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)
Château Mouton Rothschild 1995
1995 was a year of contrasts, with abundant rainfall from January to March followed by very fine, warm weather from April to September.
The vegetation cycle began quickly, about seven days earlier than the average. Budbreak began on 23 March for Merlot and 30 March for Cabernet Sauvignon.
Having begun early, the vegetation cycle continued at a steady pace. Flowering took place evenly five days ahead of the average. The drought observed in June continued in July with 28 days of very hot weather, the temperature climbing to a record 37° C on 20 and 25 June.
Mid-veraison was reached between 9 and 12 August depending on the variety. The condition of the vines and the state of maturity of the grapes raised hopes of a very fine vintage.
The potential of the crop remained unaffected by showers in early September and the harvest took place under very favourable conditions.
Harvest 12 September to 27 September
Cabernet Sauvignon 72%
Cabernet Franc 9%
A dark and deep colour, the wine has an uncomplicated but also precise and noble nose on which jammy and candied fruit aromas predominate, with an opening onto fruit in alcohol.
The palate is both fresh and complex, candied fruit accompanying liquorice flavours. Dense and chewy tannins continue to lend the wine a fine structure, while lingering fruit flavours extend into a long and warm finish.
This is a highly elegant vintage that will reach its peak in a few years’ time.