Notorious for not living up to the estate’s nor the vintage’s reputations, I have to say this 1990 Mouton Rothschild was not looking nearly as bad as I was expecting. This was a hot, dry vintage, which can be a challenge for vines on such free-draining soils as the deep gravel-mounds composing the backbone of Mouton’s vineyards. The effect of the struggling vines is apparent in the wine, yielding less density and chewier tannins. Nonetheless, the terroir's pedigree clearly glimmers in the background. The wine displays a brick color with subtle, compellingly elegant redcurrant jelly, dried cranberries and powdered cinnamon notes plus wafts of potpourri, dried figs, unsmoked cigars and dusty soil. Medium-bodied, it is notably far more delicately fruited than one would expect of Mouton, structured with bold freshness and a light chew of tannins before finishing on a mineral note. Indeed, it is skinny compared to great vintages, but it is aging gracefully. For readers who love those soft-spoken, more delicately expressed styles, this one’s for you!