Pierre's Article: A "Bizarre" Wine

January 1st, 2013

I was at Mouton Rothschild last week for a Christmas dinner and Philippine de Rothschild, the owner of the famous first growth, told me that we would have a bizarre wine.

It turned out to be a magnum of Mouton Rothschild 1946…

It is horribly difficult to find – 1946 is not a very good year and most bottles were long ago consumed. So it is VERY expensive. It is a MUST bottle for anyone who has a full collection of Mouton. The famed 1945 is one of the greatest years by comparison.

The 1946 was squeezed between the huge 1945 and 1947, and on top of that, it was a difficult harvest marred by an invasion of locusts. My mother told me this one day, on the road to the beach in Cap Ferret that summer as a boy. She said that the cloud of locusts was so thick that you couldn't see the sky; the crop was small and poor quality and the wine quickly forgotten…save for the collectors. 

To my greatest surprise, for Christmas dinner, the wine was excellent. It was dark, very full and long, long, long…delicious. I thought that it was a baby 1947. The nose was more pure than the 1945 that I had recently. What a great experience.

So if you are the happy owner of several bottles of 1946, try one, you will not regret it!

Wishing you all a great 2013.

Pierre Lawton is a Bordeaux-based wine merchant specializing in top chateaux wines. He is the owner of Alias. His family has been selling wine in Bordeaux since 1739.


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Gil Lempert-Schwarz

January 3, 2013

Great story Pierre...had it many times as a certain mutual friend in Las Vegas was born that year... ;-) I would however suspect that what you drank at the Chateau might have been reconditioned at least twice, if not three times in its life and when they did that, they might have topped it up with a "similar" vintage, i.e. either 1947, 1948 or 1949...I remember it well, but never dark in color and never long on the palate, hence the theory about the adulteration, which was quite common obviously...anyway Happy New Year old friend...


January 3, 2013

Dear Gil,

Save for the bottling variations, at the time the bottlings took a long time Cask by Cask.Let us remember that the first homogenous blendings started in 75.

It would take a huge amount of 47,48,49 to transform a Magnum of an average wine into a very good wine.Topping it with a few centiliters would not change the wine much.And most of all I would not see a reason to fill the very same Magnum with any of above vintages….

Most likely be the property bottled at the time a better lot for the Magnums .You never know.

Have a great year..And hopefully drink that same 46 Mouton once in your life.Really cool..

Hope to see you soon


PS all the best to our friend in Vegas!!

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