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Red Bordeaux Blend Wines

Red Bordeaux Blend Wines

Red Bordeaux Blend Wines

Ah, Bordeaux. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that it is considered by many to be the wine capital of the world. From the 1855 Bordeaux Classification to the seemingly countless wine estates that have or would have earned their position in it, this city and the region surrounding it are a must-visit location for every passionate wine enthusiast. The standards of wine quality were defined here, so it is only logical that some of the best wines ever produced took their roots in this sacred soil.

Red Bordeaux wines are typically made of a delicate, precise grape blend. Some of the most impactful and influential grape varietals include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. Blends composed of these lovely grapes have a powerful, compelling structure and a gripping, deep, thick flavor (usually with notes of plums or blackcurrant) that intrigues the mind just as much as it stimulates your senses. These wines are as nuanced as you could possibly ask for, with new subtle notes and thoughts you can pick up on with each subsequent glass. The deeper you drink, the more enlightening it is, and every true wine lover can attest to the spiritual experience that comes with one of these blends.

The wine estates of Bordeaux earn their spot on the top through almost inhuman dedication. A huge part of what makes their wines so consistent in quality is a refusal to follow the industrial, sacrilegious food processing trends we see everywhere around us. They allow the wines to express themselves using their own unique voice, and a tasting feels like a conversation as a result.

The sheer number of respectable estates and brands to recommend is staggering. For example, if you can get your hands on a bottle of 1989 Haut-Brion, what you will end up holding is an artifact, a pure expression of raw winemaking prowess. Every year is at least a solid year for a wine from Chateau Latour, and there are many, many more. If you can spare the time, visit Bordeaux one day, and immerse yourself in the world of masterful traditional winemaking.
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1988 pavie decesse Bordeaux Red

Brilliantly concentrated from beginning to end; oozing with black cherry, currant, plum and anise aromas and flavors that are focused and elegant on the long finish. The tannins are sufficiently integrated to make it drinkable now with hearty food, but it’s tough enough to need until 1996 to 2000 to settle down. 4,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

As low as $89.95
1988 trotanoy Bordeaux Red

Aromas of coffee bean, dried flowers and blackberry follow through to a full body, with very sweet and ripe fruit. Long and flavorful, with dark chocolate, tobacco and plum. Complex and fascinating. Will improve for many years.—'88/'98 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2008). Drink now. — JSWine Spectator | 93 WS(Château Trotanoy) The 1988 Château Trotanoy is a really lovely example of the vintage, with decidedly “cooler” fruit tones that are on the black fruity side of the ledger, as well as the notes of fresh herbs and gravel of less ripe vintages at this estate. The super bouquet is a blend of dark berries, black cherries, cigar ash, gravel, coffee, tobacco leaf, fresh herbs and a deft framing of nutty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still a bit on the young side, with a superb core of fruit, moderate tannins, good acids and excellent focus and complexity on the long and black fruity finish. Not a classic vintage of Trotanoy, but a classic example of Trotanoy from a cooler year. (Drink between 2016-2040)John Gilman | 92+ JG

As low as $250.00
1989 ausone Bordeaux Red

(Château Ausone) Château Ausone in the 1989 vintage is a bit of a stylistic outlier for this great property, as the conditions on the Right Bank in 1989 crafted a very powerful example of this estate. I have read elsewhere that this wine is in excess of fourteen percent alcohol, but this is not reflected on the import label. The wine is not overripe in any sense, as it offers up a deep, complex and very pure bouquet of black cherries, sweet dark berries, chocolate, licorice, gamebird, cigar smoke, just a touch of menthol, chalky soil tones, nutskin and just a whisper of incipient sealing wax appearing in the upper register with extended aeration. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, broad-shouldered and very precise, with a rock solid core of fruit, excellent transparency and impeccable focus and balance on the long, ripely tannic and powerful finish. This remains a very young wine and I have little doubt that the 1989 vintage of Ausone will effortlessly last a century in the bottle! An outstanding wine, but perhaps not my favorite style of Ausone from this golden era. (Drink between 2029-2100)John Gilman | 94+ JGThe 1989 Ausone is a good but not great wine, certainly one that ought to have been far better given the benevolent growing season. The nose is well defined with dark berry fruit, mocha, leather and undergrowth scents, fully matured but nicely focused. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly better acidity and more freshness than the 1990. The tannins feel rather rugged – certainly an Ausone that needs to look up the word “finesse” in the dictionary, yet there is good substance and an agreeable pencil lead tinged finish. What is it missing? Just a sense of personality. Tasted at the Ausone vertical in London.Vinous Media | 90 VMMore Burgundian than Bordeaux in color and density, but delivers pretty berry, tobacco and leather character. Medium-bodied, round and silky, with plenty of opulent fruit. This needs drinking.—'89/'99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

94+
JG
As low as $735.00
1989 beychevelle Bordeaux Red

There is so much tobacco and red fruit on the nose of this wine. Exotic and decadent. Full-bodied, with a sleek and racy tannin structure and fresh acidity. Refreshing and clean, yet mature and wild. Still one of the big surprises of the vintage.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 25,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS(Château Beychevelle) I had not drunk a bottle of the 1989 vintage of Beychevelle in almost a decade and was very happy to find it is starting to open up beautifully and now offering a complex aromatic constellation of cassis, desiccated cherries, a touch of meatiness, gravelly soil tones, cigar ash, just a hint of chipotle pepper and a nicely discreet base of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and quite tangy for the vintage, with fine focus and grip, a lovely core, modest tannins and a long, balanced and blossoming finish. Given how well Beychevelle ages, it is still relatively early days for the 1989 here, but the wine is now easing into its plateau of peak maturity and really starting to drink with generosity and breed. (Drink between 2018-2055)John Gilman | 92 JG

93
WS
As low as $190.00
1989 cheval blanc Bordeaux Red

I tasted this at a separate 67 Pall Mall event a few months ago, and it has delivered just as well this time around - impressive for a 30-year-old wine, as bottle variation is inevitably a concern at this age. Yet again it sings out with its concentration and opulent, silky blackberry and cassis fruits. The finish is lifted, with a white pepper note giving an extra kick to the juice, although there are plenty of tertiary hints in the toasted walnut notes. July, August and September of 1989 were stunning, with 13% more sunshine than average across all three months. Cheval always gets an early start to harvest, but this was the earliest of the 20th century to this point, running from 7 to 27 September, with a yield of 50hl/ha. It was owned by the Hébrard family at the time, with Gilles Pauquet as consultant. Drinking Window 2019 - 2032Decanter | 98 DECThe 1989 Cheval Blanc is a vintage that I have not encountered since 2010. One bottle opened was rustic and fatigued, and Pierre-Olivier Clouet opened a second that was much better. It has a gorgeous bouquet of ample red fruit, morels, black truffle, cigar box and hints of brown sugar, all very well defined and charming. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin and approaching full maturity; brown spices, bay leaf and clove infuse the red berry fruit. At 30 years of age, I suspect this 1989 will not improve further, but its robustness suggests that any decline will be graceful. Tasted from an ex-cellar bottle at the château.Vinous Media | 95 VM(Château Cheval Blanc) The 1989 Cheval Blanc is a beautiful example of the vintage, offering a deep, complex and utterly classic nose of dark berries, black cherries, menthol, cigar ash, gravelly soil tones, woodsmoke and a base of toasty new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very pure on the attack, with a rock solid core of sappy fruit, outstanding soil inflection, superb complexity and a very, very long, youthful and ripely tannic finish. While this wine is not particularly far away from fully blossoming and will be quite drinkable with another four or five years of cellaring, I would be very strongly inclined to not touch a bottle for at least another decade, as I would love to see this wine in the same magical spot as the 1983 Cheval is today. (Drink between 2016-2050)John Gilman | 94+ JGRipe, almost cooked fruit, with nuts, raisin and spices. Full-bodied, with a dense palate of ripe fruit and a leathery, spicy, dried berry character. So long and powerful. Chewy. This is big and very juicy, with loads of powerful fruit. A little alcoholic, even rustic, but I like it.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

98
DEC
As low as $780.00
1989 clinet Bordeaux Red

This wine has such balance and harmony. I remember when it was young and how the new wood and intense fruit came out, but they have finally come together in such a beautiful way. It shows subtle and complex character of plums, cedar, dried flowers, and earth. The texture or mouthfeel is beautiful as you taste it.James Suckling | 100 JSOne of the great modern-day Bordeaux, the 1989 Clinet still has a saturated purple color and a sweet nose of creme de cassis intermixed with incense, licorice, smoke, and mineral. As the wine sits in the glass, more blueberry and blackberry notes emerge, intermixed with some toasty oak, earth, and spice. This spectacularly concentrated, full-bodied, multi-dimensional wine is the stuff of dreams. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2025. Last tasted, 10/02.Robert Parker | 100 RPThe 1989 Clinet is the vintage that put this Pomerol estate on the map thanks to a perfect score from you-know-who. While I have never encountered a perfect bottle myself, a magnum hinted that it was not beyond the realm of possibility, though I have found bottles to be a bit hit-or-miss. This bottle is one of the better examples. It features kirsch, cassis and crushed violets on the nose, like a Margaux with the dial turned up to eleven (and I mean that in a positive way.) There is some VA here, but it merely gives kick to the aromatics. The palate is medium-bodied with a rich, precocious entry and generous sloe and brown sugar notes, very deep and rounded. A slightly volatile finish offers marvelous length. I suspect that to really experience the 1989 Clinet at its peak, you need to find perfectly cellared larger formats, although clearly bottles can be a thrill. Tasted blind at lunch in London.Vinous Media | 95 VM

100
RP
As low as $1,095.00
1989 cos destournel Bordeaux Red

A wonderful depth of fruit with very firm and dense tannins. It has so much character of olives, spices, and berries. It’s the wine’s freshness and intensity that won me over the 1990 Cos.James Suckling | 94 JSComplex aromas of tobacco, earth and forest leaves follow through to a medium body, with fine tannins and a fruity and soft finish. Very soft and long. At its peak, but pretty and seamless.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 93 WS((Château Cos d’Estournel) The 1989 Cos d’Estournel is a very good example of the vintage, but one that does not show quite the purity of the top wines of ’89. The nose is deep and quite roasted in its aromatic profile, delivering scents of dark berries, roasted cherries, woodsmoke, saddle leather, soil and toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and a touch rustic, with a good core, moderate tannins and a long, complex finish that shows off fine grip and balance. This is not the most elegant rendition of the 1989 vintage, but it is not a bad wine by any stretch of the imagination. I would give the ’89 Cos a few more years of cellaring to allow its tannins to more fully fall away. (Drink between 2015-2050)John Gilman | 90+ JG

95
RP-NM
As low as $339.00
1989 ducru beaucaillou Bordeaux Red

Harvest took place this year from 11th to 24th September. The wine was aged for around 12 months in two-thirds new oak. Pale to medium brick colored, the 1989 Ducru-Beaucaillou sashays out of the glass with pretty notes of dried flowers, fallen leaves and dusty soil over a core of warm figs, dried cherries, prunes and spice cake plus wafts of unsmoked cigars and powdered cinnamon. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is still seductively rich with a lively line of soft, silt-like tannins, finishing long and wonderfully savory.Readers should note that this vintage fell within a notoriously patchy period at Ducru, where the cellar is likely to have fallen victim to TCA or a TCA-like taint, and it appears some bottles were impacted from 1986 to 1994. By 1995, the chateau had a completely new vat room/cellar and the problem ceased. Therefore, there could be some bottle variation to be had with this vintage. This bottle, however, was pristine, tasted at the chateau.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RPDelivers lots of tanned leather and spices, with very ripe fruit, from dried strawberry to raisin, turning to jam. Full-bodied, offering a very fresh palate of exotic fruit, currant and raisin as well as silky and polished tannins. So long and beautiful. Why wait? But it has a long life ahead. There is a lot of bottle variation in this wine due to TCA issues, but this is a beauty.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 92 WSThe 1989 Ducru-Beaucaillou is showing some bricking on the rim, although the core remains quite dark. This has an attractive bouquet with lovely tobacco-infused black fruit and touches of black truffle and morels. There is something very gentle here but also intense. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin and a fine bead of acidity, a little meaty and bloody in style with maybe just a hint of brettanomyces toward the finish. But it seems to complement and enhance the wine. Tasted from an ex-cellar bottle at the château.Vinous Media | 90 VM

92
WS
As low as $225.00
1989 haut bailly Bordeaeux Red

The 1989 Haut-Bailly is drinking beautifully, offering up aromas of dark berry fruit mingled with burning embers, spices and cedar box. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and sumptuous, with a rich core of fruit, melting tannins and a long, penetrating finish, it’s a broad, supple wine of immense charm and character.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPGorgeous wine, so well crafted. Good dark-ruby color. Aromas of cherry, spice and cocoa. Full-bodied, firmly tannic and a long finish of fruit and tannins. Needs time to mellow.--1989 Bordeaux horizontal.Wine Spectator | 92 WSThe 1989 Haut Bailly is a vintage that I have tasted several times, and one of my picks from the pre-Wilmers era despite some bottle variation. This is a good example, displaying quite a muted nose initially, but unfolding to reveal lovely sandalwood and sage aromas. It is much more rustic compared to the same wine nowadays, yet seductive. The palate of blackberry, black olives and cracked black pepper is quite harmonious, with satisfying depth, and after three decades, it continues to show commendable energy. While it lacks a little length, this remains a delightful Haut Bailly. Tasted at a private dinner in London.Vinous Media | 91 VM

94
RP
As low as $199.00
1989 haut brion Bordeaux Red

(Château Haut-Brion) It had been more than a decade since I last tasted a bottle of the 1989 Haut-Brion (having absolutely zero interest in opening any bottles out of my cellar before this wine has fully apogee), so I was very happy to see it on display at the Hart-Davis-Hart tasting. This is a brilliant wine that has not lost an iota of its luster as it has aged, soaring from the glass in a brilliantly pure and bottomless bouquet of cassis, dark berries, cigar smoke, a very complex base of dark soil tones, Cuban cigars, fresh herbs and a refined base of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and stunningly plush on the attack, with a sappy core of pure fruit, stunning soil signature, ripe, firm tannins and simply brilliant length and grip on the still very young, seamless and boundless finish. This wine has often been compared to the 1959 Haut-Brion, but I have to believe that the 1989 will be even better when it reaches its peak of maturity! This is still a very young wine (far less evolved than the superb 1990) and I would not touch a bottle for at least another dozen years or more. It should last close to a century. (Drink between 2025-2100).John Gilman | 100 JGThis continues to be a perfect wine with a beautiful, dense character of tobacco and sweet fruits. Chocolate, toasted walnuts and flowers here too. It’s full-bodied with velvety tannins. Lasts for minutes on the palate.James Suckling | 100 JSA spectacular wine that only goes from strength to strength, and which ranks among the pinnacles of my birth year vintage, the 1989 Haut-Brion wafts from the glass with a rich bouquet of blackberries, blackcurrants, cigar wrapper, loamy soil, black truffle, burning embers and vine smoke. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it’s sumptuous and dramatic, with huge reserves of fruit that are complemented by carnal, savory nuances and framed by melting tannins and ripe acids. Concluding with a long, resonant finish, the only criticism one can make is that a 750-milliliter bottle simply isn’t enough.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPWhat a gorgeous, seductive and beautiful wine, as always. I can’t get over the perfumed aromas of subtle milk chocolate, cedar and sweet tobacco. Full-bodied, yet so refined and silky, lasting for minutes on the palate. Everything is in just the right proportion. This is a wine that will go on forever. I love it. One of my great loves in the wine world.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 12,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 100 WSThe 1989 Haut-Brion is very, very good. All the telltale Haut-Brion signatures of dark fruit, minerals, herbs, gravel and spice are present, but this bottle is lacking the textural opulence and depth of the best examples. Readers who have had the 1989 know what an epic wine it usually is.Antonio Galloni | 97 AG

100
RP
As low as $3,499.00
1989 levangile Bordeaux Red

Utterly gorgeous, wonderful white truffle notes coming through the fruit, alongside leather, liquorice and tobacco and pure, juice-filled black cherries. The last year with just Madame Simone Ducasse at the helm, with perhaps 10% new oak used, and 91% first wine produced – it would have been more, but the DBR Lafite team arrived in 1990 for the final ageing and blending, and they introduced Blason de L’Evangile as a second wine. Mouthwatering and succulent: Pomerol at its very heights. Drinking Window 2018 - 2030Decanter | 98 DECI have been a massive fan of the 1989 Château L’Evangile for many years - the best wine of the decade when it was still under the ownership of the redoubtable Mme. Ducasse, before selling a majority share to Eric de Rothschild in 1990. It fulfils all expectations here with its intense nose of blackberries, raspberry coulis, clove and wild heather. The most surprising aspect is just how backward the aromatics seem to be. The palate is extremely well balanced with fine tannin. The acidity is perfectly pitched with layers of dark berry fruit, black truffle and dried herbs - très Pomerol. Adorned with a velvety texture, is cruises towards a Merlot-driven finish that is one of the most powerful you will find in Pomerol this vintage. On this showing, you could cellar it for another 5-6 years; if not, I strongly recommend a long decant. Tasted January 2016.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 95 RP-NM(Château l’Evangile) While the 1990 vintage of Château l’Evangile is drinking beautifully today, the 1989 seems to still be in climbing mode, and though it too is really a lovely glass of wine at the present time, I have little doubt that it will be even better with at least a few more years’ worth of bottle age. The bouquet is pure, precise and beautifully inviting, wafting from the glass in a blend of black plums, black cherries, menthol, chocolate, tobacco leaf, a fine base of soil and a very well done framing of toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and starting to get quite suave on the attack, with a lovely core of fruit, fine focus and grip and a long, modestly tannic and vibrant finish. While this has no real rough edges left, my gut instinct is that there is another layer of complexity still waiting to emerge and it would be rewarding to allow this layer out of its cage before really having at the bottle in earnest, despite the wine already being quite delicious today. So, give it at least a few more years of patience. (Drink between 2022-2060)John Gilman | 94+ JGThe 1989 L’Evangile is a totally sensual, inviting Pomerol endowed with striking depth in its red cherry and plum fruit. Silky and caressing on the palate, the 1989 has so much to offer. It should drink well for a number of years.Antonio Galloni | 94 AGAn old Pomerol with a dusty, cut wood and fig character with some plum and smoke, too. Brown sugar. Light acid. Full body, savory and juicy with a meaty, dried orange and spice. Drink now.James Suckling | 93 JSFinely crafted traditional wine. Intense aromas of blackberry, cherry and tobacco. Full-bodied, with lots of tobacco and ripe fruit and velvety tannins.--1989 Bordeaux horizontal.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

98
DEC
As low as $385.00
1989 la fleur petrus Bordeaux Red

Lovely sous-bois, well-worn leather, steeped tea and mulled red currant fruit aromas and flavors glide together here, with velvety tannins lining the finish, allowing the fruit to linger gracefully. Very alluring for the range and perfume, though this is now fully mature, showing a hair less concentration than the more modern vintages.—Non-blind La Fleur-Pétrus vertical (December 2015). Drink now through 2020.Wine Spectator | 94 WSIn the ongoing competition between the 1989 and 1990 vintages, in the case of La Fleur-Petrus, the 1989 comes out a clear winner. The dense plum/garnet color offers up notes of underbrush, dried herbs, caramel, sweet cedar, and jammy black cherries intermixed with some balsam wood. In the mouth the wine is deep, very pure, ripe, with moderate tannins still to be shed. A very impressive, gorgeous La Fleur-Petrus that is the best wine made during a somewhat indifferent period for this property. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2015. Last tasted, 3/02.Robert Parker | 91 RP

92
WS
As low as $410.00
1989 lafite rothschild Bordeaux Red

Beautiful, rich and still extremely young, this is Lafite at its gulpable, elegant, sculpted, age-defying best. Deeply-spiced cassis notes are joined by touches of cedar - the result of a dry year that saw one of the earliest harvests since 1898. The grapes were picked with high alcohol and ripe tannins and they have absolutely lasted, and will continue to do so. The tannins are cradling the fruit, barely perceptible and yet still fully in control. Drinking Window 2018 - 2040.Decanter | 98 DECChâteau Lafite-Rothschild Pauillac 1989: I have never been a huge fan of this Lafite but it seems to be coming into its own now. It’s a wine with a character of cloves and berries with hints plums. It shows loads of potpourri. Roses too. Full and so balanced. Tight and youthful. The winemaker at Lafite says that when he wants to show someone a perfect example of Pauillac this is the Lafite he pours. Maybe he is right?James Suckling | 97 JS(Château Lafite-Rothschild) The 1989 Château Lafite-Rothschild is an outstanding example of the vintage and this is one of my favorite wines from this very, very successful decade at this great property. The bouquet is pure and nicely ripe with the vintage’s generosity, wafting from the glass in a complex blend of cassis, black cherries, tobacco leaf, a beautiful base of gravelly soil, a touch of fresh herbs and a very well-done framing of toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very suave on the attack, with impeccable focus and balance, a lovely core of black fruit, fine soil signature and a long, seamlessly tannic and complex finish. Just a lovely, lovely vintage of Lafite. (Drink between 2016-2060).John Gilman | 95 JGSubtle, yet rich and decadent, offering meat, sweet berry and fresh leather on the nose. Full and very soft, with velvety tannins and a long, fruity finish. This has so much ripe fruit. Reserved and firm, this is turning to a very fine and shy Lafite. This is fresh and structured, but still holding back. I wouldn’t wait, though.--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 93 WSThe 1989 Lafite-Rothschild, a wine that I have had several times both from bottle and magnum, is a better wine than the 1990, although I wonder whether its best days are now behind it. There is noticeably more bricking on the rim compared directly with the succeeding vintage. I also notice a touch of VA on this bottle with scents of molasses, cedar and a dab of the old boot polish. I find that the 1989 has more personality than the 1990 Lafite. The palate is supple and rounded in the mouth, a sense of warmth here although not complex and I would prefer more tension on the finish as it delivers allspice, mulberry and sage on the aftertaste. I wonder where this will go? At the moment it is difficult to see: heading down a cul-de-sac or Route 66? Tasted at the Lafite-Rothschild dinner at Amuse Bouche in Hong Kong and then blind at the Lafite-Rothschild 150th anniversary dinner at the property.Vinous Media | 91 VMAs I suspected, the 1989 and 1990 vintages of Lafite-Rothschild have gone dormant. Both wines were among the more closed, backward examples in my blind tasting. The 1989 Lafite is also outstanding, but closed, with the tannin more elevated, and the wine so stubbornly reticent as to make evaluation almost impossible. Lafite’s 1989 was far more easy to taste and understand several years ago. It appears to have gone completely to sleep. This medium ruby-colored, medium-bodied wine reveals new oak in the nose, and a spicy finish. It is a quintessentially elegant, restrained, understated style of Lafite. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2025.Robert Parker | 90 RP

98
DEC
As low as $3,599.00
1989 lafleur Bordeaux Red

I am almost always in awe of Lafleur and this is one of the best. This is so subtle at first, but then the enchanting aromas of olive leaves, ivy, licorice, tar and treacle wash over you. In your mouth it’s as if you’re putting exquisite, dusty velvet inside; the tannins make this wine round, fat and encompassing. Perhaps most startling of all is the freshness retained over the years despite the intense, dense fruit. It allows not only for a chewy finish, but one that makes you want to drink more. This has reached a plateau now and is perfect for drinking, though its tightly-knit structure implies yet more potential cellaring. I’ve always been a believer in the 1989 vintage, and Lafleur is one of the best. Decant two hours in advance.James Suckling | 99 JSReally decadent and powerful, delivering dried fruit and grilled meat. Very Porty, featuring red licorice and prune on the nose. Velvety and rich, with a full palate and amazing fruit of aniseed and black licorice. It goes on and on. What freshness and beauty. Delicate fruit, chocolate and berries. This is just opening up now.—’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. —Wine Spectator | 98 WSTasted at the Pomerol Comparative Exploration tasting in London, the 1989 Lafleur was perhaps the real surprise of a memorable evening of wine. What comes across on the nose is the detail, the precision with pure black fruit, crushed minerals, subtle floral scents and a palpable sense of energy. It evolves in the glass, later revealing smoke, Italian cured meats and a touch of bay leaf. The palate is simply crystalline with pitch perfect acidity, astonishing precision and laser-like focus that takes your breath away. I have never encountered a 1989 Lafleur with this detail and clarity, a wine that seems to improve every time I encounter it, which is regrettably once in a blue moon. Whilst I do not think the 1989 will surpass the 1982 Lafleur, my God, it is coming damn close.Vinous Media | 97 VMThe 1989 Lafleur, tasted side by side with the 1990 on two occasions in 2002, plays it closer to the vest. The wine needs far more coaxing to produce the licorice, black cherry liqueur, earth, and truffle notes from the nose. In the mouth, the wine is full-bodied, tannic, backward, and very tightly knit, with mouth-searing levels of tannin and extremely high extract. The tannins are firmer, the fruit seemingly less sweet, but still extremely ripe, and the evolutionary process is far slower in the 1989 than the 1990. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2045. Last tasted, 8/02.Robert Parker | 95 RP

98
RP
As low as $2,169.00
1989 latour Bordeaux Red

(Château Latour) The 1989 vintage of Château Latour was not considered a great year for this superb property, which was purported to have started a mini-slump after the release of the brilliant 1982 vintage at the estate. However, though I did not buy this wine on release (believing the critics of the time and their assessment of its relative inferiority), on the couple of occasions where I have been lucky enough to drink it again in recent times, it has been clear that this wine was underrated at the outset and really is an excellent vintage of Latour. The most recent bottle was getting close to full bloom, but not quite there yet, offering up a deep and complex bouquet of cassis, sweet dark berries, cigar ash, Latour’s classic gravelly, dark soil signature, cedary oak and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and plenty deep at the core, with firm, well-integrated tannins, excellent mineral drive, very good acids for the vintage and a very long, balanced and complex finish. This is getting close to really drinking well as it closes in on its thirtieth birthday, but it is an old school Latour and will still be an even better drink at age forty than it is today. (Drink between 2018-2085).John Gilman | 95 JGThis is so decadent and exciting on the nose, with very ripe fruit, tobacco, meat and cedar. Full-bodied, offering amazing raspberry fruit in the core of the palate. Ultrapolished, velvety tannins wonderfully coat every inch of your palate. This will age for years ahead, but it’s so lovely now. Much better than many people think.--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 17,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WSThe 1989 Latour shows similarly to the bottle earlier this year. To be honest, there is little difference between the aromatics on this and Les Forts de Latour, perhaps just some morels and yes, a touch of Brettanomyces. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins, the mixture of red and black fruit mixed with plenty of undergrowth. I appreciate the freshness and the piquant finish, although I would not rank this as a top-tier Latour; it could even be considered to be underperforming in the context of the vintage. Tasted from an ex-cellar bottle at the château.Vinous Media | 91 VM

95
JG
As low as $859.00
1989 le pin Bordeaux Red

(Château Le Pin) Perhaps the greatest vintage ever of Le Pin, the 1989 has moved from its ostentatious and exotic youth into a more stately, but no less complex and compelling stage of developing maturity. The bouquet is deep and profound, with candied scents of mulberry, red currants, cocoa, tobacco, a bit of truffle, woodsmoke and vanillin oak exploding from the glass. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and laser-like in its focus, with great underlying structure, some ripe tannin, and great length and grip on the finish. This is clearly the most serious bottle of Le Pin that I have had the pleasure to taste. It is not yet at its apogee, but it is such a spectacular glass of wine today, that it would certainly be difficult to keep paws off. (Drink between 2005-2025)John Gilman | 97 JGA slightly firmer, more structured wine than the 1990, with similarly low acid but more noticeable tannin, the color remains a very healthy saturated ruby/purple. The nose needs more coaxing and offers up noted of coconut, roasted herbs, jus du viande, along with plenty of black currant and sweet cherry fruit with nicely integrated toasty oak. The wine has similarly high levels of glycerin to the 1990, but less accessibility, and more structure and possibly power. This is a remarkable wine, and certainly one of the great vintages for Le Pin. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2022. Last tasted, 12/01.Robert Parker | 96 RPTasted at the Pomerol Comparative Exploration tasting in London, the 1989 Le Pin has always been a sensual wine, not as exotic as the 1982, perhaps a bit more "grown up". Here it has a luxuriant bouquet of black cherries, crème de cassis, terracotta tiles and clove. There is a patina of warmth still emanating from that warm summer. The palate is velvety smooth, voluptuous and decadent yet the acidity keeps everything in check. I noticed a wild mint note that I have not seen on previous bottles, building in the mouth towards a multi-faceted, caressing finish, like a loved one begging you not to leave. It is simply ridiculously pleasurable from start to finish.Vinous Media | 96 VMI like this better than the 1990. It shows loads of licorice and blackberry, with hints of cherry on the nose. Full and refined, with silky tannins and an elegant finish. Lovely. Still very young and bright. The acidity holds it in. Much better than I remember.--Le Pin non-blind vertical. Best after 2010.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

98
RPNM
As low as $4,165.00
1989 leoville barton Bordeaux Red

A lovely, classic example of a fully mature St-Julien, replete with ripe berry fruits and tannins that whisper rather than shout. You’re pulling up a chair right by the fireside here, where the embers are still warm. Coffee, cedar and sandalwood take the lead over brambly black fruits. This is lovely, but unquestionably fully evolved and open. Drinking Window 2018 - 2028Decanter | 92 DECA delicious, well-structured Bordeaux, with plenty of ripe fruit, beautiful berry, green tobacco and cherry character. Full-bodied, adding velvety tannins and a long, caressing finish.--1989 Bordeaux horizontal. Best after 2002.Wine Spectator | 92 WSThe bottle of 1989 Léoville-Barton is probably the best I have encountered over the years; indeed, it is better than a bottle opened by Lilian Barton-Sartorius when I visited the property a few weeks earlier. It has a comely old-school claret bouquet of red fruit infused with cedar and loamy scents, and maybe some dustiness, but I have come to expect that in older vintages of this Saint-Julien. The palate is medium-bodied, pure and elegant, with svelte tannin and moderate acidity and a surprisingly sweet, almost precocious finish thanks to that year’s hot summer. It has softened in recent years and yet there is still good backbone and grip to this wine. Just enjoy. Tasted at the 1989 Bordeaux dinner at Hatched in London.Vinous Media | 91 VM It has been a little while since I tasted the Château Léoville-Barton 1989. Now at 25 years of age, it has an open bouquet with vestiges of brambly red fruit, scorched earth and chestnut, touches of fireside hearth developing with time. There is something almost comforting about Anthony Barton’s wine, its familiarity putting you at ease. The palate is medium-bodied with tannins that have softened in recent years and it gently builds to a saline, rather austere finish. Gentle, but classy Saint Julien, you can enjoy this for another 15 years without worry. Tasted June 2014. Drink Date 2014 - 2030Robert Parker | 90 RP

92
WS
As low as $220.00
1989 leoville las cases Bordeaux Red

1989 was an early year, with flowering three weeks ahead of usual. Now at 30 years old, a floral aspect curls out of the glass, with touches of roses and peonies, followed on the palate by bilberries and blackberries, with a cigar smoke and eucalyptus finish. It’s still vigorous in its tannic structure, but it’s soft and supple enough to enjoy today. This bottle was recorked by hand at the winery last year, with five people checking every single one of the 5,000 bottles remaining at the chateau. The wines were topped up from magnums of the 1989. 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend - a variety not used in the grand vin since 1996. Drinking Window 2019 - 2040Decanter | 98 DECVery ripe, with raisin and dried fruits on the nose. You can smell the sun-dried grapes. Full-bodied, delivering firm tannins and a very fresh palate. Long and flavorful, offering currant, berries and all sorts of dark fruits, but turns lightly earthy and floral. This is a thoroughly complex wine. Just starting to really open into the mature 20-year-old wine it is, but such a great life ahead of it. Muscular.--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now.Wine Spectator | 96 WSOne of the most youthful wines of the vintage, the 1989 Léoville Las Cases unwinds in the decanter and glass with aromas of blackcurrant and pencil shavings, framed by a discrete patina from its aging in oak. Medium to full-bodied, deep and tightly wound, it’s impressively pure and vibrant, though it lacks the mid-palate plenitude of the vintage’s best wines, displaying a touch of tannic asperity on the finish. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it continue to improve with further aging, though my sense is that the Cabernet Sauvignon might have been picked a little prematurely in this vintage.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 91 RP

98
DEC
As low as $355.00
1989 lynch bages Bordeaux Red

The 1989 has taken forever to shed its formidable tannins, but what a great vintage of Lynch Bages! I would rank it at the top of the pyramid although the 1990, 2000, and down the road, some of the more recent vintages such as 2005, 2009 and 2010 should come close to matching the 1989’s extraordinary concentration and undeniable aging potential. Its dense purple color reveals a slight lightening at the edge and the stunning bouquet offers classic notes of creme de cassis, subtle smoke, oak and graphite. Powerful and rich with some tannins still to shed at age 22, it is still a young adolescent in terms of its evolution and will benefit from another 4-5 years of cellaring. It should prove to be a 50 year wine.Robert Parker | 99+ RPThe 1989 Lynch-Bages is one of Jean-Michel Cazes’s triumphs. At three decades, it shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. Blackberry and cedar soar from the glass just as they did from the bottle last year, and touches of graphite develop, all beautifully defined and focused. As I’ve proclaimed before, there is such energy and vigor here! The palate is medium-bodied with a fresh, minty opening. The cedar element is a little stronger than the previous bottles that I have tasted, yet there is still that symmetry and focus. This particular bottle shows a touch more development on the finish compared to others encountered over the years, with great structure and grip, notes of tobacco and just a hint of morels surfacing on the aftertaste. A remarkable Lynch-Bages that is at its peak. As an aside, Jean-Michel Cazes mentioned that there are few bottles of the 1989 remaining in their reserves. A break-in during the 1990s saw robbers of good taste steal much of their stock. Tasted from an ex-cellar bottle at the château.Vinous Media | 96 VMDelivers so much blackberry, leather and dried fruits on the nose. Full-bodied, with ultrapolished tannins and a silky mouthfeel. The palate turns to leaves, cedar and dried berries on the finish, which goes on and on. This is still reserved for the vintage, suggesting a long life ahead. Just coming around now, but will improve many years ahead. I have always loved this Lynch.--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 35,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSI have always been a big fan of this rich wine, with its currant and tropical fruit character on the nose and palate, and just a hint of toasted oak. It’s full-bodied, with wild fruit and tobacco character, and a roasted coffee bean aftertaste. This is a fabulous wine. Served from imperial bottle.James Suckling | 94 JS(Château Lynch Bages) The 1989 Château Lynch Bages is starting to drink beautifully at the present time and has just about reached its apogee of peak maturity, but still has decades and decades of life ahead of it. The classic bouquet jumps from the glass in a sappy blend of sweet cassis, black cherries, new leather, cigar ash, dark soil and a touch of toasty, ever so slightly resinous new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and complex, with a fine core of fruit, very good soil signature, still a bit of backend tannin to carry it on into the future and impressive focus and grip on the long and complex finish. I would opt for giving this wine just a few more years to soften up just a touch more on the backend before starting to drink it with abandon. It is a top flight vintage of Lynch. (Drink between 2020-2050).John Gilman | 92 JG

99+
RP
As low as $705.00
1989 margaux Bordeaux Red

This is about as alluring as it gets aromatically, with singed alder, juniper, bay and charcoal notes out front, hinting at power but turning beguiling as they flow into the core of steeped red currant, dried currant and black tea. The charcoal note makes an encore, with a lovely twinge of old-school character holding the finish. Always a great debate vis-à-vis the ’90, but the slightly darker profile here gives this wine a lovely bit of extra drama.--Non-blind Château Margaux vertical (December 2013). Drink now through 2025. 25,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WSI find this a little austere with mineral, tar, and currant character. It’s a little subdued. Full and silky on the palate, it’s firm and bright, even tight. Served from imperial bottle.James Suckling | 91 JSDwarfed by its younger sibling, the 1990, the 1989 Chateau Margaux has a dark plum/garnet color and a big, sweet nose of new saddle leather, toasty oak, and weedy black cherry and cassis fruit. The wine is medium-bodied, with relatively elevated tannins, outstanding concentration and purity, but a somewhat clipped as well as compressed finish. This certainly outstanding wine has put on a bit of weight in its evolution in the bottle, but it is hardly one of the most profound efforts from Chateau Margaux. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2025. Last tasted, 10/02.Vinous Media | 90 RP

97
WS
As low as $889.00
1989 montrose Bordeaux Red

This was yet another wine I drunk with wine collector friends in Bangkok – the city is truly buzzing when it comes to wine and when you know where to look! On the nose, there were intense aromas of iron, pot iron and dried fruits, as well as hints of nuts and wet earth. On the palate, it showed a gorgeous texture of ripe tannins and lots of spicy and currant fruit character. A full-bodied, very soft and silky Bordeaux with lots of flavors and a superb finish. Just right now – indeed it seems to be getting younger with age, not older! Decant an hour before. I think it’s better than the legendary 1990. It’s certainly cleaner and more consistent quality.James Suckling | 99 JSThis was not in the tasting at the chateau, but I opened two bottles on my return home, because this is another near-perfect wine from Montrose. It is an unusual two-grade blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. The wine emerged from another very hot, sunny, dry growing season, with early, generous flowering. Harvest in Montrose took place between September 11 and 28. The wine has never had any issues with brett, making it a somewhat safer selection than the more irregular 1990. Like a tortoise, the 1989 has finally begun to rival and possibly eclipse its long-time younger sibling, the 1990. The wine is absolutely spectacular and in auction sells for a much lower premium than the 1990. That should change. This is a magnificent Montrose, showing notes of loamy soil undertones, intermixed with forest floor, blueberry and blackberry liqueur and spring flowers. It has a full-bodied, intense, concentrated mouthfeel that is every bit as majestic as the 1990, but possibly slightly fresher and more delineated. This great wine should drink well for another 40-50 years.Robert Parker | 98+ RPThe 1989 Montrose is a magnificent wine and this represents one of the best bottles I have encountered – one that was purchased on release and not moved from Berry Brothers’ cellar since. I have encountered perfect bottles of the 1989, and this flirts with that magic figure. It is blessed with a captivating bouquet of blackberry, raspberry, sous-bois and black truffle, the veins of blue fruit just toned down a little compared to previous bottles. The palate is supremely well balanced with those filigreed tannins that in some ways are atypical of Montrose. It delivers silky-smooth texture and an intense finish that glides across the senses. I cannot give a perfect score on this occasion, but without question, this is one of the great Montrose releases. Tasted at the 1989 Bordeaux dinner at Hatched in London.Vinous Media | 98 VMIntense aromas of crushed blackberry and mineral turn to dried flowers and dried fruits, staying fresh on the nose. Full-bodied, offering big, round tannins and loads of ripe, seductive fruit. This is decadent and wild, turning nutty and fruity. A beautiful bottle. This is very close in quality to the legendary 1990.--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 22,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS(Château Montrose) The 1989 Montrose may not be quite as deep as the 1990, but it is a purer wine of precise definition and classic proportions. The superb nose offers up a refined mélange of cassis, dark berries, cigar ash, gravelly soil tones, espresso, fresh herbs and cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and shows off excellent mid-palate depth, with ripe, beautifully-integrated tannins, tangy acids and outstanding focus and grip on the youthful, pristine and old school finish. Some may prefer the more overtly powerful style of the 1990 Montrose, but for me, though the two vintages are qualitatively equivalent, I prefer the superior transparency and more elegant profile of the 1989. The wine is certainly approachable today, but I would still give it another five or six years’ worth of bottle age to really allow it to fully blossom (Drink between 2019-2070)John Gilman | 94 JG

100
TWI
As low as $749.00
1989 mouton rothschild Bordeaux Red

Freshly picked blackberries turn into minty dark chocolate and oozing caramel with domineering eucalyptus on the nose. It becomes yet more complex on the palate thanks to layers upon layers of spices and sage plus fat and rounded tannins. There’s a long finish with a bitter aftertaste, suggesting this could do with another 10 years or more of bottle aging. This is a Mouton I found massive at the time, then elegant and slightly austere years later, but today true to its former glory. Like the amazing 1947, it should not be forgotten.James Suckling | 98 JSAn extremely early year for the property, with harvest from 6-25 September. One to savour, it has the signature smoked, toasted glamour of Mouton, with cappuccino, crushed bilberry and blackberries, pliable tannins, and a drawn-out finish that gets better and better in the glass. The label, by the way, featured Georg Baselitz, a German painter, to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall.Decanter | 97 DECShows so much ripe and decadent fruit on the nose, from dried berries and raisin to strawberry and sultana. There is a nutty, cedar undertone as well. Very complex and full-bodied, with lots of vanilla bean and ripe plum flavors. This is almost Burgundian in texture: so soft and so attractive, but then the Bordeaux tannins kick in at the end. What a wine. So much ahead in its life, but just coming around now.--’89/’99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 25,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS(Château Mouton-Rothschild) This most recent bottle of the 1989 Château Mouton-Rothschild, was by quite some margin, the finest I have tasted, and it is hard not to be persuaded that the wine is only now really starting to come fully into its own. As I have mentioned in the past, this is from the era when Mouton used a lot of very heavily-toasted oak in its wine, but the ’89 vintage provided plenty of depth of fruit to carry the generous serving of new oak and the two are beautifully synthesized today. The bouquet is deep, complex and strikingly attractive, wafting from the glass in a fine blend of cassis, black cherries, Cuban cigar wrapper, a nice touch of Mouton spices starting to emerge, the aforementioned toasty new oak and, with air, just a touch of fresh herb tones that are very, very attractive. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and still new oaky in personality, with an excellent core of fruit, melting tannins and excellent focus and grip on the very long and very classy finish. As one of the tasters around the table dubbed this wine, “the best vintage from Mouton’s coffee oak period.” The 1989 Mouton is a far more impressive wine today than it was ten years ago and, though I would have liked it better with less toasty oak, its future seems to be excellent. (Drink between 2019-2060)John Gilman | 95 JGTasted from magnum and presented by Baron Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, the 1989 Château Mouton-Rothschild might not reach the ethereal heights of the 1982 or 1986, but it is certainly a lovely Claret. It has an attractive, slightly leafy bouquet armed with cedar and pencil lead. There is less fruit concentration than I expected, resolutely classic, slightly austere Bordeaux. The palate follows suit. What it lacks in substance it compensates with in balance and personality. This is an understated Mouton-Rothschild that is probably at its peak, although I envisage this offering another two decades of pleasure. Whilst this showing did not replicate some glorious bottles in the past, it remains a very fine Claret that may not be inclined to improve any further. Tasted February 2016.Robert Parker Neal Martin | 93 RP-NMThe 1989 Mouton-Rothschild is a vintage that I have always had a lot of time for. Now at 30 years of age, it has quite a potent bouquet of blackberries, raspberry coulis, cedar and mint that feels opulent but youthful. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin and a fine bead of acidity, and quite succulent in mouthfeel, featuring generous wild strawberry mixed with cedar and tobacco. There is a sense of swagger about this Mouton-Rothschild and it feels very persistent on the surprisingly dense finish. Very fine. Tasted from an ex-cellar bottle at the château.Vinous Media | 93 VM

98
JS
As low as $765.00
1989 pavie Bordeaux Red

All elegance and fine texture. Beautiful aromas of milk chocolate and ripe berries. Full- to medium-bodied, with silky tannins and a sweet fruit, chocolate aftertaste. Hard to resist now.--1989 Bordeaux horizontal. Best after 2000.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

91
WS
As low as $305.00
1989 pavie decesse Bordeaux Red

Lively and exciting. Black cherry, violet, dark chocolate character. Full-bodied, with firm silky tannins and a long, fresh and fruity aftertaste.--1989 Bordeaux horizontal.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

As low as $89.95
1989 pichon lalande Bordeaux Red

The second part of this tasting kicks off with the 1989 Pichon Lalande. Off the charts aromatic intensity, silky tannins and exceptional finesse give the 1989 much of its considerable allure. Crushed flowers, sweet red fruit, tobacco, cedar and incense are some of the many notes that waft from the glass, but it is the wine’s textural finesse that elevates it into the realm of the profound. Wonderfully alive and delineated in every way, the 1989 is one of many highlights on this magical afternoon.Antonio Galloni | 96 AGThis has entered its secondary phase, with alluring notes of black tea, steeped plum, mulled spice and warm pain d’épices emerging from the core of supple plum, cassis and black cherry fruit. The long, fine-grained finish lets a perfumy singed cedar accent linger. A beauty.--Non-blind Pichon Lalande vertical (July 2014). Drink now through 2030.Wine Spectator | 95 WS(Château Pichon-Lalande) Paired up with the 1990 at our vertical tasting, the more powerful and flamboyant side of the 1989 comes through rather dramatically. Along with the magical 1982, this is my favorite vintage of Pichon-Lalande from what must be its most successful overall decade in its long and illustrious history. The bouquet is pure, still sappily youthful and oh, so promising, soaring from the glass in a blend of sweet dark berries, a hint of plumminess, menthol, cigar smoke, coffee bean, gravelly soil tones, chocolate and toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, pure and plush on the attack, with a great core of fruit, lovely mineral drive under the layers of fruit, ripe, buried tannins and outstanding focus and grip on the long, beautifully balanced and nascently complex finish. The last time I drank this wine it seemed like it was really starting to enter its plateau, but here at our vertical, paired alongside of the à point 1990, the relative youth of the 1989 is more apparent and I would be inclined to still give this great vintage of Pichon a few more years in the cellar to further unfurl. I clearly underestimated its potential longevity the last time I drank a bottle of this wine, as it has decades and decades of life still ahead of it! (Drink between 2022-2075)John Gilman | 95+ JGApproaching full maturity, Pichon-Lalande’s1989 has a deep ruby/plum color with some lightening at the edge. The nose offers sweet plums and creme de cassis intermixed with vanilla and graphite. The wine is lush, medium to full-bodied, and layered with texture, low acidity, sweet tannin, and the hallmark purity and elegance this estate routinely produces. Some tannins remain, but this wine has reached its plateau of maturity, where it should remain for another 10-15 years.Robert Parker | 93 RP

96
VM
As low as $305.00

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