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Executive editor Thomas Matthews joined Wine Spectator in 1988. His tasting beat is Spain.
Thomas Matthews

A Great Red for Mother's Day

Château Cordeillan-Bages Pauillac 1989

Thomas Matthews
Posted: May 15, 2009

I was a bad son-in-law over Mother's Day. My wife, Sara, and I were in Atlantic City the night before for Wine Spectator's Grand Tour, so we arrived home Sunday afternoon to find that her mom, Nancy, had already bought rib-eye steaks, fixed potatoes and Caesar salad, and set the table for dinner. The least I could do was grill the steaks and pull out a good bottle of wine from my cellar.

I gave her the choice of a 1996 Burgundy, a 1996 Hermitage and a 1989 Cordeillan-Bages from Pauillac. She chose the Bordeaux.

It was fabulous. The 1989 was the debut vintage from this small property, owned by the Cazes family of Château Lynch-Bages, and it has turned out to be its best. Originally rated 96 points, the wine lived up to its billing. Still dark and rich, it showed the full body and velvety tannins of the hot 1989 vintage, and has matured beautifully, with a mix of ripe, roasted fruit, tobacco and tar accents and an enticing floral top-note. It was perfect with the steak. But surely some of its quality derived from the pleasure Nancy took from the wine, and the happiness Sara and I reaped from the occasion. 96 points, non-blind.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Château Cordeillan-Bages Pauillac 1989 (96 points)

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for recently rated red Bordeaux, plus our quick list of Top Values among red Bordeaux.

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