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In terms of the brilliant complexity and nobility of the aromatics, scorched earth, black currants, plums, charcoal, cedar, and spices, the 1990 offers an aromatic explosion that is unparalleled. It is always fascinating to taste this wine next to the 1989, which is a monumental effort, but much more backward and denser, without the aromatic complexity of the 1990. The 1990 put on weight after bottling, and is currently rich, full-bodied, opulent, even flamboyant by Haut Brion's standards. It is an incredible expression of a noble terroir in a top vintage. While it has been fully mature for a number of years, it does not reveal any bricking at the edge, and I suspect it will stay at this level for another 10-15 years ... but why wait? It is irresistible now. Drink 2009-2024.
A profound Haut-Brion and one of the great Haut -Brions of the last 25 years, this wine got somewhat lost in the enormous shadow cast by the immortal 1989. It continues to go from strength to strength and is actually more evolved than the 1989, but is showing the classic Haut-Brion scorched earth, fragrant smoked herbs, tobacco, sweet currant, fig and black currant nose. A very opulent/voluptuously textured wine with full body, great concentration, superb purity, low acicity, and very sweet, seamlessly integrated tannin, the wine is already showing great complexity and accessibility, and is extremely difficult to resist. Anticipated matrity:now-2020.
The 1990 is creeping up on its older sibling (89), and although it may be more evolved, it is remarkably complex already. A spectacular effort, it is within 2-3 points of a perfect score. Why is this important? It is significantly less expensive than the 89!
Mid to light brick with a very pale rim. Pure hedonism on the nose - more obviously characteristic Haut-Brion warm bricks/roasted than the 2000. Lightish but sweet and voluptuous nose - so ripe and warm it is almost like an ancient old style Chilean (which may strike some as heresy, not least a small sect in Pessac). Caresses the palate. Very complete and long. Mouthfilling, long. Complete. Lighter than the 1989 Haut-Brion. A delicious drink now. You could keep it but what would you be waiting for exactly? This is surely at the peak of its powers. It should drink well for 10-12 years. Date tasted 16th Oct 07.