The 1990 Magdelaine is a flat out brilliant bottle of wine that delivers much the same aromatic and flavor fireworks of the 1990 Figeac, albeit in a potentially more transparent and ethereal package than the Figeac. The celestial bouquet soars from the glass in a mélange of cherries, toasted nuts, menthol, tobacco leaf, beautiful herb tones, chalky soil nuances and just a whisper of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, elegant and refined, with great intensity of flavor, laser-like focus, ripe and supple tannins, and endless length on the long, complex and suave finish. While the ’90 Magdelaine is already a great glass of wine, I would still try and give it at least another eight to ten years of cellaring to really let it blossom fully. Believe me, I will not be touching any of mine until a decade has passed. It is a great bottle in the making and drinking well enough right now that it is no crime to be opening it, if one has sufficient quantity in the cellar. I should note that the bottle at our March vertical was not quite up to the quality of previous incarnations, but I put this down to a less than perfect example. (Drink between 2015-2060)
Deep ruby with a hint of amber at the edge. Initially slightly reduced nose of coffee grounds and underbrush opens slowly with air to reveal red cherry jam, cassis, and tobacco. Then lush, round and rich in the mouth, displaying plum, blackberry and tobacco flavors of noteworthy freshness and finishes with rather soft tannins. Opulent for Magdelaine yet beautifully balanced--and much better than I remembered it. The suave finish features sneaky concentration and a persistent note of tobacco. A superb Magdelaine that is already drinking well and probably won't gain much by further cellaring, though it should remain at this plateau for another ten years. (ID)
Tasted in Burgundy from a magnum acquired on release, the 1990 Château Magdelaine is what you describe as 'classic' Saint Emilion—the kind produced in smaller and smaller quantities (and in this particular case, not at all). It has a clear, dark garnet color. The nose is forward with black fruit, cedar, wet woodland and tobacco aromas that actually give it a Left Bank allure. The palate is very well balanced with fine tannins. For a 1990 Right Bank, it shows surprising structure and reserve, to the point where you would justifiably argue that it actually needs more time. Don't be afraid to open bottles of this lovely Saint Emilion now, but don't feel afraid to store larger formats for many more years. Tasted August 2015. (NM)
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