The 1990 Pichon-Longueville Baron has always been one of my benchmark wines, one that never ceases to perform. Now at 27 years of age, it is clearly at its peak, and what a wondrous thing it is. Now showing some bricking on the rim, the bouquet is utterly sublime, with red berries, cedar, touches of graphite, crushed rose petals and incense. You just want to become enveloped by these aromas. The palate is perfectly balanced, perhaps not as structured as it once showed since the tannins have mellowed, but what you get is a Pauillac relishing its secondary phase, which is almost Burgundy-like in terms of mouthfeel. Suffused with tension, it gains weight in the mouth toward the slightly tart finish. It is a Pichon Baron that only knows how to give sophisticated drinking pleasure. I once wrote that Pichon Baron is better than many 1990 First Growth, and that is a statement I have no reason to change. (NM)
The 1990 Pichon-Baron is a sensational wine that must have had the First Growth rattled when it was released. At 28 years old, it is still reveling in its precocious growing season. The multidimensional bouquet features blackberry, graphite, cedar and mint flanked by iodine and warm gravel on a summer day. Wow! The palate is medium-bodied, delivering a mixture of red and black fruit, a fine mineral undercurrent and a long, precise finish: blackberry, cedar and graphite remain in the mouth for a good 60 seconds. Still a fabulous Pauillac after all these years. Tasted at the Pichon-Baron vertical at the château. (NM)
More tobacco and cedar character on the nose, with hints of ripe fruit. Full-bodied, yet fine and sophisticated, with elegant tannins and a long finish. This is always a top-quality red. (JS)
Full medium ruby. Nose at once subtle and flamboyant, with slightly roasted aromas of currant, cedar, lead pencil and minerals. Large-scaled, sweet and rich, with utterly primary fruit suggesting a long future ahead of it. Tasted next to the '89, this was a much more massive and somewhat softer wine. Very long on the finish, with big but smooth tannins. Of more recent vintages, only the 2000 has a chance to be in the same quality class as the '90 and '89. Drink 2004 to 2025. 93+
This is a wine that has shown extremely well in blind tastings, even next to the first growths, but to judge from this perfectly stored bottle, it may just be starting to lose its gorgeous fruit. Very deep, vibrant crimson. Rich, vivacious nose. Thick sweet and glorious. It clearly was absolutely great and I may be being mean to deprive it of a score of 18. 17.5/20
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