Château Mouton Rothschild

Vines first emerged on what is now known as the Mouton-Rothschild estate in the early 18th century! Throughout the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century, the quality of the wines steadily improved and matched even the most renowned Bordeaux wines.

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The History

There was, admittedly, a short fall from grace in the 1840s, which cost Mouton its anticipated status as a First Growth wine when the 1855 Classification was published.

The famed Rothschild family purchased the property in 1853, which quickly restored Mouton’s reputation. The driving force behind this wine’s current impeccable status, though, was Baron Philippe de Rothschild, who assumed control in 1922.

Baron Philippe revolutionised the estate’s direction; he was the first to introduce château-bottling as early as 1924. After the Second World War, he initiated the practise of employing different artists each year to design unique labels. His greatest achievement, however, was to have Mouton upgraded to First Growth Status in 1973, the only change in history to be made to the 1855 Classification. Because the rankings were decided based on the marketplace prices the wines had been fetching, and Mouton had been either matching or surpassing other First Growths in price, the promotion was incontestable. Pablo Picasso designed the label of that exalted 1973 wine.

After Philippe died in 1988, the estate passed into the hands of his daughter, Philippine.

The vineyard spans 75 hectares of mainly gravel-based soils and is planted to a majority Cabernet Sauvignon (80%), with the rest comprised of Cabernet Franc (10%), Merlot (8%), and Petit Verdot (2%). The grapes are hand-picked and fermented in barrel rather than in vat. After fermentation, the wine is aged in new oak for 22 months before bottling. Total production is 25-30,000 cases, which is split between Mouton itself and the second wine, Le Petit Mouton (est. 1993).

Critics found the wines of the 1990s to be less than profound, citing too high of a percentage of the crop being used in the Grand Vin compared to other First Growths. In recent years, though, Estate Director Hervé Berland has gradually polished the viticultural and wine-making practice. As a result, Mouton is once again revered as one of Bordeaux’s very best wines.

In style, the wines have immense appeal with exotic, powerful aromas of cassis, minerals, tobacco leaf and graphite, backed by an opulence on the palate and impressive length on the finish. “Flamboyant” is a word used to describe Mouton in tasting notes, and that particular description is often what sets the wine apart during blind tastings.

Mouton has frequently produced the “wine of the vintage”, and under Hervé Berland’s direction, will surely solidify the status as one of the world’s greatest estates.

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Email: sales@liquidopulence.co.uk

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