About the producer
Ch. Mouton Rothschild was established in 1853 when Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild bought and renamed Ch. Brane-Mouton in Pauillac. A temporary decline in quality in the 1840s saw the estate narrowly miss out on classification as a First Growth in 1855, officially becoming a Second Growth.
In the vineyard
Ch. Mouton Rothschild’s original name Brane-Mouton was a reference to the small hill on which it sits, the Mouton plateauthat consists of deep gravel over limestone.
Similar to Ch. Latour, the Mouton vineyards are made up of a series of hillocks raised approximately 40 metres above sea level (in fact Mouton Rothschild boasts the highest hillocks in Pauillac). This elevated ground plays a vital role in the vineyards’ drainage, as well as providing a complex composite of soils – predominantly gravel and sand atop clay-limestone subsoil. Ch. Pontet-Canet is across the road.
There are 83 hectares of vineyard in total, planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (81%), Merlot (15%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (1%), at a density of 10,000 vines per hectare. The vines are old, with an average age of over 50 years, but some are over 130 years old.
Ch. Mouton Rothschild has a large vineyard team, with the same people responsible for the same plot of vines every year.
In the winery
A staggering 400-500 pickers are used to harvest the grapes which undergo two rigorous sortings before entering the first floor of the cellar at Ch. Mouton Rothschild. Cutting-edge technology in the winery including a gravity-fed vat room has increased the quality levels even more at Mouton Rothschild since it was renovated in 2012.
Fermentation is in a combination or wood and stainless steel, by plot. The Grand Vin is aged in 100% new French oak for 19 to 22 months. The second wine Le Petit Mouton is made with fruit from younger vines at the estate and sees around 50% new oak.
Aile d’Argent is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle from a small 4.5-hectare parcel of vines, and sold as Bordeaux Blanc. Unusually for the region, malolactic fermentation is blocked.
The most exceptional vintages of Ch. Mouton Rothschild are 1945, 1959, 1982, 1986, 1995, 2005, 2009, 2010 and, more recently 2015, 2016 and 2018. After some patchy performances in the 1990s, the estate is on top form, and is once again producing first class Bordeaux.