Tasting Notes and Scores
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 01/01/2003
Dwarfed by its younger sibling, the 1990, the 1989 Chateau Margaux has a dark plum/garnet color and a big, sweet nose of new saddle leather, toasty oak, and weedy black cherry and cassis fruit. The wine is medium-bodied, with relatively elevated tannins, outstanding concentration and purity, but a somewhat clipped as well as compressed finish. This certainly outstanding wine has put on a bit of weight in its evolution in the bottle, but it is hardly one of the most profound efforts from Chateau Margaux. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2025. Last tasted, 10/02.
As prodigious as the 1990 is, the 1989 seems to typify so many of the Medoc first-growths in this vintage - excellent, but undistinguished for its reputation. The wine possesses a leathery, oaky nose, medium body, and good ripeness, but next to the 1990, the 1989 is dwarfed by that wine's richness, intensity, and length. The tannins come across as more elevated, as well as slightly greener and tougher. The 1989 may put on more weight and come together, much like the 1985 did after 4-6 years in the bottle, but for now, this wine seems to follow the pattern of many 1989 Medoc first-growths, revealing an unexciting level of quality. Give it 5-6 more years of cellaring, and drink it over the following 20. (89)
The Chateau Margaux ’89 has a rather curmudgeonly nose at first, initially disjointed but melding together with scents of blackberry, hawthorn and clay/wet cement. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins, although this is not a complex Margaux. It has pert acidity and fine minerality, although it does not have the length or depth of Cos d’Estournel ’89 tasted alongside. The finish is a little foursquare and dominated by cedar and tobacco flavours that continue to lend it a Pauillac-like personality. Drink now-2020. Tasted June 2010.