Skip to main content

How Mouton Rothschild found me

Dwayne Perreault - Château Mouton Rothschild is one of the world’s most prized wines and this is reflected in its price which, depending on the vintage, can easily run into hundreds or even thousands of euros per bottle. To put it simply, it’s a bit out of my price range. The best I could hope for would be a sample at an organized tasting, such as the latest Winefield’s auction in Amsterdam, where several vintages of Mouton Rothschild were generously made available. As luck would have it, I was unable to attend that day!

Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1997
But luck swings like a pendulum, they say. So I was astonished to get a phone call a couple weeks later from someone I had met very briefly at a previous auction. We had spoken for perhaps ten minutes, I mentioned that I write about wines for a blog and gave her my card. It turns out she was leaving Amsterdam and had a present she wanted to give me: a bottle of Mouton Rothschild 1997! At first I was perplexed: what had I done to deserve such a gift? But she simply explained that she was moving, couldn’t take the bottle with her, didn’t want any money for it but wanted to give it to someone who could appreciate it. So I told her, “that I certainly can do.”

So this kind soul met me on a snowy day on the Frederiksplein and handed over a 13 year old bottle of Mouton Rothschild, as if it was the most normal thing in the world to do. I thanked her from the bottom of my heart, we chatted a bit more and then she carried on walking her dogs.

Now it would have been gauche of me to drink this wine alone and it was intended for someone who can appreciate it, so I invited two esteemed wine friends, David Bolomey and Jan van Roekel, to taste it together with a Vosne-Romanée 2001 and Gevrey Chambertin 1997 from Martin Noblet. I have a previous posting on this blog about this small Burgundian producer. Here are my impressions:

Since last tasting it in September, the Vosne-Romanée 2001 from Noblet has developed nicely without losing any of its raw vitality. The oak is fully integrated and there is a hint of fur in the nose, along with the peppery cherry. As the Dutch say, this is a wine with boerse elegantie, a farmer’s elegance.

The Gevrey Chambertin 1997 however, was on the way down. Still rich and ripe, but 13 years was all this particular vintage could take. I had described this wine as “powerful and gripping” only half a year ago.

Mouton Rothschild 1997: a dark cherry and blackberry bouquet with a perceptible iodine tint and toasty oak. Very warm, dark and expressive. Bright notes of forest berries, licorice and coffee with very solid tannins and well integrated new oak. It was a pleasure to have met you, Mouton.


Anonymous said…
Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog and find it very interesting. I will read more later when I have more time. I have a question for you if you have the time to answer. I bought a bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2006 for a friend. As I really don't know much about wine I am perplexed as to what I should say in the card. Does the wine speak for itself that I should just not mention it or is there something that would be good for me to say. I picked this wine because I read it is the finest in the world. I am giving it to a friend who was a big help to me handling a situation. I appreciate your help if you have the time. Thank you.
Hi Anonymous,

A great wine expresses itself more neatly and succinctly than we humans can do with words. I would just add a heartfelt thank you.
Anonymous said…
Thanks Dwayne. That is what I was thinking. As I have time to read through your blog more would it be okay if I asked you more questions?
Thank you.
Erin, of course feel free to ask any questions you have regarding my postings. Please note that I only write some of the material for this blog; a great deal more comes from David Bolomey, who is more prolific than I am :)
Burgundiva said…
how wonderfully surreal! this is the stuff dreams are made of. what dish(es) did you pair with the wines?
Anonymous said…
Dwayne, Thanks for answering my questions. My friend was "Speechless" with the gift. I am curious if you know, I have read that the 2005 vintage was truly exceptional. Do you know how the 2006 compares to the 2005. I read the post today that said all the vintages of this past decade were unusually good but I wondered if you specifically knew about the 2006.

Also, I know with the great Bordeaux' they are meant to be "laid" down for many years before drinking. If you were to open a first or second growth bordeaux in less than l0 years what would the difference be as compared to waiting say l0 or 15 years?

Thanks for your help.

Erin, those are two straightforward and simple questions, yet they are
difficult to answer. I'll try my best.

When we talk about vintage years for a region, we need to generalize. And generally speaking, 2005 is seen as a top year for Bordeauxm and 2006 is seen as an average to good year.

As for your second question, that is one of the most controversial wine subjects. When should you drink your wine? Only you can really decide that. In my humble opinion, today's wine market is far too impatient. Then again,
not everyone has a proper cellar for storing wine. If you do, I suggest you buy a case of age-worthy wine and open a bottle every year or so, to chart
it's progress or eventual decline. There are no hard and fast rules. Each wine ages differently, just like each person does.

At a recent tasting, we opened a 2008 Cote Rotie 'Montmain' from Cedric Parpette, an act I described as "infanticide." Everyone agreed the wine was closed. Two hours later it had not changed. The last quarter of the bottle was left abandoned and uncorked for two full days, when I decided to try it
again. It had finally opened up, showing some sweaty strong red fruit and vitality, but even so I doubt this can compare to how the wine will taste in its prime. I think in most cases, patience will be rewarded.

Popular posts from this blog

Bordeaux 2016 grootste aanraders

Tips Bordeaux 2016 - Evenals vorige jaar presenteer ik weer de hitparade, de hall of fame. Subjectief, en mag best tot verhitte discussies leiden, allemaal goed. Dit is wat we dit jaar vonden. Op deze apenrots alleen de rode wijnen.

De meer betaalbare wijnen, de kleinere châteaux, komen in een volgende posting aan bod. Evenals de witte wijnen. Per cijfer staan de wijnen alfabetisch. En de Top Tweede Wijnen Bordeaux 2016 staat onderaan.

Omissie: Gruaud Larose 2016 hebben we niet geproefd. Op de proeftafel stond een lege fles. Ook gemist helaas: Haut Batailley 2016. Meestal gaaf, maar François-Xavier Borie had 'm er dit jaar niet bij staan - tot nu toe werd deze wijn steevast samen gepresenteerd met de Grand Puy Lacoste.

Ausone 2016
Lafite Rothschild 2016
Margaux 2016
Petrus 2016

Canon 2016
l’Eglise-Clinet 2016
Haut-Bailly 2016
Haut-Brion 2016
Latour 2016
Montrose 2016
Palmer 2016
Le Pin 2016
Pontet-Canet 2016
Vieux Château Certan 2016

La Conseillante 2016
Domaine de Chevali…

Bordeaux 2016 kooptips linkeroever

Kooptips Bordeaux 2016 - de value-for-money killer 2016's ter linkerzijde van Gironde en Garonne - Leuk natuurlijk al die dure jongens (uit de vorige posting), maar wat zijn nou de wijnen die je straks makkelijk opentrekt, en waar je misschien extra van geniet omdat het ook nog eens zo'n leuk koopje was? We hebben de grootste aanraders op rij gezet. We volgen min of meer de volgorde van de lijst met ons aanbod.

Mauvesin Barton 2016 Moulis
Eigenlijk is dit geen killer wine. Geen tot nederigheid stemmend zwaargewicht die proevers besmuikt naar elkaar laat knikken, daarbij sjonge jonge mompelend of iets dergelijks. Nee, als hier iets of iemand bescheidenheid aan de dag legt dan is het de wijn zelf. Dit is een eerlijke, ingetogen Médoc met fijne klassieke trekken. Voornaam zonder gedoe. Mooi puur fruit, heel goed in balans. Elegant en sappig. En en bouche uitgesproken energiek. Kleine Barton waar je blij van wordt. Mauvesin Barton 2016.

Potensac 2016 Médoc
Uit de stal van Léoville l…

Bordeaux 2016 kooptips rechteroever

Kooptips Bordeaux 2016 - de value-for-money killer 2016's ter rechterzijde van Gironde en Garonne - Het heeft even geduurd, maar hier is dan de laatste posting met tips, de leukste betaalbare primeurs uit Saint-Emilion en Pomerol en omstreken. We volgen weer min of meer de volgorde van de lijst met ons aanbod.

Fonroque 2016 St-Emilion
Deze wijn hoort hier eigenlijk niet thuis. Als 'Grand Vin', deze biodynamische Grand Cru Classé van mooi terroir nabij de heuvel van St-Emilion (het dorp). Wél een wijn die ongehoord goed is én zeer betaalbaar. Mijn proefnotitie schudt Pavlov wakker, en dat midden op de dag. Expressief, rood fruitig en soepel. Intens, evenwichtig en met levendige zuren. Veel precisie en frisheid. En dan eindigt de notitie met het woord 'top'. Says it all. Klasse en evenwicht, zie daar deze jonge pure Fonroque 2016.

Grand Corbin Despagne 2016 St-Emilion
Nog zo'n geweldige verstekeling. Eveneens een heuse Grand Cru Classé, maar belangrijker: ook een b…