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In terms of the brilliant complexity and nobility of the aromatics, scorched earth, black currants, plums, charcoal, cedar, and spices, the 1990 offers an aromatic explosion that is unparalleled. It is always fascinating to taste this wine next to the 1989, which is a monumental effort, but much more backward and denser, without the aromatic complexity of the 1990. The 1990 put on weight after bottling, and is currently rich, full-bodied, opulent, even flamboyant by Haut Brion’s standards. It is an incredible expression of a noble terroir in a top vintage. While it has been fully mature for a number of years, it does not reveal any bricking at the edge, and I suspect it will stay at this level for another 10-15 years ... but why wait? It is irresistible now.
Racy and refined, with firm, silky tannins and a long finish. Full-bodied. Mushrooms and ripe fruit on the palate. Needs some bottle age to open. '89/'90 Bordeaux non-blind horizontal. Best after 2006.
Château Haut-Brion was the first estate in Bordeaux to be known by its place and name in the 17th century. This revolutionary Château was also the first to craft “New French Claret” which the current red Bordeaux standard is now based on. Haut-Brion seamlessly combines ideal terroir, devoted ownership and effective use of technology. This is the only First Growth located in Pessac-Leognan and remains the benchmark of quality throughout the region. 120 acres are devoted to reds producing 10,000 to 12,000 cases and less than 10 acres are allocated to whites for a smaller range of 650 to 850 cases. Optimum rootstock and clones are used, harvest is done by hand, and the wines are internationally celebrated for balance, complexity, cigar-box, currant fruit and cassis. Here’s to the voluptuous, ageable wines of an incredible and historic First Growth.
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