10 Jan Château Mouton Rothschild – Pauillac 1988, 1987, 1986,1985
Let’s begin a vertical tasting at Mouton Rothschild, the famous Pauillac estate with labels designed by artists. A vertical is a kind of journey through time that follows the evolution of the wines. For this type of tasting, it is often advised to go from the youngest to the oldest vintage.
Château Mouton Rothschild 1988
KEITH HARING Label
Winter and spring were surprisingly wet with heavy rainfalls over the first 6 months of the year. These conditions favour vegetation. May and June have the same profile, relatively wet.
Mid-veraison (the change of the colour of the grapes) occurred in mid-August. Due to a rainy spring and a dry summer the vegetation cycle was disrupted, and the vines suffered from an unbalanced water supply. However, thanks to a few showers at the beginning of September, followed by high temperatures, ripening continued normally until the harvest time.
The slightly woody nose opens on notes of liquorice, raspberry, eucalyptus and caramel. Then the mineral aspect appears.
The attack is full and generous, on fine tannins. Its freshness and power make it a noncommon vintage. Notes of kirsch, mint and dark chocolate give a nice finish. Mouton’s style is back after an average year in 1987 and the wine is very pleasant!
It’s really a chance to appreciate the same estate on different profiles.
The importance of the vintage is fundamental as well as the know-how of the winemaker which can lead to fantastic wines.
Château Mouton Rothschild 1987
HANS ERNI Label
With coulure and millerandage (problems caused by cold and damp weather on the vine) at the beginning of June, berries were in poor quality. Indeed, inclement weather provoked vines’ disease decreasing the quantity of grapes.
More rain fell at the end of September further complicating an already capricious vintage. The conditions were not ideal for the harvest. An acceptable quality was preserved for the remaining berries although the ripening process was long.
Now let’s see how this vintage expresses itself in the glass!
The wine is dark red with an orange rim.
The nose reveals humus and leather, as well as mushroom, strawberry, redcurrant, spruce and some light pepper notes.
The attack is elegant, still with a touch of freshness.
It lacks some power and personality which is a common characteristic of the previous years. The wine remains harmonious and the finish is defined by ripe fruit and spice.
Château Mouton Rothschild 1986
BERNARD SÉJOURNÉ Label
The sunny weather allowed for harvest of very ripe grapes with small bunches and highly concentrated tastes.
The wine is dark, intense, with ruby tints.
It is a beautiful vintage, with aromas of dried fruits, prunes, some notes of caramel, cedarwood, cinnamon, pepper and cocoa.
The tannins are compact; the wine is powerful, rich and full-bodied. The palate reveals an array of candied orange, cocoa, leather and wild berry on a beautiful finish.
Château Mouton Rothschild 1985
PAUL DELVAUX Label
Despite some storms in July followed by drought in August (only 2 days of rain), the summer season was quite optimal. The sunshine was exceptional, 1985 was the driest year on record. The good weather continued, and the harvest conditions were fantastic. The quality of the grapes was very high.
The wine is intense with discrete signs of age. The nose reveals blackberry, blackcurrant, cherry, along with touches of mint, incense, cocoa and some notes of vanilla wood.
The attack is round, rather smooth, with well-integrated tannins. The wine is generous and displays notes of spice, jammed fruit and tobacco.