"The 2017 Le Petit-Mouton is dense, powerful and luscious. Even with all of its richness, the Petit Mouton possesses terrific structural underpinnings that give the wine its shape and overall persistence. Red cherry jam, wild flowers and sweet spice build into the finish in this decidedly succulent Pauillac. The blend is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. The late-season rains were especially challenging for the Merlot and Cabernet Franc. As a result the total production of Le Petit-Mouton is down around 28%. "After the frost, which did not really affect us, the major challenge in 2017 was heat stress," Mouton Technical Director Philippe Dhalluin told me. "We had no rain until the end of June. Then, in September, when we needed a bit of rain again, we got more than double what would have been optimal. The September rain affected the Merlot and Cabernet Franc, while the Cabernet Sauvignon was able to take advantage of the last 15 days of the growing season, which were much more favorable. In the cellar, we opted for longer macerations at lower temperatures, as we wanted to avoid extracting the type of hard tannins that mark other vintages with very dry summers, such as 2011."
90-92 points, Antonio Galloni
"The 2017 Le Petit Mouton, blended of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, is very deep purple-black in color and a touch reduced on the nose (both times it was tasted), giving way to notions of preserved plums and blackberry preserves with touches of licorice, tar, black soil and truffles. Medium-bodied, elegant and with a firm line of grainy tannins melded with seamless freshness, it has a fairly muscular character at this stage and a long, earthy finish.
In 2017 there was no frost at Mouton—just a little at d’Armailhac. Winemaker Philippe Dhalluin noted that the drought at the beginning of the growing season ensured that the bunches consisted of many small berries. In fact, the Merlot was a bit stressed and suffered a little, thus Dhalluin felt it was more of a Cabernet year here in Pauillac. Yields are down on 2016 only by about 10%. Petit Mouton is about 21% of production this year. The final blends were made in mid-November because the malo-lactic fermentations progressed so quickly."
89-91+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
"81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. Deep crimson. Pure minerally cassis, very refined and elegant on the nose. Succulent and pure in Cabernet Sauvignon character and the most beautifully fine tannin texture. So silky and with that lovely sweet mineral cassis on the palate. Very good. Drink 2025-2037"
17+ points, Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com
"The 2017 Le Petit Mouton was tasted on two occasions, the first obviously reduced due to a later blending than its stablemates. Returning a second time in April, I still felt it needed a little more time and therefore I will seek to review this later in the year."
"Blackberry and blueberry character with black licorice and aniseed. Full body, tight and chewy tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Tight at the end but shows plenty of potential. Second wine of Mouton."
93-94 points, James Suckling
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavours of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavours, but are more approachable immediately upon release.