Philippe Dhalluin, co-managing Director of Mouton Rothschild, was at the two- Michelin-starred The Square restaurant last Monday to host a spectacular dinner featuring an array of vintages of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild for the customers of Bordeaux Index.
Gary Boom, Bordeaux Index’s owner, welcomed his clients and said “the first decent wine I bought was 1985 Mouton, it was from Majestic Warehouse and was a lot different to the industrial swill I’d been used to in South Africa”. He then went on to tell the packed restaurant to enjoy the evening “and be as noisy as you like,” an instruction they cheered, and with the aroma of that First Growth filling the restaurant, obeyed easily.
The first wine was the 2007 Aile d’Argent, which Michael Schuster, who was commenting on the wines described as “gooseberry on the nose, still very tight, like a very fine white Graves such as Domaine de Chevalier which needed 2 to 4 years to relax to open up.”
The 2007 Petit Mouton, Mouton’s second wine, was served in a flight with the 2004 and 2000 Mouton. Considering the 2007 is not a great vintage, the Petit Mouton showed well with a crisp red fruit character. The 2004, Dhalluin’s first vintage, was showing best of the trio, very classical with wonderful freshness and delicious juicy blackberry mid-palate, pure Pauillac, very classy. The 2000, the most celebrated vintage of the three, was going through a vinous sulk of teenage proportions. Schuster detected “oak dryness in the texture, more muscular than the 2003 and very tight.”
The 1995 and 1996 were a fascinating pair, with the 1996 winning hands down, a fresh concentration of sweet black fruit, amazing length and texture. A great Mouton of beautiful harmony and for me the wine of the night. The 1995 was a much broader wine, not as harmonious and belying its hot dry year.
The last two Moutons were 1986 and 1982. The 1986 was showing beautifully, classic juicey Mouton with amazing power and density, a core of sweetness balanced by the chewey tannins. The ‘82, which had enjoyed an early harvest on 15th September, was flamboyant, with a glorious sensuality and generous fleshiness. Schuster remarked “it’s a youngster, pleasure already but pleasure to come.”
Dhalluin concluded with a preview of the 2010, “it’s very rich and powerful, with high acidity and tannins,” and to the inevitable question of which vintage it would resemble, he replied “Perhaps the 1928 or 1929.”
The evening ended with Cuvee Madame de Chateau Coutet 1997, the top cuvee from this 1er Cru Barsac estate where only 120,000 bottles were made, beautifully balanced sweetness tempered by a refreshing acidity, it was a fitting end to a remarkable dinner.
Written by Sarah Kemp