Aile d’Argent 2019
Château Mouton Rothschild spans 84 hectares (207 acres) of vines at Pauillac in the Médoc, planted with the traditional varieties of the region: Cabernet Sauvignon (80%), Merlot (16%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (1%). The vineyard is densely planted – 10,000 vines per hectare – and the average age of the vines is around 45 years.
The estate also comprises 7 hectares of sandy, gravelly soil planted with Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris (64%), Sémillon (35%) and Muscadelle (1%).
The estate benefits from exceptionally favourable natural conditions, in the quality of the soil, the position of its vines and their exposure to the sun. Combining respect for tradition with the latest technology, it receives meticulous attention from grape to bottle from highly skilled winemakers and vinegrowers responsible for each parcel of the estate. The grapes are harvested by hand in small open crates, sorted on vibrating tables and vinified in oak vats with transparent staves, after which the wine is matured in new oak barrels.
"Mouton's white is a blend this year of 61% Sauvignon Blanc, 38% Semillon and 1% Muscadelle, harvested from the 5th to the 11th of September. This 2019 Aile d'Argent sails of of the glass with beguiling scents of pink grapefruit, lemon drops, orange blossoms and candied ginger with hints of jasmine, lime cordial and coriander seed. The medium-bodied palate reveals compelling poise and sophistication, with a racy line of freshness lifting the citrus and spice layers to a long, opulent finish. Very impressive!
The grand vin has 90% Cabernet Sauvignon this year—among the highest percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon ever used—with less Merlot, just 9% Merlot,” technical director Philippe Dhalluin told me. “The Merlot was very good, maybe the best since 2010, but the Cabernet Sauvignon was just too good. We build the blends of Mouton and Petit Mouton together. This year they are very different styles. Generally, Petit Mouton comes from the border of this plot of excellence we use for the Mouton. But this year is different—more of this good Merlot. The biggest difference in the styles is the tannins, Petit Mouton’s are usually not as refined. The plateau of Carruades gives such an excellent style of tannins to Mouton!
Mouton’s grand vin is unquestionably one of the wine’s of the vintage, but I was surprised by the high quality of the estate’s dry white wine. Usually, great red wine years do not make such impressive whites. “Aile d’Argent for us was such a great surprise this year,” Dhalluin agreed with me. “In the end, the Semillon was such excellent quality. There’s a hint of exotic Muscat character in there. Really, it is an excellent vintage for this wine too—usually, odd vintages produce exceptional characters in Aile d’Argent!" - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (6/8/2020, Bordeaxu 2019 Issue), Rating: 93-95
|Brand||Château Mouton Rothschild|