Wonderful, concentrated and still astonishingly young, this has brushes of violet aromatics rising above the tight cassis fruits and rich black truffle, and the classic menthol edging of a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated Pauillac. We drank this over lunch and it was breathtaking, but were told that 24 hours later it had blossomed even further, so make sure you give this a serious amount of time in carafe to open up - something that gives you just a small clue as to how structured, layered and complex the wine we are dealing with here is. (JA)
The 1986 Mouton-Rothschild is a behemoth that almost has a California-like richness and sweetness of fruit. Offering incredible yet classic Cabernet Sauvignon notes of crème de cassis, tobacco leaf, lead pencil shavings, and wood smoke, this beauty starts out reticent and backward (which is mind blowing for a wine that’s 32 years old) yet opens up gorgeously with time in the glass. Full-bodied, deep, rich and unctuous, yet still incredibly pure and lively, it’s a sensational, benchmark Bordeaux that probably has another 2+ decades of longevity.
This is finally coming around with such fine tannins and beautiful fruit after all these years. Full and balanced. Historical. And so long. Stunning. Fresh and bright.
The 1986 Mouton-Rothschild is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot that was picked from 2 October until 16 October. Winemaker Philippe Dhalluin, who was not working at the property back then, told me that the pH was fairly low at 3.54 when it is usually around 3.75, due to the natural tartaric acid in the vines. It has a powerful and intense bouquet as always: exemplary graphite and cedar scents, a touch of black pepper and incense. It seems to unfurl in the glass, like a motor revving its engine. The palate is beautifully balanced with its trademark firm tannic structure, a Mouton-Rothschild with backbone and masculinity. Layers of black fruit intermingling with mint and graphite, a hint of licorice emanating from the Merlot, gently fanning out and my God, it is incredibly long. It is not like the 1985 Mouton-Rothschild that is so fleshy and generous. This is serious, aristocratic Mouton, a true vin de garde and yes, I do think drinkers will have to wait until it reaches its true peak. Sometimes that's just the way it is. (NM)
Philippe Dhalluin served the 1986 Mouton Rothschild to wrap up our vertical. The 1986 remains one of my favorite Moutons. A dark, powerful wine, the 1986 is endowed with a vertical sense of structure that is a marvel to behold. Dark stone fruit, smoke, graphite, mocha, soy and licorice are fused together in a marvelously intense, deep Mouton that promises to drink well for another few decades. Tonight, the 1986 is absolutely stunning. (AG)
Ageless, yet balanced. Black color. Mint, mineral, berry and cherry. Full-bodied, chewy and tight. Long, long finish. A great, great wine. (JS)
This was always an exceptional wine, but an exceptionally slow-maturing one. It was served blind and seemed immediately like Mouton with its sweet, light mintiness and spice. This opulent monument of a wine has at least cast off enough tannin to provide majestic drinking now. What a treat to encounter this wine again at this exciting stage of its life. 19/20 points (JR)
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