Parker: The 1949's bouquet offers copious amounts of sweet, ripe cassis fruit, herbs, spicy oak, and a touch of coffee and cinnamon. Medium-bodied, with moderate tannin still noticeable, this compact, dark garnet, opaquely-colored wine possesses superb concentration and a remarkably long finish. It appears to be fully mature, yet the balance, length, and tannin level suggest this wine could last for another 20 years. The 1949 was always considered to be the late Baron's favorite vintage. While I find it a formidable Mouton, I have a preference for the 1945, 1947, 1959, 1982, and 1986. Last tasted 10/94.
Château Mouton Rothschild A Premier Cru Classé in 1973, Château Mouton Rothschild, owned by Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, consists of 205 acres of vines near Pauillac, in the Médoc, North West of the city of Bordeaux. This Premier Cru benefits from exceptionally good natural conditions, both in the quality of the soil, the position of its vines and their exposure to the sun. It is regarded today as one of the world's greatest wine.
The name Mouton is said to be derived from the word „Motte“ meaning mound or elevation of the ground. It was bought in 1853 by Philippe de Rothschilds great-grand father it was in a fairly bad shape and when the classification of 1855 was set up it was not deemed to be good enough to be qualified as a first growth but put in first place amongst the second growths. An injustice it took Philippe de Rothschild until 1973 to rectify. 1920s Philippe de Rothschild called together the owners of Haut Brion, Latour, Lafite, Margaux and Yquem to talk about the idea of bottling and marketing their wines on their own.
The first vintage to be bottled exclusivly at the château was the 1924 vintage. To commemorate this, the cubistic painter Carlu was asked to design the label, yet another revolutionary idea in this most conservative of surroundings. The idea of an artist designing the labels was dropped until 1945 when Philippe Jullian was asked to design a label commemorating the victory over nazi Germany. Since then works of such famous artists as Picasso, Miró, Dali, Chagall and personalities like John Huston and Prince Charles have been used for the labels.
In 1988, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, who had already been associated with her father's work for some time, succeeded her father. She has in turn become the guarantor of the quality of an illustrious wine whose motto proudly proclaims : "Premier je suis, second je fus, Mouton ne change". First I am, second I was, I Mouton do not change
Vineyard soil: very deep gravel on a limestone base Production area: 82.5 ha Grape varieties: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot Average age of vines: 48 years Harvest method: hand picked. The grapes from the younger vines are harvested first and vinified separately.
Winemaking: Before destemming, the grapes are hand-sorted then selected one by one. Vinification depends on each vintage and the characteristics of each vat. All the relevant parameters, such as temperature, pumping over, aeration, vatting time and running off, are monitored by the technical manager, the cellar-master and the laboratory.
Ageing: 19 to 22 months in oak barrels (almost all new, the percentage varying according to the vintage)
The decade culminated with the hot year of 1949, when Bordeaux was hit by an unprecedented dry spell. Cold, rainy weather had hindered germination, which resulted in an exceptionally uneven distribution of pollen. This, in turn, made for a record small crop. With the arrival of summer, Bordeaux was subjected to a heat wave the likes of which it had never seen before. Temperatures as high as 43°C were recorded at Médoc. Early September brought massive thunderstorms followed by a period of ideal weather, which lasted until the harvest at the end of the month. The already small crop was made even smaller, but it produced a fantastically juicy wine that was extremely delicious even at a young age.
The wines themselves have more backbone and are more elegant than the 1947 vintage. Indeed, these are missing the concentration which is found in the 1945. Mouton-Rothschild, however, is a capable challenger of even the best 1945s and 1947s, with its ample body and balance. The dry white wines produced were also outstanding, even though they are no longer very drinkable. Conversely, the Sauternes grapes picked at the end of a record dry October produced unique, noble rot wines.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
|4 022€ +21.4%||3 313€ +11.9%||2 962€ +6.1%||2 791€ +137.9%||1 173€ +35.6%||865€|