Haut Brion 1989

Pessac-Leognan, First Growth

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Tasting Notes

I mean what do you want me to say? We have been here before. Two bottles opened on this occasion, one showing just a little mustiness on the nose but the other representative. There is nothing new to add, suffice to say that it was one of the vinous peaks of the 20th century and everyone should try and taste it just once in their life.

Score: 100

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com 31 January 2012

Tasted at the La Mission/Haut-Brion dinner at The Ledbury. One of the best bottles of Chateau Haut-Brion that I have encountered, this is magnificent fermented grape juice. Extraordinarily deep in colour, it has amazing intensity on the nose with similar aromas as the bottle in July with black fruits, black olive, hot gravel and here a very faint tincture of menthol. The palate is medium- rather than full-bodied with exquisite balance and poise with a similar sense of symmetry expressed by the Mission ’78. There is a firm backbone to this wine matched by a fruit intensity that is not so much powerful, but perfectly focused. Blackberry, black plum, tobacco and crushed stone, expanding across the back-palate and lingering for ages after the wine is swallowed. Immense. Drink now-2040+ Tasted September 2010.

Score: 100

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2010-2040+ 30 November 2010

Deep ruby and beautifully shaded at the rim. Intensely ripe with strong lead pencil aromas. Very meaty. Lovely balance and succulence. Just gorgeous stuff and very intense and long without being at all burnt. It gets better and better on the finish. Just a hint of tar but such subtle fruit beforehand. Realy reverberant on the mid palate,. Great combination of richness and energy.

Score: 19 - 20

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2000-2030 06 July 2010

What a gorgeous, seductive and beautiful wine, as always. I can't get over the perfumed aromas of subtle milk chocolate, cedar and sweet tobacco. Full-bodied, yet so refined and silky, lasting for minutes on the palate. Everything is in just the right proportion. This is a wine that will go on forever. I love it. One of my great loves in the wine world. - '89/'99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. 12,000 cases made.

Score: 100

James Suckling, Wine Spectator 01 January 2010

Haut-Brion has been the most consistent first-growth over the last decade, producing top-notch wines, even in such tough years as 1987, 1993, and 1994. The 1989 is one of a handful of truly profound wines from a vintage that tends to be overrated, save for the Pomerols, a few St.-Emilions, and some overachievers in the Medoc. However, 1989 was an extraordinary success for Jean Delmas, the administrator of Haut-Brion and La Mission-Haut-Brion. The prodigious 1989 Haut-Brion is one of the greatest first-growths I have ever tasted. It has always reminded me of what the 1959 must have tasted like in its youth, but it is even richer and more compelling aromatically. The wine exhibits an opaque ruby/purple color, as well as a sweet nose of jammy fruit, tobacco, spicy oak, minerals, and smoke. Fabulously concentrated, with huge levels of fruit, extract, and glycerin, this wine is nearly viscous because of its thickness and richness. Low acidity gives the wine even more appeal and adds to its precociousness. The wine has not budged in development since it was first bottled, although it has always provided thrilling drinking because of its voluptuous texture. It needs another 5-6 years of bottle age before it will begin to develop Haut-Brion's fabulous fragrance. Expect it to hit its plateau of maturity around 2003-2005 and drink well for 15-25 years

Score: 100

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2003-2028 01 February 1997