Mouton Rothschild 2009

Pauillac, First Growth

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Tasting Notes

The 2009 Mouton Rothschild has a striking label from Anish Kapoor. The wine is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot that begs comparison as a young wine with what the 1982 tasted like in 1985 or, I suspect, what the 1959 may have tasted like in 1962. Representing 50% of their production, the wine has an inky purple color to the rim and not terribly high alcohol for a 2009 (13.2%), but that is reflected by the high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a remarkable nose of lead pencil shavings, violets, creme de cassis and subtle barrique smells. It is stunningly opulent, fat, and super-concentrated, but the luxurious fruit tends to conceal some rather formidable tannins in the finish. This is an amazing wine that will be slightly more drinkable at an earlier age than I thought from barrel, but capable of lasting 50 or more years. Kudos to the Baroness Philippine de Rothschild and the entire Mouton team, lead by Monsieur Dalhuin. (99+ Points)

Score: 99

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 01 March 2012

This is the most backward and unevolved of all the Left Bank (Medoc) first-growths. In 10-20 years, the 2009 Mouton Rothschild should rank alongside the greatest vintages of the last three decades (1986 and 1982). Yields were a small 30 hectoliters per hectare, the final blend is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot, and the finished alcohol is 13.2% (not particularly high in this vintage). The pH is 3.81, and the index of tannins, the highest ever measured, a whopping 20% higher than the next highest vintage. The tannins, while present, are silky and well-integrated, one of the hallmarks of the 2009 vintage. An inky/purple color is accompanied by classic aromas of creme de cassis, violets, and hints of graphite and background oak. The overwhelming impression is one of layer upon layer of fruit, full-bodied opulence, and good structure. It tastes as if it were 2-3 months old rather than a post-malolactic, fully assembled barrel sample ... it’s that young, but so incredibly promising. A 50 to 100 year wine? Probably. (Tasted once.) 96-98+ points

Score: 96 - 98

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 27 April 2010

The pureness of fruit in this on the nose is phenomenal, with crushed currants and cassis. It's deep, so deep. Also some foie gras. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and an insanely decadent finish, with meat, game and dark fruits. Goes on for minutes. Decadent and turns to dark fruits cassis and licorice. Warm and voluptuous wine. 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot. Try in 2020.

Score: 98

James Suckling Maturity: 2020+ 15 February 2012

I am speechless over the nose in this wine. Mint, blackberry, currant and black licorice turn to flowers such as lilacs and roses. Wow. It fills your mouth with the same fruit, but with an intensity of superpolished tannins. It finishes with complex yet reserved coffee, toasted oak and ripe fruit and then in two or three minutes it becomes milk chocolate. Just a joy to taste. Best Mouton since 1982 or 1986; in fact, it's like a bend of the two. A perfect Mouton? 88 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 12 percent Merlot

Score: 97 - 100

James Suckling, Wine Spectator 01 April 2010

Deep ruby. Flamboyant, superripe aromas of spicy blackcurrant, strawberry jam, smoky plum, vanilla, exotic wood and minerals scream Mouton (this would rate 100 points for its nose!). Rich, lush and powerful, with impressive fullness and volume to its ripe strawberry, raspberry, blackcurrant, sweet spice and cedar flavors. I picked up a hint of pomegranate on the end. The slightly chewy tannins are a bit less fine-grained tannins at this stage than I would have expected, but this is a monumental and extraordinarily long wine that must be among the four or five best ever made at this estate. (Le Petit Mouton de Mouton-Rothschild, which I rated 86-89, will give pleasure while your Mouton matures in the cellar. Its pretty nose is dominated by cabernet franc notes of violet, cocoa and white pepper, and its plum and blackberry flavors are complicated by an intriguing earthy note on the back. With moderate generosity of texture, it displays a slightly aggressive mouth feel.

Score: 95 - 98

Ian D'Agata, International Wine Cellar 01 May 2010

48% of the crop, picked 3 days earlier than usual because the grapes were so ripe. Average yield 45 hl/ha. 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot. Very dark indeed. Very Mouton. Very exotic, minerals, spice and old ladies’ handbags. Lovely topnotes. Real excitement on the nose here. Obviously great density but lots of grace notes. Lovely palate entry and glossy texture. Then again drier and a little more astringent than its peers on the finish. A difficult wine to mark because the nose is SO gorgeous! I think it may require just a bit more patience than some. Just seemed in a slightly low register when I tasted it. All the Mouton wines had ruder tannins than usual in 2009. 13.1% Alc.

Score: 18 - 19

Jancis Robinson MW, Maturity: 2020-2040 01 April 2010

New winemaker Philippe Dhalluin has been brought in to ensure that quality at Mouton Rothschild consistently achieves its full potential, as realised in vintages such as 1982 and 1986. The 2006 was a stunning success here and the 2009 continues the upward trajectory. Winemaker Philippe Dhalluin told us that it was the spectacularly bright summer that made the vintage effectively equating to 20 additional days’ worth of sunshine. 88CS 12M. Inky, viscous, black crimson. Tears coat the glass. Brooding black fruit nose at first, with complex spice aromas gradually revealed. Deep, dark and intense. Supple and very rich with lashings of glycerol. Cool, clean and concentrated with a highly spiced finish. Impressively powerful and balanced. Incredibly tannic - in fact IPT (tannin index) 15% higher in 09 than in 06. This is a beautiful, refined Mouton that needs a lot of time. A 50 year wine and one of the best Moutons ever.

Score: 97 - 99

Albany Vintners, - 01 April 2010

Black red, concentrated black fruits, rich satiny/velvety yet firm texture, rich, plummy, spicy, an explosion of aromas and flavours, surrounded and controlled by superb tannins, a sensually expressive wine.

Score: 19

Decanter, Maturity: 2016-2040 01 April 2010

Tasted at the château. A blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot, the highest percentage of Cabernet since 1963. Delivering 13.1% alcohol and an IPT was close to 80. The nose is tight at first and demands so coaxing from the glass, but unfurls to reveal a very pure aromatic profile: quite strict, more like Grand Puy Lacoste, a touch of smoke, very fine mineralité. The palate is medium-bodied very precise, supple tannins, superb Cabernet Sauvignon, taking time to open up but it does towards the finish, touches of tobacco and sous-bois underlying the ripe but not decadent fruit. The tannins are not quite as fine as Latour, but there is a lovely sensuality on the finish. Tasted March 2010.

Score: 94 - 96

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, 30 March 2010