Beautiful, rich and still extremely young, this is Lafite at its gulpable, elegant, sculpted, age-defying best. Deeply-spiced cassis notes are joined by touches of cedar - the result of a dry year that saw one of the earliest harvests since 1898. The grapes were picked with high alcohol and ripe tannins and they have absolutely lasted, and will continue to do so. The tannins are cradling the fruit, barely perceptible and yet still fully in control. Drinking Window 2018 - 2040 (JA)
Château Lafite-Rothschild Pauillac 1989: I have never been a huge fan of this Lafite but it seems to be coming into its own now. It's a wine with a character of cloves and berries with hints plums. It shows loads of potpourri. Roses too. Full and so balanced. Tight and youthful. The winemaker at Lafite says that when he wants to show someone a perfect example of Pauillac this is the Lafite he pours. Maybe he is right?
The 1989 Château Lafite-Rothschild is an outstanding example of the vintage and this is one of my favorite wines from this very, very successful decade at this great property. The bouquet is pure and nicely ripe with the vintage’s generosity, wafting from the glass in a complex blend of cassis, black cherries, tobacco leaf, a beautiful base of gravelly soil, a touch of fresh herbs and a very well-done framing of toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very suave on the attack, with impeccable focus and balance, a lovely core of black fruit, fine soil signature and a long, seamlessly tannic and complex finish. Just a lovely, lovely vintage of Lafite. (Drink between 2016-2060)
The 1989 Lafite-Rothschild, a wine that I have had several times both from bottle and magnum, is a better wine than the 1990, although I wonder whether its best days are now behind it. There is noticeably more bricking on the rim compared directly with the succeeding vintage. I also notice a touch of VA on this bottle with scents of molasses, cedar and a dab of the old boot polish. I find that the 1989 has more personality than the 1990 Lafite. The palate is supple and rounded in the mouth, a sense of warmth here although not complex and I would prefer more tension on the finish as it delivers allspice, mulberry and sage on the aftertaste. I wonder where this will go? At the moment it is difficult to see: heading down a cul-de-sac or Route 66? Tasted at the Lafite-Rothschild dinner at Amuse Bouche in Hong Kong and then blind at the Lafite-Rothschild 150th anniversary dinner at the property. (NM)
As I suspected, the 1989 and 1990 vintages of Lafite-Rothschild have gone dormant. Both wines were among the more closed, backward examples in my blind tasting. The 1989 Lafite is also outstanding, but closed, with the tannin more elevated, and the wine so stubbornly reticent as to make evaluation almost impossible. Lafite's 1989 was far more easy to taste and understand several years ago. It appears to have gone completely to sleep. This medium ruby-colored, medium-bodied wine reveals new oak in the nose, and a spicy finish. It is a quintessentially elegant, restrained, understated style of Lafite. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2025. (RP)
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