The Best of the Best 2003: International Red Wines - 2000 Château Mouton Rothschild

When members of the wine press first tasted the 2000 vintage Bordeaux barrel samples, they stumbled over themselves for adjectives to describe what was perhaps the best year since the extraordinary 1982. Time will tell whether the 2000s will age as gracefully as theireloquent forebears, but few will argue with the selection of the 2000 Château Mouton Rothschild as one of the best wines of the vintage. For this millennium offering, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild deviated from the standard practice, instituted by her father Baron Philippe in 1945, of commissioning an artist’s label for Mouton. Instead, she embellished the 2000 label with a gold enamel relief of the Augsburg Ram, a priceless 16th-century drinking cup from the château’s collection of wine artifacts. The ram is entirely appropriate, of course, since mouton is French for sheep.

Once you have the temerity to open this bottle, you will find a dark, almost black Pauillac with classic aromas of blackberry, cassis, and violets. Powerful and dense, the 2000 Mouton nonetheless shows supple tannins and a silky, creamy texture. A great wine enhanced by exquisite packaging, the Mouton is a perfect representative of an exceptional vintage.

Caravelle Wine Selections, 800.515.6437; $450

Photo by Drew Phillips
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