Mouton Rothschild 2018, like 2016 flirts with perfection. It has been awarded 97-99+ points from Lisa Perrotti-Brown of The Wine Advocate. James Suckling awards it a straight, unequivocal 100 points, commenting ‘I am a little bit speechless about this one…I have not seen such earthy and totally deep character of the soil in a young Mouton in my career. Of course, I didn’t taste 1945 or 1959’. Jeb Dunnuck awards it 96-98+ saying ‘it’s more elegant than the opulently styled 2016, but it’s still an incredibly powerful and promising Mouton that’s going to live for half a century or more’. There can be little doubt that this is a truly great Mouton Rothschild, destined for legendary status.
Today’s release price of £5,112 per case of 12, or £2,556 per case of six marks a 5% discount to the trading price of 2016 which trades at £5,400. The 99 scoring 2010 trades at £5,800 and the 97 scoring 2009 £5,650. In fact, the average trading price of any physical vintage since 2005 with 97 points or above is £5,350, to which today’s release offers 4% discount. As such, it offers fair value when compared to similar exceptional vintages, providing a financial incentive to buy on release, along with the obvious attraction of owning a Mouton Rothschild vintage, sure to enter the pantheon of their greatest ever wines.
Mouton Rothschild occupies the peak of the most impressive gravel plateau to the north of Pauillac. This provides further drainage and the best view of the Gironde. The high mounds mean that the roots have to dig deep to find the water basin, struggling and concentrating their energy. The soil contains iron adding an extra minerality and richness to the wine. Under the vision of Baron Phillipe De Rothschild, who assumed ownership in 1922, Mouton Rothschild flourished and even managed to achieve First Growth status in 1973, the only Chateau to ever gain a promotion in the 1855 Classification at First Growth level.
Mouton commission a different artist every year to design their labels; artists include Francis Bacon, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. Mouton Rothschild has exotic and powerful aromas with pronounced minerality and red fruit tones. Mouton is often described as extravagant and in the finest of the Bordeaux vintages, it makes truly great wine.
This morning marks the release of Pavie 2018, which have released at £3,504 per case of 12, or £1,752 per case of six. Today’s release price offers a slight discount to the 2016’s release price. As with the 2016, it is a wine which offers a chance at future perfection, awarded 97-100 points from Lisa Perrotti-Brown of The Wine Advocate, who decrees ‘WOW—the palate explodes with waves of black fruit preserves, exotic spices and savory chocolate…finishing with epic length and energy. Amazing, singular wine—it could only be Pavie’. The often riven Pavie is firmly loved in 2018, Jeb Dunnuck awarding it 98-100, saying ‘Bravo! It’s going to need 7-8 years of bottle age and keep for 3-4 decades’. The Wine Spectator awards it 97-99 points, while James Suckling awards it 98-99 points.
These scores make it a contender to achieve 100 points alongside the 2016, 2010, 2009 and 2005. We posited in our en primeur report that with the 2018 vintage being venerated as great, often trumping 2016, the formula will be simple: where 2018s score on aggregate par or better than the 2016s, yet are priced at a discount, there will be demand. Pavie however, breaks this thumb rule, though a great wine in 2018, its discount to market relies on a perfect score. This is great for lovers of big, complex and powerful wines
Like other vineyards in Saint-Emilion such as Château Ausone, the Pavie vineyard dates back to Roman times. It takes its name from the orchards of peaches (“pavies”) that used to stand there. The modern Estate was assembled by Ferdinand Bouffard in the late 19th century by buying plots from several families. The plots were still managed separately, and the 9 hectares bought from the Pigasse family retained a separate identity as Château Pavie-Decesse. However, Bouffard struggled in the vineyard with phylloxera, and at the end of World War I he sold it to Albert Porte, who sold it to Alexandre Valette in 1943. His grandson, Jean-Paul Valette sold it to Gérard Perse in 1998 for $31 million.
Perse is a Parisian millionaire and former cyclist who sold two supermarket chains to fund his entry into the wine business. He bought Château Monbousquet in 1993, Château Pavie-Decesse in 1997, and Pavie in 1998. He ripped out most of the old equipment, building new temperature-controlled wooden fermentation vats, a new cellar, and a new irrigation system in the vineyard.
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