This Week's Must-Try Wines from Vinous

Welcome to this week's Vinous Top Ten! Each week we compile a list of top ten wines from the Vinous database that you need to add to your wine wish list. With all the various regions, producers, and grapes, no week will be the same! All of the wines listed in this feature are available for purchase on Banquet . This week's must-try wines are from Neal Martin’s article A Century of Bordeaux: The Nines . Enjoy an excerpt from his article and his notes for this week's top ten below! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "The follow-up to last year’s 'A Century of Eights', ingeniously titled 'A Century of Nines', examines Bordeaux vintages ending in that number to see how the wines are performing, with a focus on 1999 and 1989. As usual, there are surprises along the way." --Neal Martin, A Century of Bordeaux: The Nines, September 2019 1. Angélus 1989 Angélus 2. Beychevelle 1989 Beychevelle 3. Cheval Blanc 1989 Cheval Blanc 4. Hosanna 1999 Hosanna 5. La Conseillante 1989 La Conseillante 6. Lafite-Rothschild 1999 Lafite-Rothschild 7. La Mondotte 1999 La Mondotte 8. Lynch-Bages 1989 Lynch-Bages 9. Palmer 1989 Palmer 10. Pichon-Baron 1989 Pichon-Baron

Château Angélus

St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend 1989

Delectable Wine
9.6

The 1989 Angélus is a vintage that I have tasted multiple times from various formats. It remains one of my favorite of that era. Still quite deep in color, it has a glorious, almost hubristic bouquet of layers of lush black cherries, cedar, sage and meat juice aromas as it moves assuredly into its secondary phase. The palate has always been very harmonious and smooth, the tannins finer than preceding vintages. There is lovely grip here, and black truffle and smoky notes appear on the finish. A quite marvelous Château Angélus. Tasted at the château. (Neal Martin, Vinous, September 2019) — 3 months ago

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David T

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@Delectable Wine That looks a lot like a 2014 and not 1989.
Delectable Wine

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@David T You are right about that! Thanks for pointing this out. We’ve updated it to reflect the correct vintage. Cheers!

Château Lafite Rothschild

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend 1999

Delectable Wine
9.2

Winemaker Eric Kohler recalled the 1999 Lafite-Rothschild as being born in a "sad summer." Personally, I have liked this First Growth since I first tasted it in barrel. Now 20 years old, it is beginning to show a little bricking on the rim. The bouquet is clean and detailed, with black currant, raspberry, melted tar and cedar developing in the glass (but less of the allspice that I observed in previous bottles). The palate is medium-bodied and maybe more compact than expected, possibly due to this being ex-cellar. While not a concentrated Lafite-Rothschild, it is very harmonious and elegant, brushed with a subtle pepperiness toward the finish and a tang of dried orange peel on the aftertaste. Delightful. Tasted from an ex-château bottle at the estate. (Neal Martin, Vinous, September 2019) — 3 months ago

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Château Palmer

Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend 1989

Delectable Wine
9.7

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. (Neal Martin, Vinous, September 2019) — 3 months ago

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Château Beychevelle

Saint-Julien Red Bordeaux Blend 1989

Delectable Wine
8.8

The 1989 Beychevelle repeats its performance from a blind tasting in London earlier in 2018. It has an old-school bouquet of dusky black fruit, morels and that light seawater note. The palate is medium-bodied with quite sharp tannin and rustic in style, featuring leathery red fruit and iron ore, though as I noted before, it has faded in recent years and I cannot see much benefit in cellaring this longer. Tasted from an ex-cellar bottle at the château. (Neal Martin, Vinous, September 2019) — 3 months ago

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Château Hosanna

Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend 1999

Delectable Wine
8.8

The 1999 Hosanna is a wine that I have not tasted for some 15 years. It is now showing some bricking on the rim, and the bouquet is fully mature with ferrous red fruit that lack a little definition and vigor. The medium-bodied palate offers earthy red fruit mixed with iron filings, chestnut and black pepper. It is rustic compared to recent vintages, but charming. That said, I would not cellar this Pomerol for too much longer. Tasted at the offices of JP Moueix in Libourne. (Neal Martin, Vinous, September 2019) — 3 months ago

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Château La Mondotte

Comtes de Neipperg Red Bordeaux Blend 1999

Delectable Wine
9.0

The 1999 La Mondotte, which was picked on October 3, is a wine that I had not drunk since 2009. It has quite a deep color with little aging on the rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, offering small black cherries, cassis, violets and a touch of glycerine. The palate is medium-bodied with supple ripe tannin and a fine bead of acidity, quite muscular in style but focused and with good grip. I appreciate the spiciness and salinity on the finish. A solid La Mondotte that maybe just lacks a little charm. Tasted from an ex-château bottle at the estate. (Neal Martin, Vinous, September 2019) — 3 months ago

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Château Pichon-Longueville Baron

Baron de Pichon-Longueville Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend

Delectable Wine
9.5

The 1989 Pichon-Baron repeats its performance from the vertical tasting in May 2018. It storms from the glass, bearing copious blackberry, cedar and perhaps a little more mint than I noticed on the previous bottle. There is so much youthful zeal to this harmonious, refined Pauillac that you would barely guess it is 30 years old. Long and tender with a graphite-infused finish, this bottle might be even better than the ex-château example. Tasted at the 1989 Bordeaux dinner at Hatched in London. (Neal Martin, Vinous, September 2019) — 3 months ago

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Château Cheval Blanc

St. Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend 1989

Delectable Wine
9.5

The 1989 Cheval Blanc is a vintage that I have not encountered since 2010. One bottle opened was rustic and fatigued, and Pierre-Olivier Clouet opened a second that was much better. It has a gorgeous bouquet of ample red fruit, morels, black truffle, cigar box and hints of brown sugar, all very well defined and charming. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin and approaching full maturity; brown spices, bay leaf and clove infuse the red berry fruit. At 30 years of age, I suspect this 1989 will not improve further, but its robustness suggests that any decline will be graceful. Tasted from an ex-cellar bottle at the château. (Neal Martin, Vinous, September 2019) — 3 months ago

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Château La Conseillante

Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend 1989

Delectable Wine
9.7

The 1989 La Conseillante is one of the top performers in Pomerol and arguably now one of the best values. This bottle confirms that exuberance and joie-de-vivre on the nose, displaying the telltale crushed violets in bloom, with precious but controlled red and black fruit underneath. The palate is sumptuous from the start, presenting cashmere tannin and perhaps a little more glycerine in this bottle. The bravura finish leaves you grinning from ear to ear. Stunning, and it will remain on its plateau for many years. Tasted at the 1989 Bordeaux dinner at Hatched in London. (Neal Martin, Vinous, September 2019) — 3 months ago

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Château Lynch-Bages

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend 1989

Delectable Wine
9.6

The 1989 Lynch-Bages is one of Jean-Michel Cazes’s triumphs. At three decades, it shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. Blackberry and cedar soar from the glass just as they did from the bottle last year, and touches of graphite develop, all beautifully defined and focused. As I’ve proclaimed before, there is such energy and vigor here! The palate is medium-bodied with a fresh, minty opening. The cedar element is a little stronger than the previous bottles that I have tasted, yet there is still that symmetry and focus. This particular bottle shows a touch more development on the finish compared to others encountered over the years, with great structure and grip, notes of tobacco and just a hint of morels surfacing on the aftertaste. A remarkable Lynch-Bages that is at its peak. As an aside, Jean-Michel Cazes mentioned that there are few bottles of the 1989 remaining in their reserves. A break-in during the 1990s saw robbers of good taste steal much of their stock. Tasted from an ex-cellar bottle at the château. (Neal Martin, Vinous, September 2019) — 3 months ago

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