1990 Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux

1990 Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux

Product: 19908008860
 
1990 Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux

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Description

81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Sabernet Franc, and 9% Merlot; pH 3.69; IPT 60; 12.2% alcohol; 76% new oak; a 79% selection.

Bright red with a pale rim. Knockout nose of aromatic herbs, strawberry, sweet spices and acacia flower; yet another wine strongly marked by its cabernet franc presence. Fresh and vibrant, this absolutely dances on the palate with strawberry, sour red cherry and raspberry flavours complicated by gunflint and herbs. 

High acidity provides great clarity and cuts to the long, floral, smoothly tannic finish. This has improved considerably with bottle age. Harvested from September 18 through October 3, this Mouton offers amazing balance and fragrance. In 1990, Mouton was still using a heavy toast for its barriques, which resulted in a smoky quality in the wines that was considered by many to be just as typical of Mouton as its opulence. 

"But we began turning things back in 1993, as we saw that our 1992 was a little unbalanced from the use of heavily toasted barrels," said Tourbier remarks.

Ian D'Agata, Vinous.com

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Critics reviews

Ian D'Agata, Vinous94/100

81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Sabernet Franc, and 9% Merlot; pH 3.69; IPT 60; 12.2% alcohol; 76% new oak; a 79% selection.

Bright red with a pale rim. Knockout nose of aromatic herbs, strawberry, sweet spices and acacia flower; yet another wine strongly marked by its cabernet franc presence. Fresh and vibrant, this absolutely dances on the palate with strawberry, sour red cherry and raspberry flavours complicated by gunflint and herbs. 

High acidity provides great clarity and cuts to the long, floral, smoothly tannic finish. This has improved considerably with bottle age. Harvested from September 18 through October 3, this Mouton offers amazing balance and fragrance. In 1990, Mouton was still using a heavy toast for its barriques, which resulted in a smoky quality in the wines that was considered by many to be just as typical of Mouton as its opulence. 

"But we began turning things back in 1993, as we saw that our 1992 was a little unbalanced from the use of heavily toasted barrels," said Tourbier remarks.

Ian D'Agata, Vinous.com

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Jancis Robinson MW18.5/20

Magnum. Served at the Versailles dinner, so note written from memory.

This was a gloriously ripe, round wine – despite being served from magnum. This was hugely dramatic and made the same sort of impact as Philippine de Rothschild. No wonder her widower, Jean-Pierre de Beaumarchais, liked it so much. I wonder how much longer it will see at the peak of its powers?

Drink 2003 - 2028

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (October 2019)

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Decanter94/100

Just pipped by its older sibling. Harvest lasted from 18 September to 3 October, and grapes underwent a serious sorting after uneven ripening (they also did green harvesting)—Autumn hedgerow aromatics with hawthorn and blackberries. 

The palate is soft and gentle, not as intense as the 1989, but still loaded with Pauillac signature. It didn’t get the most positive reaction on release, but this seems unfair at 30 years of age – this wine is still rippling with power. Label artist Francis Bacon with one of his last works.

Drink 2028 - 2032

Jane Anson, Decanter.com (October 2018)

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About this WINE

Château Mouton Rothschild

Château Mouton Rothschild

Classified as a First Growth, Château Mouton Rothschild has a long and storied history; wine has been made here since Roman times. The property spans 82 hectares of vines in Pauillac, planted with the classic varieties of the region, Cabernet Sauvignon being predominant.

The estate has been in the Baron Philippe de Rothschild family since 1853, but it wasn’t until the arrival of Baron Philippe de Rothschild in 1922 that its fortunes were transformed. Baron Philippe was a dynamic figure who revolutionised the estate and was the first to introduce château-bottling in 1924. He also introduced the concept of commissioning an artist to design each new vintage’s label. Some of the most notable contributors include Salvador Dalí, Henry Moore, Marc Chagall, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Anish Kapoor and Peter Doig.

His daughter Baroness Philippine continued to help raise the estate to new heights with numerous endeavours, including the inauguration of a new vat house in 2013. Today, her three children, Camille and Philippe Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, continue the efforts of their predecessors.

Following the retirement in 2020 of Philippe Dhalluin, the winemaking team is now headed up by Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy. With his team, he oversees over 83 hectares of vines, planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (78%), Merlot (18%), Cabernet Franc (3%), and Petit Verdot (1%). The average age of the vines is around 50 years.

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Pauillac

Pauillac

Pauillac is the aristocrat of the Médoc boasting boasting 75 percent of the region’s First Growths and with Grand Cru Classés representing 84 percent of Pauillac's production.

For a small town, surrounded by so many familiar and regal names, Pauillac imparts a slightly seedy impression. There are no grand hotels or restaurants – with the honourable exception of the establishments owned by Jean-Michel Cazes – rather a small port and yacht harbour, and a dominant petrochemical plant.

Yet outside the town, , there is arguably the greatest concentration of fabulous vineyards throughout all Bordeaux, including three of the five First Growths. Bordering St Estèphe to the north and St Julien to the south, Pauillac has fine, deep gravel soils with important iron and marl deposits, and a subtle, softly-rolling landscape, cut by a series of small streams running into the Gironde. The vineyards are located on two gravel-rich plateaux, one to the northwest of the town of Pauillac and the other to the south, with the vines reaching a greater depth than anywhere else in the Médoc.

Pauillac's first growths each have their own unique characteristics; Lafite Rothschild, tucked in the northern part of Pauillac on the St Estèphe border, produces Pauillac's most aromatically complex and subtly-flavoured wine. Mouton Rothschild's vineyards lie on a well-drained gravel ridge and - with its high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon - can produce (in its best years) Pauillac's most decadently rich, fleshy and exotic wine.

Latour, arguably Bordeaux's most consistent First Growth, is located in southern Pauillac next to St Julien. Its soil is gravel-rich with superb drainage, and Latour's vines penetrate as far as five metres into the soil. It produces perhaps the most long-lived wines of the Médoc.

Recommended Châteaux
Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, Ch. Latour, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild, Ch. Pichon-Longueville Baron, Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch. Lynch-Bages, Ch. Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Ch, Pontet-Canet, Les Forts de Latour, Ch. Haut-Batailley, Ch. Batailley, Ch. Haut-Bages Libéral.

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Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

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