There's licorice here along with mint, some lead pencil and flowers. It's full and round displaying wonderful vanilla and plum flavors. Very silky and refined yet dense and caressing. A beauty, though it does turn a little dry, always revealing its wood.
Very dark crimson with some age at the rim. Much darker than any of the lesser 1988s tasted alongside. Very warm and rich on the nose -- was the château in its California phase then? Tannins are still pretty angular. An awkward blend of sweetness on the nose and extreme dryness on the palate. Perhaps it will eventually blossom when those tannins diminish but at the moment it is out of kilter. Quite a bit of acidity. Dry finish. Drink 2015-2030. 17+/20 points
The 1988 Mouton has an attractive aroma of exotic spices, minerals, coffee, black currants, and sweet oak. Much like the 1989, the bouquet is staggering, but the flavors are distinctly less profound. In the mouth, it is a much firmer, tougher, more obviously tannic wine than the 1989, with medium body and outstanding ripeness. A beautifully made 1988 that will last 20-25 years, its short finish keeps it from being sublime. The 1988 is somewhat reminiscent of the 1985, but with more tannin. Anticipated maturity: Now-2020. (RP)
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