Le Petit Mouton
Classification: Second Wine of Château Mouton Rothschild
Le Petit Mouton has been produced since 1993. It is generally made from a selection of wines from the illustrious First growth Mouton Rothschild and is harvested, vinified and bottled with the same painstaking care: the grapes are collected in small baskets, the wine is fermented in the famous Mouton oak vats (they are one of the last châteaux in the Médoc to use them) and aged in barrels using traditional methods. In order to reinforce the link between Le Petit Mouton and its celebrated senior, whose labels have been illustrated by great artists since 1945, the label chosen by Baroness Philippine de Rothschild for Le Petit Mouton is inspired by a drawing by the famous poster designer Jean Carlu, designed in 1927.
Le Petit Mouton has a special family connection as it is the home of Baroness Philippine and is centred right at the heart of the estate. Le Petit Mouton was built by Baron James as a family home after his father, Baron Nathaniel, purchased the estate in 1853. Château Mouton Rothschild dates back to 1311 when it was owned by the Knight Pons de Castillon. It was in English hands by the 15th century when it was gifted to the Duke of Gloucester, the younger brother of Henry V, but returned to French hands after the Hundred Years War.
There are 2 stories of how the Château got its name one is that it is from the gravel “motte” or hill that it is situated on and the other is that it is from the French word “mouton” for sheep due to the grazing pasture that surrounds the estate. The Mouton vineyards span 203 acres over the typical Garonne gravel which lies on a bedrock of sand, clay, marl and limestone. The vines are 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, with 9% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot and are around 50 years old. There is also Sauvignon Blanc, for the estate's white wine Aile d'Argent.
Le Petit Mouton's ruby red wines are deep and concentrated with a nose of cherry jam, liquorice and spice with the toast and vanilla of oak. They are elegant and lush with a palate of peach, caramel and pepper. The wines are rich and well balanced and only a few thousand bottles are produced.
Owner: Baroness Philippine de Rothschild (also owns Châteaux d'Armailhac and Clerc Milon)
Château website: www.bpdr.com
Oenologist: P Dhalluin