Mark's Duck House, Arlington, VA Another Dim Sum Fix

Except for a disappointing white Burgundy (again!), everything that we tasted was pretty much up to snuff or even better. Pétrus, which is often somewhat underwhelming after bottling, has turned in a performance in 1998 that is easily as remarkable as the 1990 or 1989. Christian Moueix has told me several times that he thinks it is the greatest wine he has made, and even better than those two vintages. He looks to be right. The Vieux Château Certan has thrown off its post-bottling dormancy and exploded in the bottle, as did the 1998 Trotanoy, that estate's finest effort since their 1961. As I have said in other tastings, the 1989 Montrose is a steal compared to the price of the 1990, and a fabulously great wine that has another 20-25 years of life in it.

As for the Châteauneuf du Papes, the 1989 Henri Bonneau Réserve des Céléstins is young and vigorous, and actually less evolved than the 1990. The 1986 is approaching full maturity. Another great 1990 which is in that plateau of full maturity is the spectacularly rich, full-bodied, unctuous 1990 Clos de Mont Olivet Les Cuvée Papet.

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