1989 and 1990 Bordeaux


Commanderie de Bordeaux tasting dinner of the 1989 and 1990 vintage at Gavroche in Vancouver. We brought our own wines and also passed a glass from other tables, so we had the opportunity to taste quite a few different wines from these vintages.
The menu is worthy of mention so I'll get that over with first.
With an NV J. Lasalle Brut that obviously had some age - showing colour, nice toast and mature notes in nose, complex with sweet elements in the mouth, lots of acidity, great mousse, flirts with old age but quite interesting.
With tuna tartare with wasabi tobbiko, smoked sturgeon with seaweed caviar, and large scallops with mango salsa.
Then the food courses:
foie gras and truffle flan with roasted pear chutney (apparently a real bear to cook and keep together)
1997 Ch. La Tour Blanche - great match - sweet botrytis nose but then drier than anticipated in the mouth, which suited the food very well.
rabbit tenderloin with black olive sauce on sweet potato gallette
duck breast with wild mushroom flan and bing cherry sauce
venison chop with port reduction
cheese plate
espresso terrine with hazelnut praline.
Here is how we arranged our wines. Brief notes on other wines we tasted are also appended.
1989 Canon La Gaffeliere (St. Emilion) - showing a bit lighter colour than most of the later wines, with a hint of fading at the edges. Decent nose of pure fruit and vanilla, excellent acidity that mated very well with the food, and a pleasant smoothness on palate.
1990 Pichon Baron - wow, the nose on this one is great - dark wine, big lush nose of cedary fruit and spice, sweet entry, smooth and long, but will continue improving for many years. Oh my, why didn't I buy more of this wine?
1990 Mouton Rothschild - huge nose of leather, dark fruit, but that was the best aspect of this wine, as it was leaner than expected in the mouth, though no longer as tannic as it was, and with a nice sweetness in the finish. Bit disappointing for a Mouton.
1990 Leoville Barton - big sweet fruit driven nose, and similarly big and sweet in the mouth - it handily bettered the Mouton and while it drinks very well, it also has years to go yet.
1989 Margaux - goodness - the sweet fruit in this nose was so attractive I just wanted to go on sniffing it, and there was considerable complexity - much enhanced since the last time I tried this wine. When I tasted the wine it showed excellent flavour integration, with everything in place and presenting as an harmonious whole - no one element sticking out or still gawky. That isn't to suggest that it was at peak, though it would be hard to stay away from this delicious wine - I think it has a good few years left in it yet, and a few of those before it tops out.
1989 Lafite Rothschild - a spicy almost Rhone-like element in this nose, but also more sweet fruit, and now showing the elegance of the house (it was uncharacteristically tannic when I tasted it 10 years ago), but not really up to the Margaux. Again, no rush on this very good wine.
Others tasted:
1990 Cheval Blanc - this was amazingly ready now - big mocha nose with immense flavour concentration and excellent length - I can't see this getting any better, but it is veeeerrry tasty now!
1983 Pichon Lalande - served blind and a good showing it made, too. Showing as youthful with a sweet nose and rounder at the end than the Pichon Baron is now. I thought it might have been a 1985.
1990 Montrose - nose on this wine was absolutely huge, full of jammy fruit and like the Mouton, a bit of leather. On palate, exceptional concentration and length and no rusticity It needs considerably more time before it should be drunk. This may change my mind about how good it is in relation to my personal fave, the 1970.
1989 Lynch Bages - the nose was spirity almost porty and the wine is still tannic. Patience is called for.
1990 Leoville Las Cases - lovely spiciness in nose, weighty and smooth in the middle, soft tannins dominate the lengthy finish. Why doesn't this rate first growth status when it is so consistent and out-performs Mouton so many times......
And finally
1978 Quinta do Noval - starting to get pale in colour, not much heat in the nose, though a little hot in the mouth, pleasant, middling sweet and a nice end to a very interesting event.
Reply to
Bill S.
Thanks for notes Bill. I still have quite a bit of the Margaux 1989. I prefer it over the 1990 acclaimed vintage. I have not tried in 2-3 years and marked last bottle to try in 2007. We shall see. > Commanderie de Bordeaux tasting dinner of the 1989 and 1990 vintage at > Gavroche in Vancouver. We brought our own wines and also passed a glass > from other tables, so we had the opportunity to taste quite a few > different wines from these vintages. > > The menu is worthy of mention so I'll get that over with first. > > With an NV J. Lasalle Brut that obviously had some age - showing > colour, nice toast and mature notes in nose, complex with sweet > elements in the mouth, lots of acidity, great mousse, flirts with old > age but quite interesting. > > With tuna tartare with wasabi tobbiko, smoked sturgeon with seaweed > caviar, and large scallops with mango salsa. > > Then the food courses: > > foie gras and truffle flan with roasted pear chutney (apparently a real > bear to cook and keep together) > > 1997 Ch. La Tour Blanche - great match - sweet botrytis nose but then > drier than anticipated in the mouth, which suited the food very well. > > rabbit tenderloin with black olive sauce on sweet potato gallette > > duck breast with wild mushroom flan and bing cherry sauce > > venison chop with port reduction > > cheese plate > > espresso terrine with hazelnut praline. > > Here is how we arranged our wines. Brief notes on other wines we tasted > are also appended. > > 1989 Canon La Gaffeliere (St. Emilion) - showing a bit lighter colour > than most of the later wines, with a hint of fading at the edges. > Decent nose of pure fruit and vanilla, excellent acidity that mated > very well with the food, and a pleasant smoothness on palate. > > 1990 Pichon Baron - wow, the nose on this one is great - dark wine, > big lush nose of cedary fruit and spice, sweet entry, smooth and long, > but will continue improving for many years. Oh my, why didn't I buy > more of this wine? > > 1990 Mouton Rothschild - huge nose of leather, dark fruit, but that > was the best aspect of this wine, as it was leaner than expected in the > mouth, though no longer as tannic as it was, and with a nice sweetness > in the finish. Bit disappointing for a Mouton. > > 1990 Leoville Barton - big sweet fruit driven nose, and similarly big > and sweet in the mouth - it handily bettered the Mouton and while it > drinks very well, it also has years to go yet. > > 1989 Margaux - goodness - the sweet fruit in this nose was so > attractive I just wanted to go on sniffing it, and there was > considerable complexity - much enhanced since the last time I tried > this wine. When I tasted the wine it showed excellent flavour > integration, with everything in place and presenting as an harmonious > whole - no one element sticking out or still gawky. That isn't to > suggest that it was at peak, though it would be hard to stay away from > this delicious wine - I think it has a good few years left in it yet, > and a few of those before it tops out. > > 1989 Lafite Rothschild - a spicy almost Rhone-like element in this > nose, but also more sweet fruit, and now showing the elegance of the > house (it was uncharacteristically tannic when I tasted it 10 years > ago), but not really up to the Margaux. Again, no rush on this very > good wine. > > Others tasted: > > 1990 Cheval Blanc - this was amazingly ready now - big mocha nose > with immense flavour concentration and excellent length - I can't > see this getting any better, but it is veeeerrry tasty now! > > 1983 Pichon Lalande - served blind and a good showing it made, too. > Showing as youthful with a sweet nose and rounder at the end than the > Pichon Baron is now. I thought it might have been a 1985. > > 1990 Montrose - nose on this wine was absolutely huge, full of jammy > fruit and like the Mouton, a bit of leather. On palate, exceptional > concentration and length and no rusticity It needs considerably more > time before it should be drunk. This may change my mind about how good > it is in relation to my personal fave, the 1970. > > 1989 Lynch Bages - the nose was spirity almost porty and the wine is > still tannic. Patience is called for. > > 1990 Leoville Las Cases - lovely spiciness in nose, weighty and > smooth in the middle, soft tannins dominate the lengthy finish. Why > doesn't this rate first growth status when it is so consistent and > out-performs Mouton so many times...... > > And finally > > 1978 Quinta do Noval - starting to get pale in colour, not much heat > in the nose, though a little hot in the mouth, pleasant, middling sweet > and a nice end to a very interesting event. >
Reply to
dick neidich

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