The Mouton Cadet moniker was quite revolutionary in wine in that it essentially introduced the world to the idea of a wine “Brand” back in 1930. Cadet means younger and mouton is lamb, so if you are wondering where “Baby Duck” and “Little Penguin” started, you can point your finger at one Baron Philippe de Rothschild.
That having been said “Uncle Phil” did do us a favour, he made quality Bordeaux available throughout the world by developing both demand and a distribution model. And from most accounts has never made a bad bottle.
The 2009 and Mouton Cadet came from a vintage that is universally accepted as being very strong, but this like all other vintages, the winemakers at Rothschild make sure that the wine always tastes more like a prototypical Mouton Cadet than the product of a fluctuating climate. No surprises on nose: pleasant red fruits on tender wood and hint of tobacco. Into the mouth, it is classic BDX, and signature Mouton Cadet. With a mouth-feel that makes even a sip seem like a good sized gulp, the fruit are strong and well behaved, the tannins are firm and the wash is clean and a with crisp french oak.
Musical Match: Baron Philippe de Rothschild is not the oldest wine maker in Bordeaux, but the name is old enough to hold considerable historical importance. The wine made in his name doesn’t to be innovative to gain notice, it’s value is interpreting the classic notions of Bordeaux wine and respect the style he did influence so many years ago. John Mellencamp’s cover of Van Morrison’s Wild Night does much the same. Back in the 1980′s Mellencamp provided anthems to the tunes of a handful of American rock singer songwriters producing ditties about the American heartland, infusing just a drop of R&B and soul. He matured and grew as an artist and put his signature sound on Wild Night, without changing the song in any dramatic fashion. Like the wine he brought some older ideas to light with giving them a minor yet distinct alteration. Some purists will argue that Mellencamp and Rothschild water down tradition, I think that a great number of people would simply say they interpret standards with their own style and identity. What more could you ask for?