Category Archives: french wines

The story of drinking a 34 year old Chateau Mouton Rothschild

Last Saturday we were invited to celebrate our neighbor Denise’ 35th birthday.  Quite a few years ago Denise’s father Paul, had bought and laid down in his cellar a bottle of ’75 Chateau Mouton Rothschild, (he is a wine collector).  If you are listening and are good at math you might say, shouldn’t the bottle have been a ’74 and not a ’75?  The answer is yes, but if you know anything about the 1974 vintage in France then you would know why he bought the ’75.

The party was called for 7:00 p.m. but at 5:00 p.m. we got a frantic call – “please come over with your entire wine bottle opening devices”.  What I haven’t mentioned yet was that this 1975 bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild was a Double-Double Magnum officially called
an Imperial (for wine) and Methuselah (for champagne).

                              The Imperial of 1975 Chateau Mouton Rothschild and wine label

This means 8 bottles, 6.1 liters, of wine all packed into one huge bottle.  And I mean HUGE!  Our neighbors put their 17-month-old son next to the bottle and he was only about 8 inches taller!  Opening this bottle proved to be a challenge since the neck was about 2-3 times as big in diameter as most bottles.  It weighed a ton and was very challenging to maneuver.  They ended up getting it opened with their rabbit opener.  We brought over 3 decanters for them to pour the wine into, as it needed a lot of breathing time and space.  The first glance at the wine when it was poured into our glass was a hint of brown around the edges, not a deep red like I would have expected.  The nose was good, a little musty, and the initial taste; there was no tannin so all you really could taste was the very old berries.  It wasn’t vinegar, but it needed a lot of time to open up.  We kept sampling it over the next 4-hour period, which is about when it opened up to the drinking point and tasted good.  The tannins finally came forward and balanced out the grapes.  Unfortunately by then most of the wine was gone.  Too bad.  It was a very nice experience to be part of. 

                                 Alex Morgan w/Double/Double Magnum of Mouton Rothschild

They served roasted chicken and potatoes, bbq’d asparagus, salads and delicious breads.  This went very nicely as no one had very much wine in his or her glass at any given time.  By the time we ate dinner there were other miscellaneous bottles of wine opened up and being drunk.  Oh, I forgot to mention dessert!  Well, Demises’ father brought in brownies all the way from Henderson/Las Vegas (where he lives).  They were to die for!  There was plain brownie, one was plain topped with walnuts and the other was a plain brownie with a marshmallow cream frosting and caramel swirled over the top.  Number 1 & 3 were my favorites, as I don’t like to mix my chocolate with nuts!  These brownies were incredibly moist and were made with a very good quality chocolate.  It was hard to stop eating them.  The brownies went very well with any and all of the red wines that were open.  A fun time was had by Denise and all her family and friends.  We were very excited to be included in trying this amazing bottle of wine.