1998 Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac

SKU #996409 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Like many of its peers, the 1998 has filled out spectacularly. Now in the bottle, this opaque black/purple-colored offering has increased in stature, richness, and size. A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc (57% of the production was utilized), it is an extremely powerful, super-concentrated wine offering notes of roasted espresso, creme de cassis, smoke, new saddle leather, graphite, and licorice. It is massive, with awesome concentration, mouth-searing tannin levels, and a saturated flavor profile that grips the mouth with considerable intensity. This is a 50-year Mouton, but patience will be required as it will not be close to drinkability for at least a decade. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2050. (RP)  (4/ 2001)

94 points Wine & Spirits

 *no tasting note given*  (4/ 2002)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Very deep saturated ruby. Archetypical cabernet sauvignon-dominated nose offers fresh blackcurrant, lead pencil and flowers complicated by strong spice notes. Bright and juicy on entry, with very pure flavors of dark berries, underbrush and dried herbs, then slightly austere and linear in the middle palate. Finishes with a lingering saline nuance and very good length. A very refined and impeccably balanced Mouton, but I would have liked a little bit more concentration and opulence for an even higher score. This classic Mouton possesses relatively high acidity and a solid tannic structure; it offers early accessibility but should age effortlessly for another 15 or 20 years. In 1998, after a couple years of experimentation, Mouton began to de-leaf in a systematic fashion on both sides of the vine rows. Another vintage with a large crop, 1998 featured an unsettled September with rain falling during the cabernet sauvignon harvest (one of the reasons why 1998 is widely considered a Right Bank year.) 93(+?) points.  (8/ 2011)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Blackberry and violets on the nose, with hints of roses. Sweet tobacco too. Full-bodied, with a solid core of fruit and round tannins. A little tight and reserved now. Give it time. (Web Only-2009)

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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.