THE GREATEST 1990, PERIOD!
Have drunk it seven times, an incredible value, with substantial future longevity.
Also, a real value, don’t miss it!
St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Ownership-16.8 acres, 2,500 cases produced
Average age of vines, forty five years
70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc & 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Beausejour is situated just outside the old ramparts of St. Emilion. The vineyard is located on the western edge of the limestone plateau of St. Emilion. This is a microscopic estate of 16.8 acres. Much of their wine is sold direct to private customers. With the small production this means that little is seen of this wine in the world market, making it today the least known of the premiers grands crus.
Beausejour is managed by Jean-Michel Dubos. The vineyard, adjacent to the tiny church of St. Martin, has been owned by the same family since the original vineyard was divided in 1869. It is planted in a mixture of calcareous clay and limestone soil. Dubos’ decision to harvest later and make a stricter selection have undoubtedly contributed to the wine’s greater richness and stature over recent years.
1990-The red wines were all decanted about three to four hours in advance. All showed well, although the wine that put the 1990s in perspective was the perfect 1982 Lafleur. It has another gear, a level of concentration and complexity that transcends almost any wine I could possibly think of, with perhaps the one exception being the 1990 Beauséjour-Duffau. That great one hit wonder was still the youngest wine in the tasting, but showed incredible raspberry and blueberry notes along with crushed rock and spring flowers. To reiterate, the 1990 Beauséjour-Duffau continues to live up to its monumental status and is certainly one of the wines I treasure the most in my cellar, even though I will probably end up consuming most of it before it ever hits full maturity. This wine seems to need at least another five to ten years, although why wait (particularly when you’re in your sixties, because who knows what fate holds for you)? Drink: 2020 to 2040. Last tasted, 10/11. Rating, 100.
1990 Cheval Blanc St.-Emilion 96
1990 Beauséjour-Duffau St.-Emilion 100
1990 Angélus St.-Emilion 95+
1990 Lafleur Pomerol 94+
1982 Lafleur Pomerol 98
The 1990 Beauséjour-Duffau was denser as well as more concentrated and tannic, revealing a liqueur of minerality along with blue and black fruits and massive concentration. It appears to be 5 to 8 years away from prime time drinking.
The youngest tasting wine of this flight was the 1990 Beauséjour-Duffau. This infamous one hit wonder is a monumental titan that has not been equaled since, although the 2009 may come close. The extraordinary 1990 reveals lots of crushed rock notes (no doubt from the pure limestone soils) as well as unbelievably dark black raspberry and blackberry fruit interwoven with a hint of violets, but no noticeable oak. This full bodied St.-Emilion tastes like an eight to ten year old rather than a twenty year old wine. A brilliant effort, it is one of the greatest young Bordeaux I have ever tasted, with the emphasis on the word “young.” Drink: 2020 to 2040. Last tasted, 5/10. Rating 100.
One of the most singular Bordeaux I have ever tasted, it verges on being port like, but it pulls back because of the extraordinary minerality and laser like focus. The wine is massively concentrated, still black purple hued to the rim, and offers a nose of incense, blackberries, blueberry liqueur, acacia flowers and forest floor. It reveals low acidity and high tannins, which are largely concealed by the sheer concentration and lavish glycerin the wine possesses. Aging at a glacial pace, it is approachable, but it will not hit its peak until 2020; it should last for twenty years thereafter. Release price: ($1200.00/case) Drink: 2020 to 2040. Last tasted, 6/09. Rating 100.
I have had the 1990 Beausejour two dozen times since bottling. I believe this wine may, in 15 to 20 years, be considered to be one of the greatest wines made this century. It is in a league with such legends as the 1961 Latour a Pomerol. Beausejour’s 1990 has always been the most concentrated wine of the 1990 Vintage. The color remains an opaque murky purple. The nose offers up fabulously intense aromas of black fruits (plums, cherries and currants), along with smoke, a roasted herb, nut component and a compelling minerality. The wine is fabulously concentrated, with outstanding purity, and a nearly unprecedented combination of richness, complexity, and overall balance and harmony. What makes this effort so intriguing is that as good as Beausejour-Duffau can be, I know of no vintage of this estate’s wine that has come remotely close to this level of quality. In several blind tastings, I have mistaken this wine for either the 1989 or 1990 Petrus! However, the 1990 Beausejour is even more concentrated than those two prodigious efforts. It should be at its best between 2000 to 2030+. Last tasted, 1/03. Rating 100.