Allow me for once to share a personal anecdote. As a young and inexperienced taster of Bordeaux wines, I have always found it hard to hide my enthusiasm when entering the huge door that guards the entrance to the Mouton-Rothschild cellar. It’s not that the status of the Premier Grand Cru impresses me more than that of its peers. It is just that, since I have been lucky enough to accompany Michel Bettane on his Médoc tour, I know in advance, as I walk the few steps that separate me from the tasting room, what pleasure the great wines I am about to taste are going to give me. […] The tasting always follows the same order. Each time it ends with the Mouton wine, and each time I only have to meet Michel’s gaze and his broad smile for my impression to be confirmed. How is it that the wines we are presented with, whether in bottle or en primeur, vintage after vintage, display this harmony, this inimitable style, this quality of extraction of the tannins, this integration of a very particular woodiness, which gives them this form of refined voluptuousness and this inimitable signature, specific to these great terroirs, eternally Pauillacais in form and substance? Since 2020 and the appointment of Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy as director of the family’s estates (Mouton, Clerc-Milon, Armailhac), this assertive style seems to have gained in purity, naturalness and clarity. Since 2020 and the appointment of Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy as director of the family’s estates (Mouton, Clerc-Milon, Armailhac), this assertive style seems to have gained in purity, naturalness and clarity. For a long time, Mouton wines were loud, assertive and dominant. For my taste, it lacked a form of poetry in keeping with this family’s passion for art, music and great literature. This is what Jean-Emmanuel has brought, restoring the utmost freedom of expression to the wines he supervises, thanks to his immense perfectionism. We are undoubtedly witnessing the birth of a great composer. And we are delighted to be young enough to follow his work throughout our lives.
Our geniuses, our top honours The following men and women have given meaning to the concerns and challenges facing the world of wine. Bringing to life terroirs that illustrate the diversity of fine viticulture, devising tools to assess the sustainability of soils, imagining creation, thinking about quality, anticipating oenology, transforming know-how into a universal style, making restaurants the allies of wines, passing on their passion: each of them is a “genius of the year”.
📷 Fabrice Leseigneur