June 2010, Score: 96+
Perhaps the most beautiful packaging ever on a Bordeaux bottle, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild literally produced a work of art in the gold-engraved bottle of 2000 Mouton Rothschild. Of course, one can’t drink the glass, but this is a top-flight Mouton Rothschild, eclipsed only by the 2006and 2009. A rich, tannic, earthy style, with loads of creme de cassis and floral notes, the final blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot is a full-bodied wine with plenty of coffee, earth, chocolatey notes, and still plenty of tannin to resolve. I gave it an anticipated maturity range of 2015-2050 back in 2003, and that looks on target.
The 2000 Mouton Rothschild is at its best with about 24-48 hours of decanting. A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot, the wine offers a saturated ruby/purple color in addition to reticent but promising aromas of toast, coffee, licorice, creme de cassis, and roasted nuts. Dense, chewy, and backward, with tremendous purity and density in addition to obvious toasty oak, it is full-bodied, powerful, tannic, and backward. Twenty-four to 48 hours of aeration only hints at its ultimate potential. This blockbuster will be exceptionally long-lived. It is not as expressive as the other first-growth Medocs, but give it time. As I predicted in my first report on the millennium vintage (April, 2001), Philippine de Rothschild could be expected to do something special with her presentation of 2000. She has exceeded everyone’s expectations with a work of art. Those who have seen the extraordinary packaging of the 2000 Mouton Rothschild must certainly realize this is a brilliant achievement. The bottle is extraordinary, and likely to have nearly as much value empty as full! Her genius is obvious, but it’s what’s inside that counts! Anticipated maturity: 2015-2050+.
Very much a product of the Mouton team’s determination to make relatively tough wines for the long term. Clearly first growth quality on the nose, heavily shrouded in ambition. It hits the palate with as much subtlety as a karate kick with lots of neat, ripe opulent fruit before a welter of tannins kick in. Muted and well balanced relative to what has become typical for the right bank. Good length. Cabernet Sauvignon 86%, Merlot 14% Very deep purple. Very opulent. Dense and spicy. Exciting! Heady, yet dry. Slightly too dry on the palate. Very sudden finish though. A bit short. Falls away. Quite high acidity. Thick. Long. Dry finish. Jagged. Hollow finish. Very, very dry. Lots there. Drink 2009-2030
86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot. 85% new wood. 85% became the grand vin. Verygood colour. Not a great deal on the nose. It seems to lack the adequate grip andconcentration. On the palate this is fullish, rich, opulent and ripe. But it hasn’t theintensity or flair of a first growth. Just about fine, at best. Mouton-Rothschildcontinues to disappoint. When was the last time Mouton produced a grand vin? 1986?
Château Mouton Rothschild
Mouton Rothschild is the only wine to have been elevated to First Growth status since the original classification of the Medoc in 1855. The exceptional success and status of Chateau Mouton Rothschild can largely be attributed to one man: Baron Philippe de Rothschild. He recognised the extraordinary potential of the estate and devoted his life to ensuring that potential was realised. His work is now carried on by his charismatic daughter Baroness Philippine, ably assisted by Herve Berland. This most flamboyant and glamorous estate is famous for its artistic connections, embodied in the grand vins’s label, redesigned each year by such legends as Picasso, Miro and Warhol. It is also renowned for its impeccably maintained visitor-friendly estate, but its impressive and well-deserved reputation is based above all on the opulence and excellence of its wines.
Pauillac, Red Bordeaux
Due south of St Estèphe lies the appellation of Pauillac, the king of Left Bank communes. It is home to three first growths as well as a plethora of other classified growths. Pauillac’s renowned well-draining, gravelly soils enable its dominant grape Cabernet Sauvignon to reach fantastic heights of complexity and concentration. As a result, Pauilac’s wines tend to be full-bodied with compact tannins and good freshness. Its aromatics are often what one associates with classic Bordeaux: pencil shavings, black currant and occasional mint. Some of the most famous châteaux of the commune are Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande and Lynch Bages.