1990 Mouton Rothschild

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£329.00 DP

Average critic rating : 89.88 points



For a first-growth, this is an unqualified failure. It’s hard to know what went wrong, but after numerous tastings it is clear that this is a superficial, light Mouton that is already revealing some pink around the edge. Fresh menthol-infused red and black fruit notes are present, but the wine is medium-bodied and dry with an angular, austere finish. Very disappointing. Jun 2009, www.robertparker.com



A less-than-extraordinary Mouton with licorice and sandalwood on the nose. But this is still lovely and easy to drink. Medium body, good fruit and soft tannins. Oct 2015, www.jamessuckling.com



Not the most glorious 1990. Leathery, balsam notes on the nose and not nearly as rich and velvety as many of its peers in this super-ripe vintage. The acidity is becoming prominent and there is a lack of real concentration. With time in the glass it opened out to a certain lusciousness but then finished rather dry, even a little astringent. Jul 2015, www.jancisrobinson.com, Drink: 2000-2020



(81% cabernet sauvignon, 10% cabernet franc, and 9% merlot; pH 3.69; IPT 60; 12.2% alcohol; 76% new oak; a 79% selection): Bright red with a pale rim. Knockout nose of aromatic herbs, strawberry, sweet spices and acacia flower; yet another wine strongly marked by its cabernet franc presence. Fresh and vibrant, this absolutely dances on the palate with strawberry, sour red cherry and raspberry flavors complicated by gunflint and herbs. High acidity provides great clarity and cut to the long, floral, smoothly tannic finish. This has improved considerably with bottle age. Harvested from September 18 through October 3, this Mouton offers amazing balance and fragrance. In 1990 Mouton was still using a heavy toast for its barriques, which resulted in a smoky quality in the wines that was considered by many to be just as typical of Mouton as its opulence. "But we began turning things back in 1993, as we saw that our 1992 was a little unbalanced from the use of heavily toasted barrels," said Tourbier remarks. Aug 2011, www.vinous.com

Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.

Chart showing (to 29/03/2017) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Mouton Rothschild 1990
+£2,700.67     (+216.75%) Latest price:  £3,946.67
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Mouton-Rothschild: The Importance

Mouton-Rothschild, the neighbour of Lafite-Rothschild, is a First Growth Bordeaux. This fact in itself makes this Pauillac one of the most important wines on the planet, but the chateau’s history and an often cited “flamboyance” are what set it apart.

There have only ever been three changes made to the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. Two were trivial, seeing Cantemerle being incorporated after having been originally omitted and Dubignon being removed when it became part of Malescot St. Exupéry. The only truly important change was Mouton-Rothschild being elevated from second growth to first growth in 1973, making it the only wine to have ever been upgraded. This occurred because its quality and price regularly surpassed those above it.

In the words of Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin: “Mouton is unashamedly gregarious, flamboyant and melodramatic… Mouton is a splash of colour in what can be a monochromatic region.” He also says that “a great Mouton-Rothschild, of which there are many, is a sensational wine that can eclipse its contemporaries.”


Mouton-Rothschild’s Grand Vin has received perfect scores from Robert Parker for four separate vintages and from Jancis Robinson for five.


Mouton-Rothschild: The Insight

Mouton-Rothschild’s vineyards are roughly 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the remainder being made up roughly equally of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, plus a tiny proportion of Petit Verdot. Each parcel has the same team responsible for it year in, year out. This tight viticulture practice and attention to detail keep the estate at the top of its game.

The legendary 1945, 1959, 1961, 1982 and 1986 vintages are often used to benchmark other wines. And the château also produces a popular white wine called Aile d’Argent  and a second wine called Le Petit Mouton, the latter being first introduced in 1993 and has played a major part in the improved quality, since the 1990s, of the Grand Vin itself. The estate also has joint ventures with Robert Mondavi in California, Opus One, and Concha y Toro in Chile, Almaviva.

In 1945 Mouton-Rothschild introduced constantly changing labels for each vintage, making it not only a thing of beauty on the outside as well as the inside, but it also gives added appeal for collectors as they have featured great artists such as Miro, Picasso, Warhol, Bacon and many more.

The 1970 vintage came second in the 1976 Judgement of Paris as the highest ranked French wine in the competition.

Mouton-Rothschild: The Background

This Pauillac property was originally called Brane-Mouton, with the “Mouton” being a reference to the small hill on which it sits; the “Mouton Plateau” consisting of deep gravel over limestone.

A temporary decline in the 1840s saw it narrowly miss out classification as a First Growth in 1855. However, it was bought by the Rothschild family, who renamed it, and the restoration of its reputation began. The major driving force behind the revolution was Baron Philippe de Rothschild, who made Mouton-Rothschild the first estate to bottle all its own production in 1924. Mouton-Rothschild was confiscated during World War II, Baron Philippe escaped to London, but unfortunately his wife died in a concentration camp. To celebrate the end of the war and the liberation of France, Baron Philippe de Rothschild introduced changing labels for each vintage starting in 1945, which continue to add to the collectable nature of these wines today. His lobbying, campaigning and improvements in quality saw the château upgraded to First Growth status in 1973, the only Bordeaux to ever achieve this. In response Baron Philippe famously said: "Premiere je suis, second je fus, Mouton ne change", translating as: "First I am, second I was, Mouton does not change".

Still owned by the Rothschild family, the estate produces around 20,000 cases per year of what is without question one of the world’s most sought-after wines.

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