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Each year, Wine Spectator editors survey the wines reviewed over the previous 12 months and select our Top 100, based on quality, value, availability and excitement. This annual list honors successful wineries, regions and vintages around the world.
Château Mouton-Rortschild 1988 was on the second place in the Wine of the Year list in 1991
A magnificent wine that's ripe, powerful, seductive and amazingly deep. Massively concentrated and bursting with currant, plum, berry, cedar, chocolate and all sorts of exotic spice flavors, yet it keeps its balance, never going to excess. Lingers on the finish for minutes. A classic. Best from 2000 through 2010. 20,000 cases made. 100 points
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)
Château Mouton Rothschild 1988 / Climatic conditions
The winter was particularly mild, free of frost but very wet, and there were many more rainy days than the average during the first quarter of the year. The heavy rainfall continued during the spring, with higher than average temperatures.
Under these conditions the vines started budding relatively early, on 4 April for the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and 7 April for the Cabernet Franc. Mild, rather wet weather prevailed through May and June, and as much rain fell during the first six months of 1988 as in an average year.
Mid-flowering was observed between 26 and 29 May depending on the variety. The vines flowered evenly over a short period, enabling the fruit to set more or less normally, and there was little coulure or millerandage despite the climatic conditions. A hot, dry summer caused veraison to occur slightly earlier than the average, though it was less even than the flowering.
Mid-veraison was noted on 12 August for the Merlot, 15 August for the Cabernet Sauvignon and 16 August for the Cabernet Franc. Too much rainfall in spring and too little in summer disrupted the vegetation cycle and the vines suffered from an unbalanced water supply. However, showers in early September followed by very hot weather allowed the crop to mature normally. In weather conditions that favoured the spread of disease, effective treatment ensured that the vines and grapes were properly protected and the harvest produced a healthy and abundant crop.
1988 KEITH HARING
Born in Pennsylvania, the American sculptor and painter Keith Haring (1958-1990) became during the Eighties one of the best-known creators of New York's "East Village". He avoided the elitism of the galleries by his public works in the inner city: graffiti in the subways and his "Radiant Child" in lights in Times Square which was to become his trade-mark, a simple line-drawing that could have been made with a magic marker, surrounded by the halo of lines always used in comic strips to indicate surprise or amazement. Haring described himself modestly as a "twentieth-century image-maker". He is also, with his blend of comedy and tragedy, a poet of our time.
His design for the 1988 Mouton Rothschild vintage is a satirical version of the Dancing Rams theme, perhaps also making an ironic reference to Mouton Rothschild's official coat of arms.
The first in a trio of great vintages and one that has been rather overshadowed by the 89s and 90s.Definitely the most "classic" of the trio, with many of the wines not being overtly fruit-driven but having levels of extract and concentration that that make them perfect candidates for extended cellaring.
The first half of the year was unusually cold and wet and the vintage was saved by a long, dry, warm summer. Harvesting began in mid September and some of the Cabernets were not picked until the 3rd week of October. Most of the wines are now approaching their plateau of maturity with the pick of the bunch being the Cabernet-dominated Médocs and Graves. Pauillac was particularly successful.