Robert Parker 91
Tasted blind as a vintage comparison at the Valandraud vertical, the 2002 Mouton-Rothschild is a wine that burned brightly in its youth, though recent encounters suggest that maybe it is beginning to flag as it enters what you might call middle age. Here, it has a conservative bouquet with blackberry, cedar, warm bricks and melted tar aromas – an unfussy, uncomplicated, quite serious Pauillac bouquet. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity. It feels lively on the entry with fine tannin, a Mouton that is nimble on its feet with a gentle grip towards the finish, which offers a satisfying aftertaste of spice and clove. It does not mirror some of the outstanding bottles I consumed within the first decade of its life, and peering into this First Growth, it is difficult to see whether it will repay those who cellar it longer. Tasted December 2016.
Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027
Deep crimson. Firm, strongly cassis nose. Very voluptuous texture. Appetising and beautifully balanced. Obviously Médoc. Dried out a little on the end but the contrast between the flesh of this wine and skinniness of the Margaux tasted immediately beforehand could not have been more marked. It was still fresh and clean 24 hours afterwards but had lost a little density.
Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030
Good saturated ruby-red. Tight nose hints at currant and smoky oak. Highly concentrated, densely packed and built to age. As young as it is, it also shows a lovely velvety texture rare for this vintage. Finishes with terrific breadth, subtle minerality and noble tannins. I’ve been a fan of this wine since the outset.