Landreth… Have you even posted 30 notes in your entire life? I am flattered you have such a man crush on me to post about me so often. While flattered, please forgive me as you are not my type. Besides, from your avatar, sheep seem to be more your type. Perhaps you find the conversation more to your level.
FWIW, your statement that someone sent these to you is ridiculous as were your comments on me in the Talbot thread when John Holdridge had a question, which I answered and verified with the Chateau. You must of had a slow day to spend so much preparing your post. Seriously, you need a life. Let me know when you find one. But lets move on from there.
It would be fun to compare your notes and comments on all these wines, but you would have to taste them and actually write about your experiences, so that might be a problem for you.
FWIW, if I am going to post notes, especially for such a long report, I write them down as I am tasting. In Bordeaux, I always carry my note book. At home, I’ll write them up on the computer while tasting. I seldom do this at local dinners any more. I’d rather have fun, which I why I do not post as many notes as I used to. All these notes were written in the same small, mole skin books at the time of tasting. I do not care one way or the other if you agree with what I wrote or not.Nor if you believe me. But, for fun, let’s compare Parkers comments with mine and see if the descriptors are the same.
89 Chateau D’Armailhac displays a spicy, cedar nose. Medium bodied with a short blackberry finish that already has some dry sensations. Since this wine is past full maturity, it should be drunk up. 86 Pts
The chateau feels the 1989 vintage of Mouton-Baronne-Philippe is its best wine in over three decades. It exhibits a very forward, creamy richness, gobs of velvety fruit, a heady alcohol content, and a fat, lush finish. Anticipated maturity: Now-2000.
No real descriptors in his note, so those comments must be mine and the score is different.
89 Chateau Branaire Ducru is light in color. Tobacco, cassis, spice, and coffee aromatics are a pleasure to sniff. Light and elegant in style. The silky mouth feel ends with a blackberry filled finish. This wine is fully mature and gives no reason for owners to wait any longer. Branaire Ducru is another property that is producing markedly better wines today than previously. 90 Pts
I have always felt that the 1989 Branaire was better than the 1990, and that was once again demonstrated in this blind tasting. The 1989 was exhibiting far more power and intensity than I expected. It has always been an impressively crafted, elegant, seamless wine with cassis fruit nicely dosed by high quality oak. The wine is currently revealing more expansiveness, fuller body, and plenty of lusty richness, a sure-fire formula for producing a crowd pleaser. There are no hard edges to this opulently-textured, rich, ripe, complex, savory style of wine. Drink it over the next 12-15 years.
Hmmm, Bob says the wine is more powerful and intense than he expected, adding it had a lusty richness and I called it light and elegant. I say drink now, Bob says give it 12-15 more years. If you think those descriptors are the same, your English language skills need help. Scores are different too.
89 Chateau Branaire Ducru Cuvee Evelyne, named after the owner’s wife, is 100% Merlot, an experimental wine. One barrel, 25 cases produced. This was the second vintage for the owner, Patrick Maroteaux, who began picking the Merlot on August 31. The wine was made using 100% new oak, while the regular wine saw 60% new oak. The wine showed coffee, black fruit, mocha, and plum aromatics. The wine finished with a velvety, blackberry and chocolate sensation. Not as complete or complex as the fully blended wine, it was a pleasure to taste. 88 Pts
No parker score
Not only was there no Parker score, there was no Parker note. But you failed to leave out that detail.
89 Chateau Brane-Cantenac is light in color. Aromatics of truffle, earth, cassis, spice, and cedar are a pleasure to sniff. Medium bodied and elegantly textured, this fully mature wine ends in a short, cherry/cassis note. 87 Pts
I found the 1989 Brane-Cantenac to be similar to their 1982, only higher in alcohol and lower in acidity, with a loosely structured yet powerful, concentrated, fruity taste. Lots of new oak has given the wine much needed form and focus. Although lacking in finesse, this wine offers a big, succulent mouthful of juicy fruit along with a blast of alcohol in the finish. Anticipated maturity: Now-2004.
Hmmm, Bob says it’s okay and ends with a blast of alcohol, I offer truffle, cassis, spice and cedar comments, add comments about it’s body and describe the finish, none of which Bob writes about. I also score it a Pt lower. Do those comments seem the same to you?
89 Chateau Cantemerle with aromas of blackberry, currant, and oak, and with floral scents. Medium bodied. Soft and light on the palate. It’s at the end of its life. Nice, but not very interesting. A luncheon claret. The 83 is a better wine. 89 Pts
Bob writes… I believe the 1989 Cantemerle is this estate’s finest wine since their monumental 1953. This ruby/purple wine has an explosive bouquet of crushed blackberry fruit and violets, an opulent, lush texture bolstered by good alcohol levels and soft tannins. Anticipated maturity: 1994-2010. Parker finds it explosive on the palate finding blackberry and violets, while I offer blackberry and no violets. True we both find blackberry notes. Have you ever stopped to consider that the wine smells of blackberry? Also, Bob thinks it’s best since 53 and I think the 83 is better. Those comments do not seem the same to me.
89 Chateau Chasse Spleen was one the best surprises of my 89 tastings. At age 20, this wine nonetheless tasted several years younger tan that. Filled with layers of deep, ripe black fruit, herbs, earth, and tobacco scents, this full bodied wine has come together nicely. Still young, this wine will offer pleasure for at least another 20 more years. The wine will fool a lot of people in a blind tasting. 92 Pts
Make no mistake about it, the 1989 Chasse-Spleen is the finest wine this property has produced since their great 1949. This is a spectacularly rich, powerful, authoritative example of the vintage that can compete with and even surpass many of the most famous names. Layer upon layer of concentrated, sweet, expansive, blackcurrant fruit is wrapped in a frame of toasty new oak and decent acidity. An awesome wine! Anticipated maturity: 1996-2015.
Bob says the wine is rich, powerful and authoritative, none of those words appear in my write up. I say the wine is filled with deep black fruit and herbs, and those words do not appear in his write up. I guess those are the same reviews to you as well. I liked it a bit more than he did as well.
89 Chateau Clerc Milon offers black fruit, licorice, camphor and coffee notes on the nose. Full bodied with a nice finish of licorice tinged cassis. This wine is fully mature and should be enjoyed sooner than later. The fruit has already started fading. 89 Pts
The 1989 Clerc-Milon is a wonderfully hedonistic wine. Deep ruby, with an intense, roasted, smoky bouquet of plums and currants, this full-bodied wine is packed with fruit, is chewy and opulent as well as soft and alcoholic. This sensually styled wine should be at its best between 1993 and 2010.
You have me on this one. Bob calls it hedonistic, which I never mention. He finds smoky plums and currants which I never mention either. I say the wine ends with licorice tinged cassis, which Bob left out. Do you honestly think those are the same reviews?
89 Chateau Clos du Marquis sports an earthy, black fruit, and chocolate nose. The wine ends with a short, simple, black fruit finish. 85 Pts
The 1989’s complex bouquet of toasty new oak and cassis is followed by a surprisingly rich, deep, well-built wine that resembles the great Leoville Las-Cases. This beauty will support considerable cellaring. If you can neither afford Leoville Las-Cases nor wait for it to lose all its tannins, consider this offering from Clos du Marquis. Anticipated maturity: Now-2005.
Bob calls this surprisingly deep, rich and well-built. I find it short and simple. Once again, I can see how those descriptors have you confused.
89 Chateau Cos D’Estournel is ruby colored with bricking around the edges. The wine is very spicy, with scents of cinnamon, truffles, earth, cassis, and minerals. The wine is traditionally styled, giving it an austere quality. The fruit is not as rich as it was and is slowly starting to fade. Drink soon. 89 Pts
The 1989 Cos d’Estournel is very good, but uninspiring. The 1989, although good, does not live up to expectations given the terroir and the vintage. Its deep ruby color is followed by a spicy vanillin, curranty nose, medium body, excellent depth, but a monolithic personality. It possesses neither the concentration nor dimension of the exceptional 1990. The 1989 possesses some hard tannin in the finish, but it is well-integrated with the wine’s ripe fruit. Look for this wine to drink well for the next 15+ years.
I call the wine traditionally styled and austere, Bob seems to have missed those descriptors. But why let different takes on a wine give you pause for thought?
89 Chateau Giscours is past its prime. Tobacco, barnyard aromas, and stewed fruit make up the perfume. Austere on the palate. Drink up. 83 Pts
The 1989 Giscours is the first reassuringly fine wine made at this property since the 1983. It exhibits a black/ruby color, and a big, forceful bouquet of overripe plums and licorice. In the mouth, the wine has the tell-tale succulent character of the vintage, a chewy texture, excellent concentration, high alcohol, low acidity, and a long, opulent finish. It should prove seductive and heady to nearly everyone. Anticipated maturity: Now-2008. After some so-so efforts, it is nice to see this property rebound with two fine efforts in 1989 and 1990.
Here’s a good one. Bob calls the wine fine, with a forceful bouquet and an opulent finish, I find it austere. Do you get confused between opulence and austere? If not, perhaps my notes of stewed fruit and barnyard scents remind you the same smells Parker found, like over ripe plums and licorice?
89 Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste is light around the edges. Cedar, earth and cassis make up the perfume. This wine is slightly austere in personality and will offer more appeal to tasters seeking old-school Bordeaux. This finishes with notes of red and black fruits. 90 Pts
When I first tasted the 1989 Grand-Puy-Lacoste in this blind tasting I thought it possessed a Graves-like tobacco/mineral character. In contrast to the blockbuster, full-blown, massive wines produced by this estate in 1990 and 1982, the medium-weight 1989 is elegant, spicy, evolved, and already revealing plenty of cedar and cassis fruit. A delicious, generously-endowed, low acid wine, it will offer mature drinking now and over the next 12-15 years.
Bob finds Graves like perfume, while I note cedar, earth and cassis. He calls it elegant and I find it austere. Do you often mistake elegant and austere?
89 Chateau Haut Bailly is filled with sweet, roasted fruit, tobacco, tar, wild strawberry, and fennel. Medium bodied, this elegantly styled wine feels very plush and silky in the mouth. Nice length and purity. Since it’s fully mature, consumers should plan on drinking their bottles over the next 5-10 years. 92 Pts
Haut-Bailly is often such a restrained, gentle, subtle wine that it can get lost in a blind tasting, particularly when served side by side with more powerful Bordeaux. That was not the case in my recent tasting, as both the 1989 and 1990 vintages performed well. The 1989 is a ripe, sweet, supple wine with a deep ruby color, and an attractive nose of herbs, sweet berry fruit, and smoky tobacco. This soft, low acid, ready to drink wine should continue to evolve gracefully, offering elegant, smooth-as-silk drinking for another 12+ years.
Bob and I both find tobacco. This might come as a surprise to you, but tobacco is a common trait with mature Bordeaux. But you’d have to drink enough of it to know that. Moving on, I find it plush and silky, Parker calls it supple and while he notes sweet berry and herb aromas, I see tar, roasted fruit, wild strawberry and fennel. I can see how you got those confused too. I also liked it more than he did.
89 Chateau Haut Brion is a definite candidate for wine of the vintage as well as a strong contender for wine of the decade. And then some! I tasted 5 different bottles recently. My note is for the best bottle. Other bottles were more mature and not as expressive the one I note here. Sadly, one bottle was corked. The best bottles of this legendary wine can bring tears to the eyes of even the most jaded tasters. Deeply colored with a cornucopia of aromatics including smoke, tar, herbs, cassis, blackberry, truffle, Cuban cigar, and fennel. The layers of deep ripe fruit that fill your mouth seem endless. Very concentrated, rich, deep, and opulent, this tremendous wine ends with a seamless, black fruit finish that lasts over a minute. Still young, this wine will evolve for decades. This is Haut Brion at its best. At full maturity it may end up better than previous legends like 1961 or 1945. 100 Pts
Haut-Brion has been the most consistent first-growth over the last decade, producing top-notch wines, even in such tough years as 1987, 1993, and 1994. The 1989 is one of a handful of truly profound wines from a vintage that tends to be overrated, save for the Pomerols, a few St.-Emilions, and some overachievers in the Medoc. However, 1989 was an extraordinary success for Jean Delmas, the administrator of Haut-Brion and La Mission-Haut-Brion. The prodigious 1989 Haut-Brion is one of the greatest first-growths I have ever tasted. It has always reminded me of what the 1959 must have tasted like in its youth, but it is even richer and more compelling aromatically. The wine exhibits an opaque ruby/purple color, as well as a sweet nose of jammy fruit, tobacco, spicy oak, minerals, and smoke. Fabulously concentrated, with huge levels of fruit, extract, and glycerin, this wine is nearly viscous because of its thickness and richness. Low acidity gives the wine even more appeal and adds to its precociousness. The wine has not budged in development since it was first bottled, although it has always provided thrilling drinking because of its voluptuous texture. It needs another 5-6 years of bottle age before it will begin to develop Haut-Brion’s fabulous fragrance. Expect it to hit its plateau of maturity around 2003-2005 and drink well for 15-25 years.
Here’s a matching score. Of course, why let the fact most experienced tasters find this wine to be one of the best Bordeaux they have ever tasted. But let’s get to comparing the comments, as they are both long. Bob finds scents of jammy fruit, tobacco, spicy smoke and minerals. I write about smoke, tar, herbs, cassis, blackberry, truffle, Cuban cigar, and fennel. True, we both find tobacco and smoke, two common aromas in Graves, but you would need to taste these wines to know that. The rest seem different to me. We both find concentration, but so does every taster and while he calls it voluptuous and I use the term opulent, almost every taster is going to find that quality in the wine. Have you even tasted the wine? FWIW, as you seem to read everything I write, I favor the word opulent. I do not recall using the term voluptuous. Trust me, both words work.
89 Chateau La Lagune was another surprise. Still going strong, this black cherry, blackberry, tobacco and floral scented wine was a treat to experience. Very elegant in style, medium bodied with ample ripe, black and red fruit in the finish awarded a lot of pleasure at 20 years of age. 90 Pts
I have always enjoyed the 1989 La Lagune. At first I thought it was marginally superior to the 1990, but they are essentially equivalent in quality, although the 1989 possesses less fat, and a more ruggedly tannic structure. The color is a healthy dark ruby, and the wine offers up a smoky, sweet vanillin, jammy berry-scented nose with aromas of weedy tobacco. The wine is medium-bodied, with excellent purity and richness, and gobs of red and black currant fruit nicely dosed with new oak. The wine’s grip is more noticeable than in the 1990, and the finish more attenuated, but still impressively long. Anticipated maturity: Now-2012. Last tasted 9/97
I find black cherry, blackberry and tobacco, parker finds vanilla, jammy berries and weedy tobacco. He says the wine has a rugged tannic structure, while I note it as elegant. We both find it medium bodied, so feel free to hang your hat on that one! He mentions oak several times and I never find it, plus I comment on the finish with its black & red fruits, while Parker does not note it.
89 Chateau Lascombes is light in color. Earth, steel, spice, tobacco, and olives are easy to find in the perfume. The wine finishes with a light, strawberry note. Medium bodied, this wine reached full maturity at least a few years ago. Lascombes is another outstanding property that is currently making much better wine today than it did in `89. 84 Pts
Lascombes’ 1989 has an aroma of roasted peanuts, something I have frequently found in Grenache-based Chateauneuf du Papes. A muscular, tannic wine, it exhibits a powerful, rich, alcoholic finish. I would not be surprised to see this wine turn out much better than my projected rating. Several samples also had a very corked character. Anticipated maturity: 1993-2002. Tasted five times. Inconsistent notes.
Bob finds roasted peanuts, which I never note and instead I comment on earth, steel, spice, tobacco and olives. He says it’s muscular, yet I find it medium bodied and with a light finish. Yes, those really sound the same as well. I can see how you might confuse muscular with medium bodied, with all the notes you post.
89 Chateau Latour had a perfume of blackberry, cassis, mocha, truffle, spice, rhubarb, and earth. Light in weight for a Latour from a top vintage, this wine is fully mature and has already started dropping fruit. To be drunk sooner rather than later. 90 Pts
It possesses many characteristics that make great vintages of Bordeaux so alluring - softness, overripeness, and sweet fruit. The problem is that there are insufficient quantities of these components. An evolved dark ruby color reveals amber at the edge. The nose offers aromas of caramel, coffee, ripe black cherry and currant fruit, cedar, and spice box. Although medium-bodied, with low acidity, the wine lacks richness in the mid-palate, and is surprisingly abrupt in the finish. It is a very fine, delicious Latour, but it is hard to believe it will attain the weight and flavor dimensions its producers suggest. Anticipated maturity: now-2020.
Let’s start at the end and work forward. Bob says give it to 2020, and I think it needs to be drunk now. He finds it to offer caramel, coffee, ripe black cherry, currant, cedar and spice box, while I discover, blackberry, cassis, mocha, truffle, spice and earth. He calls it medium bodied and I think it’s light bodied.
89 Chateau Leoville Barton is ruby colored. Spice, cassis, tobacco and cherries on the nose. The wine finishes with roasted black and red fruit. This is an elegant style of wine for the Chateau. All the tannin is resolved, and the wine is ready for prime time drinking. Owner Lillian Barton thinks the 89 and 90 are the same level of quality, but feels the 90 needs more time before it is mature. 89 Pts
In most tastings of the 1989 and 1990 vintages I have had a strong preference for the 1990, but in this tasting the 1989 provided the most charming drinking with its soft, voluptuous texture, big, spicy, cedary nose, sweet, expansive fruit, medium body, and excellent richness and purity. The wine reveals no amber at the edge, but it tastes surprisingly evolved and already delicious. I would not hesitate to drink it over the next 12-15+ years.
Bob and I seem to agree on this. I call it elegant and he says it’s charming and we agree, it’s ready to drink. Of course there is the possibility that is how the wine is, perhaps you’ve tasted a bottle and might be willing to share your comments?
89 Chateau Leoville Las Cases offers a complex nose of tobacco, truffle, spicy cassis, and cedar. Full bodied and mouth filling, this well balanced wine ends with spice filled blackberry and black cherry fruit and hints of chocolate. 92 Pts
My notes on the 1989 and 1990 wines have been consistent over the last three years. The 1989 continues to lose ground, although it is obviously an outstanding wine, while the 1990 continues to escalate in quality. The 1989 tasted California-like in its ripe, sweet, black-cherry fruit, nicely-integrated, toasty new oak, and clean, pure winemaking style. A tighter, more compact finish is the result of elevated tannin, but this is an outstanding, rich, medium-weight Las Cases that tastes less well-endowed than I originally predicted. It is built more along the lines of the classy, elegant 1985 than the blockbuster 1982 and 1986. The wine is still youthful, with no amber at the edge of its healthy deep ruby/purple color. It will improve for another 8-12 years, and then plateau, offering very fine drinking over the subsequent two decades.
Let’s see, Bob says it’s California like, and I never mention that quality. He finds black cherry and toasty new oak, while I spot tobacco, truffle, spicy cassis and cedar. He says the wine is tight and compact which I never mention and instead, describe the finish, which Bob never mentions.
89 Chateau Leoville Poyferee was a positive surprise because I had little experience with it prior to this tasting. The complex perfume sports ample notes of earth, truffle, mocha, coffee, and anise. The elegantly styled wine offers your palate ample pleasure. This wine is fully mature. 90 Pts
The 1989 Leoville-Poyferre performed well in this tasting. It has always been a very good wine, but somewhat abrasively tannic, with a coarser structure and degree of toughness that has been slow to subside. In this tasting, the wine exhibited a youthful color, as well as attractive, sweet, cherry and black-currant notes in its nose intermingled with a touch of earth and spice. The 1989 does not possess the body, weight, and richness of the 1990, coming across as more of a mid-weight, leaner style of wine. It is more austere, and the tough tannin that has been a worrisome component since its birth is still present. This wine could turn around and come close to being an outstanding example, but I suspect it will be a struggle for the fruit to overcome the tannin. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2018.
Bob finds the wine abrasively tannic and I call it elegant. This is similar to you? He notes sweet cherry, black currant and spice, while I discover earth, truffle, mocha and anise. He mentions the worrisome tannin and I never see it. Are those the same notes to you?
89 Chateau Lynch Bages made its best showing yet. The deep ruby color was assisted by a beautiful nose of cassis, mint, tobacco, and chocolate. Big, fat, concentrated and well balanced. Tannins are firm, but they have integrated well into the wine. Very broad shouldered. Still young, at 20 years of age, it’s much closer to maturity than previous bottles I’ve tasted. The long, lusty, fruit filled finish had a lot of persistence and was a pleasure to taste. Well stored bottles have at least another 20 or more years of evolution in their future. 95 Pts
Consistently backward and dense, with enormous potential, this admirable wine will not be ready for prime time drinking for another 5-7 years. The color is not quite as opaque as the 1990’s, but reveals more purple and no lightening at the edge. Hugely concentrated flavors have just begun to offer up a nose of cedar and creme de cassis. Powerful and muscular, with high tannin and superb concentration, this is Lynch Bages at its biggest and most beastly. However, everything is in balance for a stunning evolution. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2030.
Here’s another good one. Parker calls the wine backward and I see showing great. He mentions cedar and cassis, and while I admit we both find cassis, (Which is a very common note in Cabernet based Bordeaux) I also discover mint, tobacco and chocolate. Bob and I agree, the wine is concentrated. However, so does anyone else who has tasted the wine. Parker goes on to mention the tannin and power, which I never write about.
89 Chateau Margaux showed an advanced ruby color with lightening around the edges. Tobacco, spice, black cherry, blackberry, and truffles with hints of floral notes made up the complex perfume. The wine displays a soft texture, but it lacks the concentration found in the top years. The wine finishes with notes of ripe black fruit and plums. This is a finesse style of Margaux. Paul Pontillier feels the wine is the same level of quality as the 90 Margaux. But I do not agree. 92 Pts
As prodigious as the 1990 is, the 1989 seems to typify so many of the Medoc first-growths in this vintage - excellent, but undistinguished for its reputation. The wine possesses a leathery, oaky nose, medium body, and good ripeness, but next to the 1990, the 1989 is dwarfed by that wine’s richness, intensity, and length. The tannins come across as more elevated, as well as slightly greener and tougher. The 1989 may put on more weight and come together, much like the 1985 did after 4-6 years in the bottle, but for now, this wine seems to follow the pattern of many 1989 Medoc first-growths, revealing an unexciting level of quality. Give it 5-6 more years of cellaring, and drink it over the following 20.
I find the wine advanced, Bob sees it as needing more time. Perhaps you do not understand the difference between needing time and being advanced. Parker notes an oaky, leathery nose, while I write about tobacco, spice, black cherry, truffles and hints of flowers. Bob says the wine shows elevated tannin, along with a green toughness and I see the wine as soft and finesse filled. I suppose you got those descriptors mixed up too. I scored the wine higher than he did as well.
89 Chateau La Mission Haut Brion remains deeply colored at age 20. Cassis, tobacco, chocolate, plums, smoke, and licorice with dark berry aromatics are all over the place. Full bodied with intense levels of concentration, this is one of those rare thrill a sip wines. Dense, opulent, rich, and fat, this wine tastes great, pouring over every inch, every nook and cranny, of your mouth. The seamless finish goes on and on with an endless array of palate pleasing, sensations. Still young, it will get better over the next several decades. What a treat! 99 Pts
I am certainly not going to argue with anyone who believes La Mission-Haut-Brion’s 1989 is every bit as profound as the 1989 Haut-Brion. It is a spectacular wine, and as it ages in the bottle, it is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite La Mission-Haut-Brions, ranking alongside the 1982, 1975, 1961, 1959, and 1955. The 1989 boasts a dense, thick, purple color, followed by a sweet, roasted cassis, chocolatey-scented nose with whiffs of tobacco, tar, and minerals. The wine is extremely full-bodied, unctuously-textured, sweet, jammy, and rich. Although it is still a youthful, unformed wine, it is already delicious to drink. It should develop additional bottle bouquet by the turn of the century, after which it will drink well for 15-20 years
Bob and I both love the wine, so I can see how that might confuse you. Of course, almost everyone who has tasted the wine loves it! I suppose they are simply copying Parker as well. You should get one of your friends to pop a bottle for you sometime. You might like it too. Let’s compare the comments. Bob and I both find deep colors, but Parker notes sweet roasted cassis, chocolatey-scented nose with whiffs of tobacco, tar, and minerals. I find Cassis, tobacco, chocolate, plums, smoke, and licorice with dark berry aromatics, we do seem to notice some of the same aromatics. Please write them down, so when you get someone to pop a bottle for you, you can see if you notice the same things. I call it opulent, (in case you forgot, I like that term) Bob notes it’s unctuously-textured. He finds it jammy, which I never do and focus on it’s dense, rich, fat, mouthfilling qualities, which Bob never mentions. I found it to be seamless in the finish, which Parker forgot to mention as well.
89 Chateau Montrose, tasted a few days ago, was stunning. Deep ruby with hints of brick in the hue. Cassis, cedar, earth, mineral, truffle, and licorice scents are made even more complex by an intriguing note of Asian spice. The wine is dense and concentrated. The mid palate is where it truly shines. The rich, corpulent, multi-layered mouth feel ends with a blast of spicy, black cherry and black berry that lasts at least 40 seconds. After the wine had been decanted about an hour, I scored it 96 Pts. But after a few more hours of air, the wine developed additional nuances, and an elegance married to a power that was stunning. I ended up scoring it two points higher. Even if the 89 Montrose drinks great today, I suspect the wine will easily improve for another 20-30 years. 98 Pts
An outstanding Montrose, the 1989 is one of the vintage’s stars. It possesses an opaque dark ruby/purple color, a sweet nose of minerals, black fruits, cedar, and wood, dense, medium to full-bodied, highly extracted flavors, low acidity, and moderate tannin in the long finish. While it appears to be closing down far more quickly than the legendary 1990, it has layers of sweet fruit as well as an elevated level of glycerin. Give it 5-7 years of cellaring, and drink it over the subsequent 2-3 decades. Last tasted 3/97
Bob finds a mineral, black fruit, cedar nose, while I note cassis, cedar, earth, mineral, truffle and Asian spice. Parker calls it medium to full bodied, while I find it dense and concentrated. Parker mentions low acidity, which I do not see, but I note the rich, corpulent, multi-layered mouthfeel and a finish ending with a blast of spicy black cherry, black berry that lasts for at least :40. Bob did not mention that either. I also scored it higher than he did.
89 Chateau Mouton Rothschild shows a ruby nose with light edges. Coffee, licorice, cedar, cassis, tar, and molasses fill your nose with pleasure. This full bodied wine has nice weight and density as well as good texture. But the black fruit filled finish falls short, especially for a First Growth in a strong vintage. This wine will continue drinking well for at least another decade. 91 Pts
Considering the vintages and the estate, Mouton’s performances in 1989 and 1990 are puzzling. I have tasted these wines multiple times since my last reviews appeared in print. The 1989 Mouton-Rothschild is the superior wine, but in no sense is this a compelling wine if compared to the Moutons produced in 1995, 1986, and 1982. The 1989 displays a dark ruby color that is already beginning to reveal significant lightening at the edge. The bouquet is surprisingly evolved, offering up scents of cedar, sweet black fruits, lead pencil, and toasty oak. This elegant, medium-bodied restrained wine is beautifully made, stylish, and not dissimilar to the 1985. It is an excellent to outstanding Mouton that should be close to full maturity in 4-5 years; it will drink well for 15-20.
Bob smells cedar, sweet black fruit, lead pencil and toasty oak, while I get coffee, licorice, cedar, cassis, tar and molasses. We both find it medium bodied, while I mention the semi-short finsh.
89 Chateau Palmer explodes from the glass with aromatics of violets, berries, cassis, tobacco, spice, and truffle. This full bodied wine is pure silk and velvet on your palate. With great concentration of fruit and flavors and an exotic mouth feel, this wine is still youthful. It will continue improving for at least another 2 decades. The wine ends with a blast of ripe boysenberry, mocha, and plum sensations in a sensuous style. 96 Pts
Palmer’s 1989 is one of the vintage’s great successes. The wine exhibits a dark ruby/purple color, a sweet, jammy nose of black fruits, intermingled with floral scents, licorice, and a touch of truffles. Full-bodied and supple, with low acidity, copious quantities of ripe fruit and glycerin, and a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, harmonious, seamless texture, this is a gorgeous Palmer. It may turn out similar to this estate’s brilliant 1962 and 1953. Although approachable, it will improve for another decade, and last for 20-25 years.
Well, Bob and I certainly like this wine. Once again, so do most people who have tasted it. Perhaps you’d like to post your notes, so we can compare all three. Or have you even tasted it? Parker notes a sweet, jammy nose of black fruits, intermingled with floral scents, licorice, and a touch of truffles. I find violets, berries, cassis, tobacco, spice and truffle, Those seem different to me. He calls it full bodied, I say it’s concentrated, and he notes low acidity, copious quantities of ripe fruit and glycerin, and a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, harmonious, seamless texture. Instead I find an exotic mouth feel, ending with a blast of ripe boysenberry, mocha, and plum sensations in a sensuous style. Those notes again seem different to me, You decide.
89 Chateau Pichon Baron — now we’re talking! And I love what it has to say. The deep ruby color looks great in the glass. Cedar, cassis, tobacco, truffles, and spice get your senses going. Deeply concentrated and full bodied with layer upon layer of rich, ripe cabernet and blackberry that glides over your palate. This wine perfectly combines power with elegance. Still young at 20, as good as it is, it’s going to get even better over the next several years. 96 Pts
Both the 1989 and 1990 vintages exhibit opaque, dense purple colors that suggest massive wines of considerable extraction and richness. The dense, full-bodied 1989 is brilliantly made with huge, smoky, chocolatey, cassis aromas intermingled with scents of toasty oak. Well-layered, with a sweet inner-core of fruit, this awesomely endowed, backward, tannic, prodigious 1989 needs another 5-6 years of cellaring; it should last for three decades or more. It is unquestionably a great Pichon-Longueville-Baron.
Another wine Bob and I agree on, and so do most tasters I know. Although he finds the wine backward and tannic, which I do not.
89 Chateau Pichon Lalande has it all going on. This elegant, suave elixir is close to fully mature. Black fruit, earth, herbs, spices, tobacco, and chocolate kick the perfume off. The palate is treated to lush, opulent, ripe waves of flavor. Everything is in balance. The clean, rich, fruit filled finish is a treat to experience. I plan on finishing most of my bottles over the next decade. 95 Pts
Speaking of superior vintages, Pichon-Lalande’s 1989, although not as profound as the 1995, 1994, 1986, 1983, or 1982, is a beautifully made wine. It exhibits a deep ruby/purple color, and a sweet, roasted nose of rich cassis fruit, herbs, and vanilla. Lush and round, this medium to full-bodied, nicely-textured, layered Pichon-Lalande possesses low acidity, outstanding ripeness, and beautiful purity and balance. It is already drinking surprisingly well, so owners should not hesitate to pull a cork. It should continue to offer rich, seductive drinking for another 15+ years
I like this wine a lot more than Bob does, let’s see why. Bob notes a sweet, roasted nose of rich cassis fruit, herbs, and vanilla, while I locate Black fruit, earth, herbs, spices, tobacco, and chocolate. We both see the wine as lush, if anyone doesn’t, they need to read up on the term lush because it’s there in spades.
89 Chateau Pontet Canet starts off with tobacco, stewed fruit, and tea notes. The fruit is not fully ripe and the finish has drying sensations. The wines being produced today at the chateau do not resemble this wine, for they are sublime. 83 Pts
The 1989 exhibits an impressive deep ruby/purple color, a highly scented nose of exceptionally ripe cassis fruit and licorice, full body, an excellent mid-palate, and a rich, intense, relatively tannic finish. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2015.
Clearly, Bob likes it more than I did. Or perhaps it’s because his note is old and mine is from June 2009?
89 Chateau Poujeaux offers tobacco, spice, and cigar ash notes in the perfume. Light bodied and with a short, cherry filled finish, this wine needs to be opened in the near future. With the Culvieres as the new owners (the same family who owns Clos Fourtet in St. Emilion), I expect Poujeaux will begin producing much better wines than this one. 82 Pts
The 1989 is an excellent wine, exhibiting a moderately intense bouquet of toasty new oak, spicy, blackcurrant fruit, medium to full body, and attractive ripeness and heady alcohol in the finish. Anticipated maturity: Now-2003.
Hmmm, Parker calls it elegant with a moderately intense bouquet, while I find it light bodied with a short cherry finish. Once again, I see how you are confused.
89 Chateau Rauzan-Segla displays tobacco, herbs, earth, and cassis in the nose. The wine, which still has some tannin to resolve, has good body and lot fruit, but it needs time to come around and soften up. This is a more traditional style of Margaux. 90 Pts
The 1989 Rausan-Segla, purchased from a retailer since I did not own any, tasted slightly disjointed. My instincts suggested it was a bit cooked, probably from being exposed to high heat somewhere along its journey from Bordeaux to the United States. Based on previous tastings, the color seemed to be taking on more amber than I would have suspected. The wine revealed a sweet, black-raspberry, herbal, earthy nose, tough tannin, a silky texture, medium body, ripe fruit, and a short finish. I have consistently rated this wine in the 89-92 point range, hence the question mark.
Parkers note is from a potentially cooked bottle, so it’s difficult to compare, but as you seem to think I make things up, what I wrote is not the same as what he put down, and that is what counts.
89 Chateau Talbot remains deeply colored. Typical Cordier funk nose with a touch of barnyard, cassis, and black fruit, along with a hint of rhubarb. Decent texture, but not much elegance or excitement. 85 Pts
The 1989 is more elegant, with none of the herb, meaty, leathery aromas of the 1988. Opaque black/ruby, with a pronounced bouquet of black fruits and spices, this extracted, medium to full-bodied wine is voluptuous on the palate, with a fine finish. The 1989 Talbot promises to drink well during its first decade of life, but keep for up to 20 years. Anticipated maturity: 1994-2015.
I find the wine lacking in elegance or excitement and Bob sees is has being voluptuous on the palate. He smells black fruit, herbs and spice and I find barnyard, cassis, black fruit and rhubarb. Once again, it’s easy to see how you confused both reviews.
The good news is, I am going to post notes on a long list of 1989 Right Bank wines next. I would truly appreciate it, if you would please cut and paste Parkers reviews and post them next to mine to save me the time and trouble. Thank you in advance.
Although, I admit, you were right about something, you do not have to be too smart to sneak up on a carrot. But you have to be incredibly stupid to allow one to sneak up on you. Rumor is, you have had a lot of carrots sneaking up on you lately. You might want to do something about that.