Slowly decanted in bt, garnet with rim in brick red. Nose of leather, cassis and autumn leaves. Vibrant in mouth offering good structure and very fine balance of acidity, tannin resolving, black fruits, long lasting aroma, many 80s wines are in their prime drinking windows, this too but shall hold.
Time to Taste 2000 Bordeaux (R&D's): Double decanted quickly off its sediment and rebottled before being poured with dinner three hours later. Terrific roasted herb, red fruit and tobacco aromas. Flavors of red fruit and tobacco. Cedar, leather and forest floor notes emerge with a little more air. Nicely balanced and ready to go but will hold for a while.
Good fill level. Very nice color, with a deep ruby and some lightening at the edges. Decanted for a total of 2 hours, but this was not necessary. This was strong right out of the gate. Blackcurrant, cedar, leather, lavender, pencil, and Asian spices. Full-bodied and solid on the palate from start to finish. Fine integrated tannins, no bitterness. Moderate acidity. Lengthy finish. This was a beautiful bottle of wine that was just singing tonight. It is so obviously in its drinking window, because I just can't imagine better balance than it already has.
Decanted for 4 hours before serving. Glorious ruby deep rich jewel brightness semi- transparent. Nose is glorious damp earth, cedar, damp autumnal bracken. Fully open and singing. Palate is succulent semi-confit blackberry and black currant, lots of cassis, opulent, hedonistic, multi-layered, almost a meaty gravy element to it. Totally open but years ahead of it. Heady, rich, reverberant, great length. A slightly astringent element of black tar right on the finale shows it has the tannic backbone to go for a long long time. Fantastic but just not quite top league (yet) but could get there.
A near-perfect wine, perfectly ready. Still dark and opaque, with slight browning at the edges. Gorgeous, powerful, complex aromas of cedar, cassis, leather, with just a hint of herbs; still plenty of fruit, dar and rich, builds on the palate, very slightly hot; nicely balanced with only slight tannin. Very long lingering aftertaste. Amazing that it's still this outstanding after 26 years! Unfortunately, our last bottle of this vintage. Still fantastic five hours after opening and decanting it. This wine is fully mature, can still go several more years, but no reason to wait. Ric Addendum: still some left the following evening...hasn't declined since last night! This bodes well for its longevity. Tasted with a freshly opened '88 Lynch Bages, also a Pauillac, almost as good but not quite.
This bottle was still somewhat chilled when poured which affected what was tasted. Poured to a garnet coloring with just a hint of bricking on the rim. The aroma / flavor profile included cassis, currants, cedar, tobacco and a bit of spiciness. The tannins still lurked underneath, but the wine was wonderfully smooth and harmonious.
Joel's Birthday Party (The Palace, Mission, SF): Double decanted. Color is a medium garnet with bricking appropriate for age; nose with subtle complexity of mint, bell pepper, then blackberries; palate is full bodied, well integrated tannins, perfect structure, elegant plush mouthfeel, fresh acidity throughout, flavors are a combination of light to medium black fruits combined with slight green vegetal, pleasing but also a bit subtle; finish is medium length and clean, refreshing, with some residual fruit. Overall this shows the balance and mouthfeel that I expect from a Pichon Lalande with a nice expressive nose and balanced palate, but the fruit is a bit thin through the palate and the complexity is only moderate on the nose. An interesting wine recognizable in its own style (plush elegant mouthfeel being its best trait) with some interesting characteristics, but falls short of world-class. Based on the fruit showing today, drink up within the next few years. 92-93 Update: 2-3 hours slow-ox and retasted at dinner, and now showing more classic early maturity bordeaux with more intensity on the nose and palate. Solid 93+ with room to last. Day 2: fading and a bit oxidized today. Not as good today.
Took to dinner w friends. Decanted then poured. Lovely medium red color. Sweet nose of classic Bordeaux notes though more on the fruit than lead pencil, etc., end of the spectrum; clean finish with little tannins to resolve. This was a lovely bottle of a wine that seems fully mature, very good, but not astounding. It was better aromatically than an '89 Lynch Bages served in parallel but did not have the depth of the Lynch which seems to need a few more years.
Shared with Lee (Atlantean) at Il Terrazzo Carmine. Seemed to me like it was at its peak. So much cassis, mineral, some pepper, very lush. Decanted an hour and then enjoyed over the next several along with the wonderful Terrazzo creations.
At its peak, and wonderful! Very slight browning at the edges, otherwise brick-colored and mostly opaque. Pronounced complex aromas of leather, cedar, tobacco, cassis, beautifully blended, stayed prominent for three hours until consumed. Medium-full body, perfectly balanced, with great elegance and complexity. I don't think it will get any better or last many more years, so best to enjoy while it's at its best! Ric
Mike Grammer Comes to Town - KS version (Ripple Restaurant in DC): As expected, a hint of green pepper and soft sweet red fruits, plum, lead pencil, cedar, flowers, tobacco and mineral. Polished palate, silky, nicely integrated tannins and lovely long finish. Nicely focused, energetic and harmonious. Drinking really well. Although it didn’t show as well as the last bottle, I highly recommend, especially if you love classic claret, a classic PLL.
Popped and consumed over 3 hours. Initially quite closed but it opened up after about an hour.
Garnet, with some hints of brick at the rim. Full aromas of dark fruit, plum, some leather and lead pencil and hints of wet earth. Full bodied with smooth tannins and still quite lively fruit and some fresh acidity. A long and fresh finish.
Not the greatness I was expecting, but still a very good wine. Still remarkably lively and young for a wine of this age. Should we have let it breathe for longer? It certainly has many more years ahead.
Dark rich sweet tobacco aromas dominate. Palate is full of pretty dark ripe black cherry fruits. A lovely smoky quality and cigar box spices adds complexity. Tremendous sense of depth, purity, balance, and a seamless quality. Really singing tonight.
Popped and poured, followed approximately 2 hours. Garnet in colour, showing a moderate brick. Interesting having this alongside the 1996; showing a touch less fruit, but really similarly, just a few more years along the aging curve with more tertiary aromatics. The nose shows black currant, earth, dried tobacco, celery seed, leather, undergrowth, and mushroom. A truly classic nose. On the palate, this is where the wine falters a bit. Slightly less concentration than the 1996 and a shorter, slightly astringent finish. Still a lovely wine, but not at the level of the 1996. Optimal drinking now.
What a tremendous nose on this wine! Huge floral aromas framing classic Pauillac fresh-sawed cedar and pencil lead, along with a faintly greenish note. The palate came across as a bit simple by comparison, with ample rich fruit and integrated tannins, but a pretty abrupt finish. But hell, I would have been happy as a clam just huffing my glass all night. I've never smelled a BDX so flamboyantly floral.
Another great bottle brought by Erik. I love Lalande, and I especially love 89. While this didn't have that aromatic blast of violets that the best Lalande 89s have, this was classic pencil and currant claret. Excellent.
Mixed emotions. Such a great wine, a wine I love, in a vintage that was obviously spectacular. But this bottle - while perfectly lovely over a few hours of consumption over great food and company - was mildly disappointing to me. Consistent with other TNs but just lacking that greatness that should be present. I think bottle variation will remain relatively high on these. There should be no rush to drink up - this should have plenty of years of fresh life ahead of it. That said, if you have plenty in the cellar, it's certainly worth pursuing one soon.
Casual Bordeaux Dinner w/Boston Group (Boston): Nose: Blackberry, Plum and Graphite that was shrouded in a saline characteristic. Plate: Nice dark fruit and excellent texture, but it seemed to lack the dynamic personality of other Pichon Lalande I have had.
This had been opened for 24+ hours, and was not showing as well as others have noted. Not flawed, but I cannot rate this example either.
Leo's Blind Tasting Group - May '14 edition (Ben's (NYC)): This remains a stunner, and one of my favorite Bordeaux. The fragrance is just classic Pauillac - cedar, graphite, tobacco, mature earthy and truffled notes, and that green herbal/forestal signature of PLL all coming together into a scent that's hard to move away from, and the palate presence is pure silk with the tannins fully resolved and the acidity bright and lively beneath the fruit. Absolutely spectacular wine that's drinking at peak right now.
Characteristic Pichon Lalande sweetness is the first thing you notice once open for 2 hours. Its so predominant that I identified the wine blind out of 12 various cab based wines immediately. Wine is nearing the end of its primary life now with noticeable bricking and fruit finally starting to fade. But right now still a lovely wine, very feminine, soft, very drinkable.
Big Bordeaux VII (Kevin's house): 2 hour decant and drank a small pour over about an hour. Really nice funk, rich, good fruit, asphault, flowers. Long finish. Slightly better than the 1986 of the same wine that night.
Big Bordeaux VII: Featuring 1986 & 1989 Super Seconds (Rocknroller's (Kevin & Vicki's Place)): Very dark red-purple color. 2hr decant, 2.5oz pour over 3+ hours. Another absolute wow wine. Gorgeous nose, with perfume, leather, violets, lovely red fruits, plum, crème de cassis. The palate is concentrated, layered, full bodied, lovely graphite, great fruit, black and blue with cassis, blueberry, plum and blackberries, with a hint of sweetness to the ripe fruit. This is just so pretty and elegant now, balanced, mature, and there's a 45-60 second finish. This still has some good life too. Nice! My #2 and group #3 WOTN.
Better on the nose than the palate as the wine is slowly losing its intensity and lush textures. The complex, truffle, tobacco, dark berry, cigar box and earthy aromas are a treat. But the bloom is off the rose on the palate. This is not falling apart. But it does require consumption over the next 2-5 years before dropping more of its fruit.
Nice light ruby color with slight signs of age on the edges. Subdued nose with definite cassis, camphor, some wood and black cherry. Beautiful long finish. Medium bodied and elegant with cedar notes, dark fruits and that same cassis-like undercurrent. Lovely, but maybe a tad on the light side for higher rating....for me.
Cork was soaked through and soft which had me concerned but this did not dissappoint. Beautiful nose of Bordeaux. On the palate tart cherries, rose petals, and red fruits. Some leather in there?? Something but not sure what The taste was.....tannins were pretty well integrated but just there to hold it all together still. The wine was dark red with just a touch of lightening on the rim. This has plenty of life left in it. I could see it improving a bit even. Seemed quite young for 24 years but was a great wine and could last 10-20 more years easily
Took this to the RAC and had for dinner with friends. Decanted 40 min. An outstanding showing of this wine. Did not take detailed notes during dinner, but the freshness of this wine and the purity of fruit is still with me 2 days later.
Bordeaux 1982-1989-2000 tasting (at Adina's): Shiny garnet colour, still quite dark in the core. Quality perfumed aroma, tertiary notes of cedar, spices, leather. Full bodied, dense and rich on the palate, impressive structure, fresh with sweet and round, gentle tannins, great length. A real pleasure.
This has always been one of utter favorite wines. As a result, I tend to buy any I can find. Maybe the last few I bought were stored poorly, but this struck me as flabby and way past its drink by date. I hope it was just an off bottle....
I have had this wine twice in the last three months and both were very different wines. The first was on 8/10/2013 at Gramercy Tavern in NYC with a 750ml bottle purchased from Acker Merrall. That wine was amazing and bursting with flavor. The fruit was wonderful and tannins were very smooth. The second time was on 11/2/2013 at the Atlanta Chapter of the Commanderie de Bordeaux's Fall Parlement at the Four Seasons. This time the wine came from an Imperial Bottle which I helped decant three hours prior to drinking. This time the wine had a beautiful nose (as I had remembered), but this time the wine failed to deliver any real depth or flavor. To me the wine was going through a sleeping stage and seemed very juvenile. I assume this was because it came from an Imperial style bottle. I have to assume that the wine would have been just as good as my first encounter had we opened the Imperial in ten years. With that being said I still think the wine was excellent out of the 750ml.
Tobacco, check. Truffles, check. Spice, earth and cassis check. Soft, silky textures too. But this bottle did not seem as fresh, lively or deep as the last bottle. I think this is fully mature and while it has not run out of steam, there is probably nothing to be gained by holding it further.
It has been almost another year and a half since last tasting this wine. It has not transformed much from when last tasted. The tannins are still modestly apparent, but not enough to deter enjoyment of the wine. Aromas of blackberry, cherry, slight tobacco, cedar, cigar box, a mild amount of roasted coffee, and some spice. Flavors are similar, with the addition of a slight amount of graphite. Fairly rich and decent intensity of fruit. A good structure. A medium finish. A nice and enjoyable Pauillac, but this bottle did not seem to have the intensity as my prior tastings. JMO.
Does this wine ever disappoint!? Because of wines like the 89 (and 82,96,etc), Lalande remains my favorite producer. Glorious aromatics the instant that the cork is pulled and the first glass is poured. Tobacco, slight pepper, earth, cherry, cassis, forest floor, and pencil waft from the glass with precise delineation - hard to put the glass down. Similar, rich flavors coat the palate and there is a wonderfully long finish that screams Pauillac. I have been incredibly fortunate with the 1989 Pichon Lalande and my scores are always enthusiastic. I keep waiting for this wine to drop off, but it just seems to get better. Seduction in a bottle and a complete winner! 97 Pts.
Pristine bottle, level into the neck, cork less than 1/3 saturated so no technical issues for this bottle! Brick red, mature looking. Very exotic and spicy with a touch of roasted walnuts which I left was pushing at the boundaries of pleasantness. Dry fruits and less Pichon perfume in their fresher years. I found the lack of acidity noticable and it was hard to keep the beast of the wine in check. Not an elegant wine more of a exotic spicy brute. Not something I look for in Pichon Lalande and glad I checked it again after not tasting it in a long time as I certainly won't buy any other bottles for drinking. Seems like it is a good wine to trade given the very high marks and comments in CT!
Wow…what a nose….huge pencil lead, graphite, cassis, moss, blackcurrant, cherry, forest floor, violets. Palate is very pretty….such pure fruit with great density...wow..moss, forest floor, earth, cherry, graphite, pencil lead, black currant, plum, spice, flowers…..so complex. Finish is a touch clamped and astringent…still pretty but it does not bring the same level of class as the nose and palate….
A Small Saturday Night Wine Dinner: Pristine bottle and it showed as well as you could possibly imagine. Pop and pour was all that was needed. Nose of old seasoned cedar, worn in leather, tobacco, moss and mushroom undergrowth, and a green herbal note with deep macerated red/black currant fruit still in tact. The palate is classic integrated bordeaux with perfect balance and a lengthy finish. Love this wine!
5 Decades of Chateau Pichon Lalande, with Richard Brazier (Handford Wines, London): The colour is still on the dense side. From the 02,00,99,96,95 line up we had before this, this is the first vintage where the fruit dominates the spice and the first one that secondary notes make their appearance. Proper classic claret, pure, elegant and well aged. Lacks a bit of power and their fruit is starting to thin on the mid palate but this is a solid wine with a lot life ahead of it and judging by the 76 and 66 we had on the follow this can last for many years more. Our WOTN 95
Lovely garnet colour, still quite dark in the core. Wonderful perfume on the nose, secondary notes, cedar, spices, evolved. Really dense and focussed on the palate, impressive structure, fresh with sweet and round, gentle tannins, great length. Superb. Drink until 2020.
Initially a bit astringent in the mouth. But after close to hour began to open up beautifully. Nice red fruit, with hints of caramel. The integration and depth began to show after the first hour. Developed into a beautiful wine. Seemed to keep going. Finished after 2 hours – wish I had let it last longer!
Bordeaux 1982-1900-2000 tasting (The Traklin Wine-Bistro): Shiny garnet colour, still quite dark in the core. Quality perfumed aroma, tertiary notes of cedar, spices, leather. Full bodied, dense and rich on the palate, impressive structure, fresh with sweet and round, gentle tannins, great length. A real pleasure.
Amazing deep pauillac nose, ripe and savoury. Fine tannins, rich delicious fruit initially from the bottle, moorish. After an hour quite herbaceous, nose still wonderful but slightly greener and olives as well as wet leaves and wood. After 2-3 hours roast meat as well and incredible depth in nose and body. An amazing and engaging wine and experience that is drinking perfectly now.
HDH auction tasting at Tru; 5/17/2013-5/18/2013 (Chicago, IL): Lovely aromatics. Slightly earthy, green peppery, and underneath it all, a thin layer of ripe currants (think Ribena). The palate has that same earthy note. Perhaps on the austere side with a little bit of barnyard funk, this nonetheless has a bit of sweet currant on the palate. Great semi-resolved tannins, this will benefit from another decade.
Bordeaux 1989 Horizontal Tasting (Zurich): Bright red, first signs of age on the edges. Nose of leather, tobacco, currant and licorice. The wine has power and a solid structure, yet is quite elegant. The tannins are present but well balanced with the fruit. Nice wine. Drink now - 2030.
Another great Pichon Lalande. Decanted and drank over 3 hours. I had forgotten how much I liked this wine. Nicely complex nose of herbs, green pepper, smoke, black fruit and earth. The palate is wonderfully sweet and silky. Long finish with excellent grip. Nice complexity.
First a bit shy, then half of the bottle decanted for 1 hr, somehow overripe, not really fresh. One had the impression, that this case is to drink soon. Great nose anyway. Then we drank the other half, that waited in bottle for 2 hrs: wow, what a great wine! Tons of ripe smooth fruits, freshness, strong middle and decent length with a melting taste of caramel and leather! A textbook 1989, my favorite "younger" vintage which is (mostly) ready to drink. I am a fan of a very classical Bdx style, but more and more I get the impression that 1989 rules over 1990? As often (1990, 2005), Comtesse Lalande fools you at first, but the 2nd half of the bottle performs with impressive fruit and smoothness. Drink now (til 2028?), but let it breathe ( in bottle) a while before!
The last bottle I had from this case was distinctly corked, and at first I thought the same was true of this one, with plenty of seepage through the cork. In the end this was still drinkable at least, but balance totally off and not at all as it should be - a real shame.
Quite rich and blackfruited with a fullbodied, voluptuous texture, the merlot is really showing here. But with air it's gets funky and slightly green and the fruit fades. The first sip was the best. Outpaced by the Heitz Martha's sitting next to it. Why do I feel like this should have been better?
Well-balanced. Dark fruit and nice greenery with good acidity. Good with food. Not many fireworks, though. Drunk from an awful glass--I'd score this 90 based on my experience, but it might have been more enjoyable with a better stem.
In the nose this bottle was absolutely great, but on the palate not a 100% fresh. In the nose some pleasant barnyard and exclusive oak. On the palate dark forest fruits, still firm acidity, tannin and bitterness and noticeable alcohol. Although the wine was slightly corked it was still possible to write the wine. If you have a perfect bottle this can probably last for at least another decade. I will not score this bottle.
Round Table dinner at Jake's (NYC): Medium weight and very elegant with pure red and dark fruited flavours framed by cedar, iodine, tobacco and that PLL green/forestal character. This comes across surprisingly youthful; it seems to still be holding a lot in reserve and isn't as forward and aromatic as I remember other bottles being, though this bottle's still excellent.
Like the 82, this wine just goes from strength to strength and always delivers the goods. Stunning nose of fresh tobacco, iodine, black tea, earth, cassis, black cherry, cinnamon, and pencil. I could not keep my nose out of the glass - man, I love Pichon Lalande! The palate fulfills the promise of the nose, and then some. Incredibly complex with all of the aforementioned flavors and a wonderful sweetness to the fruit. Medium bodied with sorted tannin, this wine is not quite the bruiser that 89 Montrose and Lynch Bages are, but more of an ethereal and intellectual wine. I was spellbound the entire six hours that it took to finish this, and although my score may seem atypically high for this wine, on this night it earned every single point. Amazing! 97+ Pts.
Bordeaux 1989 left bank (with a bonus VCC): Incredible nose - fruit is positively leaping out of the glass, super fresh, great depth of flavour with notes of luxurious tobacco. This explodes in the mouth, oozes class, velvety and mouth coating, and still has so much to give. Very long finish. My WOTN. Delicious.
Beautiful mature nose with cedar, cigar box, blackberry and cassis. Very silky, elegant and round in texture with a long finish. I preferred this to the also excellent Las Cases 79 we drank alongside the Pichon Lalande 89.
Pichon Baron & Lalande (The Medlar, London): Slightly more restrained, minerally, 88 nose. A little richer on the attack than the other suspected 88. A little more coffee, and a little more cork on the finish. Ah, a corked 89. Quite a rich wine underneath. That's a shame, there's a very good wine underneath this.
developing color. full lush nose, showing tobacco, purple fruits, some earth. fills the mouth, energetic and deep. long well integrated finish. this wine is still developing and i think has years to go
This is the second time I have tried this wine and it continues to impress. Almost perfectly balanced between fruit and tannin -- a full but not overpowering nose, herbaceous and floral. A subtle wine, but delightful.
Roars out of the bottle with a heavenly bouquet of cedar, tobacco and oodles of cassis. This is sexy, silky with a plush, big palate impact and a great core of claret fruit, together with a spicy, exotic flair (for Bordeaux) that bepseaks to the unusual cepage at this chateau (lots of merlot, fairly high petit verdot). This is mature but comes across as young next to the '83. Bouquet lovers will prefer the '83 today, but the '89 packs more oomph on the palate. I love '80s P-L. Excellent
A beautiful mature nose, packed with earthy, forest notes, truffle, blackberry, tobacco and cassis is the first thing you notice. Plush, soft, round and elegant in texture,the wine finishes with fresh, ripe berries, olives and cassis. If you're not familiar with Bordeaux, this is the wine to get you going. If you are a Bordeaux lover, you already know, this is really good juice.
Off the wine list at O&C Club, London. Decanted one hour ahead. Deep crimson color, with little development at the edges. Cassis, tea leaf, graphite aromas. Mellow and rich, in that way of mature Bordeaux; soft tannins, very nicely balanced acidity and fruit. Lovely, but not 'wow' for me. Paired with roasted partridge, with enough left for the cheese course.
Nicely mature and this cork was soaked...still for a Commune purchase, no complaints as the wine was fresh and correct...still good dark color but tannin resolved and lovely classic P-ac...good expressive fruit and graphite to anchor...very pretty wine
Dinner with Friends (Wilmette, IL): Open and decanted for roughly 3 hours before trying. Classic Pauillac aromatics. Red currant and plum, tobacco leaf, cedar and some earth. Sweet fruit on the palate with medium body and a medium plus finish. In a great spot with well integrated tannins. Not sure how much better this is going to get, but based on how enjoyable this bottle was, if I had any in the cellar I'd be drinking them.
My apologies - this note is much shorter than the wine deserves. This still has a little room to grow, I think. Wonderful fruit and still plenty of tannin - my only two regrets are a) I have no more and b) having consumed this among many other wines on the same evening (#firstworldproblems!)
Lovely, fully mature and silky-smooth PLL. Bricking at edges, great nose and wonderful taste with super soft tanins and sweet kiss following. Decanted only 45mins, after some air had that cherry taste of a Brunello, then with extended time in glass brought paulliac cedar and graphite. Became noticably more dense... If it puts on more weight in bottle, and fills out mid-palate, then this will be a 97pter. Aim for 2015-2020, else a 2-3hr decant now.
A dark reddish-ruby color; seems to be browning at the rim. Perfumed and complex aromas of blackcurrant, cherry, cedar, leather, cigar box, roasted coffee and spice. This time I got a more developed feeling in the mouth; not as lean as it was a year and a half ago. Rich and good intensity of fruit. Flavors of sweet blackcurrant, mild roasted coffee, graphite. A medium to long peppery finish. Tannins are soft, but still very slightly apparent. Nicely balanced. Pairs good with N.Y steak; I like the wine better by itself though. Score 92-93.
Bordeaux Søskenparsmaking (Moss, Norway): Nydelig, rik, kompleks nese med blyantspiss, skogbunn og mørke bær. Flott sødme. Stram og tett fruktkjerne. Svært mørk i stilen med preg av solbær. Flott syre.
Tobacco leaf, forest floor, truffle, smoke, cassis, olive, floral, coffee and spice box aromatics lead to a sensuous, luscious wine filled with ripe, juicy cassis and fresh Maraschino cherries. This is fully mature. There is no hurry to drink it, it’s probably not going to improve much either.
Dark ruby. Beautiful nose of dark fruit, with spice, and a peppery underbrush that I always associate with pichon lalande. still nicely framed with acidity and tannins, but far broader and more voluptuous than the 86 tasted alongside. Long, mouthcoating finish. Gorgeous.
This may be my best bottle yet of this. It has only been open for a few hours, but it is so darn good that I simply cannot wait any longer to post on it! Beautiful, wafting nose of wet earth, tobacco, sweet red fruit, black tea, and pencil. One of those noses that the instant you pull the cork, you know that you have something very special on your hands. The palate moves the goalposts with its incredible richness. Candied cassis, cinnamon, black tea, brier, menthol, tobacco, and a lush pencil finish. Wow! The score in my head keeps going higher and higher - I may shock some folks. Completely sorted tannins and that velvet Lalande mouthfeel. Layer after layer of complexity. This now officially is my best bottle of this - a rock star! 97 Pts
Amo Eno (Hong Kong): Pichon Lalande really had a great decade in the '80s with the '82, '86,'89 and '90. Yet another amazingly complex wine with all the classical notes of cherries, tobacco, cedar and dried fruits. Great length and superb mouth.
High-end optics bar (Amo Eno, Hong Kong): The Pichon Lalande 1989 was probably the first bottle of decent wine I ever had, or at least noticed, some years ago, so it has a special importance for me. This has a strange, complex nose with delicate fruit and tobacco/tea flavours intermingled. It's still dark, hardly any rim. A fantastic layered length. WOTN.
Had the classic Pichon nose, but with very little barnyard that exists with the older wines. This was pure, dark ruby and still very tannic. While an excellent wine, good balance - it is just not ready to drink. very youthful and fresh, high alcohol. It will be great for a long time to come.
A nice garnet coloring with no bricking evident. Very smooth with mature notes of cedar, currants, dried black fruits, leather and some pencil lead.This has aged wonderfully and still sits on that plateau of maturity!
This bottle was recently purchased at the Zachy's auction in Jan12. The firs bottle opened from that lot. Very unfortunate it was defective bottle. Upon opening the cork was in a bad condition and broke. When pouring into the decanter, the wine smelt bad and had a very musky smell and the initial taste was poor. tried to decant and see if it was truly defective, after an hour the bouquest semlt thin and the wine was extremly flat.
Perfect color and fill. Fairly dark and young looking for its age. Especially after a couple of hours of decanting, it opened up and showed mature Bordeaux characteristics. Not a big wine, but very good.
89/90 Bordeaux Retrospective with Hart Davis Hart: As always, beautiful. Perfumed is the right word here. Potent but lithe at the same time. I love Lalande and it's always a thrill for me. Floral and fruited, the image of elegance. Not quite as sumptuous as the 82, but fine.
Very much wow stuff. Hard to really put this wine into words - there's amazing depth and complexity here, an array of developed tobacco, graphite, cedary and green herbal flavours around a core of pure red and dark fruits with all the flavours coming together seamlessly in a medium weight, polished whole. The structure here's incredibly fine grained, giving it a remarkably finessed textural quality, and it's a wine that's wonderful to sit down with and explore over a few hours.
Cabernet (CA and BDX) blind tasting at C&S: Great nose. Initially dark and charcoal-y on the palate with earthy overtones, over time this turns into savory cedar+coffee+earth+fruit bordeaux taste. Very balanced and smooth with a very good finish. WOTN for me. 92-93
It is so nice to have thoughtful neighbors. My buddy calls me and says that he saved me a glass from last night. It was absolutely spectacular. Sexy, silky, fresh red cherry fruit. Very sophisticated nuances of minerals and some mushroom. Remarkably young and vibrant. This is a superstar with tones of time left. Very memorable.
Decanter Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Masterclass (Landmark Hotel London): Medium garnet with orange highlights fading to a tawny rim. Open fully mature sweet nose with cigar box, cedar damson fruit, tar, liquorice and ground coffee. Palate typical of the fat '89. This is bigger than the '85 but with a softer spine, lower acidity but still very elegant and profoundly flavourful. Rounded, soft and oily texture. Expanding cedar bitternes in the palate. Perfectly mature wine with sweetness and spice.
Opened and aired out in bottle for an hour or so. Big sweet plumb and cassis with leather, cedar and rooty notes. Elegant and silky smooth all the way through. The finish lasts and lasts with dark berries, lead pencil shavings and wet leaf notes. What a wine and drinking wonderful right now, though this will hold for a few years, so no need to hurry. Drink now to 2020.
Tobacco, bitter chocolate, blackberries, cigar box, earth and cassis. Polished silky and velvet textures with a cassis, cranberry and cocoa filled finish. This is fully mature and if this bottle is a correct example, it does not seem like it has the stuffing to age and improve from this point on.
With pasta bolognese. Wonderful complex aromas of leather, tobacco, cedar, beautifully blended. Medium-full body, perfectly balanced, still with plenty of dark fruit flavors, touch of anise on the back of the palate and aftertaste. Won't get any better but absolutely wonderful now! Better than the '90 Lynch Bages from last week.
Pichon Dinner - Lalande vs. Baron (Palena - Washington, DC): I was blown away by this wine. The nose is full of fresh berries, tobacco, smokey minerals, violets and earthen tones like mushrooms and soil. Palate combines the power of the 1996 with the texture and balance of the 1983. Great finish with lingering earthen tones and the always present floral tones.
Pichon Baron vs. Pichon Lalande @ Palena (Washington DC): Incredible showing, drinking beautifully like the 83 but more intensity and fruit. Floral, crushed berries, mineral, black truffle and cigar box. Exceptional balance and drinking perfectly right now combining the sweet fruit and complex tertiary elements. My WOTN.
really a treat! deep ruby red, great old vines nose with bright cherries. Opened, decanted and drank over 2 hours. Hints of spice evloved on the long finish. This wine is drinking fantastically well and seems to be good for years to come. What a shame I don't have more!!
Two bottles were opened tonight with identical notes. Red currant and plum, sweet tobacco, graphite and cedar. Sweet red fruit on the medium bodied palate. Moderate plus finish with well rounded tannins. This wine has been in a great place for awhile now, but there is no hurry to drink.
It's always a nice surprise when a bottle performs better than you expected. Tobacco, cassis, truffle, earth, spice, cedar, green olive tapenade and roses make up the complex perfume. On the palate, this Bordeaux wine feels like pure silk and velvet. The long, ripe dark berry finish lasts at least 40 seconds. Note to self, drink more Pichon Lalande.
the nose on this wine is outstanding!!!! however, the fruit on this bottle was somewhat muted. it was open for about an hour and a half, but i think it could have used a day plus an hour and a half...9 left i need to slow down ...
This was a phenomenal bottle, stored in pristine conditions since release. Rich pure flavors of great length. Soaring aromas. Cassis, cherry, tobacco, cedar all in a velvety smooth full to medium bodied wine. Showing bricking at the edge. Drinking perfectly right now. Wow! -JBL
Initially a powerful dark nose of pencil lead and dark fruits, it developed over 1,5 hours in the decanter and became more complex with new aromas of wet leather and barnyard. In the mouth this has still quite prominent tannins, although these are smooth and the mouthfeel is nicely velvety. The aftertaste is long and keeps coming back again and again. A clearly outstanding wine now, I would expect this to still have at least a decade of upside potential left.
At Wijn Antiq Amsterdam, theme Left 80-s (blind tasting). Nose has earth, herbs, thick dark fruits, manure, cedar and graphite. Beautiful ripe in the mouth, rich and powerful with forest/ autumn tones. Nice complexity again. Clearly a ripe Cabernet with "medicine chest" and pebbles.
Yellowish bricking at the rim; dark garnet body. Blackcurrant, cherry, tobacco, leather, cedar on the nose. In the mouth, the depth does not equate to the expectation from the nose. It's still good though. Nice finish. This is the same score I gave the wine at a NFL Draft day party 4-25-09.
Earth, truffle, tobacco, cassis, spice, smoke and chocolate covered plums make up the complex perfume. Elegant, soft, refined and sexy, this mature Pauillac ends with layers of polished, silky dark berries.
Decanted for roughly an hour. Classic Pauillac aromatics. Red currant, tobacco leaf, cedar. Medium plus weight on the palate; still bright fruit as well. Great acidity throughout. Tannins were barely noticable. Medim plus finish. Drinking fantastic.
This is a GREAT mature Pauillac bdx in a GREAT drinking window - the second of 5 red wines drank last night with Kim and other members of the Hickory Wine Club at a wine dinner at our house. Decanted for almost 2 hours prior to serving and I think this was just about right. Soft, very balanced, light purple with orange hews, medium to full bodied. Too expensive to be any kind of a reasonable QPR wine but boy is this good and I highly recommend it - this has years of cellaring left but on the other hand I am not sure that it will significantly further improve with more time, I would recommend starting to drink these up. Nose with initialy light barnyard funk which blew off very quickly with remaining aromas of olives, cassis and dark fruit. Primary flavors included very classic bdx notes of terroir, cassis, well balanced oak and fruit and later on the palate development of darker tones of tar and leather. Buy this if you find it but also be ready to start drinking them up.
From a magnum and decanted for about 2 hours. Wonderful, complex nose of cassis, leather, plum, minerals, earth and some funk. Somewhat thin and not as rich or complex on the palate as the nose would suggest. Soft, smooth and round with a short to medium, slightly bitter finish. Not quite up to my expectations. I thought the wine was better in prior bottles. Perhaps this was just a slightly "off" bottle.
89 Pichon Lalande is llight ruby in color. The wine offers a perfume of tobacco, cassis, plums, green olive tapenade, earth and truffle. In the mouth, 89 Pichon Lalande is soft and round in texture. The finish is filled with bitter chocolate, cassis, hints of cranberry and some green flavors that take away from the overall experience of the wine. It's possible the wine has started to fade. This bottle seems to have lost some of its freshness. I plan on opening another bottle in the near future to see if it's the wine or the bottle that's started to fade.
Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Vertical Dinner (The Marine Room, La Jolla, California): Medium-to-deep red/garnet robe with garnet rim. Clean, very intense bouquet of black and red cherries, minerals, leather and lavender. Full-bodied on the palate, with low acidity and medium residual tannins which are well-integrated. The flavors are luscious and still fruit-dominated, carrying through the middle palate to a long, smooth finish. This is the classic-quality Pichon-Lalande. Very elegant and very much a crowd-pleaser. It has enough structure for at least another decade of hedonism. Drink now-12/20.
Ledbury with B&A and R&Y (The Ledbury, London): Deep garnet. Classic Pauillac nose of blackcurrant and pencil lead with a good dollop of St Julien-like cedar and sandlewood. Long, smooth, fine-velvet palate and a decent length. Lots of complexity and held up well over the evening, perhaps lacking a little depth of finish to be truly top class, but this is a very good and very satisfying bottle of claret absolutely at its peak. Really lovely. ****1/2
BYOB Dinner with Friends (Liberty Private Works Private Kitchen in Hong Kong): Decanted for only 30 minutes or so which is a shame. Needed more air time to fully show itself. Color in the glass is still a pretty dark rich garnet with definite orange edging. Strong barnyard and earthy notes with cassis and leather. On the plate showed earthiness, cassis, red stewed fruit. Finish was not as long as I would have expected.
Great wine. Touch of cedar on the nose when first opened. Drinking beautifully, but lots of life left. Coming into into the prime drinking window. Sweet tobacco and hard red fruit on the pallette. Not quite bright fruit, but great fruit, but really nice and full integration. Silky refined tannins, great length. Buy all you can at a good price. Open an hour and iodine and iron coming into the nose.
The "Grand Cru" tasting with Bacchus Wine Society (Merton College, Oxford): My WOTN, though give the Gorelli a decade and we'll see...Darker nose than the Las-Cases, nice balsamic (not vinegar) and liquorice notes on the nose. Still *remarkably* young, plenty of tannin and acid there to keep going, but drinking superbly now. A green, mouth-watering lovely bitterness and plenty of rich dark sweet fruit. This style done well is just so my kind of thing.
Gorgeous wine. Drinking beautifully now. Well integrated flavor, silky texture. I wonderful example of why we love aged Bordeaux wines. Compared with 5 other bordeaux wines at a dinner and this one was the clear winner of the night. Glad I have 5 more!
Pichon: Baron vs. Comtesse: I think everyone pegged this for a Comtesse and this was the groups WOTN. I really liked it, but apparently prefer the Baron wines. Ruby in color, slightly purple. The nose is earthy complex and very interesting. Lots of cherries and cassis. Juicy texture. On the palate, flavors of cherries dominate but also come cassis. You can note some maturity but this is still drinking youthfully. Long finish.
Wine Club (Bowling Green, OH): I definitely feel honored to have tried this. The delicious factor here is average, but it makes up for that in pure complexity. There's so much going on here, but at the same time, nothing stands out and demands to be noticed. An average mouthfeel - still quite structured, and probably best with food. Drinking well now, but there's a lot of fruit left, so I think this could easily sail on for another 5-10 years at least.
The nose jumped out of the glass on this for me, very soft round fruit, slight game and tomato soup or stew. The palate showed some age, cedar, wet dog hair and sour red berries. The finish persisted with sour acidity, somewhat resolved tannins and a nice dusty finish. Overall a funky, round with with some sour fruit but still easily likable and with a personality I enjoyed.
Mature Bordeaux at David's (David Paris's place): Gushy, funky nose of stewed fruit, cedar, and some brett. I noted 'California' in my comments as this reminded me of a ripe yet over-the-hill California cab on the nose. Very round and fruity on the palate with a somewhat short finish. Again, I was stunned when the label was revealed as this bore no resemblance to my prior experience with this wine. Better than the 1995 though tonight.
Blind Mature Bordeaux, 1966-1995 (My house): Everyone was very surprised when this one was revealed. Just did not show very well tonight. The nose is showing a little bit of brett and some mint. Pleasing mid-palate though, showing some dirty cherries, peppermint, and a rubber band. Back to must on the finish, some dust, and building spicy black pepper, eucalyptus, and dirty plums.
Drunk side by side with an 86 PLL at Bibou BYOB in Philly. Had the 89 once before also from my cellar about 1 year ago. That bottle was far better and much different. The prior bottle-beautiful fruit and floral nose with massive sweet fruit. This bottle- dark purple with cassis, lead pencil and mineral on the nose and palate with fruit subdued on both. Popped and poured and maybe should have been opened earlier and decanted. As an aside, the 86 was a disappointment. Had it 3 or4 times before over the last 5 years. The first time, just glorious, a 99 pointer, and the last 2 or 3 in the 89-91 range. This 86 maybe an 86. Somewhat harsh with lack of fruit and some funk on the nose. Possibly some slight oxidation.
Dinner with Greg and Sayo (Chez Patrick, Sun Street, Hong Kong): Light purple-red transparent colour but with a deep ruby core. Nose is initially sweaty Hunter wellington boots, distinct pencil lead, mossy damp stones, fresh saddle leather.....just goes on and on.....perfumed....warm brambles.. pencil lead.....damp earth.. dry schist stone..green damp bracken.. Chinese laquer...dusty attics....graphite... so multi-dimensional...wow! Palate is great acidic freshness followed by a wave of rich blackberry fruit... incredible purity, depth and richness..... quite ethereal... very fresh and with years ahead of it. Evolves into hints of tertiary flavours: figs, fresh prunes and black fruits compote. This is a beautiful, deep rich and fruity wine that fills up your belly. The finish has a subtle, long persistent but understated resonance that just goes on and on. Really beautiful.
Pichon vs Pichon NYC (New York, United States): Now this was a wine that provoked some controversy. While my first impression, caught on tape, was effusive: cinnamon spice, dark fruit, cedar and blood red orange on the finish, Ben Aneff was likely the least enchanted, going so far as to call the nose slightly dirty. At first whiff, I could not disagree more, but when compared to the glory of the 1996, I could understand. To some extent. Perhaps there was a "slutty" aspect to the nose, but I fell for it, hook line and sinker. Not as impressive as the 1996, but endearing.
Fill well into neck, opened without decanting 2 hours before serving,cork in excellent condition. Dark red to rim. Nice nose of cassis, herbs without being vegetal, and with some swirling and time a little cedar/tobacco. Medium body, nice ripe cassis fruit and just a bit of beginning complexity, nicely balanced, smooth tannins, medium finish. Excellent.
I think I just don't "get" this wine. I have had some great bottles... and some fair.. this was good, nothing spectacular. Could be that it is sleeping, or done... not sure, but with 4 more bottles we shall see... Compared to other '89 Bordeax... ehh.
Spectacular Pichon Lalande. Medium bright color with very little sediment from 2- 375mls. Decanted and sat for 30 minutes. Deep, leathery nose, burnt, dusty and old. Still quite lively. A 3rd bottle was a little flatter.
Great wine, pleasant nose with essence of terroir balanced by dried fruit and cranberry. Pleasant tones just slightly demured by age. Dark fruits especially dried blueberry and raison and chocolate with just a slight tannic edge which balanced the wine well. Sweet fleeting finish.
Burnt cherry, leathery nose, delicious cherry fruit with leathery, pencil lead, currant flavors, very smooth with well balanced tannins, acid, and fruit, beautifully structured, medium finish, terrific wine
Color on the lighter side of red with intial aromas of fresh cherries, puccini mushroom and maybe some mint. Nice balance with classic BDX flavors. Short finish but very enjoyable. This was opened for 4 hours before drinking but not decanted.
More ruby and less garnet than the previous with a very healthy glimmer to the surface. An interesting and much more powerful bouquet than the Brunello. Rich cassis together with the usual developed merlot chicken shit that I expect to see more in right bank wines. A touch of spice too, but certainly nothing green. In fact this is the most Paulliac I've ever seen a Lalande show - maybe something to do with being served after the Brunello? Definitely plenty of sweetly ripe cassis fruit in reserve in the mid-palate to balance the more developed merlot. A glossy texture, wonderful fine ripe tannins in the background and a lengthy finish complete the picture. Easily the most backward bottle of the case so far.
No rush here. In fact I'd put this particular bottle somewhere in early maturity with a little more time needed to get more harmony of the components. Lovely wine.
Wow! Nez complexe de cèdre, de cassis de fumée, suave. La bouche est un tissu de dentelle, souple et aérien, un Pauillac d'un équilibre émouvant. Fraicheur, cassis et un peu de tabac, tanins d'une grande finesse. Grand vin. 94 pts
Really hitting its stride, this was the wine of the night in our group tasting of 15+ year old bordeaux. It beat out the 89 Leoville Las Cases and the 90 Lynch Bages and 89 Lynch Bages and others. Quite impressive, long on the finish. I would say it is basically a point though it will hold for 5-10 years. Enjoy if you have em!
From magnum. This was opened and allowed to breathe in the bottle (not decanted) while it was consumed over a couple of hours. Deeply colored. This just kept changing over the course of dinner and was a pleasure to drink. Initial aromas of candied red cherry and currants gave way to earth, forest floor, leather, sandalwood and cedar aromas. Later, floral and dark fruit notes emerged, along with saddle leather. Medium to full bodied, with flavors of plum, dark fruit, fresh herbs and black licorice. Lengthy finish, with red fruit and herb tones. Thank you R & D!
Had this just over a year ago, and while the flavors were very nice--soft, earthy fruit and graphite--it was the mouthfeel that blew me away. So supple and smooth that "satin" doesn't begin to describe it. It was like drinking a glass of melted fat, if melted fat could taste like a 19 year old Bordeaux.
Deep, dense ruby. Very dry-seeming, tobacco, cedar, leather and pencil lead nose. Palate led by dark fruit, really well balanced, smooth and long with a touch of sweet fruit and fresh acidity providing some lift on the finish. Long. Really mellow and lovely without being a showstopper. ****1/2
Frankly, I was a little surprised at how well this wine performed. I hadn't had it in years and I recall enjoying it back in the day, but not this much. This is still very youthful but shows great balance, great finish. Great Bordeaux.
This elegant, suave Bordeaux 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.
High Elevation Tasting In Park City (Damon & Tami's Abode): Wow. What an unbelievable Bordeaux. This was the 7th flight of the evening, and the 2nd best wine of the night, coming close behind the 99 Bryant. This wine had a truly amazing nose -- barnyard, cheese fondue, and a basket of spring dried flowers. I could have sniffed all night. On the palate, the wine was silky, with an incredibly long, long, long finish. The wine had elements of pencil shavings, blonde raspberries, a little mold, chalk, and the flesh of apple next to the skin, all with an amazing and lingering finish. What really stood out for me was the perfect balance and harmony in the wine. It truly had all of the great Bordeaux characteristics in harmony. The wine to me is extremely memorable for the long finish, and the perfect balance in the wine. This was a wonderful treat in a night of stars.
This bottle was perfect in all respects. Interestingly, it completely outclassed the last bottle we tried from the same vintage last year. This was the dictionary definition of a perfectly aged Bordeaux. Huge nose of dark red fruits with all the earthy characteristics one would expect from a top-notch left-banker from a stellar vintage. Perfectly balanced on the palate with muted tannins and an elegant profile. Tremendous finish. This was just light-years beyond the last bottle I tried. I hope it portends good things for the two or three I have left.
Sotheby's Pre-Auction Tasting (Sotheby's, New York): My #3 of the tasting, Chelsea's #2. Deep garnet color with slight bricking that creates a hint of orange at the rim. Intriguing nose that has the same base of black fruit and flowers as younger Lalande's, but adds a nice complement of tertiary aromas including barnyard, animal funk and leather. While enjoyable rather than excessive right now, you get the feeling that these tertiary aromas will continue to intrude upon and in several years will overwhelm the more primary aspects of the nose. The palate is smooth and mirrors flavorwise what the nose promises. Predictably, the fruit is not as strong as it was in the 1996 Pichon Lalande and it finishes a little more tart than I would prefer, but otherwise it is a great wine. I would be drinking these now, because as with the nose, you get the feeling on the palate that this is going to fall apart in a few more years.
On the nose, I got wet cardboard and sweaty sock. So it seems my snake-mongoose relationship with Bordeaux varietals will continue. But on the palate, I got flavors I liked. Didn't set off any bells and whistles, but it was pleasant. Cedar, plum, maybe a little bit of leather and earthy. Nice finish The wine was silky and seemed highly structured. Glenn brought it and had pulled the cork before to let it breathe, but I don't know how much air it got before dinner. Glenn felt the wine is drinking at its best now. Imported by Seagram Chateau & Estate Wines
Popped and poured. Dark purple with no sign of maturity. A beautiful nose of plum, cassis, lead pencil with floral overtones. Massive sweet fruit on the palate of cherry, plum, cassis and currant. Very CA in style which I continue to find in this underrated vintage. Not complex, just delicious. Drink or hold.
Youthfully opaque in color. Cassis and graphite at first with a really fine midpalate, rich yet less opulent than the Pomerols, and a bit of drying tannins on the backend on the first night. Overnight left open in a decanter, much fleshier, rounder and far more pleasing, adding fruit weight and texture, and turning into a much better experience. 92 day one 94 pts next day.
Beautiful dark ruby with slight lightening at the rim.Â very smooth texture and velvety mouthfeel.Â classic p-l aromas of cassis, dark cabernet fruit, with the usual vegetal streak.Â as in the 83 and 86, i think it adds to the complexity, but it can be distracting in some vintages.Â the velvety mouthfeel conceals a stillÂ firmly tannic structure.Â in the mouth, distinct notes of tobacco and earth dominate the palate notes of dark fruit and the vegetal streak.Â long,ripely tannic finish where the tobacco is really evident.Â a very very good claret.Â 750s should have a long life ahead.Â 375s can be drunk now but certainly have the tannic structure to age further ***1/2 / *****
Pauillac with the elegance and personality of top-notch Margaux; hint of stables, blackcurrant, gravel, almost magically pairs intensity with elegance, has real 1989 warmth but outstanding finesse too. Fully mature, drink up.
Opened and decanted (not sure how long) at home before double decanting back into the bottle and then decanted again once arriving at the restaurant for at least an hour longer. Purple color in the glass. clear hue throughout. Nose of saddle leather, briar patch, florals and a mix of dark fruits. Flavors of black currants, black licorice, black berries and black cherries on the medium to long finish. Medium acidity, fairly resolved tannins, medium to full bodied. Drink or hold. I say drink.
Drank at Pearl in Bellevue. Very fragrant right out of the bottle, and soft on the palate. Aromas of lavender, lead pencil, and asian spices (soy sauce) on the nose. Plenty of rich dark fruit and mocha on the palate, excellent body and mouth feel. It was open about 90 minutes by the time we polished it off, and it was consistently getting better the entire time. It went really well with a mushroom risotto. This wine has at least five years of good life left in it, though I do not think it's going to get any better.
Garnet red showing medium maturity. Sweet black current fruit delicately mixed morning dew and mountain foliage. Fruit overtakes a slight weediness with air. A bit lush, this is a fine, round Pauillac with good persistence. Extremely enjoyable if not truly exciting. (90)
garnet. nose initially was Bretty merde. Hmmm. Then over time this blew off to reveal honey, blackberries, spice, tobacco then anise. Taste was for the first hour very mellow, Bordeaux with age. But after 1 hour some tannins made their presence known. Overall a great wine, but I think can age a few years more.
This elegant, suave elixir is what the 83 used to be. Close to fully mature, black fruit, earth, herbs, spices and chocolate kick the perfume off. Everything is in balance. The palate is treated to very, lush, ripe waves of flavor. The clean finish is a treat to experience. Still going strong, I plan on finishing most of my bottles over the next decade.
After sampling several wines from this estate which have been less well-regarded (by me) due to green vegetal notes on the palate, this bottle was a revelation. Purchased a year ago from a local retailer, its provenance was unknown but the fill was mid-neck and the label pristine. Uncorked and aerated in the glass for an hour. Color was still a fairly opaque purple. Nose was alive with notes of cedar, anise, eucalyptus, black currants, and camphor. The palate was simultaneously silky and lush, shot through with dark fruits, eucalyptus again, tobacco, and hints of coffee. Pliant tannins supplied satisfying grip at the end, and the finish lasted a very long time. Beautiful, stylish, provocative wine.
UCD wine group (Denver, CO): Nearly identical impression as from last July. This time we decanted 3 hours, but this was ‘open for business’ on opening. Light violet red with only slight browning. Again this had cassis, tobacco, tar and a touch of licorice on the nose Elegantly weighted palate with good acidity and resolving tannins.
The Blind Drunks monthly tasting (Chateau Lay): Bricking toward the rim - another older bottle. Terrific nose of tobacco, spice box, plum and red currants. Well-balanced, with flavors of old leather, tobacco, smoked herbs and red fruit. Long finish. '89/'90 Bdx. 94-95 pts.
Wonderful wine; impressive structure and balance; drinkable now, but with many good years remaining. Not an obvious Bordeaux; very little bret, lacking the signature "barnyard" on the nose. Notes of plum, red fruits, leather, earth. I agree with other tasters it is younger on the palate than on the nose, with noticeable tannins remaining. I will wait before attacking the next bottle. This would perhaps present as more mature with more time in the decanter (we decanted around 1 hour). Short to medium finish. No complaints at all, but its best years are still to come.
Decanted 2 hours. Very dense red-garnet with only slight brickiness at the rim. Powerful, elegant, though not explosive nose of cedar, spices, earth and a sweet, tobacco-ish aroma that, for me, screams of Pichon-Lalande. The wine's richness belies its age. Potent, yet balanced and complete. No tannins left to speak of, just fruit, spice and silk. Long finish of more fruit, tobacco and coffee. Excellent wine.
Unlike most Pauillac's, the heavy percentage of Merlot makes this a very sophisticated, yet elegant wine. Gobs of cassis, black fruit and spices are easy to find. But for me, the real pleasure in Lalande is in the mouth feel. Close to fully mature, this wonderful Pauillac is all silk, velvet and satin in your mouth.
gorgeous old bordeaux ruby color with hints of vanilla and wood on the nose. Bright, lush fruit upfront gives way to a superb, long mid palate that is balanced and tasty. This wine is in the sweet spot...drink up.
Medium ruby red with no fade to the rim. Big nose of eucalyptus and spices. Very cabernet. A really sophisticated wine, with lovely Bordeaux flavours and a wonderful long, gentle finish. This smelled bigger than it tasted. Still youthful. Drinking at a peak level for a while yet we would say.
Classic Pauillac! If I were teaching a class on Bordeaux, this would be my example of an aged Pauillac. Beautiful nose of lead pencil, cigar box, minerals and subtle cassis. Tannins are fully resolved and integrated. Drinking beautifully now. No need for decanting.
My 40th and some notes...Bordeaux, CdP, Quilceda, etc. (Seattle): Soft and plush, with the most sultry mouthfeel of the flight. This is mature and delicious. Velvety sweet cassis and a lingering, almost caressing finish. In spite of the fact that the Troplong Mondot is the oddball as the only right bank, this bottle stands out the most from the group stylistically.
Dinner at Wilfred's (New York City): A great, great bottle of the 1989 Pichon Lalande. This is a wine where I have personally seen a pretty heavy degree of inconsistency, but this was a really strong one. Opulent, silky smooth, lacking the sheer power of the 1990 Lynch-Bages in the next glass, yet making up for it with a silken robe of black fruit, tobacco, cedar. Sexy wine, closer to a right-banker in some respects (texture, ripeness, sultriness), although clearly a Pauillac as well. One of top 3 of the evening for me. Heh, just re-read my prior note on this wine (which I hadn't seen when writing this) and this was brought by the same person, clearly a terrific batch of the 1989!
Had this wine follwing the 86 Lalande, the 89 is more opulent and rich and with more fruit, but maybe not as complex as the 86. And unlike the 86, the 89 has reached its peak, an absolute treat to drink now. At the Farr Lalade vertical last year I also seem to remember how well this wine fared against its 100 point 1982 sibling.
A supple, well textured wine full of soft plum and cherry fruit. There are added complexities of horse stable, graphite and tobacco leaf. Tannins are completely resolved. With an hour in the decanter this picked up a mineral edge and a touch of that characteristic, slightly green, currant bush. Excellent but lacks just a little verve and structure for greatness. Based on this bottle I suggest drinking sooner than later.
South Florida does Pichon-Lalande: Yet another star from the left bank in a vintage that is said to have favored the other side of the Gironde. Dark ruby, very plummy, very fresh, lush and sexy. Silky tannins are submerged in the black and blue berry fruit soup. Terrific and one of the stars of the Pichon Lalande vertical when all thirteen of the wines very on their best behavior.
Had at Blue Vervain in Manitou Springs. Not decanted. Violet red with barely detectable bricking on rim. Lovely nose of cassis, tar, tobacco, licorice. Ample fruit with refreshing acidity that was perfect with filets. Tannins resolved. Later without the steaks the midpalate felt a bit thin and the finish almost tart. This wine produced a lot of ooo's and aahh's around the table.
Danny's leaving dinner (again) (Crown Wine Cellars, Hong Kong): This was served blind and I guessed an 80's a Pauillac. Got the year on the second try but went for the Baron! This had pencil and cedar nose, there was a slight flat spot on the fore palate but still has subtle tannings and structure if the finish was a little short.
This was even better than the bottle of 4 months ago. Rich nose of cedar, tobacco, and smoke. Just a little time in the decanter brout out dark fruits. Great balance, complexity and depth. Definite Pauillac pedigree. 96-97
From a .375 that was not properly cellared for a few years of its life. Nevertheless it was a beautiful thing. Decanted about 3 hrs before drinking. Definitely mature. Tannins resolved, smooth. Plenty of fruit. Want more.
An outstanding bordeaux. Intense dark purple color with solid aromatics of earthy dark fruit and plum. On the palate, super round and resolved... lots of tobacco, tar, earth and black fruit. Consumed at Boa with steaks for my brother's birthday. this wine had non-wine, vodka swilling neophytes in a tizzy. It is a classic wine in every sense and this bottle was a pleasure that kept on getting better with every sip. Tasted side by side with a 94 Mouton Rothschild and it blew the Mouton (from a weaker vintage) out of the water. The sheer pleasure of this wine reinforces why I love this hobby as much as I do! I scored it 95 points and I may be underscoring it.
Had this wine last night, heady aroma on opening with a roquefort cast. Improved with decanting, mellowed through the evening (2 hours) Rich garnet color with good legs. Strong tobacco and clay flavors with chewy dark fruit finish.
Dinner at Eleven Madison Park (New York, NY): Wonderful, a very lush example of 1989 Pichon Lalande, one of the better ones that I have had. Rich, silky, classic Pichon Lalande with black cherry playing against a hint of tobacco and black fruit.
Claret Coup d'Etat (Eleven Madison Park): Similar to the '86 in the blue/black tinge to the fruit but rounder and more resolved. More resolved, too, than the '89 Palmer. This one's ready to drink, streamlined and tender in the mouth with still plenty of fruit freshness.
Seattle Tasting Group does Pauillac (Seattle, WA): The most exotic nose among the 85, 86 and 88. Sultry, ripe, with some horse kicking in after a while. The palate is surprisingly firm and black, lots of tobacco, woof, a real bruiser for the 1989. A bit harder and less generous than this wine usually is. Quite concentrated.
Decanted for just a few minutes as it seemed to ready to go. Slight brick color at the edge, but otherwise dark and bright. IMO '89 Bordeaux is the easiest vintage of any varietal or region for me to recognize as i get a kind of salty, smoky, woody taste that seems to characteristic of the vintage. I certainly don't mind it here or in others. This wine was just delightful. The proper sequence in following a '95 and then an '86 Sociando. This made it a Trifecta for the evening.
With a cassis laden perfume accented by notes of black fruit, truffle, wet earth and coffee, this is fun to taste. For me the personality of Lalande is best experienced in the mouth for its lush, rich style which is evident in the 89.
This was really a treat. It was so youthful still with tannin still showing well. Plum, currant, and pencil lead were dominant flavors along with balanced oak. After the tannins calmed down a bit in the decanter (0.5 hours) the wine was seemless and graceful. Should drink very well over the next 3-5 years.
Had this new Year's eve dinner with friends. Nice color and complex nose and palate. A bit less structured than the 1985 Ridge Monte Bello we had the same night. The Pichon was a wonderful experience with friends and beef tenderloin
Really delightful and perhaps I'm being too tough with the points. Not a ton on the nose, but very derk, really a deep purple making few if any concessions to age and this from a saturated cork and not very pretty capsule. Rich fruit like a 90 and no 89 austerity, speaking in generalizations. Tannin fully resolved and the Mrs called out barnyard, but to me just tastes like good wine. Glad I have more.
The Blind Drunks monthly tasting (Rich & Dana's): Tasted double blind at the December Blind Drunks tasting, which had an "uptown" theme. Dark garnet color. Notes of roasted red bell peppers (which I like in a wine), leather, tobacco and grilled meat. Medium bodied, with plums, blackberries and dark fruit flavors. Long finish, with chewy tannins. Enjoyable now but should continue to improve.
Deep ruby color with no signs of bricking along the edges leads to a nose of currant, tobacco, and dark cherry. The lush body contains cherry, currant, tobacco, spice, with a hint of cedar. Tannins are well integrated and last 40 seconds. An extremely enjoyable bottle of wine.
This was as sexy as any Left Bank wine I've ever tasted. This supple, velvety wine personifies elegance. It might be a matter of style, but more often than not, Lalande’s unique quality always wins me over.
Deep color, dense fruit on the nose. Meaty, iron and beef blood aromas. Rich, glycerin on the palate and a touch of heat on the finish. A great drink with legs to go for quite a while. I think with decanting this would have been even more expressive.
Deeop red. Initial nose of mushrooms and currants, well balanced on the palate, just a very slight tartness from the residual tannins. medium finish. Ready to drink but no need to rush, plenty of time and some development left to go in my view.
I would say that this wine is fully mature.... No hint of tannins...wonderful resolve fruit and just a touch of alcohol which keeps the wine from attaining perfect balance. Never the less a stellar example of an older Bordeaux. Pencil lead, cassis and elegant currant fruit....the nose is in par with the wine on the palate.
After opening a badly corked 1983 Pichon Lalande, I pulled the 1989 as a backup. Upon first opening, I was hit by a blast of brett. Wow, this was stunningly bretty, more so than any other bottle I have had! For about an hour, this was almost overwhelming with strong barnyard tastes on both the nose and palate. However, with air this improved a ton, and the wine rose up to balance against the brett. Graphite pokes through on the nose, and this takes on more of a black, brooding Pauillac impression although lightly tinged by some cola. The palate gets more youthful with time, big, black fruit, lightly sweet, a wafting bit of tobacco, silky yet gripping tannins, good persistence. This is nice Bordeaux although lacking the plushness that this wine can sometimes deliver. Still, it is an excellent bottle.
The 89 continues improving each time I taste it. It seems to put on weight, density and become more complex every year. Cassis, wood and spices on the nose. This full bodied, lush, sensuous Bordeaux is very plummy with sweet, silky, black fruits and a sexy, opulent, finish.
Extraordinarily smooth going down. How I wish I had had more than one bottle! Enjoyed with a meal of Bracciole. Opened bottle 1/2 hour before decanting. Allowed to breathe 15 minutes before pouring for diners. Fruit was subdued, but there was zero harshness. Lovely, lovely wine.
Seattle Tasting Group does 1989 Bordeaux (Issaquah, WA): I have always enjoyed this wine, but, having tasted it six times, I have seen a lot of variation. This bottle was on the weaker end of the spectrum, but it was still extremely enjoyable. The lightest color and texture of the flight, this didn't have the weight and power of the other two wines. Instead, this was a silky, sexy beast, loaded with initial notes of red fruit, fresh, perky and floral, almost grapey at first. However, with air it morphed into the wine I know, more black with hints of Pauillac tobacco, still lots of sappy, red fruit, sweet, lots of Merlot? I correctly guessed the identity of this wine. Group average 92.4 points.
Nose was a bit restrained; bottle was not decanted, but had classic bordeaux characteristics of cedar and tobacco. Fruit flavors subdued at first but developed nicely in the glass. Great mouthfeel and long finish, quite a lovely bottle of wine.
Medium-dark garnet colour with some bricking. Aromas of cherry, leather, grilled meat, pencil shavings. Full-bodied, with cedar, leather, and balckberry notes. Long finish, 40-45s, with red fruit, and herbs. Will still improve. Overshadowed slightly by the wonderful '82.
1982-83-89 Bordeaux at Masa's in San Francisco: This wine did not seem to get much respect, but I found it improved continuously in the glass, ending up the strongest in the flight along with the Montrose. The aromatics intiailly were quite reserved, except for a caramel note, but gradually notes of olive and spice and tobacco emerged, a slight variation from the classic straight Cabernet nose (a Petit Verdot element?). In the mouth, the wine fattened up with time in the glass, the flavors intensified, all while maintaining a perfect balance of tannins, ripe fruit, and acidity. Wonderfully smooth and pure fruits, this was another wine where the length of the finish gradually sneaks up on you. An impeccable, aristocratic wine in my opinion.
Lynch Bage vs Pichon Lalande 1986, 1988, 1989, 1995 plus 3 Ringers: Ranked the eighth wine by the group and me out of 11 Bordeaux served blind. Nose: Musty tobacco with saddle leather, dirt and pencil lead. Any fruit qualities hard to pick up. Palate: Dry steely red fruit flavors with slight greenish tobacco edge. Nice mouthfeel and balanced, but fruit seems dull. This one needs more stuffing to warrant a higher score from me.
Lynch Bages v. Pichon Lalande Shootout - Group #8, My #10 - Red/crimson. Forward aroma of black fruits and pencil lead and a hint of tomato. Nice round blackberry fruit. Smooth and a bit warm without as much complexity as others. Drink up. 4/05
Dinner with Ross and Ali (Seattle, WA, USA): Wow, of 5 bottles, this is clearly one of the best Pichon Lalande 1989's I have had. The cork was nearly pristine. Upon first opening the nose shows loads of spicy cedar, tobacco, and bright, red fruit. The mouthfeel is like pure silk, so smooth and polished, dripping with tobacco and black notes. The finish spreads out with leather and earth and impressive length. This is probably not as fine a wine as the 1989 Pichon Baron, yet for current consumption it currently yields far more pleasure. Mmm, this is in such a great place right now!
The wine was purple-red with little thinning at the edge. It looked very young. The nose was outstanding with some tobacco and leather and beautiful ripe fruit. The body is medium to full, and everything is balanced perfectly. The finish is fine with sweet and melting tannins. Second only to the '89 Montrose in my preferences. (SF Offline at Chapeau!).
Seattle Tasting Group does 'Go-to Wines' (Seattle, WA, USA): Lots of black character on the nose with ample tobacco. Earthy and very silky with some caramel. This is the least flattering bottle I have tasted of this wine. The cork was clearly pretty wine soaked, and this has probably seen heat damage at some point.
Dark red. Heavy scents of mushrooms, and generally a sweaty and funky" nose. Strong and tannic in the mouth with lots of dense, ripe fruit. A slightly herbal overtone put me off just a bit. Yet, the balance and structure of the wine were excellent, and there was a very attractive nougat-taste on the long finish. My guess was Pichon Lalande.
Dinner at Lampreia with Dhiren & Helen. A gorgeous nose of tobacco, cedar, and mushroom. Very black and brooding. On the palate this was initially somewhat thin, and I feared that I overdecanted this. However, with time and the right food (a course with Porcini prepared three ways and then rack of lamb for an entree) this filled out incredibly. Black, earthy, and amazingly silky. This is a gorgeous example of Pauillac. The finish is subtle, silky, medium in length. This particular bottle has probably seen better days (of 6 bottles purchased recently this was the one with the lowest fill, just above base neck), but it was charming and highly enjoyable nonetheless.
Dinner with the Bikel's at Lampreia (Seattle, WA, USA): Decanted about 2 hours before drinking. This bottle was pristine and for a minute I thought it was a 1999 and not a 1989. A lovely nose of cedar and tobacco is beckoning... By the time we opened this up for the meal three hours later this had a simply stunning nose of tobacco, black currant, and a somewhat animal element. On the palate this has amazing power yet is stunningly silky and resolved at the same time, velvety, deep and powerful with a simply endless finish. Layers of complexity to which my feeble words can do no justice!
Wine tasting. Good primary fruit on nose with some leather elements. Ripe black cherry, black currant and some cassis on both nose and palate. Reasonable length, but would have expected some more nuance on finish.
This was my first ever double decant! An hour before dinner I opened the bottle with a ScrewPull, left the cork on the 'worm', poured it into a decanter modulo the very last bit which had some sediment, rinsed out the 375 bottle with hot water & inverted it for it to cool and dry very quickly, poured the wine back into the bottle, cleaned the sediment off the cork (which had signs of seepage all the way around about 2/3 of the way up and was soft and crumbly near the bottom), used the screwpull to carefully reinsert the cork, and then slowly twisted the worm off, voila! I was even careful to cut the foil off such that I could pop it back on like a cap, and the waiter at the restaurant didn't believe me at first that I had already opened the wine. Double-decanting is a neat trick: no sediment and the wine gets a nice gulp of air an hour early! I will definitely do that again.
At the restaurant an hour later we opened the wine, and decanted it for an additional half hour. We then consumed it over the next 90 minutes. At first it had a surprisingly reluctant nose with noticeable hints of tobacco, tar and even animal fur. (I have seen that in Parker descriptions before, and I always thought I would never taste something like that. But boy this wine had it at first albeit in a fairly reluctant way.) Initially the mid-palate was silky smooth with soft tannins and almost no fruit and still very closed. The finish wasn't terribly lengthy but also elegant and smooth. With another 20 minutes in the glass the wine started to gain some structure and to also get more plump and round with time. Wow, every taste of this wine keeps changing and filling out! As we approached the final pours at 90 minutes the wine suddenly gained a very strong burst of black currant fruit. It was actually exploding from the glass for a few minutes. Where did that come from?!? Finally the wine settled into pure silk - demure and elegant - for the last half glass. All in all, it was a beautiful wine that I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone looking for a subtle, silky, elegant experience.
Sampled at the 2002 Wine Spectator Las Vegas Wine Experience in a seminar featuring '89 and '00 "Super Second" Growths. Gildas d'Ollone represented P-L on the dais. Earliest harvest since 1893. Large crop. High alcohol, low acidity. 8 % Petite Verdot. Barnyardy nose. Very smooth. Soft and seductive, the tannins are well integrated. Plums, cloves and strawberry flavors. Satiny texture. Opulent. Mr. d'Ollone thinks that this wine is a "marathon runner". He mentioned that he recently sampled the 1893 Lalande (similar vintage characteristics) and said it was still "lively, lean and beautiful".
1989 Chateau Pichon Lalande – This was the wine of the night. Not even close to maturity, but is definitely approachable. Classic cassis, pencil shavings and leather – very Pauilliac. Heaps of length, ripeness and richness. This vintage is clearly the riper and richer of the two, when compared to the 1981, but it shares with the Ausone a food friendly balance that many new world cabs simply do not have…