Chateau Mouton Rothschild Le Petit Mouton (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This is very, very layered with gorgeous fruit and velvety tannins. Hints of chocolate. Full-bodied and chewy with soft, fine tannins. 72% cabernet sauvignon, 24% merlot and 4% cabernet franc. Gorgeous second wine. Barrel Sample: 97-98
Barrel Sample: 93-95
The 2020 Le Petit Mouton is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc, weighing in with 13.1% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple colored, it comes galloping out of the glass with exuberant notes of ripe blackcurrants, fresh blackberries and kirsch, plus suggestions of Indian spices, clove oil and chocolate box, plus a fragrant suggestion of lilacs. The medium-bodied palate has a rock-solid structure of firm, grainy tannins and bold freshness supporting the tight-knit red and black berry layers, finishing long with a peppery kick. Barrel Sample: 91-93
Barrel Sample: 93
Chateau Mouton Rothschild, a Premier Cru Classé from the Bordeaux region and one of the world's greatest wines, is owned by Baroness Philippine de Rothschild. The estate includes 205 acres of vines at Pauillac planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (77%), Merlot (11%), Cabernet Franc (10%) and Petit Verdot (2%).
In 1853, Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild bought Chateau Brane-Mouton. In 1922, his great-grandson Baron Philippe de Rothschild (1902-1988) decided to take the future of the estate into his own hands. His 65 years at Mouton bear witness to the strength of his personality, his spirit of enterprise and his sense of innovation.
In 1922, he was the first to introduce chateau bottling. In 1926, he built the famous Grand Chai, the majestic 100-meter first year cellar, which has become a major attraction for visitors to Mouton. 1945 marked the start of a fascinating collection of works of art, created every year for the Mouton label by famous painters. In 1973, after a twenty-year battle, Baron Philippe obtained a revision of the 1855 classification and Mouton was officially recognized as a First Growth.
In 1988, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild succeeded her father Baron Philippe. She has become the guarantor of the quality of an illustrious wine whose motto proudly proclaims, "First I am, second I was, I Mouton do not change."
The leader on the Left Bank in number of first growth classified producers within its boundaries, Pauillac has more than any of the other appellations, at three of the five. Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild border St. Estephe on its northern end and Chateau Latour is at Pauillac’s southern end, bordering St. Julien.
While the first growths are certainly some of the better producers of the Left Bank, today they often compete with some of the “lower ranked” producers (second, third, fourth, fifth growth) in quality and value. The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855. The finest chateaux in that year were judged on the basis of reputation and trading price; changes in rank since then have been miniscule at best. Today producers such as Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Lynch-Bages, among others (all fifth growth) offer some of the most outstanding wines in all of Bordeaux.
Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac (i.e. Cabernet-based Bordeaux Blends) include inky and juicy blackcurrant, cedar or cigar box and plush or chalky tannins.
Layers of gravel in the Pauillac region are key to its wines’ character and quality. The layers offer excellent drainage in the relatively flat topography of the region allowing water to run off into “jalles” or streams, which subsequently flow off into the Gironde.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.