Le Petit Mouton 2006
Tasting Notes Le Petit Mouton 2006
Tasted blind at Southwold ’06 Bordeaux tasting. This is a gem of a Le Petit Mouton, possibly the best ever. A fragrant bouquet: blackberry, damson, graphite, cedar and a touch of earth all; very well defined and agreeably austere. The palate is medium-bodied, firm tannins, very well balanced and great purity. Very charming, almost super-Tuscan in style (that is meant as a complement.) Suave and sensuous, caressing on the finish. Tasted January 2010.
The 2006 Le Petit Mouton is the finest example of this cuvee I have yet tasted. A combination of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, and 14% Merlot, its dark ruby/purple color is followed by a wine with sweet tannins, an up-front, precocious personality, loads of fruit and exuberance, and a slightly flamboyant style that gives it considerable sensual appeal. It should drink beautifully for 15 or more years. Ever since owner Philippine de Rothschild put Philippe Dalhuin in charge at Mouton in 2004 there has been a dramatic reduction in the amount of wine produced under the Mouton Rothschild label. The selection process has been ratcheted up to the level of other first-growths, and that is reflected in what is clearly the greatest Mouton produced since 1982 and 1986. As I indicated in my barrel tasting notes, only 44% of the crop made it into the 2006 grand vin, which is the lowest percentage in more than fifty years. The final blend includes a high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (87%) and the rest Merlot (13%). No Cabernet Franc was utilized in 2006, and purchasers will have a long wait until this wine reaches full maturity. Keep in mind that, where well-stored, the 1986 currently tastes like a 4-5 year old wine, and the 1982 is just beginning to enter early adolescence. If you extrapolate from that, the 2006 will need at least twenty years to reach a teen-age status, and probably will not hit its plateau of maturity for three decades.