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CHÂTEAU MOUTON ROTHSCHILD

2017 1er Cru Classé Pauillac

Grapes Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Pauillac
Classification 1er Cru Classé

90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot. Toasty nose. Some black currant and bramble fruit too. Tight and reserved at this point, the palate reveals a similar flavour profile. Forest fruits, a dusty mineral sprinkling and a hint of bell pepper. Very precise. Lots of energy on the palate. The tannins are polished and ripe. Wood and cocoa on the long finish. Excellent. Rating: 95 L&S (Apr 2018)

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The 2017 Mouton-Rothschild was picked from 7 to 29 September and matured in 100% new oak. This First Growth is driven by the Cabernet Sauvignon, as you would expect given the high percentage, expressive pencil lead and cedar that infuse the slightly introspective black fruit. Dare I say that it actually reminds me of Latour in style? The palate is medium-bodied, finely tuned and precise, a more masculine Mouton-Rothschild compared to the last three vintages, fresh with a sustained, lightly spiced finish that lingers in the mouth. That backbone is accentuated more during my second visit in mid-April. It is a cliché but this Mouton-Rothschild is unashamedly “classic” in style, perchance “le petit frère” of the 2010 Mouton-Rothschild that also contained a lot of Cabernet Sauvignon (though before you search the archives, yes, the 2011 and 2012 contained the same proportion!) Tasted twice with consistent notes. Drinking range: 2022 - 2050 Rating: 94-96 Neal Martin, vinous.com(May 2018)

90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot. Healthy, glowing deep crimson with soft cherry rim. Rocky/smoky cassis lift to the aroma. Fragrant with sober and non-exotic fruit. Serious. Super-fine texture, appears gentle but is very persistent, so fresh and effortless and yet intense and long. Refined and accessible but long term too. Drinking range: 2027 - 2047 Rating: 18 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2018)

The 2017 Mouton Rothschild has one of the highest percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon ever at 90%, with 9% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. Very deep purple-black in color, the nose is already singing of crushed black currants, warm blackberries and chocolate-covered cherries with hints of violets, star anise, cinnamon stick and cloves plus wafts of pencil lead and unsmoked cigars. Medium-bodied, wonderfully delicate yet intense in the mouth (gaining some richness in the mid-palate on my second taste two and a half weeks later), it has super fine-grained, smooth tannins and incredible freshness, finishing very long with tons of tightly wound layers. Wow. This vintage is going to be very long-lived in the cellar! Rating: 97-99 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, RobertParker.com(Apr 2018)

Vibrancy is one of the key themes of the year in the most successful properties, and this has bright, plump fruit and good depth of colour, even if it's less concentrated than the past few vintages. The Pauillac first growths have done a great job in 2017, and it's hard to question the depth of fruit and richness here - there's no doubting that this is a great Mouton. Cassis and blackberry notes are delivered with precision, but there is a clear restraint that is another signature of 2017, and perhaps doesn't reflect Mouton's personality as much as some of its neighbours. There's not the same weight of tannins as 2016 (around 70 IPT this year, still a high amount), but it's a beautiful, persistent, gorgeous wine that will age gracefully. 100% new oak. (Image is the 2015 bottle; the design for the 2017 label will be revealed later). Read more at http://www.decanter.com/wine-reviews/france/bordeaux/chateau-mouton-rothschild-pauillac-1er-cru-classe-2017-20574#cMUbQKYTgmCO6eBl.99 Drinking range: 2027 - 2042 Rating: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter(Apr 2018)

Compared to the 2014 (and better than 2011 and 2012) by the estate, the 2017 Mouton-Rothschild is a final blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 7th to the 29th of September, brought up all in new barrels. This beauty is going to check in behind the sensational 2015 but is unquestionably one of the gems in the vintage. Crème de cassis, graphite, Asian spice, and cedar pencil notes all flow to a rich, full-bodied, deep, layered beauty that has tons of potential. Hitting 13.1% alcohol, it has more texture and depth than most and will need 4-6 years of cellaring. Production is down over 10% due more to the dry summer than any frost damage. Rating: 95-97 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com(Apr 2018)

This is a very shy and tight Mouton with blackberries, blackcurrants and hints of terracotta. Full body and very integrated tannins that are extremely polished and beautiful. Spicy and white-pepper finish. Sexy and exciting. So long and refined. Rating: 97-98 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Apr 2018)

Here at Mouton-Rothschild the frost spared the red vineyards, not only those of the other Rothschild estates, Château d’Armailhac and Château Clerc-Milon, but the Mouton-Rothschild and Petit Mouton parcels as well. Only a few parcels of white vines, the fruit destined for Aile d’Argent, were affected. Nevertheless yields are down here a little, which Philippe Dhalluin attributes to the very dry conditions during the summer. The harvest began with the young Merlot on September 7th and finished with the later varieties, the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, on September 29th. As with the other first growths the blend is strong on Cabernet, with 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. This is a quite similar proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon to the 2012 and 2011 vintages, although I note that Cabernet Franc has been excluded in favour of Petit Verdot. The nose here is all about the purity of the vintage, showing a very delicately defined red-cherry purity, with peony and pomegranate fragrance and a little twist of barrel spice. A very elegant palate follows, showing a very refined concentration, fresh and broad, with a succulent and elegant presence, the composition bright and pure, backed up by remarkably fine-boned tannins, the whole being very tightly composed. It has a lovely homogeneity, supple and elegant, and yet with a defined, broad, tannic structure underneath which provides an electric energy to the finish. There is very fine potential here. Rating: 94-96 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com(Apr 2018)

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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