At Vaucluse in Manhattan, excellent food, and great wine service
All served from half bottle blind.
Sadly the Haut Brion was not great bottle and beginning to decline. Certainly not terrible, but way below what this wine is capable of. 86?
La Mission was extraordinary; easily recognizable, and showing all the character one would expect from a great La Mission; there is leather a plenty, tobacco, brick dust, and some bright fruit. Delicious, and in a perfect place at the moment. 98
A great sleeper, La Louviere was also showing beautifully, and while not as aromatically complex as La Mission it showed a driven nervous energy, lovely fruit and an extremely long finish. 94
Later from a full bottle, Mastroberadino Taurasi 1977 worked beautifully with the Graves. It is still in great shape, showing dark cherry fruit, earth tones and mushroom. It’s a little chunky, offset by good acidity, but on the palate that rusticity came through, but I think it was more noticeable against the finesse of the fairly mature Graves. 92
Awesome Mark, thanks for sharing.
I love that 1990 La Louv. It’s no exaggeration to say that wine alone started me on the Bordeaux arc. I’ve had a few recently that were wonderful, but not 94 kind of wonderful. Hope to find another bottle that hits those heights.
Thanks for the notes, Mark! Killer wines.
I was given a bottle of Haut Brion 1990 by my brother when he moved to Arizona in 2001-ish. He said, “Now, hold onto it for a speci-” POP
I immediately opened the bottle in his living room, and we shared the bottle. I still recall the mouth feel/texture and finish more than any singular flavor (OK, graphite, tobacco, and darker fruit).
It’s a shame that your bottle didn’t “give up the goods”, but isn’t it more likely that the bottle was asleep?
I took part in a large scale 1989 versus 1990 last Fall. One of the flights was 1989/1990 LMHB and HB served blind. The winner and I think it was unanimous was the 1989 LMHB followed by the 1990. Both the Haut Brions were much younger and quite closed, but we all marked it high on potential while the La Missions were both brilliant on the day. That being said, in a strong field this was easily the best flight, and the “least” wine was as good as anything else that night.
This one showed some fully evolved flavors, and a few beyond that. Probably an off bottle, as it came from the same cellar as the other two halves. It was drinkable, but not what it should have been.
Mark, sorry to hear that.