It is four years since I last tasted the 1996 Château Mouton-Rothschild. Approaching 20 years old, the nose is now open for business but remaining classic in style, a mixture of red and black fruit, hickory, cedar and just a hint of lavender. It is very complex and beautifully defined. The palate is medium-bodied with a slightly herbaceous, undergrowth-tinged opening, the tannins just a little abrasive at the moment, exerting a firmness in the mouth. I feel it is almost as if the palate has not kept pace with the aromatics, requiring more substance to fill out the foursquare finish. If you like a slightly more austere Pauillac then you will adore this, though I don't think it quite reaches the potential that it showed a few years ago. Tasted August 2016.