|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Left Bank > Pauillac|
Originally classified as a Second Growth, Mouton made some of the greatest red Bordeaux wines ever in the period after the end of the Second World war and was finally upgraded to First Growth in 1973. Every year since the 1940's a different artist has decorated the label. Since the arrival of Philippe Dallhuin in 2003, Mouton has been on fine form. Grapes are now selected only from the core original vineyard site and the wine is always a classic example of both Cabernet Sauvignon and Pauillac. This great First Growth combines the strength and power of Latour with the polish and charm of Lafite and the unmistakable Mouton notes of cigar box, spice and cassis. In 2018 the yield was an extremely low 28 hl/ha and consequently there will be 20% less grand vin and 40% less second wine than normal. The alcohol is 13.8 degrees - which is high for Mouton. 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot with 2% Cabernet Franc.
Exquisite purity of black currants, raspberries and some citrus. The aromas flow from the glass. Full-bodied with seamless tannins that coat the palate and then fall into the center, to deliver a thoroughly refined and harmonious young red. Endless finish. 86% cabernet sauvignon. This is the new 1959, one of the legendary vintages of Mouton. Try after 2026.
The 2018 Mouton Rothschild is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc—there is also a splash of all the Petit Verdot they had, but it doesn’t even register in the percentage. It has 13.8% alcohol, which is relatively modest for the vintage. Deep garnet-purple colored, it straight away pops with bright, vivacious notes of crushed blackcurrants, juicy blackberries and redcurrant jelly with slowly emerging nuances of candied violets, stewed plums, licorice and black tea, plus a waft of dusty red soil. The medium-bodied palate is built like a brick house with super firm, super ripe, grainy tannins and bold freshness supporting the muscular black fruits, finishing long and savory with lingering mineral suggestions. This is so, so delicious and, due to the ripeness of tannins, approachable now. It will be difficult to keep your mitts off it for a good 5-7 years, when all those tightly tucked away nuances should begin to emerge. After that, it should improve over the course of 25 years or more and drink for 40+.
Coming from a selection of 76% of the total production, the 2018 Château Mouton Rothschild checks in as 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc that was brought up all in new French oak. This dense purple-hued effort has a backward, primordial bouquet of pure crème de cassis, scorched earth, burning embers, and graphite. There are hints of classic Pauillac tobacco and lead pencil, but it's locked and loaded at this point. Full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, and flawlessly balanced on the palate, it has lots of tannins, a good spine of acidity, and a great finish. It doesn't have the sexy opulence of the 2015 and 2016 yet has more minerality, and I suspect it's every bit as concentrated. A solid decade of bottle age is going to be warranted, and this powerful, concentrated Mouton is going to evolve for longer than most of us reading this will be alive.
Tasted blind at Southwold 2018. Deep purple colour. The nose is laden with slick cassis fruit and exotic spice, together with a fine touch of incense. The palate is full bodied and intense, bursting with oile black fruit. This is both seductive and powerful, a full-throttle, fully ripe Cabernet. Layers of savoury spice build together with charcoal ember tones. Muscular and long, it should knit together well with a decade or more in bottle as the oak integrates into the wine.
This has incredible persistency and density of flavour in 2018. It’s extremely well knitted with everything drawn out and taut through the mid palate, slowly layering on the succulent, plump notes of damson, juice-filled blackberries, charcoal, menthol, cigar box, pencil lead and black chocolate that is a signature of the vintage. I always love that this property shares the same gravel-filled plateau as Lafite and yet the two have such different personalities and interpretations of vintages – with Mouton here absorbing the richness of the year and adding a touch of glamour into the wine as always. The alcohol, while still very balanced compared to most in the vintage, is unusually high at Mouton because, as managing director Philippe Dhalluin says; ‘usually the poor soils at Mouton mean the grapes make tannins but not sugar, but in 2018 they made both’. There is the tiniest touch of Petit Verdot in the blend but under 1% so it’s not in the official figures. 100% new oak which has been beautifully integrated. 62% of production went into the grand vin. 3.78pH. 88IPT. The artist design for the 2018 label will be revealed later.
Tasted blind. Another wine that’s also heady and rich but tightens up on the finish. Classy though it’s a tiny bit drying on the end. But there’s a lot of pleasure there. Refined and very long. 14%
Drink 2028 – 2048
86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. Barrel sample.
Black core with purple rim. Pure, perfectly ripe and lightly spiced cassis. Perfect Cabernet Sauvignon with a nice touch of cassis leaf to freshen the aroma – invitingly perfumed. On the palate, much more freshness than on the Petit Mouton, the tannins slimmer and finer even if they are compact and very present. Chewy, generous in fruit, big but harmonious. Structured and deep and so much more to come. (JH)
Deep and viscous in the glass. The nose is exotic and perfumed, with classic Cabernet cassis, black pepper, dark cocoa, morello cherry and baked vanilla. Complex, intense and enticing. The palate follows, with oodles of rich, fleshy, glossy fruit and nutmeg, clove and charcoal. The tannins are plentiful but perfectly refined and integrated, building a velveteen structure that is both seamless and powerful. Smoky and exotic yet brilliantly precise and harmonious, the fruit drives through to an unerring and enduring finish that is complex, refined and hedonistic. A real showstopper, and contender for wine of the vintage.
(86 Cabernet Sauvignon, 12 Merlot, 2 Cabernet Franc) | 13.8% alc There is an immediate volley of class on the nose of this distinguished wine and it introduces its leather and graphite details up front. This is certainly not a Cabernet show in spite of the dominance of this grape in the cépage because the Merlot is present throughout and this brings welcome complexity and tonal variation to the whole. Succulent and sumptuous, this is a heady Mouton with a long, cool finish and it is in very good shape overall. Honed and polished, 2018 Mouton is true to type.
I am a little bit speechless about this one. I have not seen such earthy and totally deep character of the soil in a young Mouton in my career. Of course, I didn’t taste 1945 or 1959 when they were young, but I have been lucky enough to have a few bottles in my life. There is really terroir-driven character to this. Layered and so intense with polished and incredible tannins.
The 2018 Mouton Rothschild is composed of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc—there is also a splash of all the Petit Verdot they had, but it doesn’t even register in the percentage. Grapes were harvested September 10 to October 3, and the wine was blended at the beginning of December; it has 13.8% alcohol, and the tannins were slightly higher this year. Deep purple-black in color, it is a little closed to begin compared to some 2018s, slowly unfurling to reveal a profound nose of warm black plums, blackcurrant cordial, star anise, blueberry pie and mocha with suggestions of candied violets, oolong tea, camphor and unsmoked cigars plus a touch of crushed rocks. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers waves of opulent, spiced black and blue fruits with seamless acid lifting this gorgeous mouthfeel that is at once plush from the ripe fruit and firm and grainy from the super ripe tannins, finishing very long and wonderfully creamy.
Representing 76% of the total production, the 2018 Mouton-Rothschild checks in as 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc brought up in new oak. The most backward and reserved of the First Growths, this deeply colored beauty boasts a rich, layered bouquet of blackcurrants, graphite, scorched earth, and liquid violets. Deep, full-bodied, and seamless on the palate, it's more elegant than the opulently styled 2016, but it’s still an incredibly powerful and promising Mouton that’s going to live for half a century or more.