|Grapes||Cab Sauv, Merlot|
|Classification||1er Cru Classé|
More expressive than the second wine, with a greater tannic grip too. Fruit behind the structure here. A slightly charcoal black expression, coal and plums, but still very cool, very dry, real wine. Quite severe for now, with fruit still present with all the tannins on the finish. Rating: 93-94 L&S (Apr 2016)
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Decadent and rich aromas of black cherries and plums with wet earth and sandalwood. Turns to dried mushrooms. Full-bodied, tight and closed with big, polished tannins, yet this is very closed and shy right now. Despite this, underneath it shows such depth and beauty. Tangy acidity. This is a combination of 2005 and 2009. Drinking range: 2024 - Rating: 99 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Feb 2018)
Is this one of the wines of the vintage? It all depends on whether you like the Napa-esque Mouton style, which is every bit as recognisable as that of Lafite (at the other extreme in 2015). This is a big, bold, concentrated wine, with toasty, 100% new oak and plush, compact tannins and succulent fruit flavours. Impressive, but how will it age? We shall see. Drinking range: 2025 - 2035 Rating: 94 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(May 2016)
The assemblage for the Mouton grand vin in the 2015 vintage is 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. The nose feels dark, very refined, with pure cherry fruit, laced with some lightly dusty edges. A very refined style on the nose overall, with great freshness. The palate feels tense and quite pure, very pointed in character, showing elegance, and like the second wine it feels a little suppressed by the oaky lactones at the moment, with the fruit hiding behind the wood and the structure. All the same it is clearly elegant, showing a relaxed style on the palate, precise and pure, fresh and open. Overall a middle-weight character, with a very gentle finish. A very pretty and delicately poised Mouton this year, less imposing than in some other vintages that come to mind, and I feel the same way looking at it in the context of the appellation in the 2015 vintage. Rating: 16.5-17.5/20 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com(Apr 2016)
82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. 57% of the crop. Very majestic nose. Obviously first-growth quality. Savoury and plush in terms of texture. Restrained without being a wimp. Lovely scent. Dry finish but with some of Mouton's opulence before then. Very fine. Very exciting. Some saline sap as well as all the ripe fruit. Drinking range: 2025 - 2045 Rating: 19 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2016)
My joint top wine (with Ch Margaux) of the vintage. A real firework display but still controlled. Very rich on the palate: broad yet silky, earthy yet so refined. This is Mouton at a new peak and it’s hard to imagine a better balance of elegance and power. Drinking range: 2024 - 2050 Rating: 98 Steven Spurrier(Apr 2016)
The 2015 Mouton-Rothschild is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc matured entirely in new oak, as usual. This represents a relatively high percentage of Merlot simply because, as winemaker Philippe Dhalluin told me, that quality was so good. I afforded my sample four to five minutes to open as it was a little reduced at first, but eventually it reveals a gorgeous, extraordinarily intense bouquet of blackberry, cassis, incense and cold slate aromas. In some ways it reminds me of Latour as much as Mouton Rothschild. The palate is medium-bodied with svelte tannin, perfectly pitched acidity, wonderful tension and impressive length. There is a strong graphite theme running through from start to finish that is little grainy and so it will require preferably a decade in cellar. But what freshness and panache here, a classic Mouton-Rothschild that will live for 50 or 60 years, not a million miles away from say, the 1986 or 2010. Expect this to settle at the top of my banded score once in bottle. Drinking range: 2027 - 2060 Rating: 97-99 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Apr 2016)
Very racy and refined with super polished tannins and focused dark fruits. Blackberry, orange peel, and black currants. Full. Very long and thought-provoking. A wine that delivers power and finesse. Juicy and fresh. Rating: 96-97 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Apr 2016)
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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