2020 Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux

2020 Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux

Product: 20208008860
 
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2020 Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux

Description

Cabernet Sauvignon 84%, Merlot 13%, Cabernet Franc 2%, Petit Verdot 1%

This is Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy’s first vintage, stepping into the shoes of Philippe Dhalluin after having been previously at sister property Clerc Milon. This is a wine of enormous concentration; the aromas are initially muted. The wine is driven by the essence of Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s impassive but also seemingly tamed, as there is a polish to all its edges. The touchstones of cassis, graphite and cedar are all ingrained into the wine’s fabric. The greater finesse evident since the start of the noughties is present in its umami attraction and the saline grip of its tannins. This is beguiling in its depth and purpose.

Drink 2030-2060

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson98/100
Antonio Galloni, Vinous96-98/100
Neal Martin, Vinous96-98/100
Wine Advocate97-99/100
Jancis Robinson MW18.5/20
James Suckling99-100/100
Jeb Dunnuck97-99/100
Michael Schuster97-98/100
Jane Anson98/100
The tannins are carefully wrapped up and finessed, slowly but surely building in power and width, with concentrated blue and black fruits through the palate. Cabernet Sauvignon is dominant on the attack, with a deft, savoury and not overly exuberant delivery of flavour. As the slate and saline side builds up, you also feel a slowing down and a tugging back of the tannins. As the wine relaxes in the glass, it becomes more and more signature Mouton, full of exuberance, finesse and pleasure. There is less sweet black cherry fruit than in a year like 2018 or 2019, more on the cassis and bilberry side, it will behave in a more classical manner in the decades to come. 100% new oak. Harvest September 7 to 24. 2% Cabernet Franc completes the blend. Could go to 100 points after ageing.

Drink from 2030 to 2050

Jane Anson, Decanter (April 2021) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous96-98/100
The 2020 Mouton Rothschild is sensual, delicate and polished. Bright floral notes lead into a core of sweet red cherry, cedar, mint, anise and blood orange. In 2020, the Mouton is a wine of unreal elegance and finesse. I can't wait to taste it from bottle, as I think there may be much more to it than it’s showing today. Technical director Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy noted that the 2020 was slow to extract because of its low alcohol (13.1%) compared with recent vintages.

Drink from 2035 to 2060

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June 2021) Read more
Neal Martin, Vinous96-98/100
The 2020 Mouton Rothschild is an intriguing proposition, aromatically speaking. Initially, it is less forthcoming than the last three vintages, but it’s just toying with you, eventually releasing captivating scents of blackberry, raspberry, crushed stone, touches of India ink and traces of violet petal. The oak is seamlessly integrated and these aromatics grow in stature with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with very lithe and finely chiseled tannins that frame the pixelated black fruit. Displaying wonderful mineralité and tension, this is a less exuberant and lavish Mouton Rothschild, perhaps, but more cerebral and intellectual than this First Growth during the 1990s. As smooth as Snoop Dogg's flow, this is a marvelous Mouton.

Drink from 2026 to 2060

Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021) Read more
Wine Advocate97-99/100
The 2020 Mouton Rothschild is composed of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, with an alcohol of 13.1% and a pH of around 3.78. Deep purple-black colored, it starts off with subtle notions of fresh raspberries and blackberries, needing considerable swirling and patience to unlock its intense core of blackcurrant pastilles, rose oil, licorice and cardamom, plus touches of cedar chest, black truffles and crushed rocks. The medium-bodied palate is like a tightly coiled spring, possessing exhilarating tension and very firm, ripe, multi-grained tannins to frame the layer upon layer of black and red fruits intertwined with earthy and mineral accents, finishing very long and very fragrant. It is certainly the most coy, reticent and elegant grand vin of this trio of vintages (2018, 2019 and 2020), bearing Mouton's signature perfume, opulence and stylishness with great grace and sophistication as opposed to devil-may-care flamboyance. It's this gently teasing, achingly beautiful restraint that collectors are not going to want to miss.

Drink 2027 - 2067

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021) Read more
Jancis Robinson MW18.5/20
84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. First vintage with Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy (formerly winemaker at Clerc Milon) at the helm. Cask sample. Characteristic Mouton with its aromatic complexity and lift. Cassis, spice, chocolate and graphite notes to the fore. Lovely density of fruit. Powerfully structured with very fine tannins. A sense of verticality as it builds on the palate. Textured, clean and fresh. Clearly has more to give.

Drink 2030 - 2055

James Lawther MW, jancisrobinson.com (May 2021) Read more
James Suckling99-100/100
This is a great and impressive Mouton with plushness and precision. A million layers of tannins. It’s full and very friendly, even seductive, in a rich and opulent way, yet it always remains fresh. Balanced and refined. Nothing sticks out here. Every so fine-grained tannins provide flesh. Looking forward to seeing its evolution. 84% cabernet sauvignon, 13% merlot, 2% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (April 2021) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck97-99/100
Dense purple-hued and a monster of a wine, the 2020 Château Mouton Rothschild checks in as 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all of which hit 13.1% natural alcohol with a pH of 3.78. Classic Mouton notes of cassis and currant fruits give way to a more mineral-driven red offering loads of scorched earth, graphite, liquid violets, and crushed stone aromas and flavors. Gorgeously concentrated, full-bodied, and structured, with a firm tannic, inward style that relents with time in the glass, this is a serious Mouton that's going to need a decade of cellaring yet should be just about immortal.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (May 2021) Read more
Michael Schuster97-98/100
A slightly burned / cedary / high-toast cask character to smell here, too (the Mouton “fumée,” from the soil, not the barrels), dense and persistent and fine; rich, elegant, medium-full proportions and presence, so freshly defined by its acidity, and with such fine-textured tannins; an undemostrative but most aristocratic presence; deep, taut, blackcurrant-sweet, long and juicy, so tenacious and subtle to taste, and with fabulously close-grained tannins, subtly mouthcoating and very prolonged to finish. A wonderfully complete and absolutely lovely wine, which will be an intense yet effortless drinking joy at a mere 13% ABV. A very special combination, in the current climate, of moderate alcohol, intensity of flavor, and absolute class. A sort of splendid classicism. Wait a good ten years plus, and then probably think generations rather than decades?

Drink 2034 - 2070

Michael Schuster, The World of Fine Wine (May 2021) Read more

About this WINE

Château Mouton Rothschild

Château Mouton Rothschild

A first growth in the 1855 Classification, Château Mouton Rothschild has a long and storied history; wine has been made here since Roman times.

The estate has been in the 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 and revolutionised the estate. He was the first to introduce château-bottling, as early as 1924.

Baron Philippe 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, Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Anish Kapoor.

His daughter Baroness Philippine continued to help raise Ch. Mouton Rothschild to new heights with numerous endeavours, including the inauguration of a new vat house in 2013.

Today, her three children, Philippe and Camille 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. Danjoy, who was already in place as Director at Ch. Clerc Milon, brings with him considerable experience. He had also worked alongside Dhalluin for over a decade.

The estate, which spans 83 hectares of vines, is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (78%), Merlot (18%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (1%). The average age of the vines is around 45 years.

In style, the wines have immense appeal, with exotic, powerful aromas of cassis, minerals, tobacco leaf and graphite, backed by an opulence on the palate and impressive length on the finish. “Flamboyant” is a word sometimes used in tasting notes, and in comparative blind tastings this attribute is frequently what sets Mouton apart.

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Bordeaux

Bordeaux

Bordeaux remains the centre of the fine wine world. The maritime climate on the 45th parallel provides for temperate winters and long, warm summers, perfect conditions for growing grapes suited to the production of classically-constructed, long-lasting wines. This vast region of 120,000ha of vineyards (four times the size of Burgundy) is home to 10,000 wine producers and 57 different AOCs. Red now makes up 88 percent of Bordeaux wine, and is usually referred to as Claret. The origin of this name was to differentiate the lighter-coloured wines of the coastal region from the deeper "black" wines from up-country regions. 

The Left Bank, comprising the wine regions of the Médoc, Pessac-Léognan and Graves are planted predominantly with Cabernet Sauvignon, which thrives on the gravelly soils left by the ancient course of the river. This is a thick-skinned variety which ripens late, producing powerful, tannic wines capable of long ageing. It is blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and sometimes Petit Verdot. The highlights of the Médoc are the four communes of St- Estèphe (blackcurrant concentration); classical, cedarwood and cigar-box Pauillac; richly-fruited St Julien; and elegant, fragrant Margaux.

On the Right Bank, most famously in St-Emilion and Pomerol, it is the fleshy Merlot grape which prevails, sometimes supported by Cabernet Franc. Here the soils are more mixed, with gravel and clay underpinning the rich, fruity wines of Pomerol. Styles vary more in St-Emilion, depending on the predominance of sand in the lower-lying slopes, or limestone on the hillsides and plateau. 

By the 18th century, individual properties - known as châteaux, however humble - were becoming known for the quality of their wines and in 1855, those of the Médoc (plus Haut-Brion, a property commended by Samuel Pepys as early as 1663) were classified into five levels of classed growths. Lafite, Latour, Margaux and Haut Brion were cited as First Growths, to whose ranks Mouton Rothschild was elevated by presidential decree in 1973. Beneath the ranks of the classed growths lies a raft of fine châteaux known as Crus Bourgeois, while a host of less well-known "petits châteaux" still makes attractive, enjoyable Claret at affordable prices.

The other jewel in the Bordeaux crown is the district of Sauternes, making some of the most outstanding sweet white wines in the world (from the likes of Châteaux d'Yquem, Rieussec and Climens). The foggy autumn mornings along the banks of the Garonne River near Sauternes and neighbouring Barsac enable the noble rot, botrytis cinerea, to form on the skins of the grapes, which can still ripen in the afternoon sun as late as the end of October or early November. The Sémillon grape is the prime component, but Sauvignon Blanc and a little Muscadelle are also planted to provide insurance if the weather is less favourable to Sémillon, as well as offering a counterpoint in flavour.

There are many inexpensive dry white wines - more Sauvignon than Sémillon - from regions such as Entre-Deux-Mers and Graves, with just a handful of outstanding properties located in Pessac-Léognan. The most famous of the great dry whites hail from Châteaux Haut Brion, Laville Haut Brion and Domaine de Chevalier.

The finer wines of Bordeaux are sold en primeur in the late spring following the harvest, some two years before the wines are ready for physical delivery. The châteaux offer their wines through a system of Bordeaux négociants (brokers) who sell them on to importers round the world. Prices vary enormously from one vintage to another, dependent on perceived quality and world demand, which shows no signs of diminishing, especially for the great years.

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Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.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.

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