x
  • Country ranking ?

    18
  • Producer ranking ?

    3
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    from 2022
  • Food Pairing

    Slow Cooked Short Ribs

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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WILLIAM KENTRIDGE ILLUSTRATES THE LABEL OF CHÂTEAU MOUTON ROTHSCHILD 2016

 Every year since 1945, a great artist has illustrated the label of Château Mouton Rothschild. Thus, the most famous names in contemporary art are brought together in a collection to which a new work is added each year. 

The owners of Mouton, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, Camille Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, gave the commission for the 2016 vintage to the painter, sculptor, video artist and stage director William Kentridge. Born at Johannesburg in South Africa in 1955, William Kentridge is the first internationally renowned artist from the African continent to illustrate a Mouton label. Exhibiting in the world’s leading galleries and the winner of prestigious prizes, he asserts a “political art” that is nevertheless open to both humour and poetry. 

In his work for Mouton, The Triumphs of Bacchus, the silhouettes he assembles in a joyful procession are inspired by Bacchic characters from the paintings of great masters from Titian to Matisse, underlining the truth that a great wine, although first and foremost a pleasure, is also inseparable from a cultural tradition which demands respect and moderation – not least Château Mouton Rothschild 2016!

 

WILLIAM KENTRIDGE 

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1955, William Kentridge is the first world-famous artist from the African continent to illustrate a Mouton label. The eclectic nature of his studies, combining political science with fine arts and theatre, is reflected in the variety of his tastes and talents. Having started out as an actor and stage director in his home city, to which he has remained faithfully attached, he soon turned to animated drawing and video while refining the technique that would make him famous: charcoal drawings or black-card cutouts projected or stuck on various surfaces, with movement being rendered by the superposition of successive phases. Frequently drawing inspiration from dark times in his country’s recent past, he asserts a “political art” that is nevertheless open to both humour and poetry. 

A display of his work at the 1997 Kassel Documenta marked the starting-point for many more exhibitions in prestigious venues ranging from the Venice and São Paulo Biennials and the Louvre in Paris to Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau, MoMA in New York and the Albertina in Vienna. His drawings, videos, sculptures, collages and performances have won numerous international awards, including Japan’s Kyoto Prize and Spain’s Princess of Asturias Award. At the same time he has maintained a brilliant career as an opera director and set designer in Europe and America. His work on Shostakovich’s The Nose, based on a short story by Gogol, was acclaimed from New York to the Aix-en-Provence Festival. More recently, his production The Head and the Load, about Africans who served in Europe during the First World War, was a huge success in London in 2018. 

In his work for Mouton, The Triumphs of Bacchus, the silhouettes he assembles in a joyful procession are inspired by Bacchic characters from the paintings of great masters from Titian to Matisse, underlining the truth that a great wine, although first and foremost a pleasure, is also inseparable from a cultural tradition which demands respect and moderation – not least Château Mouton Rothschild 2016!

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The Story

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)
 

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Wine Information

Climatic conditions

In 2016, there were two main trends in the weather as we experienced it in Pauillac:

– a very wet winter and spring: more than half of the annual rainfall came in the first four months of the year, including a record 240 mm in January ;
– an extremely dry summer and autumn without any significant rainfall, resulting in a water deficit at the end of the year.

As a consequence of the summer drought, the grapes were numerous but remained rather small, making for density and concentration.

High temperatures in August and September allowed for slow ripening and excellent maturity, so that the harvest started with the Merlot on 26 September and continued in perfect conditions until 14 October.

In the vat house, each grape variety and each plot were, as usual, vinified separately in order to let their intrinsic character shine through.

The wines, which have now been blended, offer remarkable colour, intense fruit and spice aromas and a dense texture of very rich and well-rounded tannins.

Its density and substance make the 2016 vintage comparable with the finest so far this century.

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Vintage 2016

2016 Bordeaux in Review  “A Paradox”

by Andrew Caillard MW

The 2016 Bordeaux vintage will be remembered as one of the great years of the 21st Century. I have not been so excited about the prospects of such young wines since the remarkable back-to-back 2009 and 2010 vintages. At that time China was at the zenith of its extraordinary fine wine ascendency where the very top estates, particularly Chateau Lafite, had become a baksheesh currency. Every man and his dog, with a connection with government, curried favour or accepted gifts with Grand Cru Bordeaux, particularly First Growths. During this extraordinary time, the prices of Bordeaux started to move up at a more rapid speed than Sydney Real Estate. When we were filming Red Obsession in 2011 the Bordeaux wine market had become a classic bubble, even though the main actors still believed otherwise. Self-entitlement and denial always go hand in hand. Nonetheless, it has taken five years for the market to reset itself. Bordeaux is more confident again. Even interest from China has grown again. The market is now around 280 million Euros annually, which illustrates the resilience, power and track record of Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux wines.

 

The 2016 Primeurs is also very different from previous years. There is a changing of the guard with new generations beginning to make their mark at all levels of wine business and production. Philippe Bascaules has returned to Ch Margaux from California. Eduard Moueix of JP Moueix is clearly on the ascendancy, and the owners of Ch Angelus have handed over duties to the next generation. This energy, renewal and enthusiasm is great for Bordeaux. Chateau owners, winemakers and business leaders seem to be more enlightened and interested in the world about them, even Australia.

 

This very contemporary all-gleaming 2016 vintage seems to reflect the freshness and vibrancy of a new age of wine. Even Chateau Pavie, once the poster-child of the Robert Parker era, has raised the white flag. It’s long dalliance with soupy overly plush wine is over, it seems. The 2016 against the 2015 is like comparing a racehorse with a sloth, even though vintage conditions would normally stump up something similar in style. The affable consultant oenologist Michel Rolland, the grand master of taste aesthetics, has clearly moved on with the times. There is no longer a clear individual to impress.

Nonetheless with Robert Parker now pretty well off the scene there seems to be a jockeying of position among ambitious American wine critics particularly. The hard working James Suckling and Wine Spectator’s James Molesworth, like the horses of the apocalypse, have already crashed through the starting gates and made their prophesies known to the world. All indications suggest an early campaign, but it will probably go on for ever, such is the tactical outlook and the hierarchical nature of this beast. 

It is worth pulling everything into context. The primeur tasting takes place generally after the wines have finished their malolactic fermentations.  Tasting any earlier could in theory compromise or skew opinion. This is arguably a growing issue with key wine writers trying to out smart each other. Nonetheless it doesn’t take a genius to understand the quality of a very good vintage. Colour, aromatic complexity, concentration, tannin quality, oak and acidities are key elements and we are all looking for a patterned balance, an individual voice or something to believe in. With so many wines the nuances can be infinitesimal, certainly from a language point of view, and therefore difficult to truly differentiate. An understanding of track record, winemaking house style and sub-regional characteristics also helps bring an overall impression. Cultural references, experience, language, personal loyalties etc. will also throw up varying opinions. Fear of not getting it right, might be a factor as well. And of course there is the 1855 Classification, which can have a moderating effect. For instance would a wine critic dare to give a fifth growth a greater score than a First Growth?

 

Bear in mind all of the tastings are of unfinished wines, with still a good 8 months to 20 months or longer of barrel aging. Ch Roteboeuf for instance sees around two-year oak maturation and many top chateaux elect to have their wines in barrel for 18 months. Some wine are tasted at negociants on a Monday – which may mean that samples can be slightly stale when reviewed. Many old world wine critics don’t pick this up. Atmospheric conditions also play a remarkable part in how a wine looks on the day. The weather conditions during the 2016 primeurs tastings was classic with perfect warm Spring weather and beautiful conditions to taste.

Increasingly there is less opportunity to taste blind. It is incredibly challenging to make the appointments necessary to do the full coverage. More and more chateaux are insisting that their wines are tasted in their cellars, and finding time slots is not easy. It should be pointed out, therefore, that most or all of the tasting notes given by Bordeaux opinion leaders are open-tasted. Not even the Union des Grands Crus offers the option of blind tasting these days. On balance this is not a bad thing. What is the point of looking at wines without emotion or connection? How many wine reviews are written with completely the wrong conclusion? And how often is wine quality over-exaggerated?

As the premier wine auction, and broking house in Australia, it has always made sense to provide our collectors and buyers with a primeurs offer. Over the last 15 years or so, we have been working with several of the top Bordeaux negociants. This has enabled us to bring in several exclusivities or joint exclusivities including Ch Petrus, Ch Lafleur, Ch Lafleur Petrus and Chateau Latour à Pomerol and Ch Batailley. Our buying patterns are geared to our own tasting reviews and a few international opinion leaders, particularly Neal Martin (Robertparker.com), James Suckling and Jancis Robinson. All in all, it is worth reading around a bit, because wines can look a bit different depending on the day.

 

Although a strong cabernet sauvignon year, the 2016 Bordeaux vintage is generally exceptional for red wine. All red grape varieties, including merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot have achieved good flavour and phenolic ripeness (The same for white varieties semillon, sauvignon blanc and sauvignon gris). The left bank has performed brilliantly across all sub-regions including St Estephe, Pauillac, St Julien, Margaux and Pessac Leognan. The lesser known Moulis and Listrac appellations, usually representing pretty good value, have also stumped up generous wines. The right bank is just a little patchy, perhaps reflecting the fragmented state of investment and resources. Nonetheless the very top estates have made wines of exquisite quality. St Emilion and Pomerol, both reliant on merlot and cabernet franc have stumped up some real gems. Wines with cabernet franc/ cabernet sauvignon in the right bank blends have an extra zip and freshness. So this is a year where price will largely determine buying patterns. The overall quality is so impressive, it is unlikely you will make a mistake, not with our recommendations anyway.

After nearly six months of wet weather, Bordeaux enjoyed perfect warm to hot dry (some say drought) conditions from early summer onwards. Cool temperatures over night allowed grapes to retain natural acidities and freshness. Flowering was very good resulting in great potential yields. Some mildew pressure and vigorous canopy development during early Spring resulted in some green harvesting and leaf plucking. Few chateaux experienced any significant heat loads during harvest. By all accounts the fruit arrived in most cellars in very good, if not perfect condition. Viticultural practices played an important part in the end result. There is a significant correlation between vineyard investment and wine quality. Hence it is often the wealthiest producers who have been able to achieve that extra 1% difference. The growing season has been compared to 2012, but the results are vastly different, illustrating the mystery of life and the magical quality of wine. And every chateau has a slightly different take on what happened.

 

The resources available to winemakers is astonishing. Over the last twenty years, particularly, there has been a revolution to winemaking approach. Many of Bordeaux’s most prominent Chateaux have invested millions of Euros into the reconstruction of their wineries. Ch Calon Segur, Ch Beychevelle and Ch Pontet Canet are just a few that have been recently completed or in progress. These have followed more high profile examples including Ch Margaux with its Sir Norman Foster designed winery, Ch Petrus, Ch Cheval Blanc, Ch Latour and Ch Montrose. Vineyard mapping drones, Grape hydro-coolers, sorting machines, gravity fed contraptions and stainless steel vats looking like large nespresso capsules are some of the expensive playthings of contemporary winemaking. Yet this equipment, rather than industrialising the process of vinification, is all about personalizing individual plots of land and taking a gentle approach to handling the fruit.

 

This attempt for individuality is followed down various pathways. One of the more extreme proponents of modern viticulture and winemaking is Alfred Tesseron at Ch Pontet Canet. His investment in biodynamic viticulture, horse-drawn vineyard work and amphora (made from earth from the vineyard) maturation, shows an ideal that is steeped in protecting and emphasizing the personality of the landscape. The 2016 vintage possesses a natural energy, vibrancy and richness while showing classic Pauillac lines of pure cassis fruit and fine grained tannins. The underlying theme of goodness and sustainable farming has a charming appeal. More and more Chateaux are adopting organic, biodynamic or low input philosophies. This approach can be seen across the whole Bordeaux region and especially with Grand Cru Classé producers.

At Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, also in Pauillac, the vineyard workers have been snapping pheromone-infused plastic capsules on supporting wires in preparation for the arrival of the butterfly season and to combat grape worms. Rather than using sprays these capsules are employed to emit pheromones that attract male butterflies and confuse them from mating with females. One winery director at an estate on the right bank, told me (in all seriousness) that “the problem with sexual confusion is that if your neighbours are not doing it, it doesn’t work.”

The 2017 growing season is on its way with a glorious early Northern European Spring. The butterflies are already flying in peculiar zig-zags, mirroring the driving habits of over 2500 visitors as each person hurriedly moves from one appointment to another. Through the benefit of hindsight of tasting reviews, the 2016 Bordeaux vintage is in every way a paradox. The red wines possess superb freshness, definition and structure and they will simply not disappoint.

Reds

  • St Estephe

At the northern end of the Medoc, this sub region sometimes struggles to achieve the exacting phenolic ripeness expected today. In 2016, it has enjoyed another classic year with many wines possessing bright glossy fruit, fine vigorous, yet ripe tannins, generous volume and fine clear acidities. Top performers are Ch Calon Segur, Ch Phelan Segur, Ch Tronquoy Lalande, Ch Montrose, Dame de Montrose & Ch Cos d’Estournel.

  • Pauillac

A fabulous vintage for all the three First Growths and most of the Grand Cu producers. Deep colours, intense inky black currant aromas, fine grained tannins, attractive mid-palate richness and indelible long acidities are marks of great quality. Ch Mouton Rothschild is a stand out, but Ch d’Armailhac punches well above its weight. Ch Batailley, Ch Grand Puy Lacoste, Ch Lynch Bages, Ch Pontet Canet, Ch Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande and Ch Pichon Longueville Baron are standouts. The lesser known Ch Pibran, next door to Pontet Canet is an outlier worth looking at as well as Lynch Moussas

  • St Julien

Very generous wines with deep colours, fresh pure dark fruit aromas, supple textures, ripe, firm chalky tannins, beautiful fruit density and persistent mineral length are hallmarks of the 2016 vintage. The Second Growth Ch Leoville Lascases is a remarkable wine and completely illustrates it’s natural right for a greater Classification. But of course this will never happen because of politics and social order. It’s second label Clos de Marquis has always been a favourite and this year it performs at a very high level. Ch Ducru Beaucaillou is very contemporary and alive. Ch Beychevelle, Ch Leoville Barton and Ch Gruaud Larose are lovely wines.

  • Margaux

A great vintage but varying from elegant to understated power. Perfectly ripe fruit, generous concentration, fine grained, sometimes chocolatey or sinewy, tannins and impressive mineral length are a frequent theme. My personal favourite is Ch Palmer which is in no doubt a classic with superb tension, density and freshness. Alto Ego, another expression of the same terroir is a very good looking wine too. Ch Margaux, in the midst of a transition, has made a lovely wine. The volume is quite small this year. Only 28% being the first wine. Ch Angludet, Ch Giscours, Ch Rausan Gassies and Ch Rauzan Ségla are great. Outliers which could represent really good value are Ch Labegorce and Ch Prieuré Lichine.

  • Listrac, Moulis and Haut Medoc

Ch La Lagune and Ch La Tour Carnet are the champions this year but there is a lot of value to be found in this region including Ch Poujeaux, Ch Chasse Spleen, Ch Belgrave, Ch Cantemerle, Ch Ch Cartillon, Ch Citran and Ch Lamarque etc.

  • Pessac Leognan

Undeniably a great year for Pessac Leognan. The wines have beautiful concentration, chocolaty textures and fresh linear acidities. Ch Haut Brion has made a really good wine, but I prefer Ch La Mission Haut Brion because of its superb density and bouyant fruit quality. Not far behind is Ch Smith Haut Lafitte. The Cathiards really should be given a big shout out for their commitment to this estate. At first they followed the Parker circus, but over the last six or seven years, it has emerged as one of the sub region’s most beautiful and consistent wines. Ch Haut Bailly is also spectacularly good and lives up to its early 20th Century reputation. La Parde de Haut Bailly, Domaine de Chevalier, Les Carmes Haut Brion and the very dependable and relatively inexpensive Ch Latour Martillac have done really well too.

  • Pomerol

Olivier Berouet of Ch Petrus describes 2016 as “a vintage that is only comparable to itself.” The clay substrata played an important role in maintaining sufficient soil moistures. Typically the wines are round, supple and richly flavoured with beautiful aromatic complexity, fine plentiful tannins, superb fruit definition and mineral length. The wines have incredible dimension and balance. Vieux Chateau Certan is in a league of its own with its very clear inimitable house style and luxurious quality. Ch Petrus, Ch Lafleur, Ch Lafleur Petrus, Ch Latour a Pomerol, Ch L’Evangile and Ch La Conseillante are lovely.

  • St Emilion

The wines of St Emilion are quite varied but many have a dark inky quality with superb pastille-like fruit and fine chalky textures. Ch Cheval Blanc is very impressive this year and is clearly one of the wines of the vintage. Ch Figeac is slightly more vigorous than its neighbour, but it has made one of the best wines in twenty years, presumably because of the high proportions of cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon. Ch Pavie is also impressive and it is just great to see this legendary marque actually produce a wine in keeping with it’s status. Ch Pavie Macquin, Ch Pavie Decesse, Ch Canon, Ch Tertre Rotebeouf and Ch Troplong Mondot are all worth seeking out

  • Sauternes Barsac

The dry growing season ensured that both semillon and sauvignon blanc reached full maturity but the lack of rain was not encouraging. When it finally fell on the 13th September the humidity in the vineyards began to promote botrytis cinerea (noble rot). Further rain on the 30th September and a very helpful soaking on the 10th October ensured a normal vintage. The results are mixed but the top estates all produced pretty good wines. Ch d’Yquem is quite classic but will not be released during this en-primeur campaign. Ch Caillou, Ch Climens, Ch Coutet, de Myrat, Ch Doisy Daene, Ch Guiraud and Ch Lafaurie Peyreguey, Ch Rieussec and Ch Sigalas Rabaud all made very good wine.

  • Dry White Bordeaux

The dry white wines across the region are also generally very good. The fruit has developed very good ripeness and so many have very clear lemon curd, sometimes tropical fruit aromas, flinty/ yeasty complexity and very good natural acidities. Many come across being quite racy and taught. Ch Haut Brion Blanc and Ch La Mission Haut Brion Blanc are marvellous but what a price for the experience. Ch Pape Clement and Ch Smith Haut Lafitte made very lovely wines too. Ch Margaux’s Pavillon Blanc is also worth seeking out.

 

2016 BORDEAUX: WINEMAKER OPINIONS

2016 will offer the first completely organic Château Latour, and if the positive – almost bullish – rumblings from the Bordelais are anything to go on, there will be a lot more excitement to follow:

“The grapes are already very ‘tasty’ and the analytical readings are of a good level, progressing day by day. We are very confident!” – Guinaudeau Family, Lafleur

 

“Deep vintage… If I’m right, they will age forever.” – Thomas Duroux, Palmer

 

“We had perfect weather conditions during all the harvest. No rain, sunny days, cool nights. So we were able to wait for the perfect phenolic maturity.” – Pierre Graffeuille, Léoville Las Cases

 

“The wines are more restrained in character than in 2009. For me it’s closer to 2010 although a little lower in acidity. In some cases it is better than 2015, certainly more even across the region.” – Hubert de Boüard, Angélus

 

“It is a vintage with good ripeness at harvest, giving us very beautiful raw material, but with a racy structure.” – Bruno Rolland, Léoville Las Cases

 

“The fact is dry vintages are always quality vintages.” – Kees Van Leeuwen, Cheval Blanc

 

“The 2016 vintage is a bigger style than 2015. I have tasted them side by side. In 2016 the acidity is higher.” – Jean-Christophe Mau, Brown

 

“The concentration in the grapes in this vintage was amazing.” – Jean-Michel Comme, Pontet-Canet

 

“It is clearly a great vintage… between 2005 and 2009 in style.” – Philippe Dhalluin, Mouton Rothschild

 

“We never could have imagined back in June that we would be harvesting such a promising vintage under these perfect harvest conditions.” – Pierre Lurton, Cheval Blanc

 

 

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

22 tasting notes

Tasting note

Be the first one to make a 20s tasting note!

Written Notes

The nose can only be described as black currant liqueur. From there you find 5 spice, blackberry and wild cherry. The barrel aging has really concentrated this wine. Unctuous, intense, concentrated and flat out, delicious. It is not often Pauillac is described as decadent. But that is exactly what takes place here. The wine covers every taste receptor on your palate. If you have the chance to taste this elixir, don't pass on it. If you have the disposable income to lay this incredible wine down, do it,. As this is going to be impossibly expensive as it matures. 100 Pts

  • 100p

Along with the Château Lafite, the 2016 Château Mouton Rothschild is the wine of the vintage from the Médoc and is a truly profound, magical, blockbuster wine in every sense. It’s based on 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, raised in new French oak. Boasting a saturated purple color as well as an extraordinary bouquet of thick black fruits, lead pencil shavings, new saddle leather, and burning embers, with just a hint of its oak upbringing, this beauty hits the palate with a mammoth amount of fruit and texture yet stays fresh, pure, and light on its feet, with a thrilling sense of minerality as well as building tannins on the finish. It’s one of the most profound young wines I’ve ever tasted, and while it will probably keep for three-quarters of a decade, it offers pleasure even today. Bravo!

  • 100p

83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot picked from 26 September (Merlot) until 14 October (Cabernet Sauvignon).
Exceptional crimson. Real lift and transparency. Quite a soaring dry style with great texture and refreshment. Very strong style statement. Infusion of Cabernet. A sort of amalgam of cassis and tar in that very Mouton way but with 21st-century lift and transparency. Quite brave in a way. Bone dry and utterly embryonic compared with most of the 2016s (with the notable exception of Las Cases).

  • 95p

The 2016 Mouton-Rothschild is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the latter two co-fermented, picked from 26 September and finished on 14 October. As usual, it is being matured in 100% new oak. It has a very intense bouquet with blackberry, raspberry, cold limestone and crushed violet aromas that if anything, appear to gain vigor with aeration in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, juicy tannin. There is a lot of fruit packed into this Mouton-Rothschild and therefore one can feel the weight in the mouth, yet the acidity keeps everything on tip-toes. The finish has superb precision and opulence, completing a Mouton-Rothschild that will rivet you to the spot. Tasted on two occasions, the second confirming that this is simply a magnificent wine. Whichever artist eventually designs the label is going to be drinking well. 98-100p

  • 99p

Deep colour. Intense beautiful cassis fig aromas with elements of strawberry and integrated mocha bisquity oak. Superb dark plum, cassis, fig fruit, espresso bisquity, creme brûlée oak, fine looseknit grainy persistent tannins, inky notes and long fresh acidity. Finishes cedar oaky and tannin firm with long pure fruit notes. Generous yet elegantly proportioned. Very good flavour length. A classic vintage with the complexity, substance and balance for the long haul. Tasted at Ch Mouton Rothschild. 100   points

  • 100p

The vintage 2016 is love at second sight for Mouton-Rothschild, which presents a rather intellectual but fascinating style. Dark purple red with violet hue and black core. Impressing wine with complexity and potential. Ripe dark berries, typical nuances of graphite, in the background cocoa and dark chocolate, toasting aroma. On the palate well structured with ripe and velvety tannins, fine acidity, elegant length. Elegant freshness, juicy fruit in the background. A great Mouton, one of the best ever tasted en primeur. 99

  • 99p

Ruby. Cassis, anise, some vanilla, spices, exotic notes, detailed, layered and deeper, blueberries and blackberries nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fresh, fruity, detailed, juicy, elegant, refined, exotic, bright and pure fruit, stunning length, never ending finish, never ending finish. 98-100

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Information

Origin

Pauillac, Bordeaux

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Good

Fake factory

None

Inside Information

A stone's throw away (if you're Aaron Rodgers) is the first-growth Mouton-Rothschild, where general director Philippe Dhalluin has been making remarkably pure and powerful wines since he took over from Patrick Léon in 2004. For more on this estate, reference my 2015 en primeur notes here.

"In all the wines the tannins are very high, higher than '10," says Dhalluin as we taste through the lineup. "But it's the impression of freshness that is so special in this vintage."

"Flowering was a miracle, as it came between two storms, during a perfect week of weather in June. But up until that and even after, I was thinking 2016 might be worse than 2013," says Dhalluin. "What was interesting was that the flowering set a lot of berries per bunch, which might have been a problem if the ripening struggled—if [the grapes] grew too large, especially from water, [the crop] could have been very diluted. But then the second half was perfect—very dry, of course, so the berries stayed small. … Merlot doesn't usually like drought, but with the smaller berries that was offset. And Cabernet loves drought, so the combination worked perfectly."

In the 2016 d'Armailhac, the cassis core is very bright and engaging, with a sleek, chalky spine pinning down the finish. It has ample tannins, but also the energy and freshness that Dhalluin noted. I was particularly enthused with the 2016 Clerc Milon, which is rippling with bright acidity and racy tannins while the core of currant and anise notes is almost ebullient in feel. There's a lovely iron note through the finish, with a floral lift too. Dhalluin let me in on a little secret: Of the 1 percent of Carmenère in the blend, half of it was whole-bunch fermented in demi-muids. That's just a small piece of the puzzle, but perhaps another reason why the wine has such an energetic feel.

The 2016 grand vin from Mouton is a prodigious wine in the making, built on a long, iron spine that runs from start to finish, though it's well-embedded in beautifully pure cassis and raspberry reduction notes. Very dense yet mouthwatering, it has a gorgeous floral echo through the finish. This vintage also marks the return of Petit Verdot (1 percent) to the blend, as the parcel of this lightly used blending grape was pulled when Dhalluin arrived; he planted a new parcel in 2011 on a spot he thought ideal for it. The grape lends extra spice and cassis bush aromatics to the wine, along with vibrant structure. A late but fast-ripening variety, it excelled in the 2016 season in general, and more producers have included it in their blends, which should help define the vintage's distinct signature as the wines develop.

by James Molesworth

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TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS MOST FAKED WINE / TOP 30 LIST
WINERY NEWS Diamond Creek Vineyards / Louis Roederer Champagne to buy Diamond Creek Vineyards Roederer is about to add another gem, Dia  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS One of the most famous names in the global wine trade, Michael Broadbent MW, has died aged 92. / Robert Joseph remembers Michael Broadbent MW, who led an extraordinary life in wine.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS BWW 2020 - Best Wine Shop of the World have been selected  / Millésima from France is the Winner.
WINE NEWS: Sassicaia 2017 / Sassicaia 2017 released – “a wild, exotic beauty” By Liv-ex Sassicaia 2  more ...
WINE NEWS: Sir Winston Churchill 2009 / Pol Roger, Sir Winston Churchill 2009 released By Liv-ex This morning, Pol Roger Sir Wins  more ...
WINE NEWS: Hermitage La Chapelle 2016 / Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage Chapelle 2017 released – “a magical wine in the making&rdqu  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS Champagne Henriot announces the appointment of its new Wine Maker, Alice Tétienne / Champagne Henriot is very pleased to welcome Alice Tétienne as its new Wine Maker, starting from April 1st, 2020.
WINERY NEWS Château Cantenac-Brown / Margaux third growth Château Cantenac Brown has been sold to Frenchman Tristan Le Lous for an   more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS PENFOLDS GRANGE VERTICAL BREAKS AUCTION RECORD / A set of Penfolds Grange, dating from 1951 to 2015, has been sold for a record AU$372,800, comfortably beating the previous auction price for a similar vertical of $349,500.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS BWW 2020 - Best Wine Critics of the World have been selected! / The Best Wine Critic of the World -title was awarded to Neal Martin.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS BWW 2020 - Voting for the Best Wine Critic of the World is over. / Wine Critics received 218,966 votes from 56 countries.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS DRAKE LAUNCHES 2008 VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE PRICED AT $550 A BOTTLE / Having unveiled his first Mod Sélection Champagnes at the start of the year, Canadian rapper Drake is ending the year by launching two 2008 vintage expressions priced at US$480 and $550 a bottle.
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS LOUIS ROEDERER LAUNCHES FIRST ‘BIODYNAMIC’ CRISTAL / Louis Roederer has announced the release of the 2012 vintage of Cristal, the first to be made from 100% biodynamically farmed grapes.
WINERY NEWS Henri Boillot / VINTAGE 2017 /  I love this vintage! Winter is once again not dry and cold enough and this i  more ...
VINTAGE NEWS: 1959 / 1959 the unemployment problems eased to 5.5%. Television programmes included "Rawhide"  more ...
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS AUSTRIAN VINTAGE 2019 / FRUIT-FORWARD & FANTASTIC!
TASTINGBOOK WINE NEWS BORDEAUX 2019 /  - SHAPING UP TO AN EXCEPTIONAL VINTAGE. AGAIN!
WINERY NEWS Château Pedesclaux / 2018, HOTTEST YEAR SINCE 1900 The year 2018 has been marked by the mildness of its temperatures a  more ...
WINERY NEWS Cullen Wines / VANYA CULLEN - 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Winemaker of the Year! It’s a great honour and   more ...

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