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2017 Chateau Mouton Rothschild
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- Closure: Cork
Chateau Mouton Rothschild holds a unique place in the history of Bordeaux, being the only property to have its ranking changed since the introduction of the 1855 Classification. Originally listed as a Second Growth, through the tireless efforts of Baron Philippe Rothschild to make a wine he truly believed could match the best in the world, the property was upgraded to First Growth in June 1973.
Known as the most flamboyant of the First Growth wines, Mouton Rothschild shows the rich and exotic side of Pauillac. Plantings on the 75 hectare property are a mix of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot.
The 2017 Mouton Rothschild has one of the highest percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon ever at 90%, with 9% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. Very deep purple-black in color, the nose is already singing of crushed black currants, warm blackberries and chocolate-covered cherries with hints of violets, star anise, cinnamon stick and cloves plus wafts of pencil lead and unsmoked cigars. Medium-bodied, wonderfully delicate yet intense in the mouth (gaining some richness in the mid-palate on my second taste two and a half weeks later), it has super fine-grained, smooth tannins and incredible freshness, finishing very long with tons of tightly wound layers. Wow. This vintage is going to be very long-lived in the cellar!
Lisa Perrotti-Brown - Wine Advocate #236 (April 2018)
This is a very shy and tight Mouton with blackberries, blackcurrants and hints of terracotta. Full body and very integrated tannins that are extremely polished and beautiful. Spicy and white-pepper finish. Sexy and exciting. So long and refined.
The wine develops slowly on the palate, gradually revealing its powerful tannins and solid structure. It has the classic black currant fruitiness of Cabernet Sauvignon, to match the robust, lasting tannins. This impressive wine will develop slowly with great power.
The 2017 Mouton-Rothschild was picked from 7 to 29 September and matured in 100% new oak. This First Growth is driven by the Cabernet Sauvignon, as you would expect given the high percentage, expressive pencil lead and cedar that infuse the slightly introspective black fruit. Dare I say that it actually reminds me of Latour in style? The palate is medium-bodied, finely tuned and precise, a more masculine Mouton-Rothschild compared to the last three vintages, fresh with a sustained, lightly spiced finish that lingers in the mouth. That backbone is accentuated more during my second visit in mid-April. It is a cliché but this Mouton-Rothschild is unashamedly “classic” in style, perchance “le petit frère” of the 2010 Mouton-Rothschild that also contained a lot of Cabernet Sauvignon (though before you search the archives, yes, the 2011 and 2012 contained the same proportion!) Tasted twice with consistent notes.
Neal Martin - Vinous
The 2017 Mouton Rothschild is a powerful wine for the year, probably because of the high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. Dense and closed in on itself, the 2017 is likely going to require quite a bit of time to soften. Raspberry jam, pomegranate and blood orange add lift and perfume with time in the glass. There is quite a bit of energy and brightness in the 2017, but not as much immediacy as is common for the vintage. That may ultimately turn out to be a positive for the wine's long term prospects. The blend is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. "After the frost, which did not really affect us, the major challenge in 2017 was heat stress," Mouton Technical Director Philippe Dhalluin told me. "We had no rain until the end of June. Then, in September, when we needed a bit of rain again, we got more than double what would have been optimal. The September rain affected the Merlot and Cabernet Franc, while the Cabernet Sauvignon was able to take advantage of the last 15 days of the growing season, which were much more favorable. In the cellar, we opted for longer macerations at lower temperatures, as we wanted to avoid extracting the type of hard tannins that mark other vintages with very dry summers, such as 2011."
Antonio Galloni - Vinous
Compared to the 2014 (and better than 2011 and 2012) by the estate, the 2017 Mouton-Rothschild is a final blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 7th to the 29th of September, brought up all in new barrels. This beauty is going to check in behind the sensational 2015 but is unquestionably one of the gems in the vintage. Crème de cassis, graphite, Asian spice, and cedar pencil notes all flow to a rich, full-bodied, deep, layered beauty that has tons of potential. Hitting 13.1% alcohol, it has more texture and depth than most and will need 4-6 years of cellaring. Production is down over 10% due more to the dry summer than any frost damage.