Château Mouton Rothschild 2014
The story of Château Mouton Rothschild is proof that sometimes greatness is earned after a tireless struggle to achieve excellence and recognition. Château Mouton was initially ranked as a Second Growth during the original Official 1855 Classification. In 1922, the estate was aquired by Baron Phillippe de Rothschild - a true rennaissance man, who added his name to the label. The Baron was a Grand Prix racecar driver, a screenwriter, a playwright, a theatrical producer, a poet, and one of the most successful winegrowers in Bordeaux. He also happened to be an enormous personality, and would later refer to Château Mouton Rothschild's Second Growth Classification as a, “monstrous injustice.”
It was the Baron's lifelong crusade to prove that Mouton Rothschild deserved the First Growth designation and as a form of protest, he added the statement to the wine label: Premier ne puis, second ne daigne, Mouton suis (“First I cannot be. Second I do not deign to be. Mouton, I am.”).
After decades of relentless lobbying (for the Official 1855 Classification not only required peer ackowledgement, but also demanded a French government agency's sign-off), Château Mouton Rothschild earned its proper designation as a Premier Cru Classé – or a First Growth - in 1973.
The grounds of Mouton Rothschild consist of 90 hectares of vines, sandwiched by the Gironde estuary and the Atlantic Ocean. Plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and even some white varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle can be found here. The 42-year-old vines are planted close to the Gironde which irrigates them and moderates the surrounding temperature. The vineyards are heavily graveled and gently sloped, filled with vines that produce flamboyant yet powerful wines.
The case of Château Mouton Rothschild is a unique one. These wines are estate grown, picked by hand, produced at the chateau and known for their exotically opulent style. The Baron was also one of the early property owners to insist on estate bottling, a practice that has become the standard since 1920s. Many a member of the Rothschild family delegates their free time to creative pursuits like writing, directing, and acting when not managing the vineyards. This creativity that flows abundantly within the family veins lends an understanding that winemaking is an artform, and since 1945 each bottle of Mouton Rothschild has a special label created by a famous artist under the commission of the chateau. The labels themselves are worthy of a collector, featuring - but not limited to – the works of Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol. When purchasing a bottle of Mouton Rothschild, one purchases a work of art.
The spirit of Mouton Rothschild is one of relentless determination and creativity. It is no wonder that their best wines possess a brawny decadence that borders upon ostentatiousness. For the Rothschilds, being “second best,” is not an option. It is no wonder the phrase on each bottle now is: Premier je suis, Second je fus, Mouton ne change ("I am first. I used to be second. Mouton does not change.").
"The 2014 Mouton Rothschild was closed at first when I tasted the wine in bottle with winemaker Philippe Dhalluin. But as it transpires, this First Growth is just toying with you. Initially quite understated, it responds to aeration like a young child peeking from around a corner and then running out, waving its hands. It suddenly hits you with gorgeous black cherries, bilberry, cedar and wilted rose petal. The palate is medium-bodied with a silky smooth entry. This is utterly seductive: a wine without a hair out of place. It is not as powerful or as complex as the 2015 Mouton Rothschild, yet the precision and focus here is beguiling. It will require five to seven years to absorb the 100% new oak, then it will be an utterly delicious and to use a term employed at en primeur, "cerebral" First Growth that is destined to give two or three decades of pleasure." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (3/31/2017, Interim Issue) Rating: 95 Drink: 2022 - 2060
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|Brand||Château Mouton Rothschild|