Considering the vintages and the estate, Mouton's performances in 1989 and 1990 are puzzling. I have tasted these wines multiple times since my last reviews appeared in print. The 1989 Mouton-Rothschild is the superior wine, but in no sense is this a compelling wine if compared to the Moutons produced in 1995, 1986, and 1982. The 1989 displays a dark ruby color that is already beginning to reveal significant lightening at the edge. The bouquet is surprisingly evolved, offering up scents of cedar, sweet black fruits, lead pencil, and toasty oak. This elegant, medium-bodied restrained wine is beautifully made, stylish, and not dissimilar to the 1985. It is an excellent to outstanding Mouton that should be close to full maturity in 4-5 years; it will drink well for 15-20. Drink 2002-2017
Tasted from magnum and presented by Baron Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, the 1989 Château Mouton-Rothschild might not reach the ethereal heights of the 1982 or 1986, but it is certainly a lovely Claret. It has an attractive, slightly leafy bouquet armed with cedar and pencil lead. There is less fruit concentration than I expected, resolutely classic, slightly austere Bordeaux. The palate follows suit. What it lacks in substance it compensates with in balance and personality. This is an understated Mouton-Rothschild that is probably at its peak, although I envisage this offering another two decades of pleasure. Whilst this showing did not replicate some glorious bottles in the past, it remains a very fine Claret that may not be inclined to improve any further. Tasted February 2016. Drink: 2016 - 2035
Good firm crimson with a pale rim already. Sweet, thick, essence of a wine. Pretty impressive. Very ripe and seamless with ripe tannins coming through only at the end of the palate. Slightly furry/velvety and super-ripe so 1990-like in structure. Lovely and full on the mid palate but slightly light finish. This was the first wine served and I initially toyed with the idea that it could be the superstar Haut Brion.
Mouton Rothschild is the only wine to have been elevated to First Growth status since the original classification of the Medoc in 1855. The exceptional success and status of Chateau Mouton Rothschild can largely be attributed to one man: Baron Philippe de Rothschild. He recognised the extraordinary potential of the estate and devoted his life to ensuring that potential was realised. His work is now carried on by his charismatic daughter Baroness Philippine, ably assisted by Herve Berland. This most flamboyant and glamorous estate is famous for its artistic connections, embodied in the grand vins's label, redesigned each year by such legends as Picasso, Miro and Warhol. It is also renowned for its impeccably maintained visitor-friendly estate, but its impressive and well-deserved reputation is based above all on the opulence and excellence of its wines.
Due south of St Estèphe lies the appellation of Pauillac, the king of Left Bank communes. It is home to three first growths as well as a plethora of other classified growths. Pauillac's renowned well-draining, gravelly soils enable its dominant grape Cabernet Sauvignon to reach fantastic heights of complexity and concentration. As a result, Pauilac's wines tend to be full-bodied with compact tannins and good freshness. Its aromatics are often what one associates with classic Bordeaux: pencil shavings, black currant and occasional mint. Some of the most famous châteaux of the commune are Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande and Lynch Bages.