Château Mouton Rothschild
The history of Château Mouton Rothschild
As prestigious as Château Latour or Château Cheval Blanc, Château Mouton Rothschild was taken over in 1853 by Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild. Château Mouton Rothschild belongs to the Médoc with the appellation Pauillac. The latter wanted to serve his own wine to his guests. After the death of Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild, the château did not undergo any major developments. Until then, the wine was delivered in barrels to merchants. It was only in 1924, when Baron Philippe de Rothschild took over the estate, that he imposed full bottling at the château. This approach was a first in the Bordeaux region. In 1933, Baron Philippe de Rothschild acquired a small trading company in Pauillac under the name Baron Philippe de Rothschild. It produces and markets in particular Mouton Cadet, created in 1930.
After a decree of April 7, 1942, the castle was transformed into an agricultural school until the Barons de Rothschild regained possession of the castle in 1945.
In 1945, the year of victory, Baron Philippe de Rothschild asked the famous artist Philippe Jullian to illustrate the bottle label. Thus, each year the vintage label is entrusted to a contemporary artist, with the interest of reproducing an original work of art specially created for Mouton. This tradition will have brought together famous artists of their time like Picasso, Dali, Jeff Koons…
In 1973, after a long struggle, Château Mouton Rothschild officially joined the rank of 1er cru, of which it had been deprived during the 1855 classification. This was the only revision ever made. It was conducted during the seven-year term of Georges Pompidou, who had previously worked at the Rothschild bank.
The Mouton Rothschild style
Chateau Mouton Rothschild used to produce only red wine, but in 1991, this is the vintage of the first bottle of white wine named “Aile d’argent”.
In 1993, the second Mouton Rothschild wine, Le Petit Mouton, was created and quickly found its place on the market.
In 2003, as an exception to the rule for Mouton’s 150th anniversary, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild dedicated the entire label to her ancestor Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild. The background of the label is a part of the purchase act of the domain. We will find this approach on the 2000 vintage, a bottle that has become a collector’s item with the representation of the Little Ram of Augsburg.
Mouton Rothschild is known to all, but in 2006, at an auction, Mouton Rothschild 1945, became the most expensive wine in the world. The lot of 12 bottles from 1945 reached a total of $290,000. The previous record is held by Romanée-Conti.
2014, will be the year of extinction of Baroness Philippine de Rothschild. The castle is taken over by her three children who strive to perpetuate the will of their mothers during all these years. Thus, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, Camille Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild are the co-owners of the château.
In addition to the production of prestigious wine, Chateau Mouton Rothschild also has the Museum of Wine in Art. It was an idea of Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Baroness Pauline. The aim of this museum is to bring together precious objects from different eras, but still in the field of wine and vineyards.
Château Mouton Rothschild vineyard: from vine to wine
Located in the commune of Pauillac, Chateau Mouton Rothschild is a renowned Médoc wine estate. But it is also a world of art and beauty with a harmonious layout of spaces and volumes as well as a subtle arrangement of perspectives and a peaceful symmetry.
Château Mouton Rothschild has 90 hectares of vineyards in the northwest of Bordeaux. The soils are made up of gravel, pebbles and gravel that retain the heat of the sun, with clayey sands. The vineyard has a high planting density with 10,000 vines per hectare.
The vines benefit from an oceanic climate and the domain practices a reasoned viticulture.
Its grape variety is typical of the region. For its red wine, the grape variety is composed of : 81% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. And for its white wine we find: 53% Sauvignon Blanc, 35% Semillion, 11% Sauvignon Gris, 1% Muscadelle.
As for its relief, it is composed of ridges below 40 meters in altitude. These hillsides generally bear the best vines which leads to the name of some famous châteaux such as Mouton which comes from motte or mothon, or Lafite which evokes the ridge, Cos d’Estournel the hillside.
Château Mouton Rothschild produces approximately 300,000 bottles per year. This production is bound by hand harvesting. After the destemming, a manual sorting is made. The majority of the vats are made of oak and the others are made of stainless steel. To vinify its wines, Château Mouton Rothschild uses the traditional technique (moutonesque). For red wines, a malolactic fermentation is carried out, finally comes the clarification, which consists in sticking egg whites to the base. The wine production is aged in new oak barrels for about twenty months.
Wine pairing and structure of Mouton Rothschild
Mouton Rothschild is one of the most prestigious wines of the Bordeaux region in the Pauillac appellation, with an average age of 15 to 35 years. We can remember several excellent vintages such as: 1929, 1945, 1953, 1982, 1990, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2005 and 2009. To keep this wine well, it is ideal to store it in an aging wine cabinet between 12 and 14 degrees and in a wine cellar: 10 to 13 degrees and a humidity level between 70 and 75%.
This red wine from Château Mouton Rothschild, reveals a dark and intense color with bluish nuances. It generally has a complex aromatic palette. On the nose, aromas of vanilla and fruit notes such as blackcurrant and black cherry. These aromas vary according to the vintage and their conservation.
In the mouth, we find tannins described as powerful and coated with an exceptional roundness.
Length, elegance and harmony are the words that best describe most vintages of Château Mouton Rothschild.
For Aile d’Argenté from Château Mouton Rothschild, 50% of the wine is aged in new oak barrels. It is a wine that is produced in very small quantities, which is why it has become a great reference in the dry white wine of Bordeaux. It is rich, complex and elegant.
For the food and wine pairing, it is advisable to serve it as a starter with a pan-fried mushroom or porcini soup. As a main course, a game or grilled meat. Finally, for dessert, you can pair it with hard cheese or a chocolate dessert.