Chateau Mouton Rothschild   Mouton Rothschild

1986 Mouton Rothschild

By Chateau Mouton Rothschild

1986 Mouton Rothschild from Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux

The 1986 vintage from the iconic Chateau Mouton Rothschild is a splendid testament to the enduring legacy of this storied Pauillac estate. This remarkable year bore witness to a mélange of ideal climatic conditions that coerced the grapevines into yielding fruit of extraordinary calibre. Notably, the season commenced with a benign winter followed by a conducive spring, setting the stage for a summer that was quintessentially Bordelais – warm and dry without excess.


An Exquisite Artifact of Time and Terroir

As I swirled the deep garnet nectar within my glass, I was transported to the gravelly soils that cradle the roots of Mouton Rothschild’s venerable vines. The 1986 Mouton Rothschild reveals itself with an aristocratic poise, brandishing a bouquet dense with blackcurrant, cedar, and hints of exotic spices. Decades of patient cellaring have nurtured the tannins to a state of mellow refinement, intertwining with the robust backbone of acidity to create a harmonious balance – a salient feature that underscores its longevity.


The Quintessential Investment Vintage

Savouring the 1986 Mouton Rothschild is akin to reading a chapter from Bordeaux's rich anthology, where each sip encapsulates a history of fastidious viticulture and vinification prowess. The wine’s evolution in bottle has been stately and assured, reaffirming why connoisseurs and wine investors alike champion it as one of the finest investments from the 1980s era.

With each passing year, the 1986 Mouton Rothschild matures into an increasingly rarer commodity; its stature within investment portfolios as rock-solid as the iron fist in a velvet glove that embodies its palate. It remains, unambiguously, one of the most sought-after vintages for those who seek both pleasure and providence in their acquisitions.

In summary, this vintage is not just wine; it's an artefact—a brilliant exhibit representing a year when everything fell neatly into place for Chateau Mouton Rothschild. The prodigious '86 stands mightily amongst its peers as an investable legend that transcends mere consumption, becoming a cornerstone collection piece that rewards both the palate and the portfolio.

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Scores and tasting notes


The 1986 Mouton-Rothschild is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot that was picked from 2 October until 16 October. Winemaker Philippe Dhalluin, who was not working at the property back then, told me that the pH was fairly low at 3.54 when it is usually around 3.75, due to the natural tartaric acid in the vines. It has a powerful and intense bouquet as always: exemplary graphite and cedar scents, a touch of black pepper and incense. It seems to unfurl in the glass, like a motor revving its engine. The palate is beautifully balanced with its trademark firm tannic structure, a Mouton-Rothschild with backbone and masculinity. Layers of black fruit intermingling with mint and graphite, a hint of licorice emanating from the Merlot, gently fanning out and my God, it is incredibly long. It is not like the 1985 Mouton-Rothschild that is so fleshy and generous. This is serious, aristocratic Mouton, a true vin de garde and yes, I do think drinkers will have to wait until it reaches its true peak. Sometimes that's just the way it is. Tasted September 2016.

Neal Martin - The Wine Advocate, 30 December 2016


After stumbling over some wines I thought were high class Bordeaux, I nailed this wine in one of the blind tastings for this article. In most tastings where a great Bordeaux is inserted with California Cabernets, the Bordeaux comes across as drier, more austere, and not nearly as rich and concentrated (California wines are inevitably fruitier and more massive). To put it mildly, the 1986 Mouton-Rothschild held its own (and then some), in a flight that included the Caymus Special Selection, Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23, Dunn Howell Mountain, and Joseph Phelps Eisele Vineyard. Clearly the youngest looking, most opaque and concentrated wine of the group, it tastes as if it has not budged in development since I first tasted it out of barrel in March, 1987. An enormously concentrated, massive Mouton-Rothschild, comparable in quality, but not style, to the 1982, 1959, and 1945, this impeccably made wine is still in its infancy. Interestingly, when I was in Bordeaux several years ago, I had this wine served to me blind from a magnum that had been opened and decanted 48 hours previously. Even then, it still tasted like a barrel sample! I suspect the 1986 Mouton-Rothschild requires a minimum of 15-20 more years of cellaring; it has the potential to last for 50-100 years! Given the outrageously high prices being fetched by so many of the great 1982s and 1990s (and lest I forget, the 1995 Bordeaux futures), it appears this wine might still be one of the "relative bargains" in the fine wine marketplace. I wonder how many readers will be in shape to drink it when it does finally reach full maturity? The tasting notes for this section are from two single blind tastings, one conducted in May, 1996, in California, and the other in June, 1996, in Baltimore.

Robert Parker Jr - Wine Advocate #106 August 1996


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.

Neal Martin - Wine Journal May 2011

Vintage performance