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Tasting Notes and Scores
This wine was tasted at a vertical tasting held in Charlotte, North Carolina several days before the Christie tasting. The Latour staff spoke far more highly of the 1989 than my experience has shown.
It possesses many characteristics that make great vintages of Bordeaux so alluring - softness, overripeness, and sweet fruit. The problem is that there are insufficient quantities of these components.
An evolved dark ruby color reveals amber at the edge. The nose offers aromas of caramel, coffee, ripe black cherry and currant fruit, cedar, and spice box. Although medium-bodied, with low acidity, the wine lacks richness in the mid-palate, and is surprisingly abrupt in the finish. It is a very fine, delicious Latour, but it is hard to believe it will attain the weight and flavor dimensions its producers suggest. Anticipated maturity: now-2020.
Robert Parker (Wine Advocate #129 Jun 2000)
The 1989 Latour conveys the warmth of the growing season with scents of warm gravel and wild herbs infusing the soft, perhaps slightly muffled black fruit. There is a touch of brettanomyces here although it is less conspicuous than the 1990 Latour. The palate has thickset, quite firm tannin that lend this Latour presence and power. What it lacks compared to recent vintages is refinement and detail. That said, it builds nicely towards the soft (for Latour), pencil lead and undergrowth driven finish. Not bad at all, although I suspect a far superior wine would be made under the present regime. Tasted at the International Business & Wine Latour dinner at Ten Trinity. (vinous)
This is so decadent and exciting on the nose, with very ripe fruit, tobacco, meat and cedar. Full-bodied, offering amazing raspberry fruit in the core of the palate. Ultrapolished, velvety tannins wonderfully coat every inch of your palate. This will age for years ahead, but it's so lovely now. Much better than many people think.--'89/'99 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2009). James Suckling