(72% cabernet sauvignon, 19% merlot and 9% cabernet franc; pH 3.68; IPT 64; 12.4% alcohol; 88% new oak; 95% selection for the grand vin): Very dark, fully saturated ruby to the rim. Deep, brooding, rich aromas of blackberry, violet, milk chocolate, black pepper, cedar and incense; sexy and captivating. Bright and focused on entry, then rich, very smooth and suave, with highly concentrated flavors of red berries, dark plum, cedar and graphite. The extremely long, juicy finish features lively acids, great balance and persistent notes of underbrush and minerals. The mounting tannins coat the palate dry and are still years away from resolving fully. Harvested from September 12 through 27, which suggests that the merlot was probably very ripe. According to Tourbier, "We included a bit more merlot than usual because we felt the cabernet sauvignon had particularly tough tannins in 1995 and we didn’t want to risk making too tough or structured a wine. So we used the merlot to soften it up a bit." The estate was so happy with the quality of the wine (and the rather high 95% selection for the grand vin speaks volumes), said Tourbier, that they only made 15 barriques of the second wine Petit Mouton, which was launched with the 1993 vintage. A huge volume year, 1995 was characterized by very fine weather through most of the growth cycle but was marred by September rains.
Robert Parker 94
While the 1995 Mouton Rothschild has begun to soften somewhat in the last six or seven years, it remains remarkably youthful. Offering up a deep and primary bouquet of ripe cassis fruit and creamy new oak, it’s medium to full-bodied, rich and layered, with a vibrant core of concentrated fruit, powdery tannins and a long, resonant finish. This is a pure, beautifully balanced Mouton that simply hasn’t evolved very much, even as it closes in on its third decade. While I can attest that it can be drunk with great enjoyment today, real complexity has yet to emerge.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2055