The 2017 Mouton-Rothschild is lucid in colour and quite deep, like the Le Petit Mouton. It has a pixelated bouquet with precise blackberry, raspberry and crushed stone aromas, and the oak is seamlessly integrated so the aromatics have an unerring focus.
The palate is medium-bodied with a graphite-tinged entry that is actually reminiscent of Latour in many ways. This Mouton-Rothschild is all about finesse and poise, the acidity beautifully judged and with superb tension on the finish.
One of the finest Left Bank wines of the vintage, there are few 2017s superior to this.
Drink 2025 - 2055
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (September 2019)
Graphite, black chocolate, pencil lead, blackberry and liquorice. This is serious, not holding back on its confident sense of power and depth. 100% new oak coming through as toasted grilled almond aromatics; this has no issue settling in for the long term and will deliver over the next two to three decades. Easy to love.
Drink 2027 - 2050
Jane Anson, Decanter.com (November 2019)
Tasted blind. Deep ruby-purple colour. Big, bold, smoky nose with plenty of exotic spice overlaying brambly dark fruit. Huge tannic structure matched by plush fruit and very sweetly spiced oak. This is as glossy as the vintage gets without being overdone.
Long and smoky finish lined with very persistent, ripe tannins. Chocolatey yet serious, this is very expressive already but needs time to knit together fully.
Drink 2027 - 2045
Tom Parker MW, JancisRobinson.com (October 2021)
The 2017 Mouton Rothschild is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple in colour, it slowly unfurls to reveal notes of warm black plums, baked black cherries, kirsch and freshly crushed blackcurrants with hints of candied violets, cinnamon toast, Ceylon tea and pencil shavings.
Medium-bodied, the palate is charged with amazing energy, featuring dynamic black and red fruits and loads of baking spice and mineral sparks, framed by ripe, fine-grained tannins and finishing long and fragrant.
Given the intensity of fruit and structure, while this is a relatively elegant Mouton that will be approachable early on, I don’t see it as short-lived. It should give pleasure for a good 40+ years.
Drink 2022 - 2067
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (October 2019)
This is a very shy and tight Mouton with blackberries, blackcurrants and hints of terracotta. Full body and very integrated tannins that are extremely polished and beautiful. Spicy and white-pepper finish. Sexy and exciting. So long and refined.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (April 2018)
The top 2017 Chateau Mouton Rothschild checks in as 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot that spent 18 months in new barrels.
This rock star of a wine offers stunning notes of chocolately blackcurrants, toasted spice, espresso roast, and loads of classic Pauillac lead pencil shavings and graphite nuances. It's another wine that starts out slowly yet builds incrementally on the palate with full-bodied richness, ripe, polished tannin, no hard edges, and a stunning sense of purity and elegance.
Give bottles upwards of a decade; it will evolve for 30 years or more.
Drink 2020 - 2050
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (February 2020)
About this WINE
Château Mouton Rothschild
Classified as a First Growth, Château Mouton Rothschild has a long and storied history; wine has been made here since Roman times. The property spans 82 hectares of vines in Pauillac, planted with the classic varieties of the region, Cabernet Sauvignon being predominant.
The estate has been in the Baron Philippe de Rothschild family since 1853, but it wasn’t until the arrival of Baron Philippe de Rothschild in 1922 that its fortunes were transformed. Baron Philippe was a dynamic figure who revolutionised the estate and was the first to introduce château-bottling in 1924. He also introduced the concept of commissioning an artist to design each new vintage’s label. Some of the most notable contributors include Salvador Dalí, Henry Moore, Marc Chagall, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Anish Kapoor and Peter Doig.
His daughter Baroness Philippine continued to help raise the estate to new heights with numerous endeavours, including the inauguration of a new vat house in 2013. Today, her three children, Camille and Philippe Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, continue the efforts of their predecessors.
Following the retirement in 2020 of Philippe Dhalluin, the winemaking team is now headed up by Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy. With his team, he oversees over 83 hectares of vines, planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (78%), Merlot (18%), Cabernet Franc (3%), and Petit Verdot (1%). The average age of the vines is around 50 years.
Pauillac is the aristocrat of the Médoc boasting boasting 75 percent of the region’s First Growths and with Grand Cru Classés representing 84 percent of Pauillac's production.
For a small town, surrounded by so many familiar and regal names, Pauillac imparts a slightly seedy impression. There are no grand hotels or restaurants – with the honourable exception of the establishments owned by Jean-Michel Cazes – rather a small port and yacht harbour, and a dominant petrochemical plant.
Yet outside the town, , there is arguably the greatest concentration of fabulous vineyards throughout all Bordeaux, including three of the five First Growths. Bordering St Estèphe to the north and St Julien to the south, Pauillac has fine, deep gravel soils with important iron and marl deposits, and a subtle, softly-rolling landscape, cut by a series of small streams running into the Gironde. The vineyards are located on two gravel-rich plateaux, one to the northwest of the town of Pauillac and the other to the south, with the vines reaching a greater depth than anywhere else in the Médoc.
Pauillac's first growths each have their own unique characteristics; Lafite Rothschild, tucked in the northern part of Pauillac on the St Estèphe border, produces Pauillac's most aromatically complex and subtly-flavoured wine. Mouton Rothschild's vineyards lie on a well-drained gravel ridge and - with its high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon - can produce (in its best years) Pauillac's most decadently rich, fleshy and exotic wine.
Latour, arguably Bordeaux's most consistent First Growth, is located in southern Pauillac next to St Julien. Its soil is gravel-rich with superb drainage, and Latour's vines penetrate as far as five metres into the soil. It produces perhaps the most long-lived wines of the Médoc.
Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, Ch. Latour, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild, Ch. Pichon-Longueville Baron, Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch. Lynch-Bages, Ch. Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Ch, Pontet-Canet, Les Forts de Latour, Ch. Haut-Batailley, Ch. Batailley, Ch. Haut-Bages Libéral.
Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.