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Château Mouton Rothschild has lowered its 2019 price by 30%
The Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW was equally charmed by the 13.5% ABV claret, giving it 98-100 points and calling it “a legend in the making”. Wine Lister CEO, Ella Lister, found Mouton 2019 to be “floral, elegant and stately”.
“This offer looks to present very good value indeed, pitching what many regard as one of Mouton’s great wines at a 30% discount to wines of a similar ilk,” Liv-ex said.
“The least expensive recent vintage of Mouton on the market, the 2019 vintage enters the market well below the 2018 and 2016, and 18% under the 2015,” Wine Lister reported. “The release price will no doubt see demand soar all the more,” it added.
The 2019 vintage of the château’s second wine, Petit Mouton, was also released today at £1,764 per case, down 16.9% on the 2018 case price of £2,124, making it the most affordable Petit Mouton on the market.
As reported by Liv-ex, James Suckling awarded the wine 96-97 points and praised its “integration of fruit and tannins”. Ella Lister describes is as “lifted and moreish, full of promise yet so approachable already”.
Also out of the blocks this morning was Pauillac fifth growth Clerc Milon 2019, which was released at €48 per bottle ex-négociant, down 20% on the 2018 release price of €60.
Liv-ex reports that the wine, which Suckling says is “precise and driven”, is being offered at £624 per case, a dip of 14.8% on the 2018 release price of £732.
Finally, fellow Pauillac fifth growth, Château d’Armailhac, also released its 2019 vintage this morning at €28.8 per bottle ex-negociant, down 17.2% on the 2018’s opening price of €34.8.
As reported by Liv-ex, the wine, which is part of the Mouton stable, is being offered at £372 per case, down 11.4% on the 2018 release price of £420 per case.
“A ‘rugby player in black tie’ is how managing director Philippe Dhalluin describes d’Armailhac, and 2019 is no exception – it’s bulky and boisterous,” Ella Lister said. The release price puts it at a similar level to the 2017, 2014, 2013 and 2015 vintages
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)
Blend: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot & 1% Petit Verdot
Tasting notes: The wine is an intense garnet red with a purplish hue. Fresh, highly expressive and precise on the nose, it reveals blackberry, black cherry and liquorice aromas with a slightly mineral cast. It is smooth and opulent on the palate, with an attractive sweetness, enfolding superbly patrician, rounded and powerful tannins. Beautifully rich overall, it culminates in a stylish, succulent and very harmonious finish.
Growing season: The year started with a warmer- and drier-than-usual winter, with the temperature reaching a record 24.7° C on 27 February. The mild weather triggered an early start to the vine cycle, which gradually slowed with the arrival of a cooler spring and lower-than-average temperatures. As a result, flowering finally took place around the normal time.
After sharply contrasting conditions in June, when a late cold spell and heavy rainfall were followed by an early heatwave, very fine weather prevailed in July. The summer was particularly sunny and hot, leaving the vines in perfect condition on the eve of the harvest. A few welcome showers in July and August greatly helped to dispel any fears of dehydration.
Picking started with the white varieties on 5 September, in a quick harvest which yielded remarkable Semillon grapes in particular. All the Aile d’Argent vines had been harvested by 11 September.
Picking of the red varieties at Château Mouton Rothschild took place between 18 September and 5 October. Although a few drops of rain fell during the harvest, the conditions remained generally very good, guaranteeing grapes of outstanding quality.
Mirroring nature’s generosity in 2019, the wines are very rich, deeply coloured and with good alcohol content. Close-knit, satin-smooth tannins make this a very promising vintage.
BORDEAUX 2019 VINTAGE
When I was visiting Bordeaux early March, Corona was a threat on the horizon and France has been more concerned by a strike of the air traffic control. However, I was travelling to Bordeaux and had the chance to get some first insights to the 2019 vintage. I was very much looking forward to the “en primeur tastings” which were scheduled for March 26, 2020 but the tastings were cancelled mid-March. Immediately I contacted the different associations and wineries in Bordeaux and asked for samples.
The result was a small number of wines which arrived in Essen before the shutdown of France made shipments rather difficult. These first samples of the vintage 2019 were tasted under pristine conditions to assure a fair and equal assessment of all qualities. In fact, the samples proved right the opinion of some of Bordeaux’ leading figures. Bruno-Eugène Borie from Château Ducru-Beaucaillou sees 2019 in a line with the excellent vintages of 2016, 2010, 2009 und 2005.
Henri Lurton talks about his best vintage, along with 2016, he has ever vinified at Château Brane-Cantenac. Philippe Dhalluin from Château Mouton-Rothschild asses the vintage as rich and abundant in quality and also in quantity. After some smaller crops they came back to an average production.
Emmanuel Cruse from Château d’Issan sees that 2019 has a lot in common with 2016 yet preserving more freshness. It is a very good vintage but appearing at a very difficult time on the market. In fact, the start of this vintage was very positive. Enough precipitations during winter were retained by soils like chalk and clay. Vineyards on these water retaining soils had a huge advantage in the future growing period. With exception of a wet June, the vintage has taken advantage of a rather dry climatic condition, which prevented diseases in the vineyards to a huge extend. No chance for powdery or downy mildew. Even the heat waves were not really harming the vines as rain set in, always at the last moment but still early enough to prevent massive water stress and a slow-down of the maturity. The late physiological maturity brought a lot of alcohol, but the wines show more freshness as in the previous years.
Fabien Teitgen, Winemaker of Smith-Haut-Lafitte relates this freshness to the good acidity “due to cool night temperatures during the ripening period”. This fact is also good news for white wines. „They are the big surprise “, says Olivier Bernard of Domaine de Chevalier.
At Château Coutet in Barsac, Philippe and Aline Baly were harvesting in three passes with a total of 19 harvesting days. They judge the conditions as rather ideal: “These climatic conditions have generated a harvest whose quality is indisputably present.” Same samples made their way to Essen and I have tasted them. Some more samples are announced and will hopefully arrive during the current week. There will be a weekly update of my tasting notes, whenever samples will arrive.
Unfortunately, 2019 arrives in a difficult time, the Corona virus puts the world in fear and makes trade more and more difficult. Trade berries and new customs duties create a difficult frame for this vintage. However, we should not forget one thing: there are wonderful 2019s waiting for us, wines with ageing potential and charm which will survive every crisis.