Château Léoville Barton, Saint-Julien, 1989

Being born in 1989 I hope I am ageing as gracefully as this stunning claret. Léoville Barton is known for long-lived classic claret, often inaccessible in youth. The thing with backward youths is that they have an opportunity to flourish in middle age and this is no exception. Unfortunately I missed the opportunity to get a snap of this bottle.  Instead I have included a photo of the stunning 2001 vintage Léoville Barton; one of my all-time top red wines.

Tasting Note: The rich aromas in this bottle were noted immediately on pouring, with blackcurrant dominating, but not in a primary mode.  There was plenty of complexity but the individual components were difficult to pick out – the term that sprung to mind is sois-bois (a French term meaning undergrowth or forest floor).


On the palate the tannin was mostly resolved leaving the wine medium bodied.  The fruit remarkably is still there: juicy stewed blackcurrants and red berry compote.  Aside from fruit the palate is dominated by pencil lead (unmistakable in this particular wine) with spice rounding out the long finish.  This retains good structure and a high acidity keeping the wine in one piece and balanced.

Conclusions:   Given age this has opened up into a classic mature red Bordeaux. This is a superb wine although to my palate not quite up with the 2001 vintage of the same.  Everything is here but the difference between the two is a question of the balance, poise and elegance at the time of tasting.

Score: 92/100 (DT)


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