1986 Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-black colour. An incredible array of aromas on the nose: blackberry, black cherry, tobacco, espresso, leather, black olive and loam. The palate is absolutely seamless from first impression to finish, effortlessly building layers of complexity in the mouth and leading to a very long, earth and spice finish. I can’t see how this could possibly be improvement so have no alternative but concede perfection. Drink now to 2045+. Tasted March 2009.
Ageless, yet balanced. Black color. Mint, mineral, berry and cherry. Full-bodied, chewy and tight. Long, long finish. A great, great wine
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Very deep, saturated ruby with only a hint of garnet at the rim. Ripe red and black fruits, mint, vanilla, minerals and delicate black pepper on the captivating nose. Very rich, big and deep, with a luscious texture and ripe flavors similar to the aromas. Finishes smoothly tannic and very long, with building sweetness. This gorgeous Mouton, though massively built, also reflects the long hang time of the berries, which led to a perfect polymerization of its tannins and a fleshy structure. Still very much an infant: I wouldn't touch a bottle for at least another ten years. I also like the fact that, although it's very sweet and creamy, strong acidity (note the lower-than-usual pH) is keeping it vibrant. This vintage is the first in which Mouton vinified its young vines separately and only used those vats judged to be of grand cru quality. Following a slowdown in physiological ripening during August, the late harvest (October 2-16) permitted a longer growing curve. Tourbier noted that "petit verdot needs its head in the sun and its feet in the water, and as it had been initially planted on one of the highest, coolest sites at Mouton, a mistake on our part, it rarely ripened enough to be included in the grand vin, and this explains why we hardly used it in the older vintages. (80% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot, 8% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot; pH 3.54; IPT 66; 12.5% alcohol; 90% new oak; an 80% selection)
Quite exceptional depth and youthfulness of colour - it looks younger than either the 1989 or 1990, and possibly even than the 1995! Still quite amazingly closed on the nose. There is obviously quite a bt of alcohol in this wine, perhaps a note of licorice again. Thick, deep, brooding, this wine hardly seems to have changed over the last 15 years.