The 1990 La Mission Haut Brion is a wine that just gives so much pleasure that it seems almost immoral to criticize. For sure, it is not in the same league as the awe-inspiring 1989, yet it has such an engaging, quintessential La Mission bouquet full of warm gravel, chestnut, morels and bay leaf scents that you just fall instantly under its charms. It seems to just grow in the glass. The palate is beautifully balanced with great depth but is still a little grainy in texture, and I noticed how it evolved almost a Musigny-like personality with time in the glass. I suggested back in 2014 that it might improve with continued bottle age. Perhaps now I believe that it has reached the top of its plateau, yet the substance and the persistence—the energy—of this Pessac-Léognan suggests that it will give 20 years of drinking pleasure. (NM)
Much more linear and firm than the 1989. Full- to medium-bodied, with firm tannins and a racy finish. A fine wine. (JS)
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