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2013 1er Cru Classé Pauillac

Grapes Cab Sauv, Merlot
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Pauillac
Classification 1er Cru Classé
ABV 13%

I tasted Mouton as usual once only, at the Château, and was left rather perplexed. 'A deep sustained colour, it is round and plump and rich on the palate, slowly drying as the oak takes hold. Feels very dry, with no real lift or distinction, as though it was been ironed out.' Now clearly this is more likely to be me or the sample as most other tasters seem to have found it to be one of the wines of the vintage. Rating: ? Read the others! L&S (Apr 2014)

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The 2013 Mouton Rothschild is the best of the Medoc first-growths in this vintage. It was the smallest crop at Mouton since 1969, even smaller than their 1991. Only 45% of the crop made it into the final blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc. One of the few 2013s to reveal serious depth, it displays a dense saturated ruby/purple color along with spicy creme de cassis, licorice and forest floor characteristics. Elegant, medium-bodied and more concentrated than most of its peers, it even reveals some tannins, suggesting 2-5 years of bottle age may be needed. It should last for 15-20 years. Kudos to administrator Philippe Dhalluin. 2014-2034 Rating: 91-93 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, 2014)

(89% cabernet sauvignon, 7% merlot and 4% cabernet franc): Dark red-ruby. Raspberry and blackberry aromas are complicated by floral red cherry and cocoa on the nose. Compellingly sweet and vibrant in the mouth, with a chewy underlying mineral character giving shape to the ripe red cherry flavors. Finishes pure and very long, with unusual depth of fruit and ripeness of tannins for the year. One of the very few 2013s that I think has the structure and the balance to age gracefully beyond 15 years. A beautifully made wine, Mouton is my choice for best Left Bank first growth of the year. Rating: 90-93 Ian d'Agata - Stephen Tanzer website(May 2014)

Rich on the nose the palate has sweet ripe black fruits with depth at the start. The mid palate is leaner red fruited some bramble some bilberry the fruit backed by firm tannins. There is a richer feel on the back palate more depth of fruit with a nice length of flavour. 2018-30 Rating: 91-94 Derek Smedley MW, 2014)

Some people have identified Mouton as one of the wines of the vintage, but it didn’t taste that way to me. It’s certainly a rich wine for the vintage, with plenty of oak and stuffing (thanks to 89% Cabernet), with sweet cassis and bramble fruit, but the finish seemed a little dry and overwooded to me. Maybe it needs time. 2020-30 Rating: 92 Tim Atkin MW, 2014)

89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc. Sweet, ripe fruit. Finely tuned balance with very gentle tannins. Surprisingly gentle. They match the light body, however, and make it approachable in youth. Straightforward, fruity and digestible – though there is a length and concentration that suggests grander development awaits. 2018-2028 Rating: 17+ Richard Hemming MW - 2014)

(89 Cabernet Sauvignon, 7 Merlot, 4 Cabernet Franc) Very attractive nose with some density and a hint of richness on the palate. Smart oak detail and it’s controlled, too. The overall package on the palate is quite tense and focussed but there is some power hidden here. Not exclusively black fruited, there are lighter red notes, too – all rather suave. The nose is superb and it rather masks the lack of action on the palate at the moment. I trust it will develop further on the palate. Rating: 17.5+ Matthew Jukes 2014)

Shows solid flesh from the start, with plum paste notes that belie the vintage, bolstered by dark currant, crushed cherry and raspberry coulis flavors. Offers lots of anise and juniper hints through the finish, accented by an echo of licorice snap. Delivers impressive range and depth. Pure. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Rating: 91–94 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2014)

Superb depth of colour, black fruits nose with spicy notes, slightly roasted coffee and bitter chocolate on the palate, Mouton's exotic hints, velvety texture, quite beautifully made. Drink: 2018-2035. Rating: 18.25 Steven Spurrier(Apr 2014)

The Grand Vin is a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, the latter close to exceptional according to Philippe Dhalluin. It has less new oak (85%) because the new wooden vats impart their own raw woody character. It has a well-defined, classic bouquet that you might describe as "no frills". It does not have the usual Mouton flamboyance although that is not necessarily a bad thing. The palate is well balanced with clean and mineral-rich black fruit and a pleasant salty character towards the finish. Classic in style, this is a very fine Mouton with real panache Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, 2014)

Very aromatic and fresh with flowers, currants and cherries. Full to medium body with fine tannins and a bright, fruity finish. I like the way it builds on the palate at the end. Salty, too. 89% cabernet sauvignon, 7% merlot and 4% cabernet franc. Rating: 92-93 James Suckling, 2014)

Firm yet nicely integrated tannins form the backbone of the 2013 Mouton-Rothschild, giving the wine much of its energy and focus. Violets, lavender and menthol add nuance to the dark blue/purplish fruit. Mouton is one of the few Left Bank 2013s with dark tonalities of fruit, but the mid-weight structure is very much that of the vintage. The 2013 is 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, harvested between September 30 and October 9. Rating: 88-90 Antonio Galloni, 2014)

Château Mouton Rothschild

1855 classification (revised 1973) - Premier Grand Cru Classé The Ségur family, who owned at one time both Lafite and Latour, and had a hand briefly in Haut Brion, also owned Mouton for two years. They sold it to Joseph de Brane in 1720 and the estate was re-christened Brane-Mouton. Unfortunately, it was an estate without a château, the buildings having been sold seperately to Dominique Armailhacq and forming the nucleus of what is today Château d'Armailhac. Under the de Brane family, Mouton steadily gathered a reputation for its wine, with prices nearly equalling the best estates of the day. The de Branes sold Mouton in 1830 and the new owners failed to keep up the previous high standards. In 1853, Brane-Mouton became Mouton-Rothschild when Nathaniel Rothschild purchased the estate, and Mouton-Rothschild started its steady rise to become one of the world's iconic wines. Not iconic enough in 1855 to be granted Premier Grand Cru Classé - a slight described by Baron Phiippe as "the monstrous injustice". It was said that the recent sale of the estate to an Englishman prevented Mouton's recognition among the elite, the truth is probably more complicated. However, the "monstrous injustice" was corrected in 1973 with a unprecedented revision of the 1855 classification raising Château Mouton Rothschild to First Growth status. The Rothschild era at Mouton has seen continuous improvement. Astoundingly, it took until the latter half of the 19th Century for anyone to build an actual château at Mouton-Rothschild when Baron James built the Petit Mouton. An iconic estate deserves an iconic character, and he arrived in 1922 when Baron Philippe de Rothschild toopk over, assuming full ownership in 1947 when he bought out his brothers. A new chais was built and all of the wines were estate bottled, something not common at the time. Baron Philippe bought the neighbouring Château Mouton-Armailhacq in 1933, renaming it Château Mouton Baron Philippe (now Château d'Armailhac). From younger vines of his two estates, Baron Philippe created the popular Bordeaux brand Mouton Cadet. To celebrate the end of WWII, during which time Baron Philippe had had to escape from Vichy imprisonment to join the Free French forces in England, and the German military had taken over Château Mouton Rothschild, the 1945 vintage was bottled with a "V for Victory" label. Thereafter, a new label was designed every year by a contemporary artist, the labels becoming every bit as collectable as the wine. The vineyards sit on a raised mound known as a "motte", from which it is presumed the name Mouton derives. Mouton-Rothschild sits immediately to the south of Lafite. For red wines the 75ha of vineyards are planted to 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc with a little Petit Verdot. Wines are fermented in barrique and aged for 22 months before bottling. A second wine was introduced in 1993 - Le Petit Mouton with old-fashioned looking label that was designed by Jean Carlu who had designed the Mouton-Rothschild label in use before the War. A small amount of white wine - Aile d'Argent - is produced from mostly Sauvignon Blanc.

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