Robert Parker 92
Last tasted three or four years ago, the 2004 Mouton-Rothschild is a satisfactory wine, even if in my opinion it pales again subsequent success in so-called “challenging” vintages such as 2006 or 2008. It came across tight and broody on the nose, a hint of seaweed tincturing the black fruit, later on a whiff of smoke. It does not feel as refined as either the 2004 Lafite-Rothschild or the 2004 Latour. The palate is medium-bodied and shows more class than the aromatics: cohesive and with just the right amount of grip, a little chewy perhaps but with a pleasant saline sensation towards the “correct” finish. It ticks all the boxes but does not go that extra mile. Tasted September 2016.
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2035
The 2004 Mouton Rothschild is supple, forward and inviting. Dark cherry, plum, tobacco and grilled herbs are all pushed forward. This is an especially succulent Mouton, partly because of the high percentage of Merlot that was common during this era. Gravel, pencil shavings, smoke and cured meats add myriad shades of nuance on the powerful, explosive finish. Philippe Dhalluin told me he waited as long as possible to harvest in 2004, the driest vintage Mouton had seen up until that point. The blend is 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot harvested between September 29 and October 15.
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2034
[70 CS 70%, CF 12%, M 15%, PV 3%; 40 hl/ha average yield; 57% of production went into the grand vin so that there is actually less available of the 2004 than of 2003; 92% new oak but barrels have been progressively less toasted since 2000]. An extremely distinctive wine – almost mid Atlantic rather than Pauillac and therefore of course very winning. Very dark purple. Hidden, deep-flavoured nose. Some rather sweet notes – even ripe Merlot notes which dominate at the moment. Very smooth and flattering in texture with real polish – very supple tannins with lots of fruit on the front palate. Not nearly as dry as one would expect of a first growth Pauillac – almost a hint of Opus One in texture? No hint of oak. Very interesting and not at all severe.
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030