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93 Points | Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
95 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - August 2011
(a blend of 86% cabernet sauvignon and 14% merlot; pH 3.85; 69 IPT; 12.3% alcohol; 85% selection for the grand vin; 85% new oak): Bright deep ruby with the barest hint of garnet; still very youthful. Enticing, complex nose of cassis, smoky cedar, violet, underbrush and kirsch; very Pauillac, if in a ripe style. Dense, rich and suave in the mouth, with lively acidity nicely framing the rich flavors of blackcurrant, blackberry jam, milk chocolate, grilled bread and spicy underbrush. Finishes with noble tannins and outstanding chocolatey persistence. A great Mouton and much better than another recently tasted bottle that had shown some signs of premature evolution. Though this wine comes across as quite smoky and chocolatey, Tourbier points out that Mouton has been using barrels with a medium or medium-plus toast since 1994 (more heavily charred barrels were used here from 1989 through 1993). The excellent millennium vintage featured a hot and humid year characterized by a very large crop and a fairly rainy first part of the year, but a very dry and warm second half resulted in considerable hydric stress (especially on the Right Bank.)