Sipping and snacking at Harlan's Penthouse Hong Kong. The “man” himself waived corkage so we went big. Brownish red to the eye. Dark, ripe, red fruits on the nose with a hint of leather, coffee and chocolate. Elegant on the palate, very soft tannins. Perhaps just a few years past her stride in terms of structure, but still silky on the finish. We would have preferred five years ago, but still luvly.
Bordeaux wine dinner; 6/18/15: Pichon Lalande 1990 - Lighter color than others, I think passing its prime. A little dry on the finish but perfectly nice still. 90 Gruaud Larose 1989 - Very classic nose and palate of cedar and pine notes. Most silky palate of the bunch. Two at the table thought it was wine of the night. Not as much to my taste but very much classy Gruaud. 91 Cos 1986 - Funky barnyard nose. Deep palate with still strong tannin, but plenty of fruit coming through. Liked it but there was some brett there that to me, hurt. 92 Lynch Bages 1985 - For me, the wine of the night, largely due to the truly stunning nose. A tad dry on the palate but still long finish of dark fruit. 94
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(Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande) Bricking dark red violet color; mature, tobacco, olive, tart red currant, cedar nose; maturing, tart red currant, tart raspberry, green olive, cedar palate; medium-plus finish
(Chateau Pichon-Lalande (Pauillac)) A fascinating wine to taste in view of the drubbing this received from Parker. From a magnum, opened and decanted, and then tasted during the course of one evening. Still plenty of red pigment to this wine, no real convincing sign of maturity here, although there is a little dustiness to it. The nose has some fruit elements still, so this doesn't seem advanced (as the colour suggested), and of course the format may have had some impact on that. What non-fruit elements there are here include a blend of classic Bordeaux tea leaf and rust, but also some less common gamey, roast-meat characteristics. Good substance on the palate, full and with a little sweetness to it, certainly a very appealing texture, this is a maturing wine that has not lost its substance. Good structure here in fact, slightly gritty tannins, fresh acids, although the flavours within are tinged with little elements of roast ham and bacon which were suggested on the nose, dusted with cherries and cranberries. They're not actually unattractive, just not what I was expecting. In terms of presence I like this - there is texture, sappy acidity and tannins with a lightly chewy edge. But there is also a sense that it is a little stripped out; where is the exuberant and exotic character that we should expect from a wine produced by a second-growth Pauillac estate, in a great vintage, from a well-stored magnum at twenty years? It isn't here. Fortunately I think the structure is so convincing I do think there is more to come from this wine yet, in this format at least. Having said that, with roasted beef it showed more classic style, the tea leaf and rusty iron more prominent. Overall it drank really rather well. It is remarkable to think, however, that I have previously scored the 1991 higher than this.
(Pichon Lalande) The next flight was three wines, and the first was very chocolaty in its nose, more like cocoa powder. There were bigger and blacker fruits, and supporting smoke and dust. Additional aromas of cedar, carob, almost soy and a little hoisin rounded out the nose. The palate was concentrated, big and beefy with a thick finish, and excellent balance and acidity. This plump 1990 Pichon Lalande was quite pleasing and an excellent wine. For it to get 79 points from the world’s most regarded critic of Bordeaux is a bit confusing; there must be a batch of this wine that is not on par with the rest? I was surprised to see a second consistent note posted recently in June of 2009. Things that make you go hmmmmmm (93).
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