Peter Maude Fine Wines

2008, Château Mouton-Rothschild, PAUILLAC, 1er Grand Cru Classé


Bordeaux Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot.

The 2008 Mouton Rothschild has a more open bouquet than I expected: blackberry, pencil box, a whiff of the Gironde estuary, a hint of pressed flowers with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with sweet tannin, a little fleshier than the Château Margaux with a lovely saline finish that does not outstay its welcome. You could broach this now though personally I would prefer to wait. (Tasted at BI Wine & Spirits' annual 10-Year On tasting). 94 Neal Martin, Vinous (2018).

After the 2009 and 2010, the 2008 Mouton Rothschild comes across as a touch slender. Lavender, smoke, grilled herbs and liquorice add the closing shades of nuance in this delightful, mid-weight Mouton. In 2008, the blend is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Merlot harvested between October 2 and 15. Two thousand eight is remembered as a highly variable year. Overcast skies finally opened in mid-September, which allowed the growing season to conclude on a high note. 94 Antonio Galloni, Vinous (2016).

Deep, bright ruby-red. Flamboyant aromas of cassis, roast coffee, chocolate, minerals and smoky oak. Large-scaled, concentrated and sweet; so seamless today as to seem a bit monolithic. But this powerfully structured Mouton is almost too big for the mouth. Finishes with big, broad tannins and outstanding palate-staining persistence. One of the stars of the vintage. 94 Stephen Tanzer, Vinous (2011).

(a blend of 83% cabernet sauvignon and 17% merlot) Saturated purple-ruby. Pure, deep aromas of blackberry, cigar box and graphite, lifted by a delicate peppery note. Fresh balanced, scented and quite suave, with pure mineral, plum and redcurrant flavours. The slowly building, very long finish features ultra-smooth tannins and compelling subtle minerality. Yet another success for Mouton, and a testament to the talents of Philippe Dhalluin, the estate manager who came over from Branaire-Ducru and has really turned things around at Mouton. Bordeaux insiders know not to miss out on the fantastic '06 Mouton, which I rate ahead of their '05. 93 Ian D'Agata, Vinous (2009).

Starting to really come into its own, this is packed full of savoury blackberry, redcurrant and blueberry fruit with layers of liquorice, black chocolate, grilled cedar and a gentle lick of salinity through the finish. Excellent quality, and now starting to open - it was a baby at the 10 years on tasting but has inched open over the past three years. Harvest from October 2-15, with relatively low yields of 34hl/ha. 96 Jane Anson, Decanter (2021).

From an underrated vintage for many Bordeaux wines, the 2008 Mouton-Rothschild reveals classic notes of cigar box, forest floor, underbrush, vanillin, camphor, chocolate and abundant blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. Beautifully finessed tannins coat the mouth, giving the wine a savoury, expansive texture with no hard edges. It still has some tannin to shed, but this beauty is evolving quickly, displaying wonderful secondary nuances. It should age for 25+ years. 94 Robert M. Parker, Jr., Wine Advocate (2014).

Drinking Window: 2018 - 2040

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