Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 1989 Bordeaux

The December Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Bordeaux from the 1989 vintage. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this weekend and a Bottle Note will be published early next week.

1989 was an exceptional vintage in Bordeaux. Other than some early Spring rains the hot, sunny and dry Summer provided near perfect conditions. The best wines from the vintage have aged exceptionally well. As the wines approach thirty years of age most, if not all, are worth checking in on.

2018 was a challenging year personally and I am looking forward to a great 2019. What better way to launch into 2019 than by opening one of the better bottles of wine in my cellar?

The Contenders:

1989 Lynch Bages – I have tasted the Château Lynch Bages 1989 several times since my last penned note in 2010. It is such a consistent wine, a Pauillac that never lets you down. Here it continues to sport a relatively backward blackberry and cedar scented nose, the graphite (pencil box) element a little more accentuated. The aromatic purr like a Bentley, unraveling with each swirl of the glass. The palate is very well defined with a rigid structure, well-judged acidity and hints of chestnut and cooked meat offering secondary notes on the dense finish that suggest a long drinking plateau. What a stupendous wine from Jean-Michel Cazes! 95 points from the Wine Advocate.

1989 Pichon-Baron –  Tasted at Robersons’ 1989 Bordeaux horizontal. The Pichon-Baron ’89 has a lucid garnet core. The nose is very pure and well defined with small black cherries, blueberry, a touch of iodine, mint and a pastille quality coming through. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, a saline tang on the entry that I has not been as pronounced on previous bottles, very good acidity with a firm structure and youthful zeal that is irresistible. Wonderful harmony here. The ’89 is jousting with the ’90 for supremacy and on this performance, it may well be overtaking it. Superb. Drink now-2025. 94 points from the Wine Advocate.

1989 Montrose – This was yet another wine I drunk with wine collector friends in Bangkok — the city is truly buzzing when it comes to wine and when you know where to look! On the nose, there were intense aromas of iron, pot iron and dried fruits, as well as hints of nuts and wet earth. On the palate, it showed a gorgeous texture of ripe tannins and lots of spicy and currant fruit character. A full-bodied, very soft and silky Bordeaux with lots of flavors and a superb finish. Just right now — indeed it seems to be getting younger with age, not older! Decant an hour before. I think it’s better than the legendary 1990. It’s certainly cleaner and more consistent quality. 99 points from James Suckling.

Which 1989 Bordeaux Should I Open?

  • 1989 Lynch Bages (50%, 10 Votes)
  • 1989 Pichon-Baron (25%, 5 Votes)
  • 1989 Montrose (25%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 20

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the January installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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8 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – 1989 Bordeaux

  1. I had all 3 in a blind flight in Sept along w La Mission Haut Brion. All were great, but from memory the Lynch and Montrose had more life left than Pichon. We then had the same 4 blind from ’90. In general I like Lynch the most overall. Curious to hear your thoughts.

  2. Voted for the Montrose. Just couldn’t resist the description. But you certainly can’t go wrong with these choices! Best wishes in 2019, Tom!

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