1990 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron Pauillac Wine Tasting Note


1990 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron  (Pauillac) 97

Am fortunate to taste the 89 and 90 Pichon Baron back to back at least once a year. It is a fabulous pair to compare because my favorite is always exchanging places. Tonight, the 1989 was a bit richer, with slightly more intensity. Still, the 1990 is full, rich, deep, long, expansive and combines power with lush characteristics. With depth of flavor, soft, ripe tannins and loads of cigar box, tobacco and ripe red fruits, this is a gorgeous wine that is everything a great Pauillac should be.

2563 Views   Tasted

At 30, this is at peak maturity. It's the perfect to pop a cork and dig into all that fabulous cigar box, dark cocoa, tobacco leaf and juicy, sweet cassis! Full-bodied, rich, long, deep and intense, there is just the right touch of forest floor, herbs, pepper and smoke that work in concert with layers of ripe, red berries. The wine is long, complex and satisfying. No real need to decant, though 20-30 minutes is fine. Enjoy this now and over the next 2 decades.

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This is a super wine. In fact, I am not sure there is a better example for the money in the market today for a great Pauillac with bottle age. This has everything you need in a mature Left Bank wine. It is rich, powerful, concentrated and multi-layered. But the wine is not showy, it's restrained. The aromatic profile is text-book with its tobacco leaf, smoke, cassis, blackberry, wet earth and herbal notes. The texture is masculine and refined, with a finish that doesn't quit. An hour at most is all this needs in the decanter.

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Very close to full maturity here. Hey, it only took 28 years! But the wait was worth it. The soft, elegant, refined, austerity that belongs to Pauillac is shining brightly here. The wine is fresh, full bodied, effortless to drink and serves up its blend of forest leaf, tobacco, cedar, cassis, smoke and cigar wrapper without being asked. Perhaps another year or two will a bit more nuance, but at close to 30, this is where it needs to be, for prime time drinking.

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This just keeps getting better every time I taste it! Perfectly ripe fruit, elegant, refined and full bodied, with rich, lush textures, length, mouth filling and intense, this is drinking beautifully.

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What a super wine. Combining power, sweet, perfectly ripe fruits, lush, regal tannins and a finish that does not quit, this is drinking great today.

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Rich, full, deep, long and concentrated, the tannins are soft and silky. The palate relishes the layers of sweet cassis and blackberry, complemented by the earthy, tobacco and cigar box notes. This is so good now and there is room for improvement.

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By coincidence, I was lucky enough to taste and compare 1990 Pichon Baron with 1989 Pichon Baron from perfect bottles, two different times over a two week period, with consistent results. The 1990 is rich, luscious, opulent, refined, concentrated, complex and for me, a compelling wine that is drinking perfectly today. The 1989 is firm, tannic, more structured and did not become truly civilized until it was decanted for at least three hours. After 3 hours, the 1989 began to blossom, lose its tannic edge and while it remained classic (in all the right ways. The 1990, with its lush, soft, silky tanniis the best of all possible worlds. You can drink it today, as it really shows its stuff. You can also age for at least another 15-20 years. The 1989, which is not as much fin to drink today could improve for another 30-40 years. This one of the most fun back to back wines to compare these days as it is as much about the wines as it is about the tasters.

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A great wine tasting experience telegraphs its intentions from the first sniff of its perfume. The moment the cork popped, we were treated to a wave of cassis. Truffle, tobacco, blackberry, forest floor and spice aromas only added to the experience. Concentrated, rich and refined, the wine combines power and elegance. There is a lot of purity and freshness in the long, supple finish. This is drinking great today. There is no reason to wait before popping a bottle. That being said, if your bottle has been well stored, it should continue to evolve and add levels of complexity for another decade or more. This is the finest vintage of Pichon Baron made between 1961 and 2009. I think the 2010 is probably a better wine, but with a 20 year head start, the 1990 is the wine to have.

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If you're a Bordeaux lover, buy this wine. If you're wondering about what a maturing Bordeaux is like, buy this wine. If you've always wanted to know why people become so entrenched with Bordeaux, buy this wine. By now, you're getting the point, buy this wine. It gets better and better with age. The beautiful nose grabs your attention with is cigar box, forest floor, licorice, cassis, earth, blackberry, spice box and liqueur scents. But the party really gets going when the rich, sensuous, concentrated, silky wine hits your palate. It's smooth, polished, elegant and strong. Clearly, this is First Growth in quality. It's drinking perfectly today and I would not be surprised to find it drinking even better 20 years from now. Did I mention you should buy this wine?

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Cassis, blackberry, tobacco, wet earth and spicy aromatics lead to a full bodied, youthful, concentrated, deep, intense Pauillac. The is power with polish. While the 1990 Pichon Baron is showing great today, it's only getting started. This is probably the best showing I've had for this wine yet. It keeps getting better and better! Well stored examples could easily last and improve for another 2 -3 decades.

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No matter how many times I taste this wine, I am never bored with it. Each tasting offers something new to discover. Interestingly, at this blind tasting, two bottles of 1990 Pichon Baron were opened. The first bottle was defective, the cork crumbled into pieces and the wine seemed cooked. The second bottle was stunning! Intense aromas of tobacco, spice box, leather, Cuban Cigars, creme de cassis, blackberries, earth, truffle and wet earth could not be avoided. Thick, intense, rich and concentrated, everything was in perfect balance and harmony. There was not a hard edge to be found, The finish lasted close to 60 seconds. This stunning Pauillac gets better every time I taste it. There is no reason to think that pattern is not going to continue!

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Splendid aromas of cassis, cedar, black fruits and more were all over the place! On the palate, your senses enjoy an ocean of soft, rich, ripe, concentrated, velvety Bordeaux fruit. Fabulous texture! Everything here is in balance and the wine ends with a very, long, clean finish. After tasting so many wines, this stood out from minute one! Truly, this is one of the stars of the vintage.

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Aromatics of cassis, choclate, tobacco, truffle and spice filled your glass. In the mouth, massive layers of ripe, dark fruit brought a smile to your face. Ripe and round in style, this plush, potent, elegant Bordeaux is the real deal.

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This has a lot in common with the 89. The difference is, the 90 is a little more elegant with a roasted quality. The 89 also appears to have a bit more tannin and structure. Still youthful, this gem of a wine offers an ocean of ripe, spicy, black fruit, licorice, chocolate and more spice. The perfect definition of powerful, elegance. I bought a lot of this wine on release for $35. I should have purchased more.

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This text book Pauillac offers a gorgeous nose of cassis, black fruit, spices and tobacco. Wonderful, expansive palate. Tremendous levels of concentration, depth and complexity.

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Deep, dark, ruby color. Scents of cedar, black cherries, jammy blackberries, truffles, licorice and coffee. Full bodied. Great palate presence. Stylistically, this wine perfectly melds power, opulence and elegance. Molten, spicy cherries and licorice caress your palate. Very long, rich, luxurious finish.

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This gets better each time I taste it. If you love Bordeaux, this is a must have wine. Earthy notes with cassis, truffles, coffee and forest scents fill the glass. The wine is very rich and full bodied. The mouth feel is deep, but not heavy. It's rich, elegant and plush. A mini Latour? In 5 years this will be a monster!

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Black fruits, earth, and black cherries blend in nicely with oak aromas. The wine is full-bodied, but compared to the Guraud, it’s a completely different animal. The texture is very rich and silky. It’s much more opulent and at this stage than the Gruaud, and it offers more pleasure to taste

5539 Views   Tasted 96
Pichon Baron3 Wine Tasting Notes, Ratings

When to Drink Chateau Pichon Baron, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Pichon Baron is not a wine to drink on the young side. The wine is usually far too tannic, powerful and backwards during its youth. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 3-6 hours, give or take. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.

Chateau Pichon Baron is usually better with at least 15 years of bottle age. Of course that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Chateau Pichon Baron offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 15 and 50 years of age after the vintage.

Serving Chateau Pichon Baron with Wine and Food Pairings

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

Chateau Pichon Baron is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Pichon Baron is also good when matched with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, salmon, mushrooms and pasta.

The estate made two changes starting with the 2012 vintage. Consumers are now able to go to the website for the chateau and use the visual recognition system that is now placed on the bottles on both on the capsule and back label.

Each capsule and back label has a unique code they can enter into the website to show if their bottle is authentic and the consumer can also know where the wine was initially sold, as a way to guarantee its authenticity. It's a step in the right direction that helps fight wine fraud and counterfeiting.

Additionally, the same technical team that is responsible for Chateau Pichon Baron produces Cap Royal. A quick glance at the label will remind you of the relationship. Cap Royal is available as a Merlot dominated wine from Bordeaux Superieur.

Cap Royal is also available as a white Bordeaux wine made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Cap Royal is a true value Bordeaux wine. Interestingly, Cap Royal is a certified vegan wine.