1989 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac

SKU #950525 96 points Vinous

 Off the charts aromatic intensity, silky tannins and exceptional finesse give the 1989 much of its considerable allure. Crushed flowers, sweet red fruit, tobacco, cedar and incense are some of the many notes that waft from the glass, but it is the wine’s textural finesse that elevates it into the realm of the profound. Wonderfully alive and delineated in every way, the 1989 is one of many highlights on this magical afternoon. (AG)  (10/2017)

95 points Wine Spectator

 This has entered its secondary phase, with alluring notes of black tea, steeped plum, mulled spice and warm pain d'épices emerging from the core of supple plum, cassis and black cherry fruit. The long, fine-grained finish lets a perfumy singed cedar accent linger. A beauty. (JM, Web Only-2014)

94 points John Gilman

 As fine as the 1990 Pichon-Lalande showed at our tasting, the 1989 was a decided step up in terms of depth and vibrancy of fruit tone. The stunning nose soars from the glass in a complex blend of cassis, dark berries, coffee bean, tobacco leaf, gravelly soil tones, cigar smoke and toasty new oak. There is just greater delineation and purity to each aromatic element here vis à vis the 1990. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and sappy at the core, with outstanding soil signature, melting tannins, lovely focus and grip and a very, very long, refined and complex finish. This is one of the few 1989s that is not demonstrably younger than its 1990 counterpart, but it is a slightly finer, deeper and more pure example of its terroir. 1989 is a great vintage of Pichon-Lalande. Drink between 2012-2045. 94+  (7/2012)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Approaching full maturity, Pichon-Lalande’s 1989 has a deep ruby/plum color with some lightening at the edge. The nose offers sweet plums and creme de cassis intermixed with vanilla and graphite. The wine is lush, medium to full-bodied, and layered with texture, low acidity, sweet tannin, and the hallmark purity and elegance this estate routinely produces. (RP)  (1/2003)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Full, deep red. Flamboyant aromas of cassis, currant leaf, tobacco, herbs and animal fur. Sweet, lush and lively; already showing lovely inner-mouth aromatic character. Finishes long, strong and lively, with firm tannins and slow-mounting persistence. Earlier bottles of this wine appeared to be a bit more exotic, even slightly animal, but this offers a lovely combination of purity and sheer ripeness. (ST)  (7/2002)

K&L Notes

92 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "Tasted at the Chapon Fin restaurant in Bordeaux. This is a far better bottle than the one encountered last year and bore semblances to my more positive encounters several years ago. Here, the 1989 has that lovely bouquet of black fruits, black tea and loam, that blossoms from the glass with continued aeration. The palate has very well balanced, the tannins having mellowed in recent years with tobacco and mushroom towards the finish. This just has much more vigour than I anticipated, much more cohesion. Very fine indeed." (3/2012)

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


Specific Appellation:


- Pauillac is probably the most famous village in Bordeaux. Located between St. Julien and St. Estephe, it has more of the top ranked chateau than the other four appellations of the Haut Medoc. This area has three of the five premier cru classe wineries: Lafite Rothschild, Latour, and Mouton Rothschild. There are two of the top second-growths (Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron) as well as several outstanding fourth and fifth-growth chateaux including Lynch Bages. Because of the gravely soils and great drainage, Pauillac has the ideal conditions to grow great Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines from this village are some of the longest-lived in Bordeaux.