TN: 1990 Leoville Las Cases

Mrs. Pippin and I deserved a treat and we served up rack of lamb with this wine. I have had the 1990 Leoville las Cases many times (17 notes)and it has always been consistently excellent. This wine was decanted and poured within 20 minutes.
Cedar and tobacco nose, great structure, extremely long finish, complex, tannin that will allow this wine to grow and live for 20+ more years. With decanting this wine is very enjoyable yet I think it will not peak until 2010 +/-. 98 points.
Original Post
Had this last night along with the '89. Still quite young, and at this stage I prefer the '89. The '90 came off as much more simplistic and not having quite the volume or complexity of the '89. But...I suspect this may have been a really good bottle of '89 and a moderately good bottle of '90. Dark blood red in color. Notes of sweet earth, black cherry/blackberry, violet, creme de cassis, and graphite. The midpalate came off as somewhat simple, but I think decanting would have helped. Long finish. Needs more time. 93+ pts.

Thanks for the notes! Funny cause I also had this LLC last night and would agree with your notes.
I think it was a very nice wine but without the elegance and depth than I usually get with LLC.
We decanted it for 3h, and it showed a lot of tar, cedar, dark fruits with a roasted edge.
Didn't get much of mineral notes that LLC can show.
Still very enjoyable.
Medium ruby, decanted, gave it a two hour decant but three hours would have been more appropriate. Cedar and black cherries in the nose, complex with a nice long finish. No mistaking this one for a Napa Valley cabernet. Needed food and a prime steak was the correct foil. 94 points
Last night it was a really excellent bottle of this wine. Decanted, medium ruby, cedar and cigar box nose,this wine opened up at the one hour point, mouthcoating fruit, very long finish, elegant and powerful at the same time. A step up from my last bottle.97 points
Opened 1 hour in advance and decanted. Color still bright and not showing its age at all. Wonderfully and intensely perfumed from the start, with complex fruit and tertiary nuances. Perfume was intense and very clean. All impression were confirmed in the mouth: intense, powerful, balanced, extremely long.Not at its apogee yet, but absolutely a delight to drink. Maybe my best experience with a Cabernet or Merlot based wine. Varietal notes (that I usually don't like very much) were not in strong evidence. We were concerned about the status of this bottle, as it had been bought from an auction, but it lived up to our best expectations.
Decanted for one hour. Medium ruby, fair amount of sediment and a seriously stained bottle on the inside. Cedar nose opened up nicely and the elegant fruit went great with a bone in ribeye steak. Very complex and elegant with a long, long finish. This wine can be enjoyed now with out guilt but will last for many years. 98 points
Decanted for one hour. Medium ruby with a rich nose of cedar and a bit of cigar box. After one hour this wine was singing. Very complex with secondary flavors, and an extremely long finish. Very complex and wonderful with medium rare filet mignon. This will keep for years but I think it is close to prime now and you will not be disappointed if you open one. 97 points
Another superlative bottle. I started purchasing Leoville Las Cases with the 1978 vintage. I bought the very good vintages up to and including 2000. This 1990 version is the one LLC that I would have to choose if I could only choose one vintage. It has been consistently excellent.

My bottle was young mature. This wine is drinking very well right now.
Originally posted by Lentini:
Thanks for the update, Pippin.

Hey, regarding your "very good vintages"... I want to play the guessing game: Did you include '78, '79, '82, '83, '85, '86, '88, '89, '90, '93, '95, '96, '98, '99, '00?

I have tried all of those but did not buy the 93 or 98 and they may be super wines as well.

I liked the 1990 for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it drank well young, never went thru a dumb phase and has become elegant. Having said that, I think that the 1986 has the potential to be the finest LLC that I have ever had but I hope it matures someday while I am still around to enjoy it.
The 1986 is my favorite so far. I only tried the '90 once, and while I loved it, I found it young/tight enough that I thought it would show better with more age (didn't get enough decanting in to make up for it). I look forward to trying it again... I have the '88 and '89 standing up to do a redo shortly. The '89 suffered in direct comparison to the '90... '88 is more of a fair fight. The four vintages I'd say compete with the '90 so far for me were '85, '86, and '96 (with a long decant). I still haven't tried 1995 or 2000.

Anyhow, sorry for the thread drift. I'm drooling in anticipation of finding a 1990 (or just about any LLC) with which to wet my lips...
Patience is needed with LLC perhaps that is why I have always liked the 1990 vintage. Another great wine is the 1982 which is only now starting to shed a tannic shell. Still needs a two hour decant. I also have not tried the 2000 vintage but probably will within the year (with a long decant). The 2000 Clos du Marquis is still not ready.
Decanted for one hour, 13.5% alcohol, medium ruby,bottle seriously stained, throwing sediment, rich nose with a touch of cedar, elegant drink with a very long finish. Fully mature for my taste but with a strong backbone, will hold for many years. Superb.
Dinner for six and a butterflied leg of lamb means it is time to open a Magnum of the 1990 LLC. Decanted for 1.5 hours. Seriously stained bottle, the color is dark ruby with almost no loss of color. Rich nose with black fruits and red fruits. Very elegant with a tannins in the background. Very enjoyable now but will keep for years. 96 points. My buddy drank the sediment, it was that good.
This wine had an interesting adventure. Late Friday afternoon I decanted it at home and rebottled it to take to a restaurant in Sonoma where we were meeting friends. The waitress refused to reopen it and the manager as well. They said it was illegal. I learned this technique from this Wine Spectator forum and have done this many times but to no avail Friday nite. I have decided to not name the restaurant but I will not be going back. Friday nite when we got home I put it in the refrigerator.

Saturday night Mrs. Pippin and I bought two nice grass fed NY steaks, arugula salad and rice pilaf. Simple meal to highlight the wine. Medium ruby, throwing a lot of sediment. Beautiful nose of cedar and cigar box. We took an hour to enjoy this wine and it was simply breathtaking it was so good. The fruit, tannin and acid are all totally integrated. Very complex and a long, long finish. Mature for my taste but it will still be singing for years. I am giving this beauty 99 points. This is under the theory that there is always room for improvement but I do not know how. I see the Cellar Tracker average is say 95 (94.9) points.

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