Mouton Rothschild 2006

Pauillac, First Growth

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Tasting Notes

Tasted at the Mouton-Rothschild vertical in London, the 2006 Mouton-Rothschild was really the wine that put winemaker Philippe Dhalluin on the map, in the sense that unlike the 2005 born in a great vintage, this 2006 had to transcend it. It remains one of the standouts of the growing season and actually replicates previous showings just the week earlier and in January. As expected, the nose has quite brilliant delineation with blackberry, graphite, here an almost cold slate-like scent. The palate is harmonious with the carefully judged acidity, fine-grain tannin and immense detail on the finish. Recent bottles suggest that it may close up for several years, in which case, either enjoy this in the next few months or cellar this for a few years and receive vinous dividends down the line.

Score: 96

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2023-2055 31 January 2017

Tasted blind at Southwold ’06 Bordeaux tasting. This has a beautifully defined, crystalline bouquet with blackberry, plum and a touch of violets; beguiling lift from the glass, its fingers caressing the senses and luring you back into the glass. There is tangible mineralite here, a Pauillac that exudes breeding. The palate is very smooth and harmonious, perfect balance, a more feminine wine but there is undoubtedly still a great deal of power and cohesion. Lingers beautifully on the finish. Divine.

Score: 97

Neal Martin, RobertParker.com 01 September 2010

A major sleeper of the vintage and a great effort, the 2006 Mouton-Rothschild boasts abundant notes of crème de cassis, licorice, truffles, forest floor and cedarwood. The stunning aromatics are still somewhat primary, but the wine is full-bodied with sweet, abundant tannin. Built like a skyscraper with multiple dimensions, this super-concentrated, beautiful blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot should drink well for 30+ years.

Score: 96

Robert Parker, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2014-2045 01 December 2014

A sensational effort, the 2006 Mouton Rothschild exhibits an opaque purple color as well as a classic Mouton perfume of creme de cassis, flowers, blueberries, and only a hint of oak. Dalhuin told me that in whisky barrel-tasting vintages such as 1989 and 1990, Mouton was aged in heavily-toasted barrels, and they have backed off to a much lighter toast for the barrels’ interior. I think this has worked fabulously well with the cassis quality fruit they get from their Cabernet Sauvignon. The full-bodied, powerful 2006 possesses extraordinary purity and clarity. A large-scaled, massive Mouton Rothschild that ranks as one of the top four or five wines of the vintage, it may turn out to be the longest-lived wine of the vintage by a landslide. The label will undoubtedly be controversial as a relative of Sigmund Freud, Lucian Freud, has painted a rather comical Zebra staring aimlessly at what appears to be a palm tree in the middle of a stark courtyard. I suppose a psychiatrist could figure out the relationship between that artwork and wine, but I couldn’t see one. This utterly profound Mouton will need to sleep for 15+ years before it will reveal any secondary nuances, but it is a packed and stacked first-growth Pauillac of enormous potential. (98+ Points)

Score: 98

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2020-2060+ 01 March 2009

This extraordinary Mouton should turn out to be the finest they have made since the monumental 1982 and 1986. In early tastings, Mouton often seems to tag along behind the other first-growths. Yet in 2006, there is no question that the Baronne Philippine de Rothschild gave carte blanche authority to her talented administrator, Philippe Dalhuin, to turn up the heat in 2006. Yields were a tiny 32 hectoliters per hectare, the harvest took place between September 20 and October 15, and a minuscule 44% of the crop made it into the grand vin (the lowest percentage in more than half a century). The final blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot is unusually high in Cabernet Sauvignon, but it possesses Mouton’s hallmarks of pure creme de cassis and flowers in addition to a toasty oak character. Profoundly concentrated, super-textured, and rich, Mouton’s powerful, full-bodied 2006 is unquestionably a strong candidate for the 'wine of the vintage.' Kudos to Mouton’s winemaking team for fashioning this brilliant wine.

Score: 96 - 100

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate Maturity: 2018-2050 01 April 2007

Dark and lustrous. Smells quite Lafite-like and haunting. Great scent and freshness with super-seductive texture. Lively and refreshing without being green. Good stuff! Though is it very slightly dead on the end?

Score: 18

Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2014-2030 27 January 2010

Bright ruby-red. Vibrant aromas of cassis, blueberry, cedar and graphite. Wonderfully pure and silky in the mouth, with great subtle, slow-building intensity and superb energy and thrust. A real essence of cabernet sauvignon and Mouton terroir This one really rattled my brain-in the gentlest way. As silky as it is, it possesses bottomless depths. Finishes with big but noble tannins and outstanding length. I loved this wine the spring after the harvest, and it's even more impressive today. This should go on for decades, but today it's hard to imagine this wine going through an extended sullen stage. By the way, I'm a great fan of Lucien Freud's work, but his label for this wine does not do justice to the juice inside the bottle. (96+ points)

Score: 96

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar 01 May 2009

Gorgeous aromas of currant, raspberry and mineral. Full-bodied, with ultrafine tannins. Long and caressing, building on the palate. Very pretty, very elegant. Subtle and seductive. This could be better than 2005. Wait and see.

Score: 95 - 100

James Suckling, Wine Spectator 01 April 2007

Eclipsed by Lafite and Latour in recent vintages, Mouton has now emerged from the First Growth shadows with a brilliant 2006. The highest ever proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon (87% and 13% Merlot), the 2006 represents 44% of the crop. A deep even crimson. Pronounced and complex aromas of espresso, toast, vanilla, chocolate and oodles of lifted berry fruits with lead pencil. Very broad and intense, - this was the biggest, broadest wine of the day - with significant oak influence and massive succulent tannins partially masked by the sheer depth of high quality fruit, and slatey minerality wrapped in glycerol. It builds in the mouth with a richness reminiscent of 2005. The finish is long, toasted and impressive. According to winemaker Philippe Dhalluin, this is even richer than the 1986... The weather pattern and resultant small berries recall the legendary 1928 Mouton Rothschild. This is certainly the greatest young Mouton that we have ever tasted.

Score: 95 - 97

Albany Vintners, - 01 April 2007