1990 Bdx Dinner Piccolino Exchange Square

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Neil Holland, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Many thanks to Chris for pulling together although he was unable to attend on the night and to all for their contributions (particularly to Steve and Gareth for treating us to multiple bottles.)

    Overall the standard was fabulous. Bar a flawed Haut-Bages Libēral, the wines were of a really high standard.

    WOTN went to a sublime Pichon Baron that combined Bovril and white flowers on the nose and had the most incredible poise and length.

    A short nose behind were the Pichon Lalande and the Cos d'Estournel.

    A final treat were the Filhot Crème de Tête and the standard bottlings. The former had an amazing butterscotch, banana and spearmint nose with the latter a little more pineappley and fresh. Such a treat and went very well with the blue cheese.

    Steaks were a little hit and miss tonight but the main chef had to fly home to Sicily for a family emergency mid afternoon which may have upset the calm of the kitchen but the venue continues to work overall.

    À la prochaine

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  2. Bloody brilliant t'was.

    Be back with some (perhaps) more considered thoughts shortly...
  3. Neil,

    Color me jealous... ;-).

    In 1990 vs 1989 comparisons (two very fine vintages), the former tends to win out.

    The Filhot is a wonderful wine. They don't seem to have made it since. That's a pity.
    The "regular" Filhot is sold at a relatively low price and is often a good, rather than a great Sauternes.
    There is better potential there...

    All the best,
    Alex R.
    Neil Holland likes this.
  4. Funnily enough, Alex I think it's fair to say a few around the table have previously had the '89 a neck ahead but I've always preferred the '90s when the serious wines (not enjoyed the firsts of either vintage I should add!) have been served side by side.

    Although not all the wines were the same as at an '89 tasting a few weeks ago - overall the quality last night was incredible. I've been attending these horizontals for yonks and I don't recall too many hitting these heights.
    Richard Zambuni likes this.
  5. The standard Filhot '90 is a real treat from a property which almost invariably underperforms. Not seen let alone tried the CdT.
  6. What a night!

    Ten reds. Eight excellent. All performing, where the wines were known to the group, as one would hope and, where they were not, with positive surprise. Just one, Leoville Barton, underperforming our previous experiences. One faulty. A pair of lovely stickies.

    Thanks all!
  7. An excellent evening. Thanks all. A splendid assortment of wines, which despite my initial preference for 89s over 90s has seen me come round more favourably to the 90s. Every wine was superb, though the two Pichon's and the Cos came out on top the margins between them all were very close. The Canon was superb, incredibly young, powerful, lots of time left. The Conseillante needed plenty of air but opened up beautifully, softer than the Canon but with a superb nose and lovely weight on the palate. The Dauzac was a surprise, lots of life and interest showing that even supposedly chateaus with poor reputations produced very solid wines. The Pape Clement was delightful. The nose very, very classy, complex, mature, full of life and energy. The pair of Filhot's at the end were very good to try together. The Creme du Tete showed better for me. Lots of rich marmalade, very good acidity to add finesse to the sweetness. A great wine.

    Already looking forward to the next one!
    Paul Dellar and Neil Holland like this.
  8. This was the fifth in our series and the best of the lot.

    Chateau Rahoul Blanc 2011

    Herby, seems quite Sauvignon dominated, smoky, creamy, lanolin, sumptuous and quite full bodied. Lovely wine. 90

    Everything else was 1990

    Flight two


    Refined nose, initially stern and tannic on the palate but opened beautifully, and really began to sing. A superb St-Emilion and a great success. It was a miscarriage of justice that this ended with ‘null points’ 93

    La Conseillante

    Resolved, a bit shy initially, more nuanced with plenty of tertiary complexity, rotting garbage, faint strawberries, delicately Burgundian. Refined, and elegant. Mesmerising. Sheer class. Has more complexity and pulls away from its flight mate. 95

    Flight three

    De Fieuzal

    Gravel, tobacco, a little thinner and shorter than its flight mate, but a lovely wine. Austere for a 1990 with a lovely mid-palate weediness. 90

    Pape Clement

    Beautifully resolved, enthralling nose, mesmerising scents; gravel, earth, wet stones and minerals. Plush and fabulously expansive, right at its apogee. Gorgeous wine, great bottle. 95

    Flight four


    Lovely wine, another beautifully resolved 1990. Rich and generous with enough structure; cool fruited, Margaux berry signature. A delight. 93

    Haut-Bages Liberal

    Under the swimming pool nose lurked a good wine, but alas it became clear that it was corked. NR

    Flight five

    Cos D’Estournel

    Resolved, lowish acidity, quite full bodied, lots of ripe lush juicy fruit, minerals. For me it does not quite have the cut of the 1989, which has a lovely tension. 1990 was a hot vintage and it showed a bit in this flight. I am nitpicking here because it is an excellent wine and others loved it. 92

    Leoville Barton

    Resolved, ripe, full, rich, red fruited. This bottle was a bit fuzzy and unfocused but we didn’t think it was flawed. Like the Cos lacks a bit of tension. I have had spectacular bottles of this. But this bottle was a little subpar. 89

    Flight six

    Pichon Baron

    Darkish maroon, youngish, dark brooding, glossy/sheeny, a bit clunky still. It did settle down after a while. Big framed, concentration and power. Will improve further. After an hour very impressive. I admired this more than I loved it, as others did. Tonight it played second fiddle to its flight mate, in my opinion. 93

    Pichon Lalande

    Beautifully resolved and relaxed in its own skin, in contrast to Baron; nothing forced or contrived here. Utterly delightful, elegant mid-weight claret, now in its element in a style that is coming back into fashion. Grace and elegance. A wine which has been persistently slated proving it’s critics wrong. Impressive finish, which refutes the myth that this wine is a lightweight. Like a Renault Alpine. This wine has about 30% Cabernet franc in the blend. 95

    Flight seven

    Filhot Creme De Tete

    Darker than the normale. Bananas and spearmint. Just brilliant. 94


    Spearmint, pineapple grassiness. Lovely too. 92

    My top three were Pape Clement, La Conseillante and Pichon Lalande

    Thanks to Neil and Chris for organising another super event, and to everyone who attended. Roll on the next one!
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  9. I am so glad this went well but in equal measure gutted not to have been there. I have always had a soft spot for 1990 and bought it heavily. I must admit that I did have a bit of an agenda putting this straight after the 89 event, as I was hoping/thinking it would probably show better - which it sounds like it did.

    For those at both - sounds like the 90 won the Pichon Baron pair, but which Pichon L was generally preferred?

    Hope to be back on board for the next one.

  10. Interesting question. If I recall correctly, the 1989 Picon Baron was featured on the cover of the Wine Spectator's Wine of the Year issue.

  11. Lucky fellows!
  12. I'm also sorry I could not be there. 1990 Haut-Bailly a memorable, classic Graves, and Calon-Segur very, very good indeed from my long-gone stocks. Lesser wines like Cos Labory, d'Angludet and Haut-Bages-Liberal also very enjoyable.
  13. Sounds like the wines performed somewhat better than the 1990 evening we did at RSJ a few years ago.

    I've managed to dig out the thread with Simon's notes from the old forum archive: UK Drinks Forums: JSM@RSJ BDX1990 TNS

    The only cross over I can see is Pape Clement and it seems to confirm 1990 finally coming into its own, although I guess the standard of wines on this go is somewhat higher. Cannot believe that was 6 years ago...!
    Paul Dellar likes this.
  14. I think we were lucky in that we tried wines at the upper end of the quality spectrum. I imagine if we were to repeat the 2012 tasting it might be rather similar with some wines fading further, though I'd hope maybe the DDC might have improved, though the Ducru's are almost always knackered.
  15. A tremendous evening last night and I am so grateful for the invitation. I think Cos was my wine of the night, marginally ahead of Pichon-Baron and La Conseillante. For my palate, I thought Pichon-Baron and Pape Clement could both improve and develop. The Fieuzal won the unsung hero award. I wish I hadn't already drunk my bottles. The excellent pair of Filhots were a great way to end the evening.

    I'd not been to Piccolino before and really liked the place. A super occasion!!!
  16. This is one interesting wine, had very bad review by Parker during EP so couldn’t move in the markets. Singapore Airlines ended up buying something like 20% of the production and served it generously in premium classes in the 90s. Had it many times on flights, good wine.
  17. Thanks to all for the wines and banter. A memorable evening.

    The by now traditional WOTN vote ended as follows:

    Pichon-Baron - 17 votes
    Pichon-Lalande - 11 votes
    Cos D'Estournel - 10 votes
    Pape-Clement - 9 votes

    And my notes (and my pen!) made it home with me too:

    1990 BORDEAUX - Piccolino, Exchange Square, London (11/10/2018)
    • 2011 Château Rahoul - France, Bordeaux, Graves
      Medium straw. Nose is intense with vibrant pineapple and grassy notes. Nice weight on the palate, touch of chalky mineral, crisp acidity carrying a decent length finish. Very good indeed. (89 pts.)
    • 1990 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
      Deep garnet, medium pale rim. Nose is complex and quite developed showing spicy red fruit, earth and a touch of tea. The palate is medium/full bodied, has spicy red fruit to the fore, fresh acidity and some grippy tannins on the good length lightly savoury finish. Excellent and with plenty left in the tank. (92 pts.)
    • 1990 Château La Conseillante - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
      Mature appearance - medium garnet/mahogany core with a wide pale mahogany rim. Nose is a touch reticent - touch of spice and fig. Medium bodied, cool fruit, delicate, resolved tannins, some composed red fruit, touch of earth and fig, medium length finish. Nice enough but I'm not bowled over. (88 pts.)
    • 1990 Château de Fieuzal - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
      Deep garnet core, wide pale garnet/mahogany rim. Nose shows spicy red fruit, touch of earth. Medium/full bodied, lots of spicy, generous red fruit, earth, fresh acidity, good length finish. Not overly complex but very enjoyable and still going strong. (90 pts.)
    • 1990 Château Pape Clément - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
      Deep/opaque garnet core, narrow pale rim. Compelling, haunting nose - florals, touch of smoke and tobacco, some caramel. Almost burgundian. Medium bodied on the palate, elegant, composed, tannins fully resolved, polished wood, spice, earth, some vestiges of dark fruit still, balanced acidity, long, harmonious finish. Outstanding, a point, probably best to drinking over next year or two. (96 pts.)
    • 1990 Château Dauzac - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
      Medium/deep garnet core, pale medium rim. Nose shows red and black berry fruit, touch of cedar. Medium bodied with mouth-filling red and black berry fruits, touch of spice, cedar, lovely vibrant acidity carrying a decent length, harmonious finish. Really lovely mature Margaux - now and maybe for the next 5 years. (93 pts.)
    • 1990 Château Haut-Bages Libéral - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
      Corked NR (flawed)
    • 1990 Château Cos d'Estournel - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
      Youthful appearance - medium/deep ruby. Nose shows ripe black fruits, touch of gravel and cedar. Medium/full bodied, dark cool fruit, quite youthful still, cedar again, fine tannins, fresh acidity, extended finish. Lovely! (93 pts.)
    • 1990 Château Léoville Barton - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
      Nose is quite earthy, lacking a touch of purity. Palate is better with gently spicy black fruits, although it is a touch pinched on the finish. Perfectly drinkable, indeed enjoyable, but not the best bottle of this. (87 pts.)
    • 1990 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
      Medium/deep ruby, pale ruby rim. Rich, dark fruit, cedar, touch of vanilla - complex if still quite youthful. Medium/full bodied, rich, dark plush fruit, cedar and spice, ripe tannins, lovely fresh acidity then carries an excellent length finish. Drinking beautifully with no sign of imminent decline. (95 pts.)
    • 1990 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
      Medium ruby/garnet, wide pale rim. Nose is spicy, red fruited, touch of earth and a floral top note. Medium bodied, red fruited, attractive touch of herb, soil, vibrant acidity, elegant, long, leanish finish. Lovely! (93 pts.)
    • 1990 Château Filhot - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
      This showed grapefruit and peach notes, a touch of grassiness even, with lovely fresh acidity off-setting the rich, sweet fruit. Lovely sauternes, still quite youthful! (92 pts.)
    • 1990 Château Filhot Crème de Tête - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
      No formal note. Deep golden colour, marmalade, stone fruit, full bodied and rich, with moderate acidity and an extended finish. (90 pts.)
    Posted from CellarTracker
  18. Thanks for the notes Paul.
    Alex Jagger and Paul Dellar like this.
  19. Real shame I couldn’t fit this in but since I’ve also realised I don’t have any 1990 !!
    Now a double shame as some great notes and wines it seems.

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