Château Mouton Rothschild is one of the top fine wine estates in Bordeaux and, by extension, the world. Located in the prestigious appellation of Pauillac, it is the jewel in the crown of the Baron Philippe de Rothschild wine portfolio. As one of the world’s most high-profile wineries, wine lovers throughout the world are familiar with the basics of Château Mouton Rothschild: It’s a red Bordeaux blend, it’s heavy on Cabernet Sauvignon, and it costs a small fortune. It’s also got legitimate works of art for wine labels, designed each year by a different artist. Here are three things you probably didn’t know, however…
1. Mouton Rothschild is a first growth – but that wasn’t always the case!
Along with Châteaux Margaux, Haut-Brion, Latour and Lafite-Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild is a member of the top tier of the historic 1855 classification of Bordeaux wines. Most fine wine buffs can rattle off these prestigious names with relative ease, and know that they represent the cream of the crop. What you may not know is that Château Mouton Rothschild did not start out as a first growth at all.
Back in 1855, the estate was ranked a second growth. some no small feat, and indeed there are many second growth estates that can and do give the top tier producers a run for their money. This wasn’t good enough for Mouton’s proprietor, the late Baron Philippe, however. Convinced of his property’s exceptional quality, he pushed and lobbied hard for the classification to be revised. Considering that the only change until then had been a minor addition in 1856, this was not easy. Eventually, he was successful: In 1973, Château Mouton Rothschild became the fifth first growth!
2. The influence of Mouton Rothschild extends beyond Bordeaux
Château Mouton Rothschild wine can only be produced in Bordeaux, from the 90-hectare vineyard in Pauillac. However, Mouton has long had an international perspective, and the winery is involved in a number of joint ventures with other wineries throughout the world, including:
- Opus One Winery, the super-premium Oakville, California producer founded as a joint venture between Mouton Rothschild and Robert Mondavi.
- Almaviva, a collaboration between Mouton Rothschild and Concha y Toro in Chile.
The Baron Philippe de Rothschild name and association with Château Mouton Rothschild makes these wineries and their wines incredibly popular and in high demand. Opus One is the only American wine to be distributed through the Place de Bordeaux system!
3. Château Mouton Rothschild is not just a winery
Visit Château Mouton Rothschild and you’ll soon discover that this property is not merely a winery: It’s also a museum. Visitors to the estate will, of course, see all the state-of-the-art winemaking facilities and equipment and taste Château Mouton Rothschild wine. Pretty standard for a top château, right? Above and beyond that, the estate has its own museum and art gallery!
The Museum of Wine in Art is a breathtaking museum space housed in an old barrel cellar. The museum is a treasure trove of wine-related artefacts and is worth the trip to Pauillac alone. On top of that, there’s an art gallery space housing the original artwork of all of those iconic Mouton Rothschild wine labels. Picasso, Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol all in one place – what are you waiting for?
If a visit to Château Mouton Rothschild is not an option, the next best thing would be to grab a bottle. If you’re in doubt about which to choose, our bucket list wine has to be…
Château Mouton Rothschild 2005
Buy Château Mouton Rothschild 2005, and you’re getting more than a wine. The original artwork for this one comes from the famed Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone and is a conceptual piece intended to evoke the image of the green-fingered winegrower or vigneron. It’s a collector’s item in and of itself.
Of course, you’re getting a wine too. The 2005 vintage in Bordeaux is the stuff of legend, and this is one of the top wines of the year. Robert Parker gave this one 96 points. It’s a full-bodied blockbuster wine with excellent blackberry fruit, succulent tannins and great length.
Have you tasted Château Mouton Rothschild? What is your favourite vintage? Tell us what you think of this estate in the comments below!