1989 Palmer, Margaux
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasted at the Château Palmer vertical in London, the 1989 Château Palmer has always been my favourite vintage from that decade after the 1983. The first bottle was unfortunately corked. The second was as it should be: the nose tensile with red berries, sous-bois, potpourri and strawberry pastille - lively and energetic. The palate is medium-bodied and vibrant right from the start, silky in texture with plenty of citrus fruit, gently building to a harmonious and detailed finish that lingers in the mouth. This is a magnificent Château Palmer that continues to effortlessly dish out so much vinous pleasure. Tasted May 2015. (NM)
At our vertical tasting in October of 2007, the ’89 was corked, so I have had to go back to a note on this wine that is a few years old. I have always liked the 1989 Palmer quite well, but have never ranked it quite in the same league as the greatest vintages of this château. The nose on the ’89 offers up scents of ripe plums, mulberries, dark chocolate, tobacco, minerals, violets and toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied and quite lush and voluptuous on the attack, with a firm tannic structure kicking-up in the mid-palate, and a long, complex and chewy finish. While there is plenty of depth in the mid-palate, I do not find quite the reserves of fruit at the core as found in vintages such as the 1983 at a similar stage of development. The tannins here are ripe and quite buried in the fruit, and while it is more than drinkable today, it clearly will need another decade to allow some of the secondary layers of complexity to emerge. (Drink between 2014-2050) 92+
Displays impressive sweet berry and floral aromas, with hints of cedar and light new oak. Medium- to full-bodied, offering fine tannins and a fresh finish. This wine is just now opening, with a racy backbone of tannins and dark fruits on the finish. This is turning out to be more balanced than I remember. Ready. (JS, Web-2010)
I find this a little austere with mineral, tar, and currant character. It’s a little subdued. Full and silky on the palate, it’s firm and bright, even tight. Served from imperial bottle.
Mid ruby with a younger-looking rim than the 1988. Very ripe and rich and almost rusty and developed. Very rich and ripe and almost New Worldy! Not nearly as subtle as the Palmer 1988 on the nose but there is fruit, even if slight greenness. Nice persistence. Some velvet plus some greenness. 17.5/20 points.
Robert Parker: "One of the superstars of the vintage, Palmer’s 1989 retains a dark plum/purple color with some pink and a hint of amber creeping in at the rim. A big nose of charcoal, white flowers (acacia?), licorice, plums, and black currants comes from the glass of this elegant, medium to full-bodied, very concentrated, seamlessly made wine. Gorgeous and seemingly fully mature yet brilliantly balanced, this wine may well turn out to be a modern-day clone of the glorious 1953. Anticipated maturity: Now-2020. Last tasted, 5/02." (Bordeaux Book, 4th Edition)