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Mouton Rothschild

Château Mouton Rothschild is a wine estate located in the village of Pauillac in theMédoc, 50 km (30 mi) north-west of the city of Bordeaux, France. Its red wine of the same name is regarded as one of the world's greatest clarets. Originally known as Château Brane-Mouton it was renamed by Nathaniel de Rothschild in 1853 to Château Mouton Rothschild. It was the first estate to begin complete château bottling of the harvest.

The branch of the Rothschild family owning Mouton Rothschild are members of the Primum Familiae Vini.

Château Mouton Rothschild has its vineyards on the slopes leading down to the Gironde Estuary, in the Bordeaux region, mainly producing grapes of the Cabernet Sauvignon variety. Today, Château Mouton Rothschild has 203 acres (0.8 km2) of grape vines made up of Cabernet Sauvignon (77%), Merlot (11%), Cabernet Franc (10%) and Petit Verdot (2%). Their wine is fermented in oak vats (they are one of the last châteaux in the Médoc to use them) and then matured in new oak casks. It is also frequently confused with the widely distributed generic Bordeaux Mouton Cadet.

Baron Philippe de Rothschild came up with the idea of having each year's label designed by a famous artist of the day. In 1946, this became a permanent and significant aspect of the Mouton image with labels created by some of the world's great painters and sculptors. The only exception to date is the unusual gold-enamel bottle for 2000.

Artists such as Salvador Dalí, Francis Bacon, Picasso and Miró designed labels for bottles of Mouton Rothschild.

To celebrate the hundredth birthday of the acquisition of Château Mouton, the portrait of Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild appeared on the 1953 label. In 1977, Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother visited the château and a special label was designed to commemorate the visit.

Twice in the history of their special labels, there have been two used for the same year. The first occurred in 1978 when Montrealartist Jean-Paul Riopelle submitted two designs. Baron Philippe de Rothschild liked them equally so he split the production run and used both designs. The 1993 Mouton label, a pencil drawing of a nude reclining nymphet by the French painter Balthus was rejected for use in the United States by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. As such, for the U.S. market the label was made with a blank space where the image should have been and both versions are sought after by collectors. The popularity of the label images results in auction prices for older and more collectible years being far out of sync with the other first growths, whose labels do not change year to year.

Red

2006

Mouton Rothschild

Bordeaux

98+ RP

Mint 

6x75cl

1

IB

Still Wine

98+ Robert Parker

A sensational effort, the 2006 Mouton Rothschild exhibits an opaque purple color as well as a classic Mouton perfume of creme de cassis, flowers, blueberries, and only a hint of oak. Dalhuin told me that in whisky barrel-tasting vintages such as 1989 and 1990, Mouton was aged in heavily-toasted barrels, and they have backed off to a much lighter toast for the barrels’ interior. I think this has worked fabulously well with the cassis quality fruit they get from their Cabernet Sauvignon. The full-bodied, powerful 2006 possesses extraordinary purity and clarity. A large-scaled, massive Mouton Rothschild that ranks as one of the top four or five wines of the vintage, it may turn out to be the longest-lived wine of the vintage by a landslide. The label will undoubtedly be controversial as a relative of Sigmund Freud, Lucian Freud, has painted a rather comical Zebra staring aimlessly at what appears to be a palm tree in the middle of a stark courtyard. I suppose a psychiatrist could figure out the relationship between that artwork and wine, but I couldn’t see one. This utterly profound Mouton will need to sleep for 15+ years before it will reveal any secondary nuances, but it is a packed and stacked first-growth Pauillac of enormous potential. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2060+.

Ever since owner Philippine de Rothschild put Philippe Dalhuin in charge at Mouton in 2004 there has been a dramatic reduction in the amount of wine produced under the Mouton Rothschild label. The selection process has been ratcheted up to the level of other first-growths, and that is reflected in what is clearly the greatest Mouton produced since 1982 and 1986. As I indicated in my barrel tasting notes, only 44% of the crop made it into the 2006 grand vin, which is the lowest percentage in more than fifty years. The final blend includes a high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (87%) and the rest Merlot (13%). No Cabernet Franc was utilized in 2006, and purchasers will have a long wait until this wine reaches full maturity. Keep in mind that, where well-stored, the 1986 currently tastes like a 4-5 year old wine, and the 1982 is just beginning to enter early adolescence. If you extrapolate from that, the 2006 will need at least twenty years to reach a teen-age status, and probably will not hit its plateau of maturity for three decades.

 

97 Neal Martin

Tasted blind. This has a beautifully defined, crystalline bouquet with blackberry, plum and a touch of violets; beguiling lift from the glass, its fingers caressing the senses and luring you back into the glass. There is tangible mineralite here, a Pauillac that exudes breeding. The palate is very smooth and harmonious, perfect balance, a more feminine wine but there is undoubtedly still a great deal of power and cohesion. Lingers beautifully on the finish. Divine. Tasted January 2010.


Price: £2,503.00

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