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  • Country ranking ?

    1 059
  • Producer ranking ?

    42
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    now to 2025
  • Food Pairing

    Beef Tenderloin with Shitake and Crisp Rosemary Potatoes

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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Wine Advocate 94 points 

This estate's staff believes that the 1996 Mouton-Rothschild is very complex. I agree that among the first-growths, this wine is showing surprising forwardness and complexity in its aromatics. It possesses an exuberant, flamboyant bouquet of roasted coffee, cassis, smoky oak, and soy sauce. The impressive 1996 Mouton-Rothschild offers impressive aromas of black currants, framboise, coffee, and new saddle leather. This full-bodied, ripe, rich, concentrated, superbly balanced wine is paradoxical in the sense that the aromatics suggest a far more evolved wine than the flavors reveal. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2030. By the way, the 1996 blend consists of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 8% Cabernet Franc. - WA, RP (4/1999)

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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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Wine Information

Climatic conditions
The weather for the vintage was very good, almost ideal. A rather cool and wet winter allowed the vines to rest and recover normally.
The vegetation cycle began around 14 April in dry and warm weather. May was generally cool, delaying flowering by one week.
Warm and sunny weather in June ensured that flowering took place evenly between 19 May and 12 June. July and August were hot and dry, relieved by rains at the beginning of September.

Harvest 27 September to 9 October
Varietal mix
Cabernet Sauvignon 77 %
Merlot 13 %
Cabernet Franc 10 %

Tasting notes
An attractive red, shading slightly to orange at the rim, the wine has an open and intense nose on black fruit aromas like cherry and blackberry, along with cedarwood, fresh mint, some more floral notes and perfectly integrated oak.
From the outset, the full palate offers opulence and an attractive density, with remarkable depth of flavour. A rigorous mid-palate offers a texture of refined and silky tannins in a display of controlled power before a more tender finish.

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Vintage 1996

The 1996s stand as a “classic” Bordeaux year, although – as Jancis Robinson MW has written – not in the “skinny” sense; although Farr Vintners’ director, Tom Hudson, told the drinks business that it was perhaps a “very good” rather than a “truly great” year as it wasn’t uniformly excellent across the region.

By way of a recap, 1996 was a particularly sterling vintage for Médoc wines. The Berry Bros & Rudd website extolls: “This is one of the great post-war vintages for Médoc Cabernet-based wines. They are rich, complex and beautifully balanced wines, packed with ripe, pure fruit and have the structure that will allow the top wines to age well into the next decade and beyond.”

The Right Bank by contrast are described as “distinguished” but “overshadowed” by the ‘95s – which was an especially good vintage for Saint Emilion and Pomerol.

It was also an excellent vintage for white Bordeaux.

Robert Parker’s scores tend to favour the Left Bank, though a few of the very best wines of the Right Bank received very respectable reviews as well.

Only two wines received 100-points: Lafite and Latour, Margaux was rated 99, Léoville Las Cases 98, Ducru Beaucaillou 96 and Pichon-Comtesse 96.

La Mondotte was the highest rated Right Bank wine on 97-points, Ausone was the next best rated on 93 as was L’Eglise Clinet, while Gomerie, Petrus and Le Pin settled for 92 and Cheval Blanc for 90.

With the passage of nearly 20 years, the wines have naturally appreciated and now that they are well into their drinking window demand will almost certainly begin to push prices up even further for the most in-demand among them.

The figures are often impressive, to date Lafite has seen a rise of 657.9% since its release, its second wine Carruades is up 592%, Latour has risen 437%, Petrus 400% and Pichon Baron 240%.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

20 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Medium

ending

Bitter

nose

Intense, Complex and Seductive

taste

Average in Acidity, Low alcohol content, High tannin, Medium-bodied, Round, Dry and Hard tannins

Written Notes

The 1996 Mouton Rothschild got lots of ‘best’ for wine of the flight, including me. Aromas of cedar and caramel laid on top of strong acid. Ed interestingly found it ‘more Cheval Blanc than Mouton,’ while Mr. 47 commented that the 1996 had the best of new and old. Its acid continued to flex in strong manners (95).
  • 95p

The Mouton 1996 has gorgeous aromas of crushed berries, cigar box, black licorice and tanned leather. Full-bodied, with fine silky tannins and a medium to long finish. Seems a little tight right now. But refined and pretty. 

  • 97p

With huge tannins, very dark fruits, powerful and concentrated. The wine is ripe, juicy and firmly tannic. Almost ready to drink!

  • 94p

Ruby. Scented, tobacco, cassis, detailed nose, some cigars, blueberries, detailed, superb nose, exotic spices. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fresh, lively, detailed, nuanced, cassis, raspberries, some cherries, layers and layers of fruit. Probably the most open bottle of this so far, nuanced, detailed and fruity finish, tobacco notes and exotic spices, truly long. 97

  • 97p

From jeroboam. Mouton made some particularly successful wines in 1996, long before the arrival of the current head winemaker Philippe Dhalluin. 
Deep, still-youthful crimson. Firm and fresh on the nose with admirable intensity and still (just) perceptible tannin. The mineral signature of this bit of Pauillac. This wine seems to get younger and younger.
Drink2014
–2032

  • 93p
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Information

Origin

Pauillac, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Satisfactory

Investment potential

Average

Fake factory

None

Glass time

2h

Inside Information

Wine Advocate #122
Apr 1999
Robert M. Parker, Jr. 94 Drink: 2007 - 2030 $297-$1004
This estate's staff believes that the 1996 Mouton-Rothschild is very complex. I agree that among the first-growths, this wine is showing surprising forwardness and complexity in its aromatics. It possesses an exuberant, flamboyant bouquet of roasted coffee, cassis, smoky oak, and soy sauce. The impressive 1996 Mouton-Rothschild offers impressive aromas of black currants, framboise, coffee, and new saddle leather. This full-bodied, ripe, rich, concentrated, superbly balanced wine is paradoxical in the sense that the aromatics suggest a far more evolved wine than the flavors reveal. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2030. By the way, the 1996 blend consists of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 8% Cabernet Franc.
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