Château Mouton Rothschild is located in the commune of Pauillac, in the Medoc, 30 miles (50km) northwest of the city of Bordeaux. The grand vin is among the most highly rated and priced wines in the world, and is generally regarded as the most exuberant and powerful of all Bordeaux. It was famously added to the First Growths set out in the 1855 Classification in 1973.
The château started life as Brane-Mouton, and was among the best in Bordeaux through the 18th and early 19th Centuries, although there was a dip in quality and price in the 1840s. The Rothschild family bought (and renamed) the property in 1853 and quickly restored its reputation, but not in time for the 1855 Classification of Médoc wines, in which Mouton was only ranked a second growth wine. Lafite, Latour, Margaux and Haut-Brion attained Premier Cru Classé status.
The estate comprises 84 hectares (207 acres) of vineyards, mainly on gravel-based soils, and is situated in the northern part of the commune just south of Château Lafite Rothschild. Most of the vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon (80 percent), with 16 percent planted to Merlot as well as small plots of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The portion of each variety vinified into the grand vin depends on the vintage but will always be Cabernet Sauvignon dominant thanks to variety’s rich content of supple tannins.
The vineyard, typically for top Médoc estates, is densely planted and the average vine age is more than 40 years old. Harvest is done by hand, and the juice is fermented in oak vats in a gravity-fed vat room opened in 2012. After fermentation, the wine sees 18 months in new oak prior to bottling.
The nose is elegant, racy and offers power with delicacy, intensity and a fine, racy and elegant grain. There are notes of crunchy wild blackberry, black berries and more slightly Sichuan pepper combined with hints of crushed currants, racy/terroir gravel, fine violet, grey pepper, a subtle hint of lily, spice and a very discreet hint of cornflower, graphite, camphor and saffron (on the flowery side). A very discreet almost balsamic touch. The palate is fresh, mineral, fruity, balanced and offers good definition, juiciness, depth, gourmandise, an acidic frame, tension in finesse/delicacy, cleanliness, fleshiness as well as a nice fine and racy texture. On the palate this wine expresses crunchy/acidic black cherry, pulpy redcurrant and slightly tart/juicy blackcurrant notes combined with hints of blueberry, violet, blond tobacco, fine camphor, toasted almond and a subtle hint of spice, almost crushed blueberry and vanilla. A very discreet hint of fresh leather. The tannins are elegant. Nice bitterness and a hint of roast on the finish (brings sapidity and sweetness).