The 35th anniversary of the illustrious 1989 vintage

Now that the 2023 Bordeaux 'en Primeur' campaign is in full swing, it is a great moment to reflect on the 35th anniversary of the illustrious 1989 vintage. What makes this last vintage from the eighties so special?

The 1989 vintage, together with 1990, represents one of the last great vintages of Bordeaux before the major modernization at the end of the 1990s with a varied range of varietals and winemaking styles. The overall high quality applies not only to the red wines, but also to the white and sweet ones, all together good for the supply of five new 100 Parker wines.

In retrospect everything seems simple, but 1989 presented a challenge for the winemakers: it was the warmest year in fourty years and a dry year after a wet spring. Most winemakers produced phenomenal, often concentrated wines with great storage potential, but some unfortunately fell short of a superlative vintage due to a slightly early harvest. With today's available techniques, the chance of this happening is now much smaller because the polyphenolic ripeness of the grapes can be measured better. In addition, temperature control in the wine cellar has been significantly improved.

The wine of the Left Bank is structured and elegant, especially in the estates with gravelly soils, while that of the Right Bank, dominated by clay soil and limestone, flourishes in lushness. Merlot is in top condition that year and represents ripe and powerful opulence. Partly as a result of that, 1989 is mainly seen as 'the year of the Right Bank', with Petrus and Château Clinet leading the way, despite the fact that on the Left Bank Château Haut-Brion produces a legendary vintage in red and white, worth twice 100 RP, and also 100 RP for Château La Mission Haut-Brion.

We present vintage 1989 in the following lots: 75, 92, 99, 106 – 111, 297, 298, 513, 592, 663 (!), 675, 676 and 696

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