Fully mature, this is slightly more interesting on the nose, with its earthy, spicy, floral and red fruit character, than on the soft, silky, medium bodied palate. The red fruit have complexity but there is a slight rustic feeling in the end note and a touch of green that takes away from the overall experience.
St Emillion First Growths (Chez Bruce, London): Nicely rich and plush in an elegant and understated way on the nose. Nicely mineral. Some mid-palate flesh and then a long finish. A green-tinged tobacco freshness. Harmonious. Long with just a pinch of sweetness to the fruit on the finish. *****
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(Cheval Blanc) We segued to the First Growths with a 1989 Cheval Blanc, a First Growth in its own right. The Cheval was very aromatic with its olive, black and red fruits, and oak trees covered in snow. I was under-impressed the first time I had this wine many years ago, but every time I have had it since, it keeps getting better (93+).
(Chateau Cheval Blanc St Emilion) A fascinating nose to this wine, which is now approaching the end of its second decade. Initially it showed some gamey and slightly mushroomy aromas, but then it opened out to reveal more complexity, with aromas of mint, salty rock and iron. It is certainly enticing! The palate is fresh, a touch fleshy with a nice texture to it, and although maturing nicely it is still in possession of some tannin and extract. This is a wine of fine substance, meaty and yet also stylish. A fabulous bottle.
(Cheval Blanc) The 1989 was the greenest of the bunch, as always, with lots of bell pepper, olive and this puttanesca tomato sauce edge, so much so I wanted to throw some pasta in it. The ’89 was actually in a tasty spot, but it seems very forward and on a fast track to maturity. Lush, round, fleshy and tasty, it had sweet green pepper flavors that won’t get any better. Pierre observed its overall merlot and leathery nose. Although I think it won’t get any better, this bottle of ’89 was in a good spot, and even though it was green, Jef professed that he liked it with ‘I like green.’ Shroomy qualities developed as well
(Chateau Cheval Blanc St Emilion) A good depth, with a quite mature hue. Rather green style here, with green pepper and green peppercorn, surprising characteristics from this vintage. Lots of mature, macerated fruit alongside. Full, slightly fleshy, more green peppercorn spice, with lovely structure. Ripe and silky tannins, and a delightful, soft, creamy, mature mouthfeel. This is very good wine indeed, and I think will improve with further time in the cellar.
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