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1990 La Mission Haut Brion 750ml

1990 La Mission Haut Brion

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Reminiscing over the 1989 and 1990 vintages, which I have followed from birth, there always seemed to be a dramatic difference in quality. Not that the 1990 was not a top wine, but in its infancy, I never thought it would come close to being as riveting and magnetic as its older sibling, the 1989. However, it has proven to be nearly as prodigious. One of the hottest years in Bordeaux, 1990, a vintage of enormous yields, even dwarfing yields in 1985 and 1982, produced a fabulously open-knit, seemingly fast track La Mission that, at age 22, shows no signs of fading or losing its grip. The color is slightly more mature and evolved than the 1989’s, exhibiting a lighter rim and a less dark blue/ruby/purple hue. Classic La Mission-Haut-Brion aromatics of camphor, licorice, scorched earth, hot bricks, barbecue, cassis, blueberry and kirsch are well displayed. Broad, expansive, velvety-textured and opulent with high glycerin and perhaps slightly higher alcohol (I don’t have the statistics to verify that), the 1990 is as delicious and open-knit as the 1989, with less density and possibly less potential longevity. Most 1990s have been quick to reach full maturity, and as brilliant as they can be, they need to be monitored carefully by owners. Currently in late adolescence, but close to full maturity, the 1990 should hold in a cold cellar for another 15-20 years. However, it is a fabulous wine to inspect, taste and consume, so why wait?

99 Points - Robert Parker

Producer: Château Haut Brion
Website:

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Price: $1,559.99
Sale Price: $1,299.99
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Available Vintages:
2007(750ml)  


Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most prominent dark-skinned grape varieties except Merlot in terms of area under vines, but which comprises our largest selection of wines. Grown in just about every wine producing region and climate, Cabernet Sauvignon can express a huge range of aromas, from green peppers in cool climates through to dark jammy fruit in hot regions. Common aromas include blackcurrants, mint, graphite, and forest floor, to name a few. Maturation in small oak barrels can develop a complex range of aromas from cedar wood, cigar box and tobacco to eucalyptus and undergrowth. Cabernet Sauvignon’s success is partly due to its ability to adapt to a range of soils and climates. It is the main constituent of the Bordeaux blend in the revered communes of Pauillac, St. Estephe and St. Julien, and has achieved equal success in California’s Napa Valley. It is grown extensively throughout Southern Australia, with some outstanding examples from the Terra Rossa soil of Coonawarra. Cabernet Sauvignon also plays an increasing role in Tuscany, Italy, where it is blended with native varieties such as Sangiovese to produce the Super Tuscans.

Country: France
A country viewed by many as the home of fine wine, it is almost unique in terms of how embedded food and wine is in the nations culture. Given the diverse geography, with so much of the country providing the climate and soil suitable for viticulture, it is no surprise that its produces such an extensive and varied selection of wines. It is the country from where the vast majority of the New World's most popular "international" grapes and stylistic influences originate. While there might seem to be an alarming disparity between the most sought after wines (were a case might set you back as much as a deposit on a small house) and the millions of gallons of vin de table filling up the European wine lake every year, there is so much great value to be found between the two extremes. Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and the Rhone may still dominate the market for fine wine, but regions including the Loire, Alsace, Languedoc & Roussillon and the South West are increasingly becoming excellent sources of good quality, affordable wines.

Region: Bordeaux
Located in South West France, Bordeaux is one of the World’s most important wine producing regions. The Gironde estuary and its two tributaries, the Garonne and Dordogne, splits the region into the ‘left bank’ and ‘right bank’. The left bank, on the west side of the Gironde, consists of the Médoc and Graves, while Pomerol and St. Emilion are located on the right bank. In between the Garonne and Dordogne is the Entre-Deaux-Mers region, French for 'between two seas'. From north to south the Médoc includes the famous classed growth chateaux in the communes of St. Estephe, Paulliac, St.Julien, and Margaux. The Graves and it’s enclave Pessac-Léognan make both red and white wine. While those of Pessac- Léognan’s are dry, Sauternes and Barsac make world-famous sweet whites. Although Bordeaux makes some of the world’s most expsenive wines, less expensive but good value alternatives come from Moulis and Listrac on the left and Bourg and Blaye on the right offer less expensive wines for earlier consumption.

Sub-Region: Graves and Pessac-Leognan
Graves and its new (as of 1987) sub-region, Pessac-Leognan, is one of the most important districts of Bordeaux for both red and white wine, and where the earliest estates – see Chateau Haut-Brion, La Mission-Haut-Brion, and Pape-Clément – were established. Named after its soil type, gravel in French, Graves has particularly good drainage on which mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as smaller amounts over Merlot and Cabernet Franc, is grown. Cabernet Sauvignon produces particularly good fruit on these soils and is able to transit its terroir with distinctive mineral aromas. The dry whites wines are made from a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, the latter of which must make up at least a quarter of the blend. Most are fermented and matured in oak, of which the best examples benefit from at least a decade in the bottle.

Type: Red
Red wine is wine made from dark-coloured grape varieties. The color of red differs based on the grapes variety or varieties used. Interestingly, black grapes yield a juice that is greenish-white. The actual red color comes from anthocyan pigments (also called anthocyanins) from the skin of the grape (exceptions are the relatively uncommon teinturier varieties, which produce a red colored juice). Most of the production centers around the extraction of color and flavor from the grape skin.