1989 Lynch Bages is the product of a mixed year for the Medoc. The First Growth’s did not perform at their level. But some of the Second Growth’s hit it out of the park. I’ve tasted 89 and 90 Lynch Bages blind and not on several occasions over the years. At times, I’ve often felt the more elegant 1990, with its refined structure and riper tannins was the better wine, The 89, as good as it is, tasted bigger and more concentrated. Yet at times I thought the 90 was the better wine. At 21 years of age, it was time to discover which had finally matured, the wine, or me? The only way to find out was to pop the cork! The wine remained in the decanted one hour before tasting.
This sill youthful Pauillac continues to display a dark ruby color. The purple hue it once displayed is gone, but the ruby shows very little lightening at the edges. Underbrush, cassis, cedar, forest floor, tobacco and earthy scents come alive with very little coaxing from this Bordeaux wine. Waves of sweet, ripe, black cherry, chocolate and cassis coat your mouth. The intense sweet finish remains for at least 45 seconds. In 1989, the Medoc was a mixed bag, especially when it comes to the First Growths. Along with Chateau Pichon they are both contenders for the top Pauillac of the year. This bottle was the best example of 89 Lynch Bages I have yet tasted.
The wine paired perfectly with a grilled Pork Rib Cap, demi glace and slow roasted, seasonal squash.
While 1989 Lynch Bages will improve for at least another 15-20 years,( Some tannin remains). if you have more than a few bottles, there is no need to wait. The only complaint about this wine is, in the finish, a minor hint of green could be detected. This was probably due to a lack of severe selection. That issue aside, this is a great Bordeaux wine experience I’d drink any day.
I remember buying this close to a year after it was released for about $30 a bottle! Those were the days… 96 Pts
I asked Jean-Michel Cazes which year he liked more, 1989 or 1990. Cazes replied, “2 vintages for the long haul. I like both but I believe 89 will outlive 90 in a distant future… But I won’t be around to verify !”
If anyone reading this has tasted 1989 or 1990 Lynch Bages recently and wants to share their thoughts, please feel free to post.