1990 is rightly touted as one of the greatest Rhône vintages, but it overshadows the excellent preceding year. Chave's 1989 is masterful. Still with a little blackcurrant and raspberry fruit, this has spicy, savoury faces and a gruff, grunty element. It's still full in body but the tannins are fading now, whereas fresh acidity remains, and it's sinewy in texture, reminiscent of an old man's musculature. It's rounded and fruity on the palate, with plenty of nutmeg, cinnamon, burning fireworks and woodsmoke, joined by a little truffle and cheese rind with some air. It's saline on the finish, showing spectacular length still with some sweet raspberry and kirsch. Highly complex and utterly authentic: unmistakable terroir. (MW)
Similar in style to the ’95, with its masculine, firm profile, the 1989 Hermitage offers a full-bodied, rich and concentrated feel to go with plenty of ripe black fruits, toasted spice, mint and roasted herbs. From a scorching hot, dry year, it has fabulous concentration, a deep, layered texture and a blockbuster style. Enjoy bottles anytime over the coming decade. (JD)
Wow, the aromatics on 1989 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage are just about as good as it gets with rich, spice laden red and black fruit mixed with some serious dirt, smoke and raw meat aromas. Full bodied and beautifully textured, it's precise, pure and almost silky with a long finish. Drinking perfectly.
There was a time when I used to believe that the 1989 Chave Hermitage was just a touch coarse structurally and would lag behind the two vintages that it is sandwiched between- 1988 and 1990- but the wine has developed beautifully and its refinement is hardly an issue these days! The deep, complex and roasted nose wafts from the glass in a complex mix of roasted cassis, espresso, grilled meats, gentle medicinal tones, charred wood, dark soil tones and a touch of raw cocoa. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very nicely focused, with a rock solid core, moderate tannins and a very long, poised and impressively tangy finish. Whereas the 1988 Chaves seems to have gone into a shell again in the last couple of years, the 1989 is blossoming beautifully and is starting to drink with great style and gusto. 94+
Chave’s 1989 Hermitage was simply gorgeous in its expression of earthiness, spices and perfumed sweet fruit that carried all the way to the finish. (AG)
Heart-stopping, then heart-racing. Mushroom, chocolate, red berry. Firm tannin, fresh acid. Ferrous, spectacular, opulent. Just so extraordinary – utterly complete and delicious and boastful of its purity. A triumph, a work of art. 20/20 points. (RH)
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