1998 Chateau Mouton Rothschild (1.5 L)
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1998 Chateau Mouton Rothschild. Pauillac, France. Magnum / 1.5L.Although the Rothschild family has controlled their celebrated chateau since 1853, the modern story of Chateau Mouton Rothschild begins in 1924. It was then that the young Baron Philippe Rothschild insisted on bottling all his wine at the estate, an unusual move at the time but now an all but universal practice. The reforms instituted by the Baron led to international accolades and a massive following. Despite the widespread renown, Chateau Mouton Rothschild wasn’t granted First Growth status until 1973, the first change in classification since the scheme’s inception in 1855. Since 1945, each vintage's label has featured work by a famous contemporary artist. Past labels have included Picasso, Dalí, and Miró, making Mouton Rothschild bottles works of art in themselves. Chateau Mouton isn’t just an elegant wine and beautiful bottle; it can form the focal point of any serious wine collection. It can mean the difference between having a good wine collection and having a great one.
Lisa Perotti-BrownComposed of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, the 1998 Mouton Rothschild is deep garnet-brick in color with lovely crème de cassis, dried roses, hoisin and baking spice notes with underlying notions of dried cherries and mulberries plus touches of wood smoke, incense and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied and packed with rich fruit framed by firm, chewy tannins, it is stacked with complex, evolving flavors and finishes with incredibly long-lasting perfumed notes. According to winemaker Philippe Dhalluin, this needs about three hours of decanting at this stage. I simply love the place this wine is in right now, possessing plenty of mature, tertiary characters yet still sporting bags of fruit. It won’t be fading anytime soon either and should cellar nicely for 20-25+ more years.
Robert ParkerLike many of its peers, the 1998 has filled out spectacularly. Now in the bottle, this opaque black/purple-colored offering has increased in stature, richness, and size. A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc (57% of the production was utilized), it is an extremely powerful, super-concentrated wine offering notes of roasted espresso, creme de cassis, smoke, new saddle leather, graphite, and licorice. It is massive, with awesome concentration, mouth-searing tannin levels, and a saturated flavor profile that grips the mouth with considerable intensity. This is a 50-year Mouton, but patience will be required as it will not be close to drinkability for at least a decade. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2050.
James SucklingThis is spicy and peppery with dried fruits and currants. It's full and velvety on the palate, showing pretty berries and toasted coffee beans. Long, long finish.