This blockbuster, blue/purple-colored wine boasts an exceptional nose of subtle licorice, menthol, creme de cassis, blackberries, and hints of coffee and charcoal. Full-bodied, flamboyant, and opulent, with low acidity and sweet tannin, it still seems young at age 19. Expansive and full, wine lovers will argue for decades to come which is better, the sensational 1990 or the equally terrific 1989. It should continue to drink beautifully for 20-25 years.
|Score: 96||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (183), June 2009|
This is a softer, fleshier, even more flamboyant version of the 1989. The acid seemed lower and the alcohol and glycerin levels slighted higher, but this dense, ruby/puiple-coloured wine showing a bit of a pink at the edge is developing beautifully, and it is an example of a wine that is incredibly satisfying both hedonistically and intellectually. Very full-bodied, splendidly rich, pure, with intense notes of creosote, smoke, blackberry and cassis, this provocative wine should drink well for at least another 10-15 years. How fascinating it always is to do a blind tasting between this vintage and the 1989.
|Score: 96||Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (4), December 2003|
The opaque purple-colored 1990 is softer (because of the vintage's great ripeness) as well as lower in acidity than the 1989, giving it a marginally more forward and flattering set of aromatics and flavors. However, the impression is one of a big, beefy, thick, super-rich wine, offering that telltale Angelus nose of smoky vanillin oak, olives, jammy cassis, and spice. Last tasted, 11/96.
|Score: 96||Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (3), November 1998|
This chateau has been turning out such spectacular wines that it is not surprising it was elevated in the recent reclassification of St.-Emilion. Any Bordeaux lover would be thrilled to have either of the 1989 or 1990 in his or her cellar. Both wines reveal an opaque purple color, with the 1990 slightly more inky. Both wines are also exceptionally endowed, backward, rich, full-bodied, and crammed with fruit. The 1990 is softer than the 1989 (because of the vintage's greater ripeness), as well as lower in acidity, giving it a marginally more forward and flattering set of aromatics and flavors. However, the impression is one of a big, beefy, thick, super-rich wine offering that tell-tale L'Angelus nose of smoky vanillin oak, olives, jammy cassis, and spice. Picking a favorite between these two fabulous examples of their respective vintages is - for me - presently impossible. I will probably end up drinking the 1990 before the 1989, but both wines are 25-30-year wines, with the 1989 possibly reaching full maturity in 5-6 years, and the 1990 needing several more years of cellaring.
|Score: 96||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (109), February 1997|
|Score: 17.03||Group Tasting, Blind 1990 Tasting, September 2000|