1988 Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac
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 pretty aromas of vanilla, tobacco, berry and chocolate. Medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins and a berry, chocolate finish. (Web Only-2009)
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. 17+/20 points. Drink 2015-2030.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1988 has an aroma of exotic spices, minerals, blackcurrants, and oak. In the mouth, it is a much firmer, tougher, more obviously tannic wine than the 1989. It is a beautifully made 1988 that will last 20-30 years, but the astringency of the tannins is slightly troubling. Patience will be a necessity for purchasers of this wine. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2030.
The label of the 1988 Mouton 1988 features the artwork of Keith Haring (1958-1990), a "satirical version of the Dancing Rams theme."