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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 – 2008
2008 will remain in the memory as a year of particularly changeable weather.
After a cool and wet spring (the temperature fell to around 0° C on 7 April), the weather turned more seasonal in June, but the vegetation cycle was running late.
July was sunny and dry but the summer continued with a dull August, increasing the need for careful vineyard supervision. However, rainfall in August was in line with the average; there was no water surplus and the water table remained at a level comparable with that of recent years.
A lack of sunshine in the first half of September heralded a difficult vintage. Fortunately, a magnificent Indian summer that began on 14 September and lasted until 20 October completely reversed the situation. Such excellent conditions before the harvest increased the alcoholic strength and enabled the grapes to achieve a very fine state of phenolic maturity.
Picking was delayed so that the grapes could ripen fully. The harvest took place between 2 and 15 October, the crop being in excellent condition.
Patience was needed for the 2008 harvest, and rigorous attention from vine to vinification. A quite unusual vintage, it has produced wines that nevertheless hold out the promise of remarkable quality.