Q: I have a bottle of 1998 Château Mouton-Rothschild Pauillac. I was given it a few years ago but never was able to cellar it. I finally bought a cooler and for six months, the wine has been there. I want to give it to a friend who has just given birth but am afraid it may not be suitable for her and her husband to enjoy. I am not sure of its condition, but I want them to celebrate with it. Do you recommend further cellaring, or can I tell them to enjoy? Also, can you tell me its value in it's current state; I would love to give them something special. —Chris, New York
A: Your 1998 Mouton-Rothschild scored 90 points, outstanding on Wine Spectator's 100-point scale, and averaged $309 per bottle in the first-half 2008 Wine Spectator Auction Index. You have probably accelerated its aging process by storing it (I assume) at room temperature, but it is likely to be perfectly drinkable now. It remains a very special wine.
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