1989 Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac
I have never been a huge fan of this Lafite but it seems to be coming into its own now. It's a wine with a character of cloves and berries with hints plums. It shows loads of potpourri. Roses too. Full and so balanced. Tight and youthful. The winemaker at Lafite says that when he wants to show someone a perfect example of Pauillac this is the Lafite he pours. Maybe he is right?
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This particular vintage has cropped up several times in 2012. Here, served in Bordeaux, it has a leafy bouquet with graphite infused blackberry and briary aromas that build beautifully in the glass. It is quintessential Lafite - elegant and refined, with no desire to impress by its power. The palate is supremely well balanced with fine tannins that frame the undergrowth and cedar-tinged black fruit. It is wonderfully composed, a stately Lafite-Rothschild that is at its peak. Beautiful. (NM)
Subtle, yet rich and decadent, offering meat, sweet berry and fresh leather on the nose. Full and very soft, with velvety tannins and a long, fruity finish. This has so much ripe fruit. Reserved and firm, this is turning to a very fine and shy Lafite. This is fresh and structured, but still holding back. I wouldn't wait, though.--'89/'99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). Drink now. (JS, Web-2010)
On being poured there was real tension in the glass, I felt, between Lafite's delicate style and the big, ripe character of this vintage, warmed as it was by a particularly hot summer, the summer of the bicentenary of the French revolution. There was a slightly burnt note and quite a bit of tannin on the finish. But then it really mellowed in the glass and became super voluptuous. And fragrant. But edgier than the 1997. Unusually spicy for Lafite and wonderfully persistent. 18.5/20 points. (JR)