Château Mouton Rothschild 2019
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 2019 Château Mouton Rothschild offers the same crème de cassis, graphite, toasted spice, and gravelly minerality, yet turns up the dial and is full-bodied, concentrated, flawlessly balanced, and has the purity and elegance of the vintage, yet brings plenty of power. The tannins are incredibly polished, which will give this plenty of early appeal, yet it's still going to evolve for 40-50 years or more. A more elegant version of the 2009? A blend 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot, it's quintessential Pauillac as well as a textbook 2019." - Jeb Dunnuck (6/11/2020) Rating: 97-99, Drink: 2020-2070
"The blend this year is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 18th of September to the 5th of October. Opaque purple-black colored, the 2019 Mouton Rothschild simply shines, even at this very nascent stage, beaming from the glass with bright, vibrant scents of crème de cassis, blueberry preserves, boysenberries and black raspberries plus fragrant suggestions of lilacs, dark chocolate, sandalwood, jasmine tea and woodsmoke with a spicy waft of star anise. The medium-bodied palate shimmers with energy, featuring tightly wound layers of black fruits, exotic spices and mineral notions, framed by exquisitely ripe, fine-grained tannins and bags of freshness, finishing with epic length and perfume. This year's profound expression is without doubt a legend in the making. (For number crunchers, the alcohol is 13.5% this year, slightly lower than 2018, which came in at 13.8%.)" - Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (6/8/2020, Bordeaux 2019 Issue), Ratings: 98-100
"The 2019 Mouton Rothschild comes off the back of a succession of superlative wines that you would have to go back to the late Forties to see again. Deep in colour, it has a very composed and refined bouquet: very pure blackberry intermingling with bilberry and graphite, touches of Earl Grey and crushed stone emerging after several minutes in the glass. The palate is beautifully balanced with finely-chiseled tannins, a little spicier than the previous vintage from barrel last year, gently building and fanning out towards the poised finish. This is a sophisticated, classic Mouton-Rothschild that will require a little more cellaring than some recent vintages, but will surely be worth the wait." - Neal Martin, Vinous (6/2020) Rating: 96-98, Drink: 2027-2060
|Château Mouton Rothschild
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