Tasted as part of the tour of Mouton Rothschild with Edouard Thouvenot. The wine has seen just less than a year in oak, yet it really was quite stunning. It is only the second time that I have tasted wine from barrel before it is ready (the first was at Vallet freres in Gevrey). It was hard to judge it really, because it still has a number of years to go before it would be considered "drinkable", but damn if it wasnt exceptionally drinkable. There was lots of forward fruit flavours - cassis, brambles and other berry fruit. I even thought I was getting a hit of blueberry. But then the earthier tones came forward, tobacco, chocolate and just a touch of something more animal in origin. The tannins werent soft, but they werent aggressive either, coating the mouth in quite a pleasant manner. I suspect that the acidity of the wine was probably helping to keep that in check. Now there is still at least 6 months more oak ageing to go before it will be sent off for bottling, and then they told us theu believe it will require five years or more of cellaring to approach its drinking period. But I didnt want to leave this wine, in fact I actually held everyone up slightly in my efforts to finish my glass. I didnt spit this one out, oh no!!!
It was tasted alongside samples of Clerc-Milon and d'Armailhac, and not for the first time, have I found the former to be quite green and moody, while the d'Armailhac was much more fruity and approachable. I could have quite happily sat down to a bottle of either the d'Armailhac or the Mouton, but would have gone without had the Clerc-Milon been placed in front of me. I find it strange that all three share everything together, winery, vineyards, fruit, winemaker, oak barrels, cellar etc, yet the Clerc-Milon, to me, is almost completely alien to the other two. There obviously is something different in the way it is made, but I possibly wasnt listening to that part of the tour!!