1996 Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux

1996 Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux

Product: 19968008860
Prices start from £555.00 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
1996 Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux

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Description

The 1996 Château Mouton Rothschild is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and 10% of Cabernet Franc. 

This beauty shows the fresh, clean, incredibly classic style of the vintage, offering vibrant dark fruits, spring flowers, tobacco, and coffee, and like many 1996s, there’s a wonderful, herbal freshness in the aromatics and flavours. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and focused on the palate, its tannins are nicely integrated, the balance is spot on, and this beauty is drinking incredibly well today. It should continue to evolve for another two decades.

Drink 2023 - 2044

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2023)

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Critics reviews

Neal Martin, Vinous95/100

Tasted from an ex-château jeroboam at the Palace of Versailles charity dinner.

The 1996 Mouton-Rothschild is the high point of what in retrospect was an inconsistent decade for this First Growth. It has a very attractive, classic Pauillac bouquet: predominantly black fruit laced with cedar, freshly rolled tobacco and light graphite scents. It is not lavish, but tightly controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, though not as fine as recent vintages under Philippe Dhalluin. There is satisfying density and gentle grip toward the finish, which feels fresh and contains enough energy to suggest that it is only just reaching its plateau.

Drink 2019 - 2040

Neal Martin, Vinous.com (December 2019)

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Ian D'Agata, Vinous96/100

77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc; pH 3.85; IPT 73; 12.7% alcohol; 83% new oak.

Bright ruby with a palish rim. Intense, fragrant aromas of strawberry, iris, coffee, white pepper and bay leaf are lifted by an aromatic spice note; one can recognize the cabernet franc here. Rich, dense and suave, with very pure red fruit, cedar and herb flavours that coat the palate and are nicely carried by vibrant, harmonious acidity. Finishes with outstanding length, noble tannins and a late spicy, floral kick. This outstanding Mouton has improved enormously since its release. Tourbier agrees: "We were a little worried initially that this Mouton seemed too rigid, almost austere. Instead, it did a complete turnaround once bottled, surprising us as well."

Ian D'Agata, Vinous.com (August 2011)

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Wine Advocate97+/100

This was tasted from jeroboam in September 2019.

The last time I tasted the 1996 Mouton Rothschild (maybe a couple of years ago?), I recall it was a bit broody and closed. This showing was anything but! Deep garnet in color, it sashays out of the glass with lavishly dressed, gregarious crème de cassis, baked blackberries and plum pudding scents plus touches of menthol, fenugreek, star anise and sandalwood with fleeting glimpses at dried rose petals and oolong tea. The full-bodied palate is richly fruited, opulent and oh-so seductive, with bags of youthful black fruit and lovely finely grained tannins, finishing with fantastic freshness and length.

Drink 2019 - 2056

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (October 2019)

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Jancis Robinson MW18.5/20

Harvested 27 September to 9 October. 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc.

The standout wine at the tasting. Concentration and opulence on the palate, still retaining intense cassis notes. Youthful, deep purple in the glass. Mint notes on the nose work beautifully with the glossy but restrained oak. Still has plenty of acidity giving freshness to the palate, and luxurious tannins suggest this still has a long way to go. Distinctly classy.

Drink 2015 - 2035

Andy Howard MW, JancisRobinson.com (October 2021)

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Wine Spectator95/100

Currants, minerals and flowers on the nose and palate. Full-bodied, with layered tannins and a fresh, clean finish. A beautiful precision to the wine.

Drinking beautifully.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (March 2012)

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Robert Parker95-96/100

The evolution of the 1996 (which I retasted in late March prior to bottling) continues to confirm that this vintage is indeed awesome. The wine (which I would now rate as high as 95-96), is looking extraordinary as it enters into its last few months of barrel age. Massive, thick, and rich, it looks to be as prodigious as the slightly softer 1995. It is a sensational Mouton that appears to be every bit as complete and potentially grand as the other Medoc first-growths in this vintage.

Drink 2006 - 2030

Robert M. Parker, Jr., Wine Advocate (April 1998)

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Decanter98/100

Harvested 27 September to 9 October. 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc.

The standout wine of the tasting (as expected). Opulent, concentrated with intense cassis notes on both the nose and palate, with a deep-purple hue in the glass (although not quite as deep as the 1995). Mint, cool, menthol on the nose with restrained oak hovering in the background. The palate is ultra-elegant with a freshness from the acidity and perfectly ripe tannins, combined with subtle oak and intriguing spicy, cedary notes. A wine that is drinking beautifully now but still has one (or possibly two) decades to go.

Drink 2022 - 2035

Andy Howard MW, Decanter.com (September 2021)

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Jeb Dunnuck96/100

The 1996 Château Mouton Rothschild is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and 10% of Cabernet Franc. 

This beauty shows the fresh, clean, incredibly classic style of the vintage, offering vibrant dark fruits, spring flowers, tobacco, and coffee, and like many 1996s, there’s a wonderful, herbal freshness in the aromatics and flavours. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and focused on the palate, its tannins are nicely integrated, the balance is spot on, and this beauty is drinking incredibly well today. It should continue to evolve for another two decades.

Drink 2023 - 2044

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (May 2023)

Read more

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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