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After less than persuasive performances in two potentially great years, 1989 and 1990, Mouton-Rothschild appears to have settled down, producing fine efforts in recent vintages, culminating with the enormously promising, unquestionably profound 1995. This beautifully made wine could be considered a sleeper of the vintage. The wine boasts a dark purple color, followed by a sweet, pain grillee, roasted nut, and cassis-scented bouquet that is just beginning to open. In the mouth, the wine may not possess the body and volume of a vintage such as 1990 or 1989, but there is more richness of fruit, a sweet, ripe, pureness to the wine, as well as medium body and outstanding balance. This moderately tannic, well-focused, surprisingly rich 1993 is capable of 15-20 years of evolution.Readers should note that this wine comes with two labels. The original label, with its delicate yet unprovocative portrait nude of a pre-teenager by Balthus, was banned as a result of protests from America's neo-puritans. What has resulted is considerable speculation in the original label, which is selling at $50 more than the blank creamy white-colored label that is "officially" sported by those bottles of Mouton-Rothschild imported to America. Although Mouton-Rothschild can be among the most inconsistent first-growths, when this estate gets everything right, the wine can be as compelling as any produced in Bordeaux.
This wine has a moderate intensity of colour, although there is an orange-tawny tinge to the wine suggesting advancing maturity. Some complexity on the nose, with spices, nuts and some fruit. Moderate weight on the palate, and there is still some tannin around although this is not problematic. Seems short on fruit, though, and a little thin through the midpalate. Some spice and nut character despite this, though, and fairly soft acidity. Those tannins are just about ready, so drinking about a year from now I would say.
Mouton comes through again. Impressive '93, deep in color and full-bodied, boasting plenty of currant, black cherry, mint and toast character. Well crafted, showing depth for this vintage. Give the tannins some time to mellow.
Château Mouton Rothschild, owned by Baroness Philippine de Rothschild and her children, is regarded as one of the world’s greatest wines. The story of Mouton Rothschild is that of a magical combination of soil, climate and devotion of one man, Baron Philippe de Rothschild (1902-1988), Baroness Philippine’s father. In 1853, Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild, from the English branch of the family, bought Château Brane-Mouton and immediately renamed it in Mouton Rothschild. Baron Philippe de Rothschild, when he took over the estate in 1922, decided to devote his life to it and to make Mouton unique, producing the very best wine. In 1924, he was the first to introduce entire chateau bottling. In 1926, he built the majestic 100-metre barrel hall. In 1945, to celebrate the liberation of France, he had the idea of crowning the label of that year’s vintage with a V for Victory. Since then, a different label is created for each vintage by famous painters. In 1962, he opened the Museum of Wine in Art. In 1973, he obtained the revision of the 1855 classification so that Mouton would be officially recognized as a First Growth.
Owner: Baronne Philippine de Rothschild
Manager: Philippe Dhalluin, Eric Tourbier
Cellar master: Gérard Linaires
Blend of the 1993 vintage: 7% Cabernet Franc, 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot
Ageing: 90% in new barrels during 20 month/s
Area: 84 hectares
Average age of the vines: 48 years
Density of the vines: 8500 feet per hectare:
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