Tasted side by side with the 1990, it is interesting how much more tannic the 1989 seems to be. Colored a dark plum with some lightening at the edge, the nose shows notes of compost, melted licorice, oak, and black cherry fruit. The overt oakiness noticeable in its youth has become far more subtle and less aggressive. In the mouth the wine starts off large-scaled, fleshy, and fat, but then some relatively astringent tannins kick in in the finish. This has been a perplexing wine to follow, since it was seemingly softer and more opulent in its youth and now seems to be taking on a more structured, tannic personality as the baby fat falls away. In any event, the wine seems to be close to full maturity, but capable of lasting for another decade. (RP)
The 1989 Beau-Séjour Bécot was picked between 25 September and 7 October at 58hl/ha. It has a respectable bouquet of earthy red fruit, leather and tobacco, almost Graves-like in quality. With aeration it develops a slightly Oriental tincture with a splash of Hoisin coming through. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, clearly better than the 1985 tasted alongside, with piquant red berry fruit, a dash of spice and decent weight on the conservative finish. This has more to offer than older vintages and should drink well for several years. Tasted at the château. (NM)
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