Philippe Dhalluin’s 2015s are sweeter than a last-minute injury time winner. When we tasted the Baron Philippe de Rothschild range we were stunned by the velvety textured fruit. From d’Armailhac to Mouton Rothschild, all their Pauillac estates possess this wonderful generosity of fruit and exotically spiced aromas. Mouton itself is a tour de force. We were delighted by its classical style and aromas of violet and graphite. Unusually, it is not perhaps as brooding and masculine as past examples; there is such an abundance of primary fruit it almost appears accessible. However, there is no mistaking, this is a serious wine. With aeration, more and more nuances emerge and one begins to see how multidimensional and complex this really is. It sits amongst the finest wines of this vintage, and must rank alongside recent greats such as 2000, 2009 and 2010.
We also have tiny allocations of Mouton’s wonderful second wine, Le Petit Mouton and their ravishing dry white, Aile d’Argent. If you missed them earlier in the campaign, we also have stock of Clerc Milon, d’Armailhac and Coutet, all wines under the Baron Philippe umbrella.
‘The 2015 Mouton-Rothschild is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc matured entirely in new oak, as usual. This represents a relatively high percentage of Merlot simply because, as winemaker Philippe Dhalluin told me, that quality was so good. I afforded my sample four to five minutes to open as it was a little reduced at first, but eventually it reveals a gorgeous, extraordinarily intense bouquet of blackberry, cassis, incense and cold slate aromas. In some ways it reminds me of Latour as much as Mouton Rothschild. The palate is medium-bodied with svelte tannin, perfectly pitched acidity, wonderful tension and impressive length. There is a strong graphite theme running through from start to finish that is little grainy and so it will require preferably a decade in cellar. But what freshness and panache here, a classic Mouton-Rothschild that will live for 50 or 60 years, not a million miles away from say, the 1986 or 2010. Expect this to settle at the top of my banded score once in bottle. Drink 2027-2060. 97-99/100’. - Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate