This wine is more tightly knit and more tannic, but every bit the blockbuster concentrated effort that its younger sibling, the 1990 is. It seems to need more coaxing from the glass, but the color is virtuallly identical - a dense ruby/purple with no lightening at the edge. In the mouth the wine cuts a broad swath, with spectacular intensity, richness, massive concentration, and high levels of tannin, yet the wine is fabulously well delineated and, like its sibling, has a finish that goes on for nearly a minute. It does not seem to be quite as evolved as the 1990, and my instincts suggest there is a bit more tannin, but both are as prodigious as Pétrus can be. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040. Last tasted. 8/02.
The tannin is well-integrated, but the enormous texture, thickness, and impeccable balance are what make this wine so provocative. It is backward and tannic, thus coming across as marginally more structured than the opulent and flashy. The 1989 should hit its peak around 2005 and last for 25-30 years.