THE APPELLATION AND CLASSIFICATION
Pauillac, Second Wine
Cabernet Sauvignon 93%, Merlot 7%
THE CRITICS’ VIEWS
90-92/100, The Wine Advocate
93-94/100, James Suckling
91-94/100, Wine Spectator
17+/20, Jancis Robinson
THE RELEASE PRICE
Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild 2014 was released in April 2015 at €78 per bottle ex-negociant in Bordeaux, with a UK price of £750 per dozen.
THE CURRENT MARKET PRICE
The market value has increased an impressive +108% since release in the UK as it is currently valued at £1,560 per dozen as of 19th January, 2017.
COMPARABLE VINTAGES & OUTLOOK
With critic scores of 90 (The Wine Advocate), 94 (Suckling), 91 (Wine Spectator) and 17 (Jancis Robinson), the 2009 vintage is comparably, or lesser, scored. With the current market value of £1759 per dozen for the 2009, the 2014 has near-term growth potential of +12.6%. The lesser scoring 2005 vintage is valued +39% above the 2014 at £2186, suggesting notable, further mid to long-term growth. Whilst prices have appreciated substantially since release, the current market value continues to offer excellent points to price ratio against back vintages, so further upside can be expected. The 2014 has the potential to be the highest scoring vintage to date.
In 1853, the property formerly known as Chateau Brane Mouton was purchased by Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild and subsequently renamed Chateau Mouton Rothschild. Missing out on First Growth status in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, the much-lauded Chateau, sat on prime Pauillac terroir, was finally upgraded to Premier Grand Cru Classé in 1973. The property remains under family ownership, currently headed by Camille Sereys, Philippe Sereys and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild.
The property has 222 hectares under vine (Cabernet Sauvignon 81%, Merlot 15%, Cabernet Franc 3%, Petit Verdot 1%), planted on low nutrient, heat-retaining, gravel soils, over a clay-limestone subsoil. Aided by the soils, the gently sloping topography offers excellent natural drainage, alongside perfect exposure to the sun.
Mouton Rothschild have been bottling their second wine since 1993. The initial title of Le Second Vin de Mouton Rothschild only lasted one year, at which time it was subsequently renamed Le Petit Mouton. The primary goal of production was, and is, to make use of grapes not of sufficient quality to be vinified into their Grand Vin. In the past, the wine achieved average results. However, in recent years, as vineyard management and vinification techniques have improved considerably, the ‘second tier’ grapes have seen vast quality improvements. This has resulted in Le Petit Mouton’s quality surpassing many of the Grand Vins of its classed growth peers. Consequently, and in line with the property’s reputation, demand and prices have flourished. The wine is fermented and matured in the same quality 225 litre oak barriques as their Grand Vin and has considerable ageing potential.
After a cool, wet and ultimately challenging 2013, the 2014 vintage, despite changeable climatic conditions, proved to be a very good vintage in Pauillac. A warm, sunny April encouraged early budbreak. Flowering was hindered by a cool, damp May, lowering yields, but simultaneously raising potential quality. June and July offered lengthy periods of warmth and sunshine, whilst August was cooler and cloudier than average, slowing ripening. The outlook was less than promising. However, an Indian Summer followed, with warm sunshine until the end of October. This, and sufficient ground water remaining after a changeable summer, provided ideal conditions for ripening. Perfect conditions remained throughout harvest, culminating in the most promising vintage since 2010.