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The 1989 Château La Conseillante – A Shining Vintage
“It's just a wonderful La Conseillante, a thoroughbred Pomerol that puts a smile on your face.” Neal Martin for RobertParker.com
Nestled in the heart of the Pomerol appellation on Bordeaux's Right Bank, Château La Conseillante has long been a symbol of elegance, finesse, and a commitment to excellence. Among its many celebrated vintages, the 1989 Château La Conseillante stands as a true masterpiece, capturing the essence of a remarkable growing season and showcasing the vineyard's inherent potential.
Château La Conseillante's roots trace back to the mid-18th century when Catherine Conseillan, an influential Libourne merchant, acquired and meticulously renovated the property. Guided by the family mantra, "We don't inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children," the Nicolas family, custodians since 1871, has upheld a legacy of excellence through five generations. Over the years, each generation has contributed to the estate's evolution, navigating challenges such as phylloxera and advocating for Pomerol wines on a global scale.
The 1989 La Conseillante
97 Point Gem "The 1989 La Conseillante is one of the top performers in Pomerol and arguably now one of the best values. This bottle confirms that exuberance and joie-de-vivre on the nose, displaying the telltale crushed violets in bloom, with precious but controlled red and black fruit underneath. The palate is sumptuous from the start, presenting cashmere tannin and perhaps a little more glycerine in this bottle. The bravura finish leaves you grinning from ear to ear. Stunning, and it will remain on its plateau for many years. (Drink between 2019-2040)." NM for VM Sep 2019
The 1989 growing season in Bordeaux is often hailed as exceptional, marked by favorable weather conditions that allowed the grapes to reach optimal ripeness. A warm and dry summer, coupled with well-timed rains, set the stage for a vintage that would be remembered for its richness and complexity.
Situated on the eastern border of Pomerol, adjacent to Saint-Émilion, Château La Conseillante shares its viticultural neighborhood with esteemed properties like Château L'Évangile and Vieux Château Certan in Pomerol and Cheval Blanc in Saint-Émilion. The vineyard's clay-based soil, enriched with iron, forms the canvas for an 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc composition, reflecting the estate's commitment to expressing its terroir through the grand vin blend.The clay contributes to the wine's structure, providing a solid foundation, while the gravel aids in drainage, preventing water accumulation that could adversely affect the vines. The presence of iron in the soil adds a distinctive mineral note to the wines, enhancing their complexity.
Beyond soil, the microclimate and macroclimate of Château La Conseillante play pivotal roles in shaping the grapes. The estate benefits from the moderating influence of the nearby Dordogne River, which helps regulate temperatures and prevent extremes that could impact grape development.
The 1989 vintage is a testament to the estate's dedication to expressing the nuances of its terroir through the artistry of winemaking.
Under the careful guidance of the winemaking team at Château La Conseillante, the grapes of the 1989 vintage underwent meticulous vinification. At the heart of La Conseillante's winemaking lies a commitment to both tradition and innovation. The estate boasts state-of-the-art facilities, including a striking oval vat hall with temperature-controlled concrete vats. The winemaking process involves a cold soak of up to four days, followed by fermentation and skin contact. The grand vin matures in barrels for approximately 18 months, with 50-80% new oak, showcasing a delicate balance of tradition and modernity.
A Journey Through Terroir & Tradition
As we uncork the 1989 Château La Conseillante, we embark on a journey through time, terroir, and tradition. This vintage encapsulates the essence of a historic estate, where the hands of each winemaker have woven a tapestry of finesse, balance, and velvetiness. Château La Conseillante's legacy, embodied in the 1989 vintage, stands as a timeless representation to the artistry of winemaking and the enduring spirit of a family-driven estate.
Written by: Arabella Maislinger