This morning’s release of Mouton-Rothschild at £1400 [$2100] per six has led me to shunt this particular review up the batting order. The price, 33% down on 2011, will be sure to send the cat amongst the pigeons and is something of a relief given concern about Bordeaux pricing. I’ll be following soon in more detail about Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and Chateau Latour, as well as the other Pauillac chateaux, following the continuation of my Right Bank coverage.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Mouton-Rothschild’
Though the vintage felt pretty closed generally, there are some good to very good wines in Pauillac in 2008. Outside of Lafite and Mouton, who have both produced strong, classical efforts, I thought that Chateau Pichon-Longueville was almost their equal. This estate has had a tremendous run in recent vintages and never seems to put a foot wrong. It was pick of the bunch in Pauillac in 2007, a really tricky vintage, and has made thrilling wines in 2009 and in 2010 [more on this latter vintage shortly]. Of course it has risen considerably in price in recent vinatges but, given what’s in the glass, it’s certainly worth it. Chateau Lynch-Bages also looks very good in 2008 and Chateau Duhart Milon, once the darling of the speculators, has produced impressive wine.
The MW Institute’s Annual Claret Tasting is almost too much of a good thing. Tasting all one hundred and twenty wines from Bordeaux’s finest districts requires steely determination, nifty footwork and a healthy dollop of over-ambition. You’ll also need to keep an eye on your watch as you’ve only a few hours. Then, just as you think you’ve licked it, tasting St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien, Margaux, Haut-Médoc and Pessac-Léognan back-to-back in the grand Vintners Hall, up come the wines of St Emilion and Pomerol, lying in wait in an adjoining room. Talk about kicking a man when he’s down. Fortunately, since last year, you can perk up with some fine Sauternes and Barsac at the very end before hailing a taxi cab and finding somewhere to lie down.
There’s no doubt that 2011 is an inconsistent vintage in Bordeaux. The same problems that affected the region generally also had a big impact in Pauillac. Here, as elsewhere, a combination of drought, a warm, dry spring, followed by a cool autumnal summer, with occasional severe heat spikes, knocked the growth cycle out kilter. Pauillac has some of the greatest terroir on earth of course. It makes it naturally well insured against the most meagre and challenging of years. Given too the extraordinary level of investment in the vineyards and the cellars over the past decade, plus obsessive attention to detail and daily micromanagement at the finest properties, it’s hardly surprising, then, that the best estates here deliver an extremely decent glass of 2011. So much so in fact you almost forget what a tricky harvest this was to grow and vinify. Almost….
Only four wines were shown from the St Estèphe appellation at the MW Institute tasting but Chateau Cos d’Estournel has turned in an excellent effort in 2007. Chateau Montrose meanwhile felt much more backward and Chateau Cos Labory and Chateau Lafon Rochet both felt light and lacking in depth. It’s really worth searching out their 2006s, 2008s and 2009s instead.
Plodding on, minding the pennies, paying off the debts…oh ‘Sod it!’, there comes a point when you have to say that this will all count for nowt when you’re six feet under, pushing up the daisies. A tasting organised by a friend this weekend, reminded me of the importance of doing something exhilarating.