Mouton Rothschild 1989
Tasting Notes and Scores
Considering the vintages and the estate, Mouton's performances in 1989 and 1990 are puzzling. I have tasted these wines multiple times since my last reviews appeared in print. The 1989 Mouton-Rothschild is the superior wine, but in no sense is this a compelling wine if compared to the Moutons produced in 1995, 1986, and 1982. The 1989 displays a dark ruby color that is already beginning to reveal significant lightening at the edge. The bouquet is surprisingly evolved, offering up scents of cedar, sweet black fruits, lead pencil, and toasty oak. This elegant, medium-bodied restrained wine is beautifully made, stylish, and not dissimilar to the 1985. It is an excellent to outstanding Mouton that should be close to full maturity in 4-5 years; it will drink well for 15-20.
Tasted from magnum and presented by Baron Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, the 1989 Château Mouton-Rothschild might not reach the ethereal heights of the 1982 or 1986, but it is certainly a lovely Claret. It has an attractive, slightly leafy bouquet armed with cedar and pencil lead. There is less fruit concentration than I expected, resolutely classic, slightly austere Bordeaux. The palate follows suit. What it lacks in substance it compensates with in balance and personality. This is an understated Mouton-Rothschild that is probably at its peak, although I envisage this offering another two decades of pleasure. Whilst this showing did not replicate some glorious bottles in the past, it remains a very fine Claret that may not be inclined to improve any further. Tasted February 2016.
Freshly picked blackberries turn into minty dark chocolate and oozing caramel with domineering eucalyptus on the nose. It becomes yet more complex on the palate thanks to layers upon layers of spices and sage plus fat and rounded tannins. There's a long finish with a bitter aftertaste, suggesting this could do with another 10 years or more of bottle aging. This is a Mouton I found massive at the time, then elegant and slightly austere years later, but today true to its former glory. Like the amazing 1947, it should not be forgotten.