1996 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac

SKU #110447 96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby with a palish rim. Intense, fragrant aromas of strawberry, iris, coffee, white pepper and bay leaf are lifted by an aromatic spice note; one can recognize the cabernet franc here. Rich, dense and suave, with very pure red fruit, cedar and herb flavors that coat the palate and are nicely carried by vibrant, harmonious acidity. Finishes with outstanding length, noble tannins and a late spicy, floral kick. This outstanding Mouton has improved enormously since its release. Tourbier agrees: 'We were a little worried initially that this Mouton seemed too rigid, almost austere. Instead, it did a complete turnaround once bottled, surprising us as well.'  (8/ 2011)

96 points Wine Spectator

 Incredible nose of ultraripe fruit, it's yet subtle and complex. Full-bodied, with very ripe, almost sweet fruit and a long, long caressing finish. Superb. This is edging out the 1995. (Web Only-2007)

95 points James Suckling

 Currants, minerals and flowers on the nose and palate. Full-bodied, with layered tannins and a fresh, clean finish. A beautiful precision to the wine. Drinking beautifully.  (3/ 2012)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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.  (4/ 1999)

Jancis Robinson

 This is the wine that Jean-Marc Quarin wrote about at length in relation to decanting it. This bottle was opened an hour before tasting. Very dark crimson with a little more sign of evolution than the 1995. Solid meat extract sort of nose -- very much a notch up from the Clerc Milon and Armailhac. Very concentrated. Quite refined tannins and lovely savour. Worth waiting for, I think, and Philippe Dalhuin is convinced that it needs some aeration before serving. It is pretty solid but there is lots there. Funnily enough this seems a little more burnt on the nose than the drought vintage of 1995. And a bit skinnier. 18/20 points. Drink 2015-2030.  (9/ 2011)

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Price: $499.99

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Pauillac

- Pauillac is probably the most famous village in Bordeaux. Located between St. Julien and St. Estephe, it has more of the top ranked chateau than the other four appellations of the Haut Medoc. This area has three of the five premier cru classe wineries: Lafite Rothschild, Latour, and Mouton Rothschild. There are two of the top second-growths (Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron) as well as several outstanding fourth and fifth-growth chateaux including Lynch Bages. Because of the gravely soils and great drainage, Pauillac has the ideal conditions to grow great Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines from this village are some of the longest-lived in Bordeaux.