(86% cabernet sauvignon, 12% merlot and 2% cabernet franc; pH 3.82; IPT 76; 12.3% alcohol; a 57% selection): Very deep saturated ruby. Archetypical cabernet sauvignon-dominated nose offers fresh blackcurrant, lead pencil and flowers complicated by strong spice notes. Bright and juicy on entry, with very pure flavors of dark berries, underbrush and dried herbs, then slightly austere and linear in the middle palate. Finishes with a lingering saline nuance and very good length. A very refined and impeccably balanced Mouton, but I would have liked a little bit more concentration and opulence for an even higher score. This classic Mouton possesses relatively high acidity and a solid tannic structure; it offers early accessibility but should age effortlessly for another 15 or 20 years. In 1998, after a couple years of experimentation, Mouton began to de-leaf in a systematic fashion on both sides of the vine rows. Another vintage with a large crop, 1998 featured an unsettled September with rain falling during the cabernet sauvignon harvest (one of the reasons why 1998 is widely considered a Right Bank year.) (ID) 93+
Deep ruby. Exotic, enticing aromas of black fruits, cherry cough syrup, roast coffee and caramel, along with pungent oakiness. Sweet, fat and thick in the mouth, but with adequate framing acidity. Quite ripe on the back end, with much finer tannins than the foregoing '97s. (ST)
Only 55% of the harvest was utilized for the 1997 Mouton-Rothschild. One of the most forward and developed Moutons over recent years, it possesses all the charm and fleshiness this vintage can provide. A blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, the wine exhibits a dense ruby/purple color, and an open-knit nose of cedar wood, blackberry liqueur, cassis, and coffee. Fleshy, ripe, and mouth-filling, with low acidity, soft tannin, and admirable concentration and length, this delicious Pauillac will be drinkable in 2-3 years, and should age for 15+. It is an impressive effort for this vintage. (RP)
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