should be a nice old age.

2008 Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon Champagne

Second time in a few weeks, and still loving this young Dom. This needed more attention than we could give. And more air.

2014 Raveneau “Chapelot” Chablis 1er

A pup. Tremendous grip in the midpalate.

2014 Domaine du Clos des Rocs Pouilly-Loché Les Barres

I saw this recommended on the interwebs and thought I’d give it a try. Ummmm - don’t believe everything you read. Yuk. Ponderous. Worse with air.

1989 Ch. du Domaine de l’Eglise

Interesting fragrant nose, completely unconnected to a muddled / disjointed mouth with a short finish. Not for me.

1989 Ch. Angelus

The fruit was there but wood ruins it for me and dominates the finish. Clumsy.

1989 Ch. Magdelaine

Poured my glass, sipped, and put it aside for 30-45 minutes. Only after air does that high-toned note I associate with limestone start to emerge. The darkest, most Graves-like Magdelaine I recall. Has those waves of flavor but this one needs time. Still young, and to mirror Dale perhaps not a perfect bottle.

Lots of sediment here so double-decanting at home was essential.

1989 Ch. Certan de May

Perhaps the most backward on first pour. I also gave this one plenty of time in the glass next to the Magdelaine. It changed dramatically. More transparent. More fruit. More energy in the mouth. By the end of the night, I was loving it.

1989 Ch. L’Evangile

This was a great bottle. Dancing. So elegant. Ethereal. The most ready to me. I would not hesitate to pull a bottle now.

1989 Vieux Chateau Certan

I suspect not a perfect bottle but oy, that’s good.

1989 Ch. La Conseillante

Did not draw me in. Only a few from this estate ever have. But that’s just my palate. It was certainly a good bottle.

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Pat Martin
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Re: TN: Bordeaux 1989 Right Bank wines in NYC

#6 Post by Pat Martin » April 13th, 2019, 7:31 pm

After the BWE convention in Denver, any doubts I may have had about 1989 Bordeaux are gone. It is a great, great vintage, with so many terrific wines.
P@ tr!ck M 8rt!n

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Arv R
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Re: TN: Bordeaux 1989 Right Bank wines in NYC

#7 Post by Arv R » April 13th, 2019, 8:50 pm

Very cool. I'm not sure that Dom. d'Eglise really gets brought to the US much nowadays. I've had a few older bottlings over the years, but I think the last time I saw a bottle on the shelf (and bought it) was 1998.

As Pat mentions we had a bunch of these very recently. Personally the Angelus was a favorite, from a magnum that Dr. G sent, that (I think?) he'd had from release. abbreviated notes are on ... f=4&t=8351

Just randomly: one 89 right bank that I thought was much better than most other vintages of their output was Trotte Vielle. Somehow they really did a good job with that year. I think its a Casteja wine like Dom Eglise too.

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Chuck Miller
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Re: TN: Bordeaux 1989 Right Bank wines in NYC

#8 Post by Chuck Miller » April 13th, 2019, 9:05 pm

Thanks for the notes. My only request, when tasting 30 year old bottles, would be to hopefully provide a drinking window. Which of these are fully mature, which could go another 5-10 years?
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Re: TN: Bordeaux 1989 Right Bank wines in NYC

#9 Post by crickey » April 14th, 2019, 11:04 am

I had the 1989 La Conseillante this week. I, too, enjoyed it quite a bit, although based on the notes above mine seemed more fully mature than your bottle: not as much fruit, more tobacco and sous bois. Although I'm not terribly experienced, it seemed mature (but not old).

Unlike Mark, I thought the 1989 Angelus I had was marvelous, but it was a noticeably bigger-scale wine.
Chri$ Ri¢k€y

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Mike Grammer
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Re: TN: Bordeaux 1989 Right Bank wines in NYC

#10 Post by Mike Grammer » April 15th, 2019, 9:23 am

Thanks guys for all the notes on this dinner---fascinating to see the compare-and-contrast between the participants. Looks like you had a fine cross-section there.

Kwa Heri


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