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Wine Advocate 91 points
In the blind tasting in December, this wine finally began to reveal some potential. It has been closed and frightfully tannic for the last decade. The wine exhibits a good dark ruby/garnet color, a sweet nose of cedar, chocolate, cassis, and spices, good ripe fruit and extraction, and a weighty, large-scaled, tannic finish. Although still unevolved, it is beginning to throw off its cloak of tannin and exhibit more complexity and balance. I remain concerned about how well the fruit will hold, but this wine will undoubtedly hit its plateau around the turn of the century. Putting it in the context of what is a largely disappointing range of Mouton-Rothchilds in the decade of the seventies, great bottles of the 1970 are superior to the 1975, but this is clearly the second-best Mouton of the decade. - WA, RP (2/1996)
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)
1975 ANDY WHAROL
Born in Philadelphia, Andy Warhol (1930-1987) began as a commercial artist in an advertising agency and was to become one of the leading exponents of Pop Art, which he himself defined as "the art of making the ordinary original". In 1962, he put on a show of his famous silk-screen prints of Coca Cola bottles, followed by the Campbell's Soup and Heinz Tomato Ketchup. He went on to apply the same treatment to the stars: Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor and Jackie Kennedy. This was Warhol's way of satirising our consumer society, attacking it through its most universally respected myths: consumer products which on canvas were seen to be full of nothing, famous faces frozen in magazine-picture attitudes which transformed them too into more consumer products.
The painter himself did not escape. His studio, which he ironically christened "The Factory", became the conscious antithesis of everything American society stood for: haunted by louche admirers and hangers-on, Warhol himself, with his dyed hair and heavy make-up, became a work of art.
For the 1976 Mouton Rothschild label, Warhol, working as always from photographs, is in semi-serious mood, juxtaposing different studies of Baron Philippe.
Bordeaux: After four miserable vintages came the hot vintage of 1975 which put Bordeaux wines briefly into the limelight once again. The unsettled temperature in September turned into good weather for the harvest. Grapes were high in sugar content, but for many reds especially Cabernet Sauvignon based ones were lacking of phenolic ripeness. This yielded masculine and even aggressive reds with austere and even hard tannins.
Graves and Pomerol wines have proved to be the most delicious from this year. La Mission Haut-Brion and Lafleur-Pétrus stand out as the best ones, with Trotanoy just after them.Pétrus has proven to be the very exceptional with more aggressive and full-bodied style than usually. The Lafite-Rothschild at the reasonable price of 300 euro is the first seventies Lafite that gives a promise of improvement. On the other hand Haut-Brion considered very good has proven to be a slight disappointment.
For dry whites this was outstanding and Sauternes an excellent vintage. The best Sauternes experiences have been Yquem, Coutet, Gilette and Suduiraut.