Chateau Mouton Rothschild Tasting back to 1961

Friday, March 15, 2019 - 07:30 PM

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"Wine had such ill effects on Noah’s health that it was all he could do to live 950 years. Show me a total abstainer that ever lived that long."  - Will Rogers

 

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After this weekend some people may say they need a break, but I say we need to keep the party going and we have another "Once in a Lifetime" tasting planned for Friday march 15th with one of the five first growths of Bordeaux Chateau Mouton Rothschild.  When arguing about which of the five first growths is the best there is no question that Chateau Lafite is now the most expensive, but if you look at the quality of the wines there is little difference between Mouton Rothschild and Lafite Rothschild.  You could argue that Mouton is better simply because it is the only Chateau in Bordeaux to ever be elevated from its original classification in 1855.  Chateau Mouton Rothschild started out as a 2nd growth, but through the dedication of the late Baronne de Philippe Rothschild the powers that be in France decided to elevate this Chateau to first growth status in 1974! 

We are going back past 1974 to the legendary 1961 vintage with two (100 Point) wines from Chateau Mouton Rothschild, the 1982 and 1986.  We also have an offering of wines available from this Chateau after the info about this tasting.

Chef Toni Lampasone will be making a special 5 course menu to accompany the tasting wines.  There are only 16 seats available for this event and the fee is $995 per person + Tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463.

 

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Chateau Mouton Rothschild Tasting back to 1961
Friday, March 15, 2019
7:30 PM

 

Tasting Line-up:

 

2013 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Aile d'Argent Blanc

(90-93 points) Dark gold-tinged straw-yellow. Smoky herbs, grapefruit pith and honeydew melon aromas are complicated by white peach and spicy pear. Dense and brisk on entry, then a bit diffuse in the middle, but with vibrant flavors of passion fruit, grapefruit and herbs. Firm and bright but quite ripe too, showing nothing green or hard on the long, bracing finish. Seems less focused than recent vintages of Aile d'Argent, but perhaps another year in the bottle will help it gain precision. (ID) (5/2014)  Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 

1961 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac

(98 points) Huge, cedary, cassis, lead pencil, menthol-like aromas soared from the glass. The black/purple color revealed no signs of lightening or amber at the edge. Full-bodied, rich, and super-intense, this was an a profound bottle of 1961 Mouton that would have stood up against the compelling 1959. (1/1998) Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

 

1970 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac

(96 points) Deep garnet; fragrant tar and black truffle nose; extremely concentrated; big and mouth-filling, with very dense cassis flavor; enormous, generous fruit; a voluptuous claret. (5/1993) Wine Spectator

 

1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac

(100 Points)  This wine remains one of the legends of Bordeaux. It has thrown off the backward, youthful style that existed during its first 25 years of life, and over the last 4-5 years has developed such secondary nuances as cedar and spice box. The creme de cassis, underlying floral note, full-bodied power, extraordinary purity, multilayered texture, and finish of over a minute are a showcase for what this Chateau accomplished in 1982. The wine is still amazingly youthful, vibrant, and pure. It appears capable of remaining fruity and vibrant in 2082! Thank God it is beginning to budge, as I would like to drink most of my supply before I kick the bucket. This is a great, still youthful wine, and, on occasion, one does understand the hierarchy of Bordeaux chateaux when you see the complexity and brilliance of this first-growth. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2050+.  Wine Advocate # 183, Jun 2009

 

1983 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac

(94 points) Super-refined 1983 Bordeaux with an excellent deep ruby color and intense cigar-box, plum and berry aromas and flavors; there's even a hint of mint. It's full-bodied but very reserved in style with fine tannins and a seductively long finish. (JS) (10/1994)  Wine Spectator

 

1986 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac

(100 Points)  After stumbling over some wines I thought were high class Bordeaux, I nailed this wine in one of the blind tastings for this article. In most tastings where a great Bordeaux is inserted with California Cabernets, the Bordeaux comes across as drier, more austere, and not nearly as rich and concentrated (California wines are inevitably fruitier and more massive). To put it mildly, the 1986 Mouton-Rothschild held its own (and then some), in a flight that included the Caymus Special Selection, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23, Dunn Howell Mountain, and Joseph Phelps Eisele Vineyard. Clearly the youngest looking, most opaque and concentrated wine of the group, it tastes as if it has not budged in development since I first tasted it out of barrel in March, 1987. An enormously concentrated, massive Mouton-Rothschild, comparable in quality, but not style, to the 1982, 1959, and 1945, this impeccably made wine is still in its infancy. Interestingly, when I was in Bordeaux several years ago, I had this wine served to me blind from a magnum that had been opened and decanted 48 hours previously. Even then, it still tasted like a barrel sample! I suspect the 1986 Mouton-Rothschild requires a minimum of 15-20 more years of cellaring; it has the potential to last for 50-100 years! Given the outrageously high prices being fetched by so many of the great 1982s and 1990s (and lest I forget, the 1995 Bordeaux futures), it appears this wine might still be one of the "relative bargains" in the fine wine marketplace. I wonder how many readers will be in shape to drink it when it does finally reach full maturity?  The tasting notes for this section are from two single blind tastings, one conducted in May, 1996, in California, and the other in June, 1996, in Baltimore.  Wine Advocate # 106, Aug 1996

 

1988 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac

(92 points) Very pretty aromas of vanilla, tobacco, berry and chocolate. Medium- to full-bodied, with soft tannins and a berry, chocolate finish. Not very dense. This pales compared with the other top Pauillacs. I never thought this was a perfect wine, but it gives great pleasure. (JS, Web-2009) Wine Spectator

 

1989 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac

(96 points) Shows so much ripe and decadent fruit on the nose, from dried berries and raisin to strawberry and sultana. There is a nutty, cedar undertone as well. Very complex and full-bodied, with lots of vanilla bean and ripe plum flavors. This is almost Burgundian in texture: so soft and so attractive, but then the Bordeaux tannins kick in at the end. What a wine. So much ahead in its life, but just coming around now. (JS, Web Only-2010)  Wine Spectator

 

1995 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac

(95 points) Bottled in June, 1997, this profound Mouton is more accessible than the more muscular 1996. A blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 19% Merlot, it reveals an opaque purple color, and reluctant aromas of cassis, truffles, coffee, licorice, and spice. In the mouth, the wine is 'great stuff,' with superb density, a full-bodied personality, rich mid-palate, and a layered, profound finish that lasts for 40+ seconds. There is outstanding purity and high tannin, but my instincts suggest this wine is lower in acidity and slightly fleshier than the brawnier, bigger 1996. Both are great efforts from Mouton-Rothschild. (RP) (2/1998) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 

1996 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac

(96 points) Incredible nose of ultraripe fruit, it's yet subtle and complex. Full-bodied, with very ripe, almost sweet fruit and a long, long caressing finish. Superb. This is edging out the 1995. (JS, Web Only-2007)  Wine Spectator

 

Menu

Selection of Cheeses:

Arugula and shaved parmesan salad with crispy bacon drizzled with warm currant and red wine vinaigrette

Rare seared Tuna seasoned with fresh rosemary and basil rub with Crispy Potato Hash

Braised Beef Short Rib glazed with Bordeaux reduction accompanied by double stuffed gold fingerling potatoes

Vanilla bean crème brulee garnished candied ginger

 

The fee for this tasting is $995 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com

 

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A bit about Chateau Mouton Rothschild:

It is without doubt the most interesting and the most controversial of all the châteaux in Bordeaux; and its former owner, the late Baron Philippe de Rothschild, would have it no other way.  There have been four generations of Rothschilds since the Baron's great grandfather, Nathaniel, bought the château in 1853; but the family did not take much interest in Mouton until young Baron Philippe came to live on the property in 1923 - the first Rothschild to be a live-in proprietor.  It was to signal a new era for Mouton and a new era for Bordeaux, for not only did the Baron Philippe begin to do much to attract the world's attention to the merits of his own wine, he also generated a great deal of interest in the entire Bordeaux region.  After fifty years of hard work, Baron Philippe scored a great personal triumph in 1973.  In that year Mouton was reclassified from a second to a first cru in the elite 1855 Grand Cru Classification, a long-overdue recognition and the first time a wine had ever been upgraded in this controversial and ossified classification.

In 1945 Mouton began the controversial practice of adorning each new vintage with the work of a famous artist (such publicity gimmicks were considered "bad form" among the staid, aristocratic society of Bordeaux.) However, the "label art" today has become something famous in itself (the labels themselves are now collector's items and one must get his original by purchasing a bottle), and the original objections raised have long been forgotten.  Some of the great artists of the 20th century have done work for the labels - Braque, Dali, Chagall, Kandinsky, and Picasso.  Andy Warhol did the 1975, and John Huston, the movie director, painted the label for the legendary 1982.  In addition to presiding over one of the world's great wine estates for some sixty years, Baron Philippe had also been a great patron of the arts.  The château itself is a major tourist attraction in Bordeaux and houses one of the world's great wine museums.  The chai, in which new vintages of Mouton age in shiny barrels, is a breathtaking sight for the winelover.  The great Baron died at his home in Paris in January of 1988, and his funeral was one of the largest ever witnessed in the Médoc - nearly 1500 people attended a grand ceremony at the Château.  Under French law, the dead may not be buried at their estates, but the Rothschild family was granted an exception by the authorities.  The Baron's daughter, the Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, assumed control and management of the Château after her fathers death.

Over the course of the past few years, the Baroness has been actively involved at Mouton, and there was never a doubt that she would continue the legacy established by her father.  Certainly the circumstances could not be more favorable, for Mouton-Rothschild has been on a roll in the 1980's - the château has produced some of the greatest wines in its history and arguably the greatest wines in Bordeaux.

Mouton Rothschild is planted to 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot.  The vineyard is mostly gravel on a subsoil of marl and clay.  Vines are planted 8,000 to 10,000 per hectare.  Average yield per hectare is 35 hectoliters.  Pruning is Guyot Double Medocaine Keep this wine around for 10-15 years, although at that time you may not want to drink it after you check the current sale price. 

 

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