I’m back home in France, after an action-packed trip to the United States. At a friend’s wedding on the Washington coast this weekend, one of the many, many wines that we drank was Bollinger’s Grande Année from 1989. Creamy and broad, it showed a velvety, honeyed nose and a yeasty, umami-dominated richness on the palate, accented by hints of saffron, sandalwood and dried exotic fruits. It was generous in character and deliciously pleasurable to drink, but I did think that this wine felt more focused and more expressive several years ago, and if I had any bottles in my cellar (which I don’t), I would drink them up.
Champagnes from 1989 have always been forward and quick to develop, and I’ve been of the opinion that they are now fully mature or even slightly past their best, especially if they’ve been shipped across the Atlantic. What have your recent experiences been with ’89s?