Chateau Mouton Rothschild is an anomaly. In the 1855 Bordeaux classification, it was ranked a second growth, just below the firsts. Mouton thought this unjust, and fought, for more than a century, until matters were "rectified" and the 1855 classification was amended, for the first (and only) time in its history, to include Mouton in the first growths, in 1973. At that time, Mouton, which had begun a tradition of adding a specially commissioned artist's work to its label each year in 1945, put on the label the words (in French) "First I am, second I was, Mouton does not change."
The vineyard is 75 hectares in size, and is made up gravel, rocks, sand, clay and limestone. The vineyard is planted to 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. This is a relatively high level of Cabernet Sauvignon, even for Pauillac, with the result that of all of the wines of Bordeaux, it is Mouton which is the "textbook" Cabernet Sauvignon, year in and year out.
2009 was an excellent year in Bordeaux, and Mouton did not disappoint. Wine Spectator gave the wine 98 points and said: "This is pure, unadulterated Cabernet, with a gorgeously creamy mouthfeel to the beam of cassis that's backed by extra layers of cherry eau de vie, red licorice and raspberry ganache. Obviously dense but amazingly supple, with terrific length supported by a classic, iron-fueled spine. This has power if it needs it, but it's all about length. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2020 through 2040." Robert Parker gave it 99 points.