The 1989 Palmer has vied with the 1983 as the highlight of the decade, so it is fascinating to revisit it at 30 years old. It has a wonderful bouquet of degraded red berry fruit, singed leather and hints of game and mint, beautifully defined and still so fresh, yet undeniably old-school in style. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin and still brimming with vigor, delivering a fine bead of acidity and a touch of cracked black pepper. A very detailed, engaging finish urges you back for another sip. A brilliant Palmer, and judging from this showing, it has another two decades of pleasure to give. Tasted from an ex-cellar bottle at the château. (NM)
One of the superstars of the vintage, Palmer’s 1989 retains a dark plum/purple color with some pink and a hint of amber creeping in at the rim. A big nose of charcoal, white flowers (acacia?), licorice, plums, and black currants comes from the glass of this elegant, medium to full-bodied, very concentrated, seamlessly made wine. Gorgeous and seemingly fully mature yet brilliantly balanced, this wine may well turn out to be a modern-day clone of the glorious 1953. (RP)
The nose on the ’89 offers up scents of ripe plums, mulberries, dark chocolate, tobacco, minerals, violets and toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied and quite lush and voluptuous on the attack, with a firm tannic structure kicking-up in the mid-palate, and a long, complex and chewy finish. While there is plenty of depth in the mid-palate, I do not find quite the reserves of fruit at the core as found in vintages such as the 1983 at a similar stage of development. The tannins here are ripe and quite buried in the fruit, and while it is more than drinkable today, it clearly will need another decade to allow some of the secondary layers of complexity to emerge. 92+
Displays impressive sweet berry and floral aromas, with hints of cedar and light new oak. Medium- to full-bodied, offering fine tannins and a fresh finish. This wine is just now opening, with a racy backbone of tannins and dark fruits on the finish. This is turning out to be more balanced than I remember. (JS, Web Only-2010)
Sweet and polished. A real charmer. (JR) 18/20 points
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