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. Tasted May 2016.
Neal Martin (January 2017)Score: 96/100Drink 2023-2055
The 2006 Château Mouton-Rothschild has a brilliant bouquet that is extremely well defined: blackberry, minerals and graphite aromas that you could pluck from the ether. That sets you up nicely for what follows. The palate is very harmonious with supple tannin. The silver bead of acidity is beautifully judged and interwoven through this linear and classic Mouton that is reminiscent of those ethereal wines Baron Philippe oversaw during the 1950s. It is all about the precision and classicism without denuding the fruit intensity, to wit, a complete Mouton-Rothschild that is a strong candidate for wine of the vintage. This is the wine that really put winemaker Philippe Dhalluin on the map and rightly so. Tasted January 2016.
Neal Martin (May 2016)Score: 97/100Drink 2018-2050
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. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2060+.
Robert Parker (February 2009)Score: 98+/100Drink 2020-2060
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. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2050.
Robert Parker (April 2007)Score: 96-100/100Drink 2018-2050
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. eRobertParker.com.December, 2014
Robert ParkerScore: 96/100