Bordeaux 1989 left bank (with a bonus VCC)

Tasted November 18, 2012 by thewineoceros with 713 views

Introduction

Great anticipation ahead of this tasting of predominantly left bank claret. Vintage report however raised a slight concern around inconsistency in previous tastings where some big names had not always lived up to billing. This was to be a theme, with group members stating that some of these wines did not show according to previous experience. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed, and it was a hugely interesting session, with a real guided tour around some of the best vineyards in the medoc, expertly tutored by our host.

Flight 1 (2 notes)

Red
1989 Château Clerc Milon France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
91 points
Browning rim, with a cedary nose, and just a hint of tobacco leaf greeness. Fine palate, smooth, earthy, with freshness and a touch of tannin still showing. Drinking well, and certainly mature enough to brng pleasure.
Red
1989 Château La Lagune France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
91 points
Browning hue, with a fresh nose of cranberry, leather and asian spices. An elegant mouth filler, smooth earthy meaty tones, with a certain hint of chesnut and nice grip at the finish. Drinking well.

Flight 2 - Graves and St Estephe (2 notes)

Red
1989 Domaine de Chevalier France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
92 points
Ruby brown, not as mature as say the clerc and lagune. Meaty nose, with real depth, tobacco, and pungent earth aromas. Rich palate, with good acidity, faded tannins, and a subtle balanced mouthfeel, impressive and pretty classic bordeaux stuff. One of the great value bdx houses.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1989 Château Cos d'Estournel France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
Ruby brown rim, with an initial nose of exotic spices, although this soon blows off, and what remains seems very closed. Smooth entry and then not a lot more. It is drinkable, but seems flat, a bit lifeless and lacking any real distintive flavours. Bad bottle maybe? No score given

Flight 3 - Margaux and Pomerol (2 notes)

Red
1989 Vieux Château Certan France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
92 points
Ruby brown rim, which initially has a subtle nose, fragrant and floral, with hints of exotic perfume. Palate is more powerful, slightly chalky and grainy, and is certainly med - full bodied. Seems a bit beefier that the nose hints at. I quite like this, as it has suprised me, however others here say this is not typical for this wine and should be showing more. Good stuff.
Red
1989 Château Palmer France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
92 points
Ruby red, and a touch of browning towards the rim. The nose seems younger than expected, quite closed initially, but opens up to exhibit a Margaux bouquet of feminine perfume and flowers. In the mouth, this wine beefs up considerably, and has noticable power and force, so much so that some of the complexity seems to be lost for now. Probably needs more time to give up more of its secrets, but today this is good, but not outstanding. Another 10 in bottle, may put this right. There is good potential here. 92+

Flight 4 - St Julien (3 notes)

Red
1989 Château Gruaud Larose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
91 points
This wine starting to look a bit older, with a more obvious brown rim. The nose comes alive though with subtle earthy tones, damp undergrowth, nut and a hint of sweetness. Black tea and minerality fill the mouth, slightly drying, but those tannins have a bit more in them yet. Nice example and no prisoners taken.
Red
1989 Château Léoville Barton France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
92 points
Beautiful depth on the nose, with touches of sweet fruit and tobacco leaf, quite subtle but focussed and driven. Very precise. This wine is certainly masculine to Margaux's femininity, and there is considerable power in the chunky four square tannins and ample structure. Another one that could last for an age, but is certainly true to its style. Great character.
Red
1989 Château Léoville Las Cases France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
88 points
Subtle nose, a little restrained perhaps. Powerful dried berry flavours, slightly dry, with a touch of tobacco, and quite big stuff, but feels again quite young and not ready. Also seems to miss out on that vital aspect - charm. Find it hard to get on with this wine, and for me this doesnt really hit the spot. Will probably improve, given time, but today this is not firing on all cyclinders. Keep patient.88+

Flight 5 - Pauillac (3 notes)

Red
1989 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
93 points
Touch of brown, nose just teases, with subtle aromas, but really opens on the palate, with plenty of power, delicious mouthfeel, good fruits, touch of vanilla and sweetness, really drinking beautifully and could easily improve a point or two in the next 2-5 years. My No.3
Red
1989 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
95 points
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.
Red
1989 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
92 points
Looks very young, certainly when compared to others in this line up. Delicious nose, with clean fruit, touches of cedar, plenty of power coming through. Impressive mouth feel, biting grip, with slick tannins and nice texture. Very balanced. Overshadowed slightly by the Lalande, but equally very good too. My no.4 of the night. Great wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 6 - Bonus surprise flight - served blind (2 notes)

Red
1989 Les Forts de Latour France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
92 points
A mystery wine and while some guessed at other Paulliac stable,ates, a few correctly guessed this group favourite. Savoury nose, with the fruit being replaced by leather and cedary tobacco notes. The palate is chewy, masculine, with a robust feel and a medium plus finish. Very good but not quite as elegant as others.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1989 Château Latour Grand Vin France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
93 points
The second mystery wine, and what a surprise. Big nose, very dark still, and certainly with a lot to go in its life time. This is a big shot, and clearly has a good 5-10years until it starts to show its true colours. Very savoury and perfectly balanced. Just feels a bit tense on this showing. My No.2

Closing

A great line up to grace any table. Some surprises, and a great opportunity to taste some true super stars side by side. Thanks to all for organising and hosting.

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