Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2003 – 75cl
$1,188 – $6,772
The name Rothschild has been associated with fine wines for almost a century and a half when vines first appeared on what is now known as the Mouton-Rothschild estate in the early 18th century. The Rothschild family had bought the property in 1853, and its reputation was rapidly restored. In due course the driving force was Baron Philippe de Rothschild who assumed control in 1922.
He was a dynamic figure who revolutionised much of the running of the estate. He was the first to introduce château-bottling, as early as 1924, and instigated the practice, after the Second World War, of employing a different artist each year to design the label. Miró, Chagall, Braque, Picasso, Warhol, Bacon, Balthus, Tàpies and a myriad of famous artists have contributed to this tradition.
His greatest achievement was to have Mouton upgraded to 1st Growth Status in 1973, the only change ever to be made to the 1855 Classification. For decades the price of Mouton had matched, and frequently surpassed, that of the other First Growths, so the logic for the promotion was undeniable. Picasso was engaged to design that vintage’s label. Philippe died in 1988 and the estate passed into the hands of his daughter, Philippine.
Backward, powerful, and extremely tannic, the dense purple-colored 2003 Mouton-Rothschild, a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, fashioned from yields of 28 hectoliters per hectare, with a finished alcohol of 12.9%, improves dramatically with aeration. With full-bodied, meaty, powerful, dry flavors as well as a huge finish, this high class wine should be at its finest between 2012-2040+. During its sojourn in barrel, it reminded me of a hypothetical blend of the 1982 and 1986 Moutons, but since bottling, it appears different, and even more tannic than those two vintages. I still believe the finest recent Mouton-Rothschild is the 2000.
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