- Nick's Import
2018 Chateau Mouton Rothschild
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 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+. Drink 2027 - 2067.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown - Wine Advocate (April 2021)
The 2018 Mouton Rothschild is a rich, shockingly flamboyant wine endowed with tremendous fruit density and a level of unctuousness that could be taken for a wine still in barrel. Marvelously open and fleshy, the 2018 is utterly breathtaking today. I imagine it will shut down at some point, but today it is all seduction here. Ripe red cherry, plum, mocha, spice and cedar infuse the 2018 with tons of complexity. This is a tremendous showing. Drink 2028 - 2058.
Antonio Galloni - Vinous (March 2021)
Exquisite purity of blackcurrants, 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.
James Suckling (Jan 2021)
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. Drink 2029 - 2079.
Jeb Dunnuck (March 2021)
Dark red ink in color, the wine exudes Asian spice, espresso, smoke, cigar box, walnuts, cocoa, blackberry and red currant aromas. If you can pull yourself away from seeking additional nuances in the perfume, the wine hits your palate with waves of sensuous, decadent, velvety, dark red fruits and spice that clock in at over 60 seconds. Think of 2018 as a better version of 2009, with more concentration, silkier tannins, additional levels of purity and opulence. Even with all this voluptuousness, the wine is energetic and intense. The blend comes from 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, 13.8% alcohol.
Jeff Leve - The Wine Cellar Insider (March 2021)