HONG KONG - There is only one way to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Ram – by opening a bottle of Château Mouton Rothschild. The emblem of this extraordinary Bordeaux First Growth is the ram and the most precious object in the Mouton museum is the Augsburg Ram, a chased silver-gilt drinking vessel created around 1590 by Jakob Schenauer, a German master goldsmith. This was brilliantly reproduced on all the bottle sizes of the 2000 vintage and it was a work of art that Baroness Philippine de Rothschild particularly treasured.
Amongst the lots offered in the Château Mouton Rothschild: Direct from the Property sale are bottles from 1961, 1975, 1982, 1996 and 2001 (left to right).
Philippine de Rothschild was a huge personality, with tremendous vision and verve, and we miss her greatly. She always wanted to mark this Year of the Ram and, on 30 January in Hong Kong, Sotheby’s will auction the most remarkable collection of Mouton Rothschild that has ever exited the property in Pauillac. Her three children have allowed us to search every corner of Mouton’s great cellar to find historic gems and glorious, large format bottles, with some super-exciting ‘verticals’ to tempt the truly passionate. The unique element of this sale is that you can replicate dining at the château in your own home, as all the bottles being auctioned have been slumbering in Mouton’s cellar up until their shipment in ideal conditions to Hong Kong. This is particularly awe-inspiring when one is contemplating vintages such as 1945, 1929 and, wait for it, the great, pre-phylloxera 1870.
Amongst the lots offered in the Château Mouton Rothschild: Direct from the Property sale are bottles from 1901, 1916, 1921, 1933, 1945 and 1953 (left to right).
So, what is the taste of Mouton and how can one sum it up? By way of a reminder, we had some luscious bottles of the 1982 over the Christmas holidays – I am always very conscious of where my duty lies! The signature, trademark cassis bouquet is very often present, in both young and mature vintages, while the impression on the palate can be explosive, full of black fruit and spices, with a mouth-coating texture. This is a wine that is exuberant, monumental and multi-dimensional, super-charged and all-enveloping. Mouton has benefited from a long line of brilliant winemakers who have served the owning family so faithfully, and their talent and loyalty have resulted in extraordinary wines that reflect the beauty that is Bordeaux.
For me, Philippine de Rothschild’s vibrant presence will stay with me all my life, especially when I draw the cork on a vintage of her beloved Mouton.
28 January – London – Finest & Rarest Wines
30 January – Hong Kong – Château Mouton Rothschild: Direct from the Property
For further information, please visitwww.sothebys.com/wine