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The last time I tasted the 1996 Mouton Rothschild (maybe a couple of years ago?), I recall it was a bit broody and closed. This showing was anything but! Deep garnet in color, it sashays out of the glass with lavishly dressed, gregarious crème de cassis, baked blackberries and plum pudding scents plus touches of menthol, fenugreek, star anise and sandalwood with fleeting glimpses at dried rose petals and oolong tea. The full-bodied palate is richly fruited, opulent and oh-so seductive, with bags of youthful black fruit and lovely finely grained tannins, finishing with fantastic freshness and length. This was tasted from jeroboam in September 2019. LPB
The 1996 Mouton-Rothschild is the high point of what in retrospect was an inconsistent decade for this First Growth. It has a very attractive, classic Pauillac bouquet: predominantly black fruit laced with cedar, freshly rolled tobacco and light graphite scents. It is not lavish, but tightly controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, though not as fine as recent vintages under Philippe Dhalluin. There is satisfying density and gentle grip toward the finish, which feels fresh and contains enough energy to suggest that it is only just reaching its plateau. Tasted from an ex-château jeroboam at the Palace of Versailles charity dinner.
Dark red, pale narrow rim; a fine, still youthful, sweet, cedary cabernet nose, full of cassissy promise, but a baby as yet as persistent, and with a lovesly 'corea' to the nose; rich, fairly concentrated, middleweight wine with a fresh acidity and very fine tannin; pure in ripe blackcurrant flavour, beautifully defined, elegant, complex, subtly gravelly, a lovely finesse, and excellent fruit length. None of the excess astringency bedeviling some subsequent Moutons; true, fine Mouton Rothschild style, amongst the best, and a lovely expression of this Cabernet year. Not quite the aromatic scope of Lafite or Latour, but excellent, relatively undervalued Mouton. Almost accessible already, but better in five years. Drink 2012 ~ 2030
The bottle I opened was fabulous on the nose with aromas of currants, cedar, sweet tobacco, incense, and flowers. It was full-bodied, with very fine silky tannins and similar flavors as the aromas. However, a slightly green undertone came thorough on the palate. It didn’t bother me, but the Italians seemed annoyed with it – even disappointed. Regardless, I scored the wine
(77% cabernet sauvignon, 13% merlot and 10% cabernet franc; pH 3.85; IPT 73; 12.7% alcohol; 83% new oak): Bright ruby with a palish rim. Intense, fragrant aromas of strawberry, iris, coffee, white pepper and bay leaf are lifted by an aromatic spice note; one can recognize the cabernet franc here. Rich, dense and suave, with very pure red fruit, cedar and herb flavors that coat the palate and are nicely carried by vibrant, harmonious acidity. Finishes with outstanding length, noble tannins and a late spicy, floral kick. This outstanding Mouton has improved enormously since its release. Tourbier agrees: "We were a little worried initially that this Mouton seemed too rigid, almost austere. Instead, it did a complete turnaround once bottled, surprising us as well."
Quality 978 | Brand 999 | Economics 975 |
buzz brand, investment staple
Quality: Predicted life of 18 years, one of the longest drinking windows in its peer group, which averages 9 years Brand: #1 Most sought after wine globally, with 93,283 searches on Wine-Searcher per month Economics: #1 most active wine at auction, its top 5 vintages having seen 5,632 75cl equivalent bottles traded in the past year Production: Higher production than its peer group average of 151,058 bottles
- www.wine-lister.com June 2017
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