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1989 vintage guide for Medoc and Graves

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A vintage which produced fruity, opulent claret

Weather Conditions

Due to the above-average temperatures that were the norm during the spring of 1989, flowering took place earlier than usual under ideal conditions, leading to the production of a larger than average crop. June, July and

August witnessed temperatures higher than any since the 1940s. The occasional rainfall helped to swell the crop, which otherwise would have shrivelled in the heat. The earliest harvest for nearly a century.

Whites (dry): Temperatures were so high that harvesting took place in late August/early September to avoid excessive ripening of the grapes.

Whites (sweet): The exceptional summer promoted the development of high levels of sugar, and September’s morning mists provided the ideal conditions for the growth of botrytis. An exceptional vintage.

Best Appellations

An enormous (and exceptionally early) vintage produced a good number of rich and fleshy wines. Some lack sufficient acidity for longer term keeping. Margaux performed relatively poorly. The best wines are from St Estephe, Pauillac and St. Julien.

Best Producers

(St Estephe) Cos d’Estournel, Meyney, Montrose. (Pauillac) Clerc-Milon, Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Lafite, Lynch-Bages, Mouton, Pichon-Longueville-Baron, Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse de Lalande. (St Julien) Beychevelle, Branaire, Gruaud-Larose, Lagrange, Leoville-Barton, Talbot.

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