1989 Château Haut-Brion Pessac-Léognan Wine Tasting Note


1989 Château Haut-Brion  (Pessac-Léognan) 100

Sadly, since this has become so expensive over the past few years, I see it a lot less often. But when I do, OMG, it is off the charts! Explosive in nature, the wine is intense, full-bodied, complex, powerful, concentrated and all of that is balanced by its elegance, purity, richness and refined tannins. The finish, which surpasses the 60-second mark is seamless. This is a beauty today, and yet, even at days before its 31st birthday, I am sure there is room for more evolution!

4758 Views   Tasted

A clear contender for wine of the decade, this is so rich and concentrated, it tastes and feel like an entire magnum of wine was stuffed into a 750 ml bottle! Young, but a treat to taste today, the finish sticks with you for at least 60 seconds! You can drink this now, or save it for decades. Either way is the right choice here...

8441 Views   Tasted 100

There is no better wine to express what great Bordeaux is all about that in the modern age, than 1989 Haut Brion. Perfectly combining elegance, refinement and concentration with textures of pure silk and a finish that sticks with you for over 60 seconds. Prices have jumped over the past year or two, but setting that aside, this is pure bottled perfection. I wonder if the 1961 showed like this at the same age?

6073 Views   Tasted 100

There are great wines. Those wines can be even better when the bottles are also great. And then there are the perfect bottles of great wines that if the scale went past 100 Pts, they would break into that rare territory. This bottle of 1989 Haut Brion deserved 101 Pts. Perfect in every sense of the word, if you have the money, or if you really want to know what great Bordeaux is all about, this is the wine to buy! There are more than enough tasting notes from me on this wine, describing it in detail. So I will just jump to the high points. The wine fills your mouth, coats your palate and takes over your senses. Everything is in perfect balance. The finish sticks with you and expands for more than 60 seconds. Everything you could want in a wine, except for the price is here in spades. This will age and improve for decades.

7479 Views   Tasted 100

Tasted at the same lunch as the 1989 La Mission Haut Brion, which I scored 100 Pts, this was even better. The nose, with its smoke, fire, burning embers, barbecue, cassis, tar and tobacco notes was clearly off the charts. But the palate, with its unparalleled levels of concentration allowed the tasted to feel voluptuous textures paired with rich, layers of perfectly ripe, sweet, fresh, silky berries. The finish lasted over 60 seconds. If you're lucky enough to own a bottle of this liquid gold, pop a bottle now, or give it to your grand children. Either way, you'll come out a winner!!!

8086 Views   Tasted 100

A sublime bottle of 1989 Haut Brion is everything great Bordeaux should be. The nose was off the hook with its flamboyant, smoky, tobacco, tar, cigar box, blackberry and truffle personality. Massive in size, yet, refined, elegant and poised, the endless finish serves up layer after layer of sweet cherries, cassis, spice and earthy sensations that last for at least 60 seconds!

8564 Views   Tasted 100

It does not matter how many times I taste this wine. It remains one of the most exciting wines I've ever tasted. Soaring aromatics, palate staining fruit and an endless finish. This is the real deal.

7208 Views   Tasted 100

Clearly this is the most consistent, high quality Bordeaux made in the last 50 years. If someone wanted to make the claim it was the most consistent over the last 100 years, they would get no argument from me. Tobacco, cigar box, smoke, campfire and black fruit aromas pop from the glass with an intensity that cannot be ignored. On the palate the wine is powerful, rich, dense, sweet, pure and fresh. The coating on your palate sticks for more than 60 seconds with its sumblime display of fruit, complexity and freshness. Still young, in time, this will be a legend in the decades to come that will be considered the equal of wines like the 1945 Haut Brion.

10607 Views   Tasted 100

I'm normally a decisive person. But when presented with 1989 Haut Brion and 1989 La Mission Haut Brion in the same flight, I often have problems picking a favorite. It could be one, the other or often the bout comes out in a tie, and for different reasons. Few wines offer this much concentration of flavor and material coupled with pure silky tannins, elegance, refinement, balance and persistence of flavor. With a finish of well over sixty seconds, it's not difficult to understand why many tasters think this is the modern day version of the 1961!

10157 Views   Tasted 100

By coincidence, this was served at two different, back to back dinners. The first bottle was sadly, ever so slightly corked. The nose was muted, and the flavors, coupled with the intensity were not on full display. That bottle would score in the low 90's, a far cry from the wine can deliver. Bottle number 2 was a completely different story. Tobacco, smoke, earth, tar, leather, Cigar box, cedar, cassis and black berry got the wine going. Power, silk and velvet textures supported the elegant, refined, harmonious character. The wine continued to improve during the night with each taste. Still young, it's greatness can be enjoyed today, but if you want to try this at the start of maturity, give it another decade.

8819 Views   Tasted 99

Clearly this legendary wine is a strong possibility for wine of the decade. It does not take long for to taster to understand why, with its intense aromas of smoke, hot bricks, cassis, spice, truffle, cigar box and forest floor scents. If that wasn’t enough to get you going, countless layers of powerful, rich, intense, pure, velvet and silk berries are packed into each sip. The wine is expansive, growing better and becoming more interesting and complex with each, sniff, swirl and sip. 1989 Haut Brion deserves to be looked at with the same reverence as the legendary 1945 and 1961. It is that good!

16505 Views   Tasted 100

Compelling aromatics filled with smoke, tobacco, blackberry, cassis, tar, leather, cigar box and pie tobacco. Tannic, refined, harmonious, mouth coating and attention grabbing, it's hard to believe this wine is close to 22 years old, It tasted at least a decade younger. Complex, pure, supple, polished and intense, the finish remains in your mouth for at least one full minute! Tasted form a half bottle, it did not have the same level of plushness found in 750 Ml bottles.

17613 Views   Tasted 98

The perfume pops from the glass like a Jack in Box that has been waiting to be released for decades. Cassis, earth, Cuban cigar, hot rocks, truffle, plums, earth, tobacco, smoke, tar and mocha scents take over your nose. Intense purity of fruit, powerful, refined and elegant, this is what great Bordeaux wine is all about. The seamless finish is pure silk and velvet.

22290 Views   Tasted 100

1989 Haut Brion explodes with a concoction of spice, truffle, tobacco, leather, smoke, cassis, tar, forest floor and black cherry liqueur aromas. With mouth coating intensity and port like textures, this compelling Bordeaux wine ends with a long, fresh, sensuous, seamless finish. The scary thing is, this will only get better over the next several decades. 99 Pts

19020 Views   Tasted 99

1989 Haut Brion remains the quintessential Haut Brion of our time. At 21 years of age, this wine is still young. Tar, incense, smoke, tobacco, truffle, bitter chocolate and crushed stone with forest floor scents make up the perfume. This concentrated, dense, powerful wine fills your palate with multiple layers of dark berries and plums. This intense wine demands another decade before it begins to reveal its secrets. 99 Pts

18500 Views   Tasted 99

1989 Haut Brion steals your attention with an impressive display of kirsch, blackberry, minerality, smoke, spice and earthy aromas. The wine coats every nook and cranny of your palate with long, fresh, pure, blackberry and cassis filled flavors that must last close to sixty seconds! This is a remarkable when that is still young. If you are going to spend a lot of money on a wine, this is the wine buy. 99 Pts

18394 Views   Tasted 99

Served blind at ChateauLa Mission Haut Brion over dinner- This powerful, complex perfume grabs you with smoke, tar, tobacco, cassis, Cuban cigar, leather, spice and cherry pipe tobacco aromatics. This is rich, dense and full bodied, yet light on its feet and perfectly in balance. The wine feels graceful in your mouth. The finish is long, clean, pure, seamless and silky. Still young this will only continue getting better over the next several decades.

16625 Views   Tasted 99

A definite candidate for wine of the vintage as well as a strong contender for wine of the decade. And then some! I tasted 5 different bottles recently. My note is for the best bottle. Other bottles were more mature and not as expressive the one I note here. Sadly, one bottle was corked. The best bottles of this legendary wine can bring tears to the eyes of even the most jaded tasters. Deeply colored with a cornucopia of aromatics including smoke, tar, herbs, cassis, blackberry, truffle, Cuban cigar, and fennel. The layers of deep ripe fruit that fill your mouth seem endless. Very concentrated, rich, deep, and opulent, this tremendous wine ends with a seamless, black fruit finish that lasts over a minute. Still young, this wine will evolve for decades. This is Haut Brion at its best. At full maturity it may end up better than previous legends like 1961 or 1945.

14951 Views   Tasted 100

More often than not, when 89 Haut Brion comes out to play, it's the wine of the night. However, I was moved to tears because it was not even close to wine of the night on this occasion. Either poorly stored or from a bad cork seal, this was not a pristine bottle. The color was very advanced. The usually explosive nose expressed simple spice and earthy notes. Silky on the palate, but very light in weight. This was a nice Bordeaux, but not a great Haut Brion. Once again the old adage came true, after 20 years there are no great wines, only great bottles.

9854 Views   Tasted 93

This wine shot off all the bells and whistles anyone could want in a Bordeaux wine. This wine makes the blind see, the deaf hear and can be used at revivals to help the wheelchair bound walk again! This was off the charts. If the scale ran over 100, this bottle would bust the triple digit mark. The perfume was intoxicating. Very rich, deep, concentrated and complex. The non stop layers of flavors and sensations that cascade over your palate like water at Niagara Falls is something that has to be tasted to be believed. The seamless finish lasted over a minute, I timed it! Absolutely incredible. If anyone doubts this wine is equal to, or better than the more famous and expensive Haut Brion, they need to taste it. This was a mind blowing wine! Still young, this sublime elixir can be tasted today for its incredible richness, but another decade will do magical things.

13049 Views   Tasted 100

This opaque colored wine offers a perfume full of smoke, spices, truffle and fruit, it’s easy to lose yourself in its charms. Massives waves of perfectly ripe, intense black fruit, along with velvet tannins and an endless, seamless finish make this one of the best wines I've ever tasted.

9445 Views   Tasted 99

Firing on all 12 cylinders as usual, this wine offers a perfume as complex and compelling as any other wine. Spice, black fruit, tar, tobacco and truffle are all over the place. This is so rich and concentrated, it's almost too much wine to fit in one glass. Concentrated and complex. This is the real deal.

9366 Views   Tasted 99

“Wow, this has it all!” And it does in abundance! Spices, cigar tobacco, herbs, cooked black fruit, cassis, earth, coffee and smoke. Thick rich, dense, endless layers of unctuous ripe fruit coat your palate. The seamless finish seemed endless. This was out of control and off the charts.

9350 Views   Tasted 99

“Liqueur of Graves!” The 89 Haut Brion offered the silkiest, sexiest mouth feel of the night. This was a perfect bottle of a perfect wine. If wine gets better than this, let me know as I want to buy a case!

12538 Views   Tasted 100
Haut Brion 12 Wine Tasting Notes, Ratings

When to Drink Chateau Haut Brion, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Haut Brion needs several years, and in the best vintages up to 2 decades time before the wine displays its true character. Haut Brion needs at least 12-20 years of aging, or longer, in good vintages until it is ready to be enjoyed. Young vintages can be decanted for 2-4 hours, or more.

This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau Haut Brion offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 15-50 years of age after the vintage.

Serving Chateau Haut Brion with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips

Chateau Haut Brion is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.

Chateau Haut Brion is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Haut Brion is also good with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, salmon, mushrooms and pasta.

The white wine of Chateau Haut Brion is best served with a myriad of different seafood dishes, shellfish, crab, lobster, sushi, sashimi, chicken, pork and veal, as well as Asian cuisine.