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152 Ratings
Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 1er Grand Cru Classé

Wine Description

After stumbling over some wines I thought were high class Bordeaux, I nailed this wine in one of the blind tastings for this article. In most tastings where a great Bordeaux is inserted with California Cabernets, the Bordeaux comes across as drier, more austere, and not nearly as rich and concentrated (California wines are inevitably fruitier and more massive). To put it mildly, the 1986 Mouton-Rothschild held its own (and then some), in a flight that included the Caymus Special Selection, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23, Dunn Howell Mountain, and Joseph Phelps Eisele Vineyard. Clearly read more...the youngest looking, most opaque and concentrated wine of the group, it tastes as if it has not budged in development since I first tasted it out of barrel in March, 1987. An enormously concentrated, massive Mouton-Rothschild, comparable in quality, but not style, to the 1982, 1959, and 1945, this impeccably made wine is still in its infancy. Interestingly, when I was in Bordeaux several years ago, I had this wine served to me blind from a magnum that had been opened and decanted 48 hours previously. Even then, it still tasted like a barrel sample! I suspect the 1986 Mouton-Rothschild requires a minimum of 15-20 more years of cellaring; it has the potential to last for 50-100 years! Given the outrageously high prices being fetched by so many of the great 1982s and 1990s (and lest I forget, the 1995 Bordeaux futures), it appears this wine might still be one of the "relative bargains" in the fine wine marketplace. I wonder how many readers will be in shape to drink it when it does finally reach full maturity? (hide)

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    best wine of the evening after petrus. very well balanced.

    about 6 years
Expert Reviews
Read all 5 expert reviews
  • International Wine Cellar
    Rating: 95(+?) - As reviewed by International Wine Cellar in Issue 103, July/August 2002. ($310-$575) Good medium ruby. Currant, currant leaf, cedar and dusty oak on the nose. Tightly wound and classic, with fabulous acids contributing to its powerful spine. Wonderfully pure and intense, with great verve and grip. But still quite locked up, and hiding its density. Finishes firmly tannic and extremely long. I remember mistaking the '86 Mouton for such international stars as Sassicaia in the early '90s, when it showed greater sweetness, but this wine has been quite shut down for the past several years. The '86 and the '82 appear clearly to be the two greatest vintages for Mouton since the 1959.
  • Antonio Galloni
    Philippe Dhalluin served the 1986 Mouton Rothschild to wrap up our vertical. The 1986 remains one of my favorite Moutons. A dark, powerful wine, the 1986 is endowed with a vertical sense of structure that is a marvel to behold. Dark stone fruit, smoke, graphite, mocha, soy and licorice are fused together in a marvelously intense, deep Mouton that promises to drink well for another few decades. Tonight, the 1986 is absolutely stunning. The blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Harvest started on October 2nd and wrapped up on the 16th.
  • Wine Spectator
    Ageless, yet balanced. Black color. Mint, mineral, berry and cherry. Full-bodied, chewy and tight. Long, long finish. A great, great wine.--Bordeaux retrospective. Drink now. –JS
  • James Suckling
    This is finally coming around with such fine tannins and beautiful fruit after all these years. Full and balanced. Historical. And so long. Beautiful. Fresh and bright.
  • Robert Parker
    Rating: 100/100 - As reviewed by Robert Parker on 08/11/1996