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THE TOP 100 COLLECTIBLE WINES

#14 - 2002 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild Bordeaux

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Chateau Mouton-Rothschild produces wines with some of the most intense bouquets in the Bordeaux region, causing it to stand out even among other First Growth Medoc estates. This is a result of aging the wines in oak vats, a tradition that has fallen out of style at nearly all of the other wineries in the area.

Despite its consistent quality over the centuries, Mouton-Rothschild was originally excluded from First Growth status, likely due to its owner's English heritage. In 1973, when the estate was given the First Growth status it deserves, it changed its motto to "Premier je suis. Second je fus. Mouton ne change," meaning, "First, I am. Second, I used to be. Mouton does not change."

Its blend is Cabernet-heavy, with 78 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 12 percent Merlot, 9 percent Cabernet Franc and 1 percent Petite Verdot. The 2002 climate was expected to bring Chateau Mouton-Rothschild a difficult growing year, but Cabernet Sauvignon did well across Bordeaux that year due to warm September temperatures that saved the crop from earlier cool weather. While Merlot crops struggled that year, the 2002 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild's focus on hand-picked grapes resulted in this well-structured vintage.