It has a healthy maroon hue with notes of smoke, tobacco, melted asphalt, scorched earth and red, black and blue fruits. It opens and persists nicely developing more smokey and some truffly notes which greatly adds to its allure. Over time the truffle and rich cherry fruit come to the fore giving this a luxurious feel. This wine has low acidity and a touch of heat, which has perhaps been attenuated with age but it doesn't really detract from the enjoyment of the wine because of the wine's other attributes, it has a decent length too. Maybe what differentiates this from Haut Brion and La Mission is the exquisite perfect equilibrium and tension they have compared to the Pape. But that is probably nitpicking and certainly wasn't 'fixed' from 1998 by making these wines more extracted. Anyhow this is a delicious and super-ripe wine that delivers a lot of pleasure.
Big Bordeaux IX (Kevin's house 4/18/15. Lower acidity than the 86 Cos d'Etournel. Sweet round, soft tannins. Lots of fruit; both red and blue. Rich body; as Joe said "chewy". Complex palate. Fine wine.
Big Bordeaux IX (Kevin's house): Slow -O for 2 hours, decanted for 60 minutes; drank 1 glass over 3 hrs and then had another small pour after that. Dense and rich, brooding. There is smoke and tobacco on the nose and palate. The palate is very rich with dark fruit and many layers. There is good complexity. Nice tannins. The wine overall seemed "chewy" at first and calmed down over time.
Big Bordeaux 9; 4/17/2015-4/24/2015: Much better than the last bottle I sampled which was flawed. Dark color. Cherry, smoke, blueberries and earth. Still tannic and should evolve over the next decade. Nice bottle.
Big Bordeaux IX featuring '82 Pichon LaLande and Leoville Las Cases and More (Rocknroller's (Kevin & Vicki's Place)): Very dark red color/purple color with a 5-7 mm transitional margin. Slow -O for 2 hours, decanted for 60 minutes; drank 1 glass over 3 hrs. This had a great nose that really developed over 20-30 minutes. This had pretty violets on the nose, red fruits that quickly give way to a core of deep rich black fruits with great purity, blackberry, cassis, and black cherry; scorched earth, damp earth and some sandalwood . The palate has great depth, a great layered core of blackberry, cassis, and black cherries, scorched earth, a little tar, deep and fresh, gravelly tannins, hints of wood and anise, glycerin, and a long polished finish. There was amazing concentration of fruit with a layered complexity. Man, I just love '90 Bordeaux. My #3 WOTN and group #2. 94+pts.
Drank this at dinner with excellent Boeuf Bourguignon. Still youthfull colour. Fresh nose of blackberry fruit, bit of dust, forrest floor, tobacco and leather. Full bodied, good substance (not sweet but good glycerin, typical 1990 structure), fruit and Asian spices). At its prime, but can hold for a couple of years.
1990-themed dinner (The American Club): Next up (for me and most) was this Pape Clement. If I recalled correctly, none of us nailed this as Graves. It had that nice nose of tar, ink, tobacco; And on the palate, still a lot of structure, both red and black fruits, more ink, bit of leather, right dose of acid/freshness. Somehow, that smoky and earthly characteristics of a Graves didn't seem to manifest much... Most agreed this was left-bank, and oscillated between Pauillac and St. Julien. Such is blind-tasting... :) In anycase, a very nice drink!
Decanted 90 minutes, but other than sediment not necessary. This was really nice and seems fully mature. Complex aromas of red and dark fruits, along with earth, tar, anise, tobacco, and floral notes. Silky palate with medium fruit weight. The soft tannins and modest acidity created a finesse that played weight vs lightness. Very good with grilled ny strips. Flavors not as complex as nose and the length was modest.
Blind December Lunch (Lupo): Tasted blind. Right off the bat this showed youthful yet developing Bordeaux notes of red fruits with hints of cedar and smoke. Very well balanced and still showing quite a bit of structure. I think this has more to give and would be even better in 5 years. Excellent. 92+
Gorgeous nose of scorched earth, warm gravel and ripe earthy black currants. Delicious flavors of ripe black and red currants with that wonderful Graves character of char and smoky gravel. Full, round and rich with a silky but also slightly rustic texture and god acids for a '90. The finish is lovely and filled with notes of dark spices, tobacco and minerals. Delicious smoky juice that could still be short of its peak!
Another really enjoyable bottle. Touch of funk that took 10min to blow off. Great depth and lovely interplay between red and black fruit. Round and totally silky in the mouth. Wonderful sense of harmony. This is in a perfect place right now.
Great color. Gorgeous Graves nose of scorched earth, smoke, black currants and road tar. In fact, I asked my wife to identify the wine blind and she put her nose in the glass and said "Haut Brion?" Thick and silky with real breed to the texture. Balanced and pure with delicious vibrant flavors of black and red currants, roasted meats, smoky cedarwood and warm bricks. The finish is very finely complex with smooth, mature tannins. This is really very close to the first growths in this vintage and this is a wine that would convert any non-Bordeaux lover in a second. Drinking so beautifully now.
Tremendously gorgeous Graves nose with notes of road tar, tobacco, char and grilled nuts. On the palate, it's not quite as expressive as the nose but still shows lovely flavors of smoky red fruits, tobacco and spice with a strong mineral note on the back-end. Really balanced and slightly rustic and seems perfectly mature tonight although will clearly hold at this plateau for some time. The finish is soft and complex and it's hard to stop drinking this.
"Best of the Best" Tasting (Switzerland): Tasted blind: Clear ruby showing some bricking at the edges of the glass. Nose of tar, stable, tobacco and red berries. The tannins are quite hard, making the wine almost a bit rustic. At the same time there is a good sweetness to this wine bringing it back into sync. Elegant but almost a bit short. No hurry to drink
nose was great. typical Bordeaux. Took a while until it was opened up and gave away all its beautiful aromas. Long finnish. Needed 2 Hours in the glass. I definitly think this one is drinkable for 10+ years
Decanted and drank over 3 hours. This was a nice surprise. Very pretty open nose of strawberries, dried roses, some herbs, a bit of smoke a touch of earth. Ripe, pretty red and black fruit with spice and herbs on the palate. Not especially deep or layered, but youthful and vibrant. Long bright finish. Lovely.
Still feels incredibly young, especially after drinking the PLL. Powerful scents of smoke, tobacco and other more savoury and faintly roasted elements; still quite primary in the mouth with the fruit very rich and a firm tannic spine beneath.
Tasted blind and not decanted, very little clues at first with only herbal tones, later smoke and some leathery notes, fruit came after an hour or so, a fun wine to taste blind. I got the vintage right but could not nail the region.
Fragrant fruits and minerals on the nose, still youthful, firm, though medium weight. Initial powerful impression, Expansive range on the palate, black currant, tobacco, stone and hint of lead pencil. Opened from bottle, gained more balance after one hour. Long life ahead, though will remain medium weight. Stored in temp controlled cellar since release.
This is a powerhouse; ripe, dense and packed with rich dark fruit, cedar, pipe tobacco and earth. There's tremendous concentration and intensity to the flavours, matched by plenty of structure - this still feels rather youthful with a lot of time ahead of it. With a few hours of air it becomes more accessible and savoury, gaining a lot of aromatic depth and with that Graves smokiness emerging.
Julien S-M's 1990 Bordeaux (RSJ, London): Blind. Quite a densely fruity nose with some sweet fruit on the finish. Floral and sweetly perfumed. No more than medium weight, sweet and fragrant lifted red fruit. Malescot? Some depth starting to come through here with air. No, Pap C. ***1/2
This is one of the best wines from Grave including Haut Brion that I have ever tasted. The nose exuded scents of ripe black cherries, and earthiness. The taste was chewy with flavors of chocolate covered cherries, cherry tart, plum pudding and plenty of earthy mushrooms. There was a hint of cigar box to make the taste environment even richer. Yum, Yum, Yum! This weekend was Jim's birthday celebration so we had his birthday wine a 1966 Leoville Barton, a 1984 Mondavi Cab Reserve and this Pape Clement. While all of the wines were exceptional we agreed this was our very favorite.
33rd Austin Wine Salon - Bordeaux (Max's Underground): Unquestionably one of the best wines of the tasting, this wine won me over with its amazing fruit, texture and nose, but despite all the richness of the fruit, there was elegance, and lots of earth and animale. Just fantastic.
Straight from bottle. This wine was sooo good and yet missing something. Very mature color and lots of impressions in nose and mouth. Pencil lead, stone(classic Pessac-Leognan) pepper, spices, tobacco, black currant, kirsch. Very fruity and mature, but missing the "bite" The acid and tannins are gone all together, I am afraid. My wife loved it, but I was missing something. The label was completely ruined by moist(bought this bottle on an auction) but the level was high. But nothing wrong with the wine despite.
Spice, bbq, smoke, pepper, black cherry, hot bricks and dry leaves make up the . Medium/full bodied, with a soft textured, jammy black raspberry and kirsch filled finish, this Bordeaux wine is fully mature and is drinking perfectly today. But I would not hold it hoping it will get better, this Pessac Leognan needs to be enjoyed over the next 5-7 years.
High End Cabernets $100 plus: A minor flaw with the wine but drinkable. Nose of cassis, cigar box, earth and bell pepper. Good concentration and medium finish. Too bad it was a little off as I am sure it would have scored better.
Hi-End Cabs/Bordeaux Blends Offline, Blind ($100+) (Minneapolis): Dark red/maroon color with moderate bricking. 45 minute decant. The nose shows cassis, plum, pencil lead, subtle earth that evolves greatly, loam, tobacco. The palate is consistent with fine tannins and a medium-short finish. I believe this wine was partially corked (which became worse with more air)and as such didn't shine as expected.
Excellent deep ruby color with some bricking. Beautiful nose of smoky cassis and sweet black rasberry. Quite a suave and elegant texture with medium body. A bit thin in the middle but then finishes with delicious smoky blackberry flavors with hints of sweet tobacco, earth and gravel. My bottles of this wine have been very slow to come around but this is the best showing yet so perhaps this wine just needs time. 91+
Bud's 68th (Ngaio, Wellington, New Zealand): Very fine Graves with lazer focus in its nose and palate. Quite a lot of earthy currants and dill characteristics alongside a strong minerality. Not opulent and certainly not an "oak monster". I like this for its fruit focus and earthy quality. This will age for years, I think and should improve with further cellaring.
Very different to my last experience with 1990 Pape Clement - this one comes across very ripe and slightly roasted initially, with some herbal and brown sugary accents. With time the brown sugar note blows off and it starts to taste more like a classic claret with tobacco and cedary notes emerging. Very good, but I was quite surprised when this was unveiled.
if opening now, this definitely needs an hour or two in the decanter...double decanted and although funky at first, it blossomed after about 2 hours. quintessential pessac character with burnt embers and dark fruits and spice box. tannins well resolved and fine and a medium long finish.
Tour de Bordeaux; Next stop: Pessac-Léognan @ David's (Netherlands): Not very fond of the first sniff of this wine: cheesy, band aid, slightly weedy... Funky. Blows off during the evening in order to show some complexity and mediterranean fragrance: dried herbs, salted olives, canned cherries, sundried tomatoes. Somewhat drying and jaded on the finish. An arduous but provocative wine, demanding attention, but not in terrific shape. 17/20
level into neck; terrific nose, tobacco and cigar box, oriental spices, but they were revealed only after 2 hours in the decanter, ; remained very closed at first; full bodied on the palate , gained weight after a few hours, beautiful graves, classic bordeaux, long finish; has not moved a lot since our last bottle almost 2 years ago; give this wine enough time after uncorking, at least two hours in the decanter. outstanding. still has a lot of ageing potential.
Definitive Bordeaux (Mirabelle Restaurant Austin, Texas): The favorite of two groups, the least of one, the proponents noted a powerful nose, of dried roses, "grandma's house," and pencil/wood shavings, with smoothness and a really good balance. Bright flavors, of cherry, dark fruits, rock and dust (gravel), baking spices, and anise were easily recognized. "Modern but solid" proclaimed a veteran, having just sipped the 1966 and 85. Full, young, easy to drink, said his compatriot. Bah, doesn't have the black currant of the 85, is a little hollow on the mid-palate, isn't as round, is under-ripe, mused the third. Gorgeous nose, though..... And should age well, "this baby" of twenty years.
Knockout aromatics, smells as though you're inside a humidor with the most vivid expression of cigar smoke and tobacco leaf I've ever experienced in a wine, and layers of cassis, gravel and even more smoky tobacco underneath. Fantastic richness and depth, tannic structure suggesting this still has plenty of time ahead and a long finish that's all cigar smoke and gravel.
Superbe robe sombre, profonde. Le nez jaillit du verre, fumé, dense, complexe. Encore sur le fruit noir. La bouche est dense, compacte, à la matière bien mûre, à peine évoluée. La texture est à la fois veloutée et ferme. Superbe ! Mais à oublier encore en cave.
This is the best bottle of this I've had so far. Fantastic nose of classic Bordeaux: rich notes of game, underbrush, and just a touch of leather. The palate is medium bodied, with very present black fruit and just a touch of tannins remaining. In my opinion, this has just entered its drinking window and has plenty of life ahead of it.
beautiful nose of coffee and mocha (after about 90 minutes in the decanter; the wine remained "closed" for some time at first) medium bodied, showing fine elegance, a very good example of this great vintage that will most likely hold anoher 10+ years or even more; a real pleasure to drink with food, 12,5% alcohol.
Haut-Bailly & Pape Clément (Compass): A powerful wine that speaks to the richness of the vintage and the character of its place. Soaring aromatics of dark fruit, scorched earth, spice and licorice. It had a nice minerality and purity to the fruit although the palate could have used a touch more focus and it lacked some of the complexity that it showed on the nose. Plenty of structure left here, so it will be interesting to revist this wine in 5-10 years. This isn't a classic wine, but it is quite excellent.
'89 & '90, not '82. Austria, Alsace, Bordeaux, CDP, Germany, Loire. (Suba.): This wine has been in a beautiful spot for several years now. In some ways it's like the '90 Fieuzal as it shares a similar flavor and aroma profile, but it's always seemed like its older brother. The Fieuzal still has some rusticity and rambunctiousness, while the Pape Clément's black fruit is a touch richer and more polished. The earth and herb also makes you think more. Drinking well now, but there's no rush. Solid A-.
Another wine I bought based on that horizontal. I thought this was just lovely last night. Not huge, a beautiful svelte ripe Bordeaux. Coffee and cigarbox framing blackcurrant and berry fruit. Lots of earthy notes. Mark got Graves quite fast. Definitely red wine QPR of the night. A-/A
What an amazing year! This is a classic Bordeaux, but what is particularly noteworthy is the long, long finish. Blended, forward dark fruits, with lead pencil, tobacco and a hint of vanilla. A bit more rounded than other Bordeaux, but no signs of aging yet.
Deep dark red color. Huge aromatics of big but soft red and dark fruits. Somewhat monolithic. I did not appreciate the Graves overtones of the tobacco and earth that I enjoy tremendously--I would have guessed a right bank wine if served this blind. Very nice fruit on the palate too, but again, one dimensional. Pleasant tannins. This wine will last several more years, and hopefully take on some more secondary qualities.
We met Mark H and a mutual friend for dinner at the Anvil Club, and this was one of the bottles Mark brought along. Very deep garnet color, no signs of age whatsoever. Powerful notes of scorched earth, minerals and dark fruit. Full-bodied, and extremely well balanced at this stage, with sweet dark fruit flavors and a long finish. This is wonderful juice, and I can only imagne how much better this will be as it gains more complexity on the palate as it ages.
Decanted 45 minutes. Dark violet-red with a hint of browning on the edges. Expressive nose of dark, almost brooding, fruits, leather, earth, cedar box and tobacco. Structurally a little edgy with somewhat hard tannins and nice acidity. Very pleasant and interesting accompanyment for grilled filets. Should have many years ahead of it.
This was gone. Stored since purchase as future at 57 degrees. Colour brick red / brown. On the nose no fruit - prunes maybe. On tasting some sweetness, but none of the typical Bordeaux fruit or finish. Previous bottles have been very good - but have not tried one for some time. One bottle left which I will try ASAP. This was disappointing!
Honeymooners in NYC (Montrachet): tonight this wine rocked! true older bordeaux, tobacco, slight herbs but not in a bad way, nice fruit - black berries dominating, medium body and looong finish. Victor you have a winner !
Lou & BettyLu in NY Dinner I. (Locanda dei Vini.): I’ve always loved this wine and consider it underrated, which has nicely kept the price down. Tonight was another delicious showing. It’s all about black Graves earth with rich, but not overripe black currant fruit, cedar and a cloak of herbs. This wine was made in the style before the estate started dolling up their wines with chocolaty oak, though they’re one of the few, imho, that has made it work. Must be the earth. Anyhoo, the wine still shows plenty of backbone and while showing on the young side, it’s drinking marvelously right now. Solid A-.
A light ruby color greets your eyes. Notes of tobacco, smoke, cassis, blackberries & herbs says hello to your mouth. And your palate is met by a ripe, spicy, blackberry pie washed down with a dose of cassis. Very full bodied, rich, silky entry with good concentration of ripe fruit.
This is my second bottle of this in the past twelve months or so -- confirming that, at least to me -- this is one under-rated wine. I actually think I prefer this to last month's 1990 la Mission. Exceptionally complex Graves-y tobacco-laden nose with some smokey black cherry fruit and graphite. Really expansive on the palate with a finish that seems to go on forever. Certainly no reason to hold this further. Wonderful.
89 Muscadet, Oysters, 90 Pape Clement and Steak (Issaquah, WA): 1990 really stinks. ;) The nose shows classic Bordeaux with cedar, lead pencil, and tobacco with some pine, vanilla, and roasted black fruit. The palate is very ripe with tastes of char, ultra ripe blackberries, dried herbs, and earth. This wine continues to improve with air.
Youthful dark purple color. Still quite tight and tannic. A hint of green pepper, but loads of cassis, cedar, tar, espresso. Some astringent tannins, but a long finish. Not very complex at this point, but should improve with some more time in bottle.
Dinner @ Lumiere with Eli, Gilly, Dean & Lori (Vancouver): (From magnum.) This was tannic and a bit hard from the outset. Took all evening to get going. Once it did, it was a nice, powerful Bordeaux. Cassis and dark fruit. There was also a distracting notion of green pepper (capiscum) that I did not enjoy. Lots of time left yet on this.
Seattle Tasting Group does 1990 Bordeaux (Woodinville, WA, USA): Group average 89.375. For some reason I struggled with this wine, perhaps while my palate was adjusting to the start of the tasting. This showed mature color with classic dusty, earthy, forest floor, cassis and perhaps some wet dog and signs of being oxidized hiding in there. This had a silky entry with cedar and mushroom on the palate, but I found this to be burnt, acidic, and over the hill. It seemed to me as if the wine were cooked. Perhaps it was in fact just closed, as Laurent said it was bursting when initially decanted, and it did show signs of improving in the glass.