1990 Bordeaux Horizontal

I recently attended a 1990 Bordeaux Horizontal tasting, arranged by one of the guys in my tasting group. the tasting spanned two days, and all the wines were served single-blind. We arrived at the restaurant, the weather was glorious, and we were presented with a very nice glass of 1985 Krug. No specific notes on that wine. Most of the regulars from my tasting group were there with a couple of designated hitters substituting for the absent.

1990 Branaire Ducru, St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
Deep red color with slight browning at the rim. Scents of marmalade, dark berries, and mint. Medium bodied with ample glycerin, and definition, displaying a straightforward nature with flavors such as menthol, leather, and almonds. Well composed with a smooth, balanced finish, good palate impact, and a thoroughly charming personality. Quite excellent, in fact.
90 points

1990 Lagrange, St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
Corked.

1990 Talbot, St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
Dark red color with a light brown hue. Scents of cheese and crème de cassis, with a pinch of leaves mixed in. Dense tobacco-flavored fruit with wonderful complexity and delicacy hit the palate, wrapped in a soft, furry glove of glycerin. With very good focus and persistance, this wine displaying layers of complexity, delivered in a juicy fashion. Slighty narrow and very low in acid, but oozing its charm on the lovely, round aftertaste.
91 points

1990 Beychevelle, St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
Corked.

1990 Ducru Beaucaillou, St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
Dark red color with a blueish hue. What? Not corked? Scents of black berries coming out of the glass. Fairly closed on the nose with additional, masked scents of mustard underneath the berry scents. Good, chewy texture with a chocolaty sweet palate impression and fair structure. Tightly wound, and quite restrained in the mouth, this may be a wine that needs cellaring - depending on whether you want to risk storing potentially corked bottles of wine. As it turns out, this example was not corked. Seen in birds-eye-view, this wine is quite good, albeit not a charming seductress.
88 points

1990 Gruaud Larose, St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
Dense red color - opaque at the core. Scents of black currant, pencil shavings, tea, and almonds. In the mouth the wine was quite simple and forward and seemed to lack some weight to start off. However, after some minutes in the glass, the wine seemed to put on some weight, and the flavor impression intensified substantially. Well crafted with good structure, this wine displayed glorious flavors of bark, leaves, and black currant juice with all notes fusing on the balanced finish.
90 points

1990 Haut Brion, Pessac Leognan/Graves, Bordeaux, France
Dark ruby red. Corked.

1990 La Mission Haut Brion, Pessac Leognan/Graves, Bordeaux, France
Dark red color. Scents of mint and bitter dark chocolate. Somewhat closed initially, opening up gradually with air and increasing temperature in the glass. Wonderfully dense with impressive weight and palate impact showing flavor components such as marzipan, and orange peel. Big in structure, well defined and packed with material for extended cellaring. Outstanding width and complexity and a glorious aftertaste on notes of coffee. Serious.
94 points

1990 Pape Clement, Pessac Leognan/Graves, Bordeaux, France
Blue color. Huge scents of vanilla powering out of the glass. Outstanding structure and definition and playing on alluring flavor elements of cake, vanilla, and caramel, this wine is a real crowd pleaser. Easy to appreciate, but underneath the extravagance there is serious structure and power. Long, smooth, balanced, and harmonious aftertaste. This wine is outstanding, and in spite of the unmistakable cellaring potential, there is every reason to have a look at this wine soon. Loved it.
93 points

1990 L'Evangile, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Evolved red brownish color. Scents of cheese, mustard, and rubber. Sweet, round, and delicious in taste with velvet texture. After some minutes in the glass the wine tightened up and became backwards and rejective. The aftertaste served as proof that this is indeed a serious wine, revealing notes of pine wood, and truffles, razor sharp precision and remarkable length. Very good, but much too young. Strange how the evolved color did not translate into evolved wine.
93 points

1990 Vieux Château Certan, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Medium to dark red with slight browning at the rim. Dairy notes coming out of the glass, mixed in with scents of brown sugar. Medium bodied with great structure, sweet raspberrylike flavors and a seductive, forward nature. Well proportioned with even amounts of everything, and low acid providing for excellent drinking right now. Solid at the core with excellent complexity and depth, and a long aftertaste on coffee notes.
92 points

1990 L'Angelus, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Opaque red color. Intense scents of pepper and mustard. Large bodied with huge weight, concentration and intensity. Wonderfully juicy, and chewy with a creamy buttered texture, and marvellous flavors of cappuccino, cocoa, vanilla, and crème brulée. Very complex and layered with outstanding depth of flavor and textbook elegance and style. Somehow, this wine seemed to be the perfect fusion of Modern and Traditional style. Great.
96 points

1990 Calon Segur, St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
Dark red color. Scents of wet bricks coupled with notes of ocean and crustacean. Fleshy and chewy in the mouth with intensely sweet flavors of black currant, and raspberry. Impeccably structured with outstanding poise and verve. Deep, and layered with lots of finesse, style, and character and a balanced aftertaste on notes of minerals and mustard.
92 points

1990 Cos d'Estournel, St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
Opaque red color. The bouquet had lots of interesting elements - both sweet and dusty. Powerful and intense on the palate with outstanding weight and impact. Sweet in flavor on notes of mocha with cream, and vanilla. Excellent composition and focus with perfect harmony and integration, and a balanced, long aftertaste. Wide and tasty with a delightful core of coffee flavor on the very long, very harmonious, and elegant aftertaste. Superb.
94 points

1990 Montrose, St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
Deep red. Completely closed on the nose. No amount of coaxing brought out the usual funky barnyard scent of this wine. In the mouth the wine was large bodied with a firm, tight, and quite tannic delivery, and intertwined flavors of Ribena juice, Café Latte, and forest floor. Very strong and intense with an incredibly dense core and huge structure, however, when judged against previous encounters with this wine, this bottle was a clear notch below those. 90 Montrose is one of my all-time favorites, and I failed to spot the wine in this sitting. That said, this wine is awesome, though this bottle was only partly representative.
95 points

1990 Paul Jaboulet Ainé Hermitage La Chapelle, Hermitage, Rhône, France
Dark red color. Blueish hue. Scents of berries, meat, bacon fat, and pepper. The nose was a dead giveaway. Rhône all the way. Extremely dense and rich on the palate with polished tannins and a marvellous sweet, and wide palate impression with flavors such as leaves, bark, tobacco, and frying butter. This bottle was perfect for drinking now (though I have recently had bottles that were tight, firm, and backwards), and I imagine this wine will last another 30 years. Structured and long on the aftertaste.
95 points

1990 Leoville Barton, St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
Deep opaque red color. The bouquet revealed notes of dark berries, violets, mustard, and dairy products. Medium bodied with resolved tannins, low acid, and every measure of balance, this wine had a delightfully nutty flavor to it with underlying hints of vitamin pills. Though the wine drank extremely well, it also displayed lots of youthful crispness. Perfectly harmonious with good layers of complexity, and a warm, aftertaste wrapped in fur. Not as rustic as Barton usually is.
94 points

1990 Leoville Las Cases, St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
Dark red with opaque core. Huge nose on notes of iodine, and minerals such as metal, rust, and wet iron. Intense and powerful on the palate with extraordinary width and structure. Super-dense and packed with sweet, ripe fruit, this wine displayed mind bending complexity and depth with layer upon layer of nuances. As the wine evolved in the glass, notes of coffee appeared in both bouquet and taste. Long, lingering aftertaste. Brilliant.
96 points

1990 Leoville Poyferré, St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
This wine is breathtakingly good. I have had it 3 or 4 times over the past couple of years, and simply stated, it must represent one of the best values on the market right now. Dark, opaque red with scents of cassis, paint, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Powerful, rich, and dense in taste with delicious flavors of chocolate and cappuccino. The wine morphed, twisted, and evolved continuously in the glass, in the sense that it took on more and more complexity, as the air saturated the liquid. Structurally, this wine can be cellared for another 30 years, but in all honesty, I doubt that my own stash of 10 bottles will last that long. The aftertaste was very long and displayed notes of rosemary and tea. Many tasters rated this wine even higher than I did.
97 points

1990 Château Margaux, Margaux, Bordeaux, France
Dark red, ruby color with slight browning at the rim. Somewhat closed on the nose with faint whiffs of black currant. Very sweet in the mouth with flavors of crème de cassis and cream. Good weight on the palate with ample structure and brooding power. Almost painfully intense on the palate, but also somewhat clumsy and backwards with a slightly dry aftertaste. There is no mistaking the size of this wine, and its promise. But the bottle I had a year ago was well more than a few points better. For all intents and purposes this here may not have been a representative bottle, as one would expect this wine to be near perfect. Still, this wine was outstanding.
93 points

1990 Rausan Segla, Margaux, Bordeaux, France
Deep, dark red color. Scents of mint, cigar box, and wet tobacco. Medium to large bodied with the most delightful velvet-like smooth, furry texture, contained in a large structure, delivered with a knock-out punch and wounderful linearity. Sweet flavored like Valrhona chocolate dipped into crème de cassis, and a long, morphing, complex aftertaste displaying flavors of herbs. Seductive and perfect for drinking now. Wonderful.
94 points

1990 Pichon Lalande, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
79 points? I don't think so. I have had this wine blind 4-5 times and consistently rated it around 91-92 points. This bottle was even a hair better than that. Among 12 tasters this wine did not recieve a score below 90 points, and I do believe that I was at the lower end of the scoring spectrum. The wine in this bottle was deep, dark red in color and displayed notes of leaves and pudding, and a sweet, seductive taste of cream and vanilla. Well composed and harmonious with a fat, oily flow and nice definition. Quite forward and good for present day consumption, this wine was a delight. Slightly slutty in character - which I think is a good thing. The aftertaste was harmonious and confident. Very good. At least as good as CHâteau Margaux, which appeared in the same flight.
93 points

1990 Climens, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France
Golden color. Scents of plastic, apricot, and vanilla. Large bodied with huge weight and intensity on the palate, playing on flavor components of honey, almonds, hazelnut, brown sugar and butter bisquits. Crisp, lively, and vivid with outstanding complexity, purity, and a crunchy aftertaste, as if this were liquid bisquits. I adored this wine.
95 points

1990 Palmer, Margaux, Bordeaux, France
Deep red with a brown hue. Scents of black currant, mint, leaves, leather, and camphor. Quite rejective and tight on the palate with very subdued flavors. Well crafted and structured with good intensity and poise, but ultimately somewhat lacking in complexity. Medium length aftertaste. As the wine sat in the glass it softened up and that was a plus.
88 points

1990 Sociando Mallet, Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
Dense, dark red. Very closed on the nose with faint whiffs of medicine and minerals. Large bodied with outstanding width and palate weight, playing on flavor components of forest floor and tobacco. Juicy and sweet with delicious drops of liquid chocolate mixed into the taste, and a smooth, symmetrical aftertaste. Ultimately somewhat one dimensional, but a real mouthful of juicy ripe fruit nonetheless.
91 points

1990 Clerc Milon, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Dark red with a narrow, clear rim. The bouquet revealed notes of Ribena juice, and black currant. Wonderfully dense taste of coffee and cappuccino with an intense, creamy core of fruit, delivered in a medium sized body with good structure. Vivid and seductive with plenty of glycerin and a nice aftertaste on notes of coffee with cream. Just a touch one dimensional, but still a very nice wine.
90 points

1990 Grand Puy Lacoste, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Dark red color with a brown rim. Scents of cream caramel, chocolate, and crème de cassis. Sweet, round and lush in the mouth with a fancy texture of silk wrapped around a nicely dense core of fruit. Medium bodied and well structured with ripe tannins causing a pokey, prickling sensation on the tongue. Good length and width with a sustained and powerful ship of flavors and a medium to long aftertaste. I had one small gripe with this wine: As it sat in the glass the aftertaste turned more and more sour. However, this did not overshadow the overall impression and measured against any yardstick this wine is great.
91 points

1990 Lynch Bages, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Dense, dark red color. Scents of minerals and marzipan coming out of the glass after much coaxing of the glass. Ultimately the wine seemed closed, both on the nose and the palate. In the mouth the wine was firm and tight with a brooding character. I suppose this wine is quite a ways from real maturity, but it sticks out as one of the few 1990 Bordeaux that is closed and awkward at this stage - at least in my opinion. Quite tannic with a slightly weird aftertaste of peas and grass. It seemed obvious that this wine needed more cellaring for all the potential to be realized, however I'm sure it's all there.
89 points

1990 Pichon Baron, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Dark red. Scents of camphor, and brown sugar. After a little minute the wine seemed slightly hot and alcoholic on the nose with added nuances of cleaning agents. Dense in the mouth, packing a big punch, with an iron fist grip, and a delightfully crisp delivery. Paradoxically, this wine seemed both too hard and too soft at the same time. As if the big initial knock out punch was not followed up. I suppose it was caught at a bad time. There was so much material there, but not much in the way of smooth, sweet, rich flavors. I have had this wine lots of times over the past few years, and this bottle was significantly different. Usually the wine exudes a huge coffee scented bouquet. This bottle had all the promise and power, and did not seem off in any way, but on the night, it never fleshed out.
91 points

1990 Latour à Pomerol, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Dense, dark red with opaque core. Scents of black currant, raisins, cigar box, and figs. Big, prickly, and intense on the palate with awesome intensity and power, wrapped in a smooth glove of velvet cloth. Large bodied with outstanding definition and width, and every measure of elegance and style. The flavors were dominated by tobacco, and dried leaf nuances. A wine full of character and personality with all the power providing a solid foundation. The aftertaste was smooth and round on notes of mint and spice. I loved this wine.
95 points

1990 Canon La Gafellière, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Deep, dark red color. Notes of ink, tar and shoe polish with almond scents mixed in. Large bodied and intense with a powerful, broad, and wide impact on the palate. Fresh, and crisp with an excellent grip (yet low in acid), and dizzyingly complex layers of fruit with a vivacious and seductive character. Superbly balanced and harmonious with a huge, brooding aftertaste on notes of raisins, tobacco, prunes, and bitter dark chocolate. This wine really is superb.
95 points

1990 Pavie, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Dark violet red color. Scents of dairy products such as yoghurt naturel, and milk. Thick, oily and plush in texture with outstanding intensity on the palate. There were flavor components of iron and rust, tobacco and forest floor, chocolate and coffee. Well balanced with a mouth watering long aftertaste on cappuccino notes with sweet chocolate flavors lingering in the back ground. This wine is both classy and seductive with quite forward fruit, yet every aspect of classic Claret is retained. Loved it.
95 points

1989 L'Angelus, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
In a few words: Freakishly good. Purple/black color. Initially the wine was slightly closed on the nose, but after about 30 minutes in the glass it opened up beautifully with big, bold scents of tobacco, aged leather, smoke, and bacon (like a Côte Rôtie). Densely packed with sweet, perfectly ripe, round fruit and a huge dollop of glycerin for a buttered, creamy texture. Perfectly structured with impeccable balance, in spite of its huge size. I am a complete sucker for wines that are powerful and classy at the same time with some degree of challenge mixed in. This wine was a perfect example of the same, and though I have had the wine several times before and rated it in the mid-90's, this particular bottle was so good that it was hard to find the superlatives. My guess on this ringer was 1989 Clinet, and around the table there were a few people convinced that this wine was 1982 Mouton. What can I say? This bottle displayed perfect ripeness, stupendous concentration, layers of complexity, and yes - that emotional feeling that merits the three digit score.
100 points

1990 Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Corked.

1990 Latour, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Dark red color. Scents of flesh, bacon, and butter frying on a hot pan. Strong, crisp, and concentrated it the mouth with a nice prickly, tannic, dance on the tongue. Structurally the wine was very good with flavors of wet tobacco and funk, and ample balance. Medium bodied and slightly rejective in nature, and as such, quite backwards at this juncture. In all honesty, the flavor impression and degree of complexity was somewhat simple, though the aftertaste was quite sustained and long. There is enough material to merit a score around 90 points, but honestly, at the going rate, this wine is not worth the money.
90 points

1990 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
I eat my words. I have slighted this wine on several occasions, finding it both simple, boring, and uninspired. This bottle was anything but that. So I suppose there's a lot of bottle variation with this wine...? Dark to medium red with a brown hue. Slightly developed in appearance. Outstanding bouquet with complex scents of coffee and cigar box coming out of the glass. Fleshy, round and "moist" in the mouth with a gloriously harmonic interplay between all elements. Light on its feet, medium bodied, and well defined, this wine was more elegant than powerful with classy flavors of cassis, and chocolate. Charming and feminine with a long, detailed, complex aftertaste. What a turnup for the books.
94 points

1990 Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon, Hermitage, Rhône, France
This ringer was a dead giveaway. Everyone singled it out. Dark, violet blue/red color. Scents of meat, bacon, and pepper with pine needles and cloves (which prompted my CdP guess). Big in every aspect with huge concentration and intensity on the palate and a large bodied, well structured vehicle for driving the fruit. Concentrated and penetrating on the palate with flavors of bacon, steak, and flowers. Long and powerful aftertaste with layers and layers of dimensions. Very serious.
96 points

1990 Certan de May, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Dark red color with a brown hue. Scents of prunes. Sweet and round at first with a forward and simple low acid character to it. Light bodied with questionable structure and an unfortunate tendency to fall apart in the glass. After a few minutes the wine turned weedy and grassy with bitter flavors of rotten vegetables the providing "icing on the cake". Nothing special.
83 points

1990 Lafleur de Gay, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Dense, dark red color. Scents of bark, wood, mushrooms, and baking powder. Crisp and forward with a straight and simple flavor impression of dough and cookies. Seems to lack some width and size on the palate with a slightly hot and alcoholic aftertaste. I do concede that this wine is well crafted and structured with good definition and what seems like lots of alcohol, but I miss some complexity and character in this wine, as I often do with Lafleur de Gay.
88 points

1990 Figeac, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Deep red color. The bouquet revealed notes of flowers and almonds/marzipan. Nice juicy and fleshy with a good smooth texture and medium body. Delightfully sweet and creamy in the mouth with flavors of prunes, raisins, and cloves interplaying. Ripe and rounded with great purity and verve, and good layers of fruit. Quite charming and delicious with a long coffee flavored aftertaste. Very nice.
90 points

1990 Clinet, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Opaque red/blue color. Stupendously complex bouquet on notes of red berries, ink, liquer, vanilla, and chocolate. Large bodied with great intensity and impact on the palate. Outstanding structure with millimeter precision and definition and awesome complexity and resolution. The flavor spectrum ranged from coffee and cream to raisins and brown sugar with a drop of vanilla, crème brulée and tobacco mixed in. This wine nearly had it all and was harmonious and balanced with an excellent concentrated explosive aftertaste. This wine is serious.
96 points

1990 Trotanoy, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Medium to dark red color. Scents of figs and popcorn. Medium bodied with a nice, albeit somewhat rustic texture. Good width and structure with flavors of spices, berries, and prunes. The wine possessed a very delicious core of fruit, and although this wine was slightly rural in nature, it also managed to convey some measure of elegance. Good density on the aftertaste with lots of character and nuance. Very good - especially with food.
91 points

1990 Ausone, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Beautiful dark red color. Notes of forest floor and cream coming out of the glass. Simple and easy on the palate with a slightly choppy texture and interesting flavors of dried leaves. Harmonic and balanced but somewhat light and diluted - certainly for a wine of this pedigree. In all honesty I was quite fond of the forward and co-operable nature of the wine, however more of everything would be desirable.
88 points

1990 Lafleur, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Dark red color with a clear rim. Scents of pudding and custard emerged from the glass with faint whiffs of tea and herbs tagging along. Big, powerful and wide with huge structure and lots of intense, ripe fruit poured in. Chewy and spicy in taste with awesome flavors of wet tobacco, leaves, and coffee. Complex and harmonic with a long saturated aftertaste and tons of character. Lafleur is one of my favorite Bordeaux and the 1990 is no exception. When measured against the 1989, the 1990 is probably a touch lighter if that's even possible. However, we're reviewing the 1990 here, and it more than holds its own. A monster that would benefit from extended cellaring, but it sure is good now too....
94 points

1990 Le Pin, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Dark red color with browning at the rim. Get out of town. This has got to be the best bouquet I have ever had the pleasure of sniffing. And boy did I stretch this glass of wine to last for as long as possible. When all the wine was gone I was still sniffing the glass. Even if the taste of this wine had been mediocre I would still have rated it highly. But seeing as the texture was like the most expensive, luxurious, Gucci woven cloth you could imagine, the weight and power was abundant yet contained and measured, the complexity was head shakingly deep, the aftertaste lasted for minutes, and the flavor components contained all my favorites; coffee, tobacco, vanilla, and brown sugar, this is an easy wine to grade. Wrapped up into a few simple phrases, this is one of the best wines I have ever tasted. One almost has to shed a tear at the mere thought of the disappearing low production (and high cost) of this wine.
100 points

1990 Petrus, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
So it's one more disappointing encounter with Petrus. Next year I will be attending a Petrus vertical and it will be interesting to see the outcome. As for this wine, it was purple in color and completely closed on the nose. In the mouth it was sweet and round in flavor with notes of blueberry and cassis. In spite of the initial sweet rounded nature of the wine, there did not seem to be a lot of follow through and complexity as would be expected of a bottle of Petrus. It was ALL structure. Sure, all the promise is there and people with enough experience to grade wines based on perceived potential might marvel, but in all honesty I could not identify this wine as the best thing since sliced bread. Bear in mind that it was served to me blind. The aftertaste was slightly tight, but very long and strong. So, in a nutshell the underlying material seems to be there and it is possible that this wine was caught on a bad day. After a lot of time in the glass (one hour or so) the wine evolved quite nicely and seemed to flesh out somewhat, and that adds to my suspicion that this bottle was simply closed up. Structurally, this wine was in the Major Leagues, though.
92 points

1990 La Conseillante, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Dark red color with opaque core. Scents of crème brulée and vanilla emerged from the glass, and the bouquet and a vivid and vibrant character to it. Large bodied and wide in the mouth with great structure and power, yet refined elegance and style. Flavors of wet tobacco, and bark could be identified with a splash of mint thrown in. Interestingly, the wine had a crisp, acidic delivery unlike most 1990 Bordeaux Right Bankers which to me seem low in acid. This bottle was complex and layered in nature with a cool, breezy aftertaste on notes of menthol and tobacco. Very, Very good.
94 points

1990 Cheval Blanc, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Deep opaque dark red. The bouquet came roaring out of the glass and was sheer perfection in terms of its depth. Notes of vanilla, cream, sugar, coffee, cigarbox, and Valrhôna chocolate. Large bodied with huge intensity and concentration cutting a large swath across the palate and saturating every nook and cranny of the mouth with sweet, chocolate flavored ripe fruit delivered in expensive silk gloves. It's just all there. Flavors of figs, prunes, raisins, dark chocolate, nougat, cake, cookies, and even a slight pinch of spice, this wine was just mind-numbingly good. Huge in structure with an aftertaste that lasted for minutes. Imagine the best crème brulèe you have ever tasted. Mix in two tea spoons of alcohol. Stir for a few minutes. Cook and let the alcohol dissapate, then melt a block of Madagascar chocolate, mix it in, and add lots of crushed fruit. If it doesn't taste like this wine, then that recipe was pointless. However, when presented with a glass like this, I get emotional and silly. I hope that brings the point home.
100 points

1990 Le Tertre Rôteboeuf, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Dark color - somewhere between black and blue with no visible rim. Initially the wine was slightly tight and closed on the nose, however with a little bit of swirling of the glass and air injected, the bouquet rolled out wonderfully with lots of complex details to be identified, such as pudding and vanilla. Intense, concentrated and strong on the palate with dense flavors of candy, black currant, and bramble berry all presented in a large bodied, superbly structured mouthful. Long, spicy and complex on the aftertaste with lots of dimensions and layers, and extraordinary staying power. Cream, cream, cream. That's what the aftertaste was - and there was lots of it.
97 points

1990 La Fleur Petrus, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Dark, violet red/blue color. Scents of tea, and fresh air. Meaty in the mouth with medium body and outstanding structure. This wine had lots of character and even finesse mixed in with the somewhat chunky texture. Flavors of bitter dark chocolate and aromatic coffee, delivered in a straight forward nature with delightful ease, and very good complexity. Dense on the aftertaste with good length and harmony. Very good.
92 points

1990 Beausejour Duffau Lagarrosse, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Black in color. Huge, brooding bouquet on notes of walnuts, dark berries, cigarbox, and cappuccino. Seriously complex and layered. Huge bodied - not just large bodied - in the mouth with glycerin in abundance providing a perfect texture. Flamboyant, wide and sizzling with vibrant, ripe, dark fruit flavors and even some pine needle notes mixed in. Almost perfectly structured, this wine is fascinating and every bit as great as its reputation. Very concentrated and long on the aftertaste, yet retaining a high degree of class and breed and unmistakable Claret character, this is big in every aspect. Near perfect.
98 points

1990 Troplong Mondot, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
This tasting note could probably be applied to several big Port wines. I have to say that I really do not favor this style of wine, but I do acknowledge the greatness of it. Black opaque color with no visible rim. Scents of liquer, alcohol and English licorice. Very large bodied with the intensity, power, and weight of fortified wine and flavors of prunes, figs, and raisins, this wine has a structure that is hard to believe. Everything here is delivered with a knock out punch, and the aftertaste lasts for minutes.
97 points

1990 Yquem, Sauternes/Barsac, Bordeaux, France
Dark yellow/light amber color. Classic notes of pine apple, and apricot, mixed with molasses and brown sugar. Crisp and fresh with outstanding acid and purity. Flavors of brown sugar, honey, toasted bread, almonds, and nougat were delivered in an thick, oily texture with outstanding definition and balance. Layered and complex with high resolution and a vivid, long aftertaste. Those are the specifics. Now, for the more personal observations, I really love this wine. I have had it upwards of ten times, and it has never been a disappointment. The brown sugar element is echoed on the long, crisp aftertaste. This is simply great.
97 points
Original Post
Joe Belmaati

Thank you for those wonderful notes on wines from the 1990 Bordeaux vintage. That was a wonderful opportunity to experience some great wines. I bought several cases on futures, but still have not tasted some of them, and only several of the wines on your list.

First, I was somewhat surprised at the number of "corked bottles" and bottles with premature browning. This has not been my experience with the 1990 vintage! Were these bottles from the members cellars, or acquired individually?

As for the individual wines:

1990 Evangile--Sounds as if it was prematurely aged with that red/brown color. My experience has been a deep rich color, with nothing backward.

1990 Angelus----spot on!

1990 Calon Segur----similar.

1990 Montrose---I bought the 2nd wine La Dame and it is a solid 90 pointer.

1990 Las Cases----agree

1990 Chateau Margaux---You definitely had an off bottle. I've had this several times and there has never been any browning and I've always scored it 97/100 points.

1990 Pichon Lalande----I bought 2 cases, and yes, I thought it was a lot better than Parker!
I agree with your notes.

1990 Mouton Rothschild--- sounds as if you had an exceptional bottle. I'll agree with your 1st thoughts, simple, boring, and uninspired.

1990 Clinet---same opinion. This was a huge bargain on futures. My favorite QPR wine from 1990. I bought several cases only to have Parker raise the score in the 90's sending the cost sky high.

1990 La Conseillante---I like it more than you! I've never experience an "acidic delivery" but more of a creamy delivery 97/99 points.

I have not tasted many of the others listed, and can only envy your opportunity....Again, thanks for the wonderful notes.
Thanks for the comments.

Board-O, I have had the 1990 Montrose ~10 times and almost every bottle has been better than the one reviewed here. Depending on your age I would tuck away your Mags for 30 years.

Latour67, the Mouton is a controversial review - both here and elsewhere. I hope the TN reflects my own surprise at how good this bottle was. I have had the La Conseillante 5 or 6 times and every bottle has been better than the one reviewed here.
quote:
Board-O, I have had the 1990 Montrose ~10 times and almost every bottle has been better than the one reviewed here. Depending on your age I would tuck away your Mags for 30 years.


I'll be in my 80s in 30 years. I believe I'll open the first one before that. Smile
Joe,
Fantastic notes. Thanks and I'll refer to them when I open my limited collection of '90 Bordeaux. I've recently tried the Gruauad Larose and agree with your notes. Like many others on the board, I'd like to visit one of your tastings with some of the TWC.
You rated the Mouton so high, I am really suprised. Rausan-Segla and Poyferré are rated high also. I agree with Margaux 90 because many of the bottles I had recently rated really high, well higher than 93.

I had Le Pin 90 recently and I agree this wine is awesome but need to be drink soon (until 5-6 years).
Joe, I had Rausan and Mouton 90 recently and both at blind tastings. The Mouton was a total deception and the 87 was even better so imagine. The Rausan on a other note was way better than Mouton but not more than a 90-91 pts. I think I gave Mouton 90 85-86 pts.

I just enjoyed the 1990 Pavie.  It was fantastic.  Some bricking, but still good dark color.  Full of life, gorgeous dark fruit, leather, cedar, dark chocolate...everything you would hope for.  Opened up over 2 hours.  Tannins are soft and beautifully integrated.  As wonderful as this is now, I wouldn't hesitate to hold for another decade.  94

haggis posted:

I just enjoyed the 1990 Pavie.  It was fantastic.  Some bricking, but still good dark color.  Full of life, gorgeous dark fruit, leather, cedar, dark chocolate...everything you would hope for.  Opened up over 2 hours.  Tannins are soft and beautifully integrated.  As wonderful as this is now, I wouldn't hesitate to hold for another decade.  94

I had great expectations for this last week but sadly it was corked, uggghhh

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