Robert Parker 100
A spectacular wine that only goes from strength to strength, and which ranks among the pinnacles of my birth year vintage, the 1989 Haut-Brion wafts from the glass with a rich bouquet of blackberries, blackcurrants, cigar wrapper, loamy soil, black truffle, burning embers and vine smoke. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it’s sumptuous and dramatic, with huge reserves of fruit that are complemented by carnal, savory nuances and framed by melting tannins and ripe acids. Concluding with a long, resonant finish, the only criticism one can make is that a 750-milliliter bottle simply isn’t enough.
Anticipated maturity: 2009-2059
The 1989 Haut-Brion remains one of the outstanding achievements of the decade, and it consistently flirts with perfection. I was fortunate to taste the wine three times over the space of six months, though this tasting note comes from a bottle poured at the chateau by Jean-Philippe Delmas – the first time I had ever tasted an ex-chateau bottle. It is a fabulous wine. Showing little maturity in terms of bricking, it has a fabulous bouquet of graphite, clove and tobacco aromas that burst from the glass, perhaps with a little more amplitude than others I have tasted. The palate is perfectly balanced, displaying amazing depth and perfect acidity, and (unsurprisingly, given its provenance) youthful and seemingly with many chapters to go. More floral elements emerge with time: violets on the nose and then later, a taste of eau-de-vie toward the finish. An astonishing wine that will give many more years of pleasure. Tasted from an ex-chateau bottle at the estate.
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2070
Some freshness on the nose but the fading fruit on the palate suggests it needs drinking.
Anticipated maturity: 1997-2013