Château Mouton-Rothschild Dinner

Lay & Wheeler Michel Roux Jnr Wine TastingRoux at the Landau,  Monday 12th November 2012

Fourteen guests assembled in the private dining Postillion Room at the Roux at the Landau restaurant. A glass of 1996 Dom Pérignon Œnothèque established a thrillingly high standard for the evening whilst a frisson of excitement rippled around the room as Michel Roux Jnr. introduced himself and welcomed each of the guests.

Monsieur Hervé Gouin, Sales Director of Château Mouton-Rothschild, took his turn to welcome all and expressed how, even for him, the assembled range of wines was a rare and privileged treat. He provided informative insight and humorous asides into varied matters through the course of the evening: the wines, the unique artwork for each vintage, the history of the Château and the decision of Château Latour to withdraw from the en primeur system, amongst others.

The wines and the food?

2003 Petit Mouton with poached lobster, cêpe mushroom cream and roast bone marrow

The 2003 Petit-Mouton is at once rich, textured and opulent whilst being compact, focused and delineated. A fine example of 2003 which reinforced how the northern Médoc was notably successful in this hot vintage.

1998 Clerc Milon with boudin noir de lièvre, swiss chard and toasted walnut compote

The 1998 Clerc Milon demonstrated admirably the inherent quality of the vineyards of this fine estate. It has a reined-in style whilst remaining balanced and perfectly in-tune – a lovely, flowing, pure style of intense fruit, a fine dusting of structural tannin and an underlying freshness. Everything is ‘just so’, perfectly pitched and drinking very well indeed.

2000 Mouton-Rothschild & 1995 Mouton-Rothschild with spit-roast sirloin of beef and horseradish glazed salsify

The 2000 is remarkably accessible and expansive in aroma and texture. Still primary in fruit character with a concentrated core of fruit it gives the impression of a wine that has shed its exuberance of youth but has yet to progress onward to developing secondary complexity and flavours.

The 1995 initially required coaxing from the glass and with time revealed a scented bouquet of essence-like red fruits and violets. This is not an exuberantly styled Mouton; it reveals its complexity and class with subtlety and detail. It possesses an overall harmony and balance and is a 1995 that is on the cusp of entering its prime.

1989 Mouton-Rothschild & 1986 Mouton-Rothschild with Farmhouse St Nectaire, Comté and Vacherin Mont d’Or

The 1989 leapt forth from the glass with notes of dark plum, hedgerow fruit, smoke, liquorice and cigar box amongst many scents. The structure is characteristic of numerous 1989s – large scale, ripe textured fruit with a frame of (by modern-day standards) coarse tannins (but wholly in-keeping with the style of the wine). Brash and confident in style, and hugely enjoyable precisely for that style!

The 1986 came with an enhanced expectation given R. Parker’s 100 point score. Reticent to begin with, it unfurled with time in the glass. Similarly, the palate revealed its nuance and sheer depth of flavour with time and swirling (despite having been decanted for three hours before pouring). It is seamlessly balanced, richly textured with a swathe of concentrated fruit that smothers the density of tannin. This is a wine which invites attention in order to fully appreciate its beautiful detail.

Adrian Heaven
Fine Wine Sales

Inspired and tempted? Browse our selection of Mouton-Rothschild vintages here

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