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Produced from an exceptional terroir, Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild is the second wine of Château Mouton Rothschild.
Made with grapes from selected younger vines in the illustrious First Growth vineyard, it is harvested, vinified and bottled with the same scrupulous attention to detail. Harvested in small, open baskets, fermented in the Mouton oak vats, matured in oak barrels in the traditional way, all the conditions are met for the wine to express the elegance and richness of a great Pauillac.
In order to link the second wine more closely with its famous elder, illustrated by great artists since 1945, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild has chosen a label for Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild inspired by a drawing by the famous poster artist Jean Carlu.
A variation on the theme of the vine, the powerfully coloured drawing combines sensual shape with the clean geometries of the Art Deco style. It was made in 1927, following the artist’s design in the same period for the label for Château Mouton Rothschild 1924.
The first vintage, 1993, was called Le Second Vin de Mouton Rothschild, but it has borne its definitive name (which has a family connotation, Petit Mouton being the name of Baroness Philippine’s residence in the heart of the estate) since the following year, 1994.
Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild – 2000
After a cold, dry start to the year, a change in the weather pattern brought higher-than-average temperatures and rainfall from February. Budding took place at the end of March, and the mild weather persisted through April. May and June were very warm, with average rainfall; a number of storms were recorded in May.
The first flowers appeared on 23 May and mid-flowering was observed between 5 – 7 June, in line with the average over the last thirty years. Rapid and even flowering augured well for the rest of the vegetation cycle. The first fortnight of July, cool and wet, was followed by a prolonged period of fine weather. The wind dried out the vines and veraison took place earlier than usual. A generally reliable indicator of future quality, the mid-veraison point was noted 7 to 8 days earlier than average for Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon (4 and 5 August respectively, rather than 11 and 13), and two days earlier than average for Cabernet Franc (12 August rather than 14).
A few very hot days in late July and early August interrupted the growth of the vine, helping to concentrate sugar and phenolics in the berries. The fine weather continued in September; some light rain ensured that the crop reached full maturity while remaining in excellent condition. The harvest took place in good conditions, with plenty of sun during the day. The grapes were healthy, well-coloured, tannic and full of flavour.
BORDEAUX 2000 – A DREAM VINTAGE
Weather conditions / Vintage 2000 has from the very start been proclaimed as one of the best vintages of modern times. In spring 2003, I've had many opportunities to find out, if we really have a true dream vintage in our hands.
During harvest 2000, while doing "personal inspection" in the vineyards, I noticed that something extraordinary big was on its way. Grapes looked extremely healthy.
While sorting table was rolling, I observed, that there were few leaves, stalks and weeds among the grapes. That's why sorting out grapes went so easy and quick. It must be one of hallmarks of 2000 vintage, because normally even the great vintages require a lot of work at sorting table.
2000 vintage is classic, extravagant and extremely long-lived Bordeaux with dark, extremely dense wines, which have enormous concentration of fruit, length and superbly concentrated tannin. The tannin is not allowed to dominate, because it's well wrapped up by fruit. A scent of sub-maturity is only present in few wines. One of this vintage's trademarks is an intense and deep aroma of dark berries, like blueberries, blackberries and black cherries.
All red grape varieties reached perfect maturity, including Bordeaux' most capricious and unruly grape variety, Petit Verdot. Petit Verdot gives the much meeded contribution of backbone and power to the wines.
Also the grapes for whites, like Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle, did ripe perfectly and produced tremendously fine dry white wines. Sweet white wines turned unfortunately to be a few light, elegant and charming wines, which were based 100% on September pickings. Beginning on the 11th October, it rained heavily in Bordeaux and it continued until the end of the year.