The Wine Doctor – Château Coutet 1989

2 juillet 2024

Château Coutet 1989: 97/100

The cork slipped from the neck of the 1989 Château Coutet without difficulty, and the wine released is rich and evidently mature (or maturing, at least), with shimmering red tinges to the deep golden hue. Despite the story of the harvest, which brought in botrytised grapes in dribs and drabs, the aromatic profile is laden with nobly rotten complexity, the sweetly caramelised and toasted fruits dressed with the intense liquorice and black tea leaf notes of botrytis. There follows beautiful poise and intensity on the palate, and it is still showing an impressive sweetness for its 35 years. It maintains a fabulously sinewy and toothsome presence through the middle, with more dark aromas of coffee bean, tea leaf and smoke, all with an remarkably intense, firm and bright structure. And, of course, it has remarkable length. This is a brilliant wine for drinking now, but it has fabulous potential still; I can see it still showing well another 35 years from now, and maybe another 35 years after that. The alcohol on the label is 13.5%.

Chris Kissack