Mouton Rothschild 1988
Tasting Notes and Scores
Wine Advocate August, 1993
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. Last tasted,
The 1988 Mouton has an attractive aroma of exotic spices, minerals, coffee, black currants, and sweet oak. Much like the 1989, the bouquet is staggering, but the flavors are distinctly less profound. In the mouth, it is a much firmer, tougher, more obviously tannic wine than the 1989, with medium body and outstanding ripeness. A beautifully made 1988 that will last 20-25 years, its short finish keeps it from being sublime. The 1988 is somewhat reminiscent of the 1985, but with more tannin. Anticipated maturity: Now-2020. (89)
The 1988 Mouton-Rothschild is a vintage that I have not tasted for several years (although it was a regular fixture during the 2000s). It is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 13% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. Showing some signs of bricking on the rim, it has certainly matured with a little more alacrity in the last few years, fully mature with blackberry, freshly rolled tobacco, sandalwood and mint. To be frank, it does not put a distance between itself and its peers. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin: soy-tinged black fruit, foursquare with a sharp tang of spice towards the linear finish. It feels conservative and correct, although it does not give the delineation and precision that I feel that Philippe Dhalluin has imparted in recent vintages. Tasted at the château.
Very pretty aromas of vanilla, tobacco, berry and chocolate. Medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins and a berry, chocolate finish. Not very dense. This pales compared with the other top Pauillacs. I never thought this was a perfect wine, but it gives great pleasure.--'88/'98 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2008). James Suckling
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.