Score: 97 Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (4), December 2003
Score: 96 Robert Parker, Bordeaux Book (3), November 1998
As one might expect, this is a brilliant wine, but it remains shockingly young, even for the fast evolving 1990s. Its deep ruby/purple color is accompanied by a classic, nearly restrained set of aromatics that includes notions of sweet black cherries, black currants, lead pencil, and wet stones. In the mouth, it is full-bodied, and while technically low in acidity, there is a freshness, delineation, and classicism in this full-throttle, rich, concentrated, impeccable 1990. While still youthful, it is easy to appreciate despite its substantial tannins. It is not quite as backward as the 1990 Lafite Rothschild or 1990 Latour. Anticipated maturity: now-2035.
Score: 96 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (183), June 2009
My notes on the 1989 and 1990 wines have been consistent over the last three years. The 1989 continues to lose ground, although it is obviously an outstanding wine, while the 1990 continues to escalate in quality. The 1990 continues to put on weight and richness, and it now clearly appears to be the superior vintage for Leoville-Las-Cases. The 1990 reveals a dense, dark purple color, followed by a sweet, pure nose of black fruits, minerals, lead pencil, and vanillin. Broad, expansive flavors come across as rich, pure, and concentrated, but never heavy or coarse. Beautifully integrated tannin and acidity are barely noticeable in this classic, full-bodied, velvety-textured, youthful yet exceptional St.-Julien. The 1990 is more fun to taste than the 1989, but readers should not interpret that comment to suggest it is ready to drink. This wine needs another 5-6 years of cellaring, after which it should last for 20-25 years.
Score: 96 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (109), February 1997