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Wine Advocate 89 points
A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, the opaque purple-colored, chunky 2001 Mouton-Rothschild does not possess the finesse and stature often achieved by this first-growth. It offers a tell-tale cassis-scented nose, and a monolithic, medium to full-bodied style with relatively high, austere tannin in the finish (a characteristics I also noticed in cask). A dry, angular, backward effort for the vintage, it should be forgotten for at least a decade. Let’s hope the fruit continues to expand and sweeten, but that’s no sure thing.- Robert parker Jr. (06/2004)
Wine Spectator 94 points
Very smoky, with berry, coffee and tobacco aromas. Full-bodied, with polished velvety tannins, plenty of fruit and a cedary aftertaste. Tight and compacted. This is better than the 2000 Mouton. It's a baby 1986 Mouton. Solid and very, very fine. Persists for a long time on the palate. Best after 2009. –JS WS
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 2001 label by American artist Robert Wilson, features a double print of Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, the owner of the estate. According to a press release, Wilson chose to set the baroness "in a symphony of colors, in which the green vine shoots and the gold of the sun harmonize with the chromatic scale of the wine, from light red to deep purple."
The Baroness chose an American artist to express the house solidarity with the American people after the terrorist attacks on the New York World Trade Center on 9/11.
Mouton Rothschild 2000In 1945, Baron Philippe de Rothschild conceived the original idea of crowning the Mouton label with a work of art created for this purpose by famous artists. These have included works by Miró, Chagall, Braque, Picasso, Warhol, Bacon and Balthus among others.
Since then, only 3 vintages have not had an Artist label. They are the 1953 vintage, which celebrated the initial purchase of the Mouton property; the 1977, dedicated to the Queen Mother whom stayed at the castle that year; and the 2000, which label is enameled in gold with a reproduction of Jakob Schenauer's Augsburg Ram (pictured on the right).
As is the tradition at Mouton-Rothschild, Robert Wilson will be reimbursed with several cases of the 2001 Grand Vin.
Château Mouton Rothschild 2001
The first quarter of 2001 was warmer and wetter than average, causing budbreak six to eight days earlier than the average for the last thirty years.
May and June were very hot and dry, with a record temperature for May of 35°C and a succession of fine days with temperatures in excess of 30°C in June, reaching 36.2°C on 25 June. These conditions slowed the early pace of the vegetation cycle and mid-flowering took place on 6 and 7 June, in line with the average in recent years.
The first half of July was slightly cooler and more humid, followed by pleasant weather in August with only isolated storms. Mid-veraison was observed between 12 and 16 August, very slightly later than the average for the Merlot.
Fine but rather cool weather in September held back the maturing process a little so that the harvest date was four or five days later than the average.
Very fine, hot, sunny weather and low rainfall in early October, just before picking, enabled a very healthy crop to mature under excellent conditions.