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This article appears courtesy of PrimeCellar Asia

Break out the Ch. Mouton Rothschild!

Well I have to admit that when I started writing this I had no idea that I myself am a Green Wood Goat being born in 1955! Apparently I am gentle, calm, creative, thoughtful, persevering honest and frank which suits me just fine. Good jobs for me would be an actor or a teacher, and believe me I use many elements of those occupations for my real life job as a wine specialist.  I am hoping for a year of great harmony and fortune; but to insure that it looks like I will have to go shopping because I do not own any red underwear, and it seems that it is imperative for Goats to wear red underwear in 2015!As this column relates to wine; one of the most famous and influential men in the history of wine was known as “quite a Ram of a man” and his family coat of arms depicts two Rams facing each other on each side of the shield and Mouton in french is Goat, Sheep or Ram. This amazing man was Baron Philippe de Rothschild (1902-1988) the legendary owner of Ch. Mouton Rothschild and he was actually born in the year of the Tiger and the Tiger qualities fit him perfectly. Traits of, daring fighters, always in a hurry, born leaders, noble and fearless even to those working against him, was his life's work.

He was the only person in his wealthy family to have interest in the vineyard in Pauillac and took charge of the estate in 1922 when he was 20 years old. He introduced the first bottling of the entire vintage at the estate in 1924, previously the barrels were sold to negociants and bottled by the negociants; you can imagine the creative blends that may have ended up as just about anything and hence the beginning of quality control. In 1932 he introduced his Bordeaux Brand wine, to the rest of the world "Mouton Cadet" and for many generations of Americans like my parents, this wine was the symbol and taste of Bordeaux wine. The Baron drove his own Bugatti T35C in the Grand prix of Monaco and lived his life in the fast lane.

It was a brilliant idea to commission a famous artist for his label even before his famous 1945 Victory label and every year since baring his signature until his passing. With the exception of 1953, 1973 and 2003 the Mouton coat of arms appears under the label, and in 2008 the work of Chinese painter Xu Lei appears on the label. After a lifetime of lobbying and making great wines the Barons wine was elevated from second growth to First Growth in 1973, the only change in the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux wine. One of his last bold moves was to partner with vintner Robert Mondavi and start the California-French venture of the now world famous Opus One Winery in Oakville.

This was an awesome man, my friend Pierre Lawton became good friends with the Baron thru his grandfather and they often played Backgammon at Mouton. The Baron and his cellar master the famous Rauol Blondin made sure he was well guided into fine wine serving him many great vintages. He recalled a marvelous Christmas dinner about 25 years ago when all of the first growths were served out of magnum from the legendary vintage of 1870! He relates that as famous as the 1945 is, he has tasted it and 1947 several times and definitely prefers the 1947; and in the same league the lesser known 1952 is superb!

Mouton Rothschild is a powerful Cabernet from Pauillac and with any vintage you purchase you can rest assured it will be a fine wine for your Reunion dinner. From our selection of wine at PrimeCellar, only one wine is crafted in the style of Ch. Mouton Rothschild and that would be without question Lamborn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. Like Mouton it is a dark racy wine with strong, masculine fruit, great freshness and bright acidity; perfect for your special holiday dinners.


Golden State News... If you are a NBA fan I hope you are a Golden State Warriors fan! I have been one my whole life and at the moment we have the best record in the league, they are talented and wildly exciting to watch. The Warriors just unveiled a new uniform jersey for Chinese New Year and it is super cool! Black and Red in color and Warriors written in Chinese on the front; these are going to sell out quickly and I can't wait to get my hands on one. Way to go Warriors!

Cheers and a very Happy New Year to you and your family.
Ralph Sands
PrimeCellar Consultant

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Copyright © 2017 by Ralph Sands