1986 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac
This was the greatest bottle of the 1986 Mouton I have ever drunk. I have been lucky enough to drink it many times, but on occasions it has come across as very tight and reserved, even hard. Yet on this special night last Friday in Bangkok it was perfect – the perfect wine that it was purported to be for a very long time. How strange that the owner of Mouton, Philippine de Rothschild, died the same day. Please read my tribute to here. The bottle we drank showed amazing aromas of mushrooms, mint, minerals and dark berries. It boasted a fully body of ultra richness and extraordinary length and beauty. It had an almost chiseled precision to the quality with fabulous length. It lasts for minutes on the palate. My Thai friend decanted it four hours before serving.
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. (LPB)
Philippe Dhalluin served the 1986 Mouton Rothschild to wrap up our vertical. The 1986 remains one of my favorite Moutons. A dark, powerful wine, the 1986 is endowed with a vertical sense of structure that is a marvel to behold. Dark stone fruit, smoke, graphite, mocha, soy and licorice are fused together in a marvelously intense, deep Mouton that promises to drink well for another few decades. Tonight, the 1986 is absolutely stunning. The blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Harvest started on October 2nd and wrapped up on the 16th. (AG)
Ageless, yet balanced. Black color. Mint, mineral, berry and cherry. Full-bodied, chewy and tight. Long, long finish. A great, great wine. (JS)
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.'
This was always an exceptional wine, but an exceptionally slow-maturing one. It was served blind and seemed immediately like Mouton with its sweet, light mintiness and spice. This opulent monument of a wine has at least cast off enough tannin to provide majestic drinking now. What a treat to encounter this wine again at this exciting stage of its life. 19/20 Points.
97 points Neal Martin's Wine Journal: "Tasted at the Claret Club Mouton-Rothschild dinner. This is one of the finest bottles of Mouton-Rothschild of the decade. Stunning definition on the nose with a touch of mint and graphite, the palate imbued with an almost sorbet-like freshness and vitality. Wonderful symmetry and very classic and masculine towards the finish. Incredible persistency and yet still a long way to go. Tasted November 2010." (eRobertParker.com, 5/2011)