Robert Parker 98
Tasted at Hof van Cleve in Belgium. The 1990 has one of those bouquets where a choir of angels seem to sing from heaven when you take you first sniff. It is utterly compelling, with crystalline dark fruits, truffle and even an outrageous hint of melted marshmallows. The palate possesses brilliant tension, quite edgy for a 1990 with ebullient dark fruits, Vervain tea, a touch of dark plum and something sweet like fresh fig. There is an effortless quality to the 1990 that is completely entrancing, and of course, a length that is longer than Southend Pier (the longest in the world.) Brilliant. Tasted October 2011.
Tasted at the Pomerol Comparative Exploration tasting in London, the 1990 Petrus has always been an extraordinary wine, although in recent years I feel that the 1989 Petrus has edged in front, just by a nose mind you. Now at 26 years of age, it has a substantial bouquet with mulberry and red plum aromas, leather, balsam, juniper berries and undergrowth aromas. It might not quite possess the sophistication of the 1989 but your sense must be malfunctioning if you are not seduced by this heady cocktail. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, supple in the mouth with more roundness than the 1989 plus enormous depth. There is layer upon layer of dark berry fruit infused with sage and thyme, hints of Vervain tea towards the long finish. Nowadays, it might not be close to perfection, perhaps superseded by modern-day winemaking. And yet, the untrammelled pleasure contained in this wine is irresistible and with that in mind, I suspect that only large formats would improve with age.
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2035
Bright crimson. Surprisingly light nose when just decanted with a hint of putty. Something like woodsmoke ashes. Big, sweet and mouthfilling. Almost tarry. Much bigger and bolder than any other 1990. Massive constitution but some slightly dry tannins on the finish. A little bit more like an assault than a caress (compared to the Cheval Blanc 1990). Should be one of the longest living 1990s.
Anticipated maturity: 2002-2030