x
  • Country ranking ?

    420
  • Producer ranking ?

    10
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    now to 2025
  • Food Pairing

    Noisettes of venison with sauce grand veneur

Parker 100 points/ After stumbling over some wines I thought were high class Bordeaux, I nailed this wine in one of the blind tastings for this article. In most tastings where a great Bordeaux is inserted with California Cabernets, the Bordeaux comes across as drier, more austere, and not nearly as rich and concentrated (California wines are inevitably fruitier and more massive). To put it mildly, the 1986 Mouton-Rothschild held its own (and then some), in a flight that included the Caymus Special Selection, Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23, Dunn Howell Mountain, and Joseph Phelps Eisele Vineyard. Clearly the youngest looking, most opaque and concentrated wine of the group, it tastes as if it has not budged in development since I first tasted it out of barrel in March, 1987. An enormously concentrated, massive Mouton-Rothschild, comparable in quality, but not style, to the 1982, 1959, and 1945, this impeccably made wine is still in its infancy. Interestingly, when I was in Bordeaux several years ago, I had this wine served to me blind from a magnum that had been opened and decanted 48 hours previously. Even then, it still tasted like a barrel sample! I suspect the 1986 Mouton-Rothschild requires a minimum of 15-20 more years of cellaring; it has the potential to last for 50-100 years! Given the outrageously high prices being fetched by so many of the great 1982s and 1990s (and lest I forget, the 1995 Bordeaux futures), it appears this wine might still be one of the "relative bargains" in the fine wine marketplace. I wonder how many readers will be in shape to drink it when it does finally reach full maturity?

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The Story

Château Mouton Rothschild A Premier Cru Classé in 1973, Château Mouton Rothschild, owned by Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, consists of 205 acres of vines near Pauillac, in the Médoc, North West of the city of Bordeaux. This Premier Cru benefits from exceptionally good natural conditions, both in the quality of the soil, the position of its vines and their exposure to the sun. It is regarded today as one of the world's greatest wine. 


The name Mouton is said to be derived from the word „Motte“ meaning mound or elevation of the ground. It was bought in 1853 by Philippe de Rothschilds great-grand father it was in a fairly bad shape and when the classification of 1855 was set up it was not deemed to be good enough to be qualified as a first growth but put in first place amongst the second growths. An injustice it took Philippe de Rothschild until 1973 to rectify. 1920s Philippe de Rothschild called together the owners of Haut Brion, Latour, Lafite, Margaux and Yquem to talk about the idea of bottling and marketing their wines on their own.

The first vintage to be bottled exclusivly at the château was the 1924 vintage. To commemorate this, the cubistic painter Carlu was asked to design the label, yet another revolutionary idea in this most conservative of surroundings. The idea of an artist designing the labels was dropped until 1945 when Philippe Jullian was asked to design a label commemorating the victory over nazi Germany. Since then works of such famous artists as Picasso, Miró, Dali, Chagall and personalities like John Huston and Prince Charles have been used for the labels.
In 1988, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, who had already been associated with her father's work for some time, succeeded her father. She has in turn become the guarantor of the quality of an illustrious wine whose motto proudly proclaims : "Premier je suis, second je fus, Mouton ne change". First I am, second I was, I Mouton do not change

Vineyard soil: very deep gravel on a limestone base Production area: 82.5 ha Grape varieties: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot Average age of vines: 48 years Harvest method: hand picked. The grapes from the younger vines are harvested first and vinified separately.

Winemaking: Before destemming, the grapes are hand-sorted then selected one by one. Vinification depends on each vintage and the characteristics of each vat. All the relevant parameters, such as temperature, pumping over, aeration, vatting time and running off, are monitored by the technical manager, the cellar-master and the laboratory.
Ageing: 19 to 22 months in oak barrels (almost all new, the percentage varying according to the vintage)
 

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Vintage 1986

Climatic conditions at the Château / A mild and wet January was followed by cold and dry weather in February and March.
The vegetation cycle began later than average, on 30 April, but soon caught up during a very fine summer.
Flowering took place very evenly around 18 June. Mid-veraison was recorded on 21 August.
Ideal weather conditions meant that by harvest time the grapes were very ripe, forming small bunches with highly concentrated flavours.

Harvest: 2 to 15 October
Varietal mix:
Cabernet Sauvignon 80 %
Merlot 10 %
Cabernet Franc 8 %
Petit Verdot 2 %

Tasting notes:
A dark, intense colour with a ruby tint, this fine vintage reveals a nose of nuts and prunes made more complex by notes of toffee, rancio, peppery spice and cedarwood. The attack is dense, the tannins forward and tightly-knit, the wine powerful, rich and smooth, displaying an array of jammy fruit, wild berry and blackcurrant liqueur flavours, leading into a finish on notes of toast.

 

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Average Bottle Price

2015 2014 2013 2011 2010 2005
746€ +20.1% 621€ -23.2% 809€ -5.4% 855€ +8.2% 790€ +146.1% 321€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

22 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Medium and Dark

ending

Long

flavors

Blackcurrant, Mint, Plum, Coffee, Mushrooms and Leather

nose

Open, Complex and Refined

recommend

Yes

taste

Well-structured, Perfectly balanced, Full-bodied, Firm, Elegant and Full

Written Notes

1986 was staggeringly so. 'WOW,' was the first thing that came to mind. Its amazing concentration was the second. Huge, thick and lip-smacking, this '86 elevated this flight to another level. Since this wine was served blind, there were a lot of '82 guesses occurring, and Jefery liked its 'vanilla.' As good as the previous four wines were, this bottle of 1986 Mouton made me want to downgrade all of them! This is another Mouton that will be amongst the 20th Century's Top Ten, and maybe even Top Five Moutons

  • 99p
The bottle was in a superb condition. Bright, lovely deep and dark colour. Surprisingly open, oaky, spicy and flavourful nose. Prosperous, well-balanced, intense and multifaceted wine. As good and big as expected. A real joy now, but the good intensity of fruit and heavy structure makes me think this will be much more breathtaking in future. Real smash hit!
  • 96p
A perplexing, vexing wine, and it again was stitched up so tightly this evening that it really almost seems to be vying with the 1928 vintage for how long it can play the surly coquette. I have experienced glimpses revealing its beauty, at the Chateau, with 5.5 hours of decanting and a further 2 hours over lunch. Our 4.5 hours of decanting didn’t do much for it on this evening. The blackberry, cedar and cassis that were so stirring when in Bordeaux, were the barest hints on the nose this evening alas. The tannins are no longer as abrasive or masculine, but they were just not really relenting either. The brilliant definition was there, but much less of the layered appeal. More blackberry, cassis and mint past the mid palate, and the finish while in the throes of seeking greater expressiveness, did still have an underlying purity with hints of that soft, rich focus that is this wine’s Siren Song. So, like others, I keep returning to it, as our predecessors must have as supplicants at the gates of the ’28. 91 Points
  • 91p

Information

Origin

Pauillac, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

None

Glass Time

2h

Inside Information

Wine Advocate #106
Aug 1996
Robert M. Parker, Jr. 100 Drink: 2011 - 2096 $509-$2275
After stumbling over some wines I thought were high class Bordeaux, I nailed this wine in one of the blind tastings for this article. In most tastings where a great Bordeaux is inserted with California Cabernets, the Bordeaux comes across as drier, more austere, and not nearly as rich and concentrated (California wines are inevitably fruitier and more massive). To put it mildly, the 1986 Mouton-Rothschild held its own (and then some), in a flight that included the Caymus Special Selection, Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23, Dunn Howell Mountain, and Joseph Phelps Eisele Vineyard. Clearly the youngest looking, most opaque and concentrated wine of the group, it tastes as if it has not budged in development since I first tasted it out of barrel in March, 1987. An enormously concentrated, massive Mouton-Rothschild, comparable in quality, but not style, to the 1982, 1959, and 1945, this impeccably made wine is still in its infancy. Interestingly, when I was in Bordeaux several years ago, I had this wine served to me blind from a magnum that had been opened and decanted 48 hours previously. Even then, it still tasted like a barrel sample! I suspect the 1986 Mouton-Rothschild requires a minimum of 15-20 more years of cellaring; it has the potential to last for 50-100 years! Given the outrageously high prices being fetched by so many of the great 1982s and 1990s (and lest I forget, the 1995 Bordeaux futures), it appears this wine might still be one of the "relative bargains" in the fine wine marketplace. I wonder how many readers will be in shape to drink it when it does finally reach full maturity?
The tasting notes for this section are from two single blind tastings, one conducted in May, 1996, in California, and the other in June, 1996, in Baltimore.
Read more

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

99p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Château Mouton-Rothschild 1986  ( Château Mouton-Rothschild )

1986 was staggeringly so. 'WOW,' was the first thing that came to mind. Its amazing concentration was the second. Huge, thick and lip-smacking, this '86 elevated this flight to another level. Since this wine was served blind, there were a lot of '82 guesses occurring, and Jefery liked its 'vanilla.' As good as the previous four wines were, this bottle of 1986 Mouton made me want to downgrade all of them! This is another Mouton that will be amongst the 20th Century's Top Ten, and maybe even Top Five Moutons

9d 3h ago

91p
 Omar Khan, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  Château Mouton-Rothschild 1986  ( Château Mouton-Rothschild )

"A perplexing, vexing wine, and it again was stitched up so tightly this evening that it really almost seems to be vying with the 1928 vintage for how long it can play the surly coquette. I have experienced glimpses revealing its beauty, at the Chateau, with 5.5 hours of decanting and a further 2 hours over lunch. Our 4.5 hours of decanting didn’t do much for it on this evening. The blackberry, cedar and cassis that were so stirring when in Bordeaux, were the barest hints on the nose this evening alas. The tannins are no longer as abrasive or masculine, but they were just not really relenting either. The brilliant definition was there, but much less of the layered appeal. More blackberry, cassis and mint past the mid palate, and the finish while in the throes of seeking greater expressiveness, did still have an underlying purity with hints of that soft, rich focus that is this wine’s Siren Song. So, like others, I keep returning to it, as our predecessors must have as supplicants at the gates of the ’28. 91 Points"

10m 6d ago

98p
 Alper Alpaslan, Pro (Germany)  tasted  Château Mouton-Rothschild 1986  ( Château Mouton-Rothschild )

"8 Great Bordeaux

1.Flight Latour 1990 MG vs Lynch Bages 1989 MG
2 Flight La Mission Haut Brion 1989 vs Haut Brion 1989
3.Flight Mouton 1982 vs Latour 1982 MG
4 Flight Mouton 1986 vs Lafite 1986

opened 24 hours before, tight, young, tart acidity, feels younger but very different to Mouton 1982, but not so elegant, fruity side beside some mints, chocolate and pencil, 98-99 this time"

1y 2m ago

96p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Château Mouton-Rothschild 1986  ( Château Mouton-Rothschild )

"The bottle was in a superb condition. Bright, lovely deep and dark colour. Surprisingly open, oaky, spicy and flavourful nose. Prosperous, well-balanced, intense and multifaceted wine. As good and big as expected. A real joy now, but the good intensity of fruit and heavy structure makes me think this will be much more breathtaking in future. Real smash hit!"

1y 6m ago

100p
 Georg Linde, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  Château Mouton-Rothschild 1986  ( Château Mouton-Rothschild )

""This is the only challenger to the 1945. Incredibly youthful with a wild nose of cherries, spices, tobacco. On the palate more spice, dark plum, smoke, silky texture, but the tannins are still quite forbidding. Open up after about an hour to become more charming.""

1y 9m ago

99p
 Georg Linde, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  Château Mouton-Rothschild 1986  ( Château Mouton-Rothschild )

""High shoulder, but still an excellent bottle. Nose of mint, smoke, dark fruit. On the palate cassis, herbs, tea and so long. Great juice.""

2y 2m ago

96p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Château Mouton-Rothschild 1986  ( Château Mouton-Rothschild )

"The bottle was in a superb condition. Bright, lovely deep and dark colour. Surprisingly open, oaky, spicy and flavourful nose. Prosperous, well-balanced, intense and multifaceted wine. As good and big as expected. A real joy now, but the good intensity of fruit and heavy structure makes me think this will be much more breathtaking in future. Real smash hit!"

2y 2m ago

95p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Château Mouton-Rothschild 1986  ( Château Mouton-Rothschild )

"The 1986 Mouton Rothschild has long been considered one of the all-time great Moutons, and while I have had a couple that have been worthy of that reputation, the majority show more like the one we had at this lunch. It was shy and tight with black fruit and even tighter leather aromas. Its palate was the same, bordering on square with a mineral highway of a finish. Diamonds galore sparkled, but ‘where is it going to go?’ asked one guest. Bryan found it ‘lacking the succulence of Mouton’ (95+)."

3y 9d ago

98p
 Totte Steneby, Sommelier (Sweden)  tasted  Château Mouton-Rothschild 1986  ( Château Mouton-Rothschild )

"1986 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, Bordeaux, France
D1,5h, G2
(Gothenburg, Sweden, Okt 2012)
Starts of as quite a backward and dark nose with mushroomy notes. Takes on a completely different character after 30 min in the glass with delicous, pure, liqueur like cassis fruit, pencil shavings, mint and tobacco.

Full bodied and very tannic palate with lush, sweet, dark plummy fruit with sweet black currant notes, coffee, leather, mint and pipe tobacco. It’s a interesting wrestling match on the palate between the massive tannins and big fruit. Luckily this wine is in perfect balance and the fruit sings on the very long finish. Far from mature!
Drink 2018-2036
98p.
"

4y 3m ago

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