How Good is Mouton Cadet Bordeaux wine?
Reviewing 2014 Mouton Cadet Bordeaux AC, France
As I highlighted recently in an article on Vivino about the Most Popular French Wines, wines coming under the Mouton Cadet label indeed count among the very most widely drank bottles of French wine in the world. It is in fact the most scanned French wine brand on Vivino, the wine app that today has the most wine-reviewing users in the world.
Who hasn’t seen a bottle of Mouton Cadet at his local supermarket or wine shop?
Well, maybe you haven’t… But if you pay a little attention, you will surely soon notice it, somewhere close to you.
In his wine book called Wine Business Case Study, author Pierre Mora reported that about 12 million bottles of Mouton Cadet are produced and sold every vintage, 70% of which are exported outside of home France.
Some wines the French keep for themselves, not Mouton Cadet!
But who actually remembers well what Mouton Cadet taste like?
Is Mouton Cadet actually a good wine?
Let’s find out….
If you can’t be bothered with reading the detailed tasting notes below, feel free to swap then and directly jum down below to the ‘How Good is Mouton Cadet?’ section.
2014 Mouton Cadet Tasting Notes
Mouton Cadet Bordeaux red comes in a rather vibrant bright red color indeed, of medium intensity. It is fairly dark to the core, although you can still see through. The rim is brightly red. It has an average color I would say, but typical for a Bordeaux AC wine.
The nose primarily throws aromas of lifted spices, white pepper and nutmeg, some cinnamon. It smells quite vegetal too, with the typical Cabernet Sauvignon character of bell pepper (or capsicum, the green one in this case). Somewhat of a leafy character to the aromatic profile.
The fruity notes are discrete to the nose. Subtle sour red berry come through discretely.
The palate boasts a medium-to-light body for a Bordeaux wine. Good acidity, and not a huge tannic density, although tannins are well present with a biting edge. They finish on a dry and drying sensation, bringing in some vegetal bitterness as well.
The fruit characters are more present in your mouth than they were on the nose. Raspberry jam, perhaps some blackberry, are well present and provide a positive fresh and fruity impression.
It’s dry, somewhat austere, with a good upfront fruitiness, also hitting with a punchy sour and savory sensation from acidity and bitterness. Nothing too aggressive, but yes, savory and sour like the sensation you’d have eating fresh cranberries, or having a sip of cranberry juice.
Enjoyable it is if you like this sort of taste. Pair it with rich foods though, rich grilled meats or cheeses, pizza or pastas, any flavorful dish that will provide some oily richness, and this wine will positively and keenly cut through the fat.
So How Good is Mouton Cadet Overall?
Considering the price tag, we are here with a fairly good example of a Bordeaux AOC wine, and reliable in quality which is not always the case, with important vintage variations in the area. I would love to actually have a vertical tasting of Mouton Cadet to get a confirmation on this point. But given the production volumes, chances are Mouton Cadet is pretty reliable with little between vintages.
For the context, 2014 vintage (as reviewed here) was a bit of a tough vintage in Bordeaux, perhaps explaining some of the vegetal characters in this particular Mouton Cadet.
This is a wine with upfront fruitiness, and a heap of bursting spiciness. Dry and on the sour side, it brings some bitterness and somewhat of an austerity to the Bordeaux style which I suppose is what many consumers expect out of French wine, even if obviously it is not always the case with French wine.
This specific austere style does make it a wine-friendly wine with the ability to balance out rich and tasty foods.
Not the best French wine by any stretch of the imagination, but not the worst either by any mean, in my opinion. An ok value wine that gives the sense of what Bordeaux wine tastes like and an affordable price tag. Decent and affordable with food, as long as you don’t set your expectations to high.
What do YOU think?
Let me know in the comment section below…
Mouton Cadet Wine Drinking Tip
If you want to make the most of you Mouton Cadet experience, here is what you need to do:
- Chill it a little, to bring out the fruit flavors and make them taste fresher. Not cold or at fridge temperature. Serve around 15-16 degrees Celsius (around 60 Fahrenheit), not any higher. Read more about ideal wine serving temperatures.
- Decant 1 hour prior to tasting. If you don’t have a decanter, pour the wine in a container, jug or else, then back in the bottle 1 hour before serving. This will temper the vegetal characters and the bell pepper notes, and allow the fruity notes to be expressed more vibrantly in the wine. Read more about how to decant wine.
Served this way, you should turn your Mouton Cadet experience from an average forgettable wine-drinking event into an enjoyable fruity, spicy, and food-friendly one.
I know, this sort of affordable wine should not need any preparation for enjoyment. But hey! It’s French, so you have to give it that…
A brief History of Mouton Cadet Wine
As detailed on the Mouton Cadet website.
1922 – Baron Philippe de Rothschild
Baron Philippe de Rothschild (1902-1988) is 20 years old. He is the youngest son of Baron Henri and great-grandson of Baron Nathaniel as he takes control of Chateau Mouton Rothschild. During his reign which spanned more than 60 years, his decisions would profoundly change the world of wine, raise the image of the family château to unparalleled heights and considerably increase the range and geographical scope of its activities.
1930 – Launch of Mouton Cadet
Baron Philippe de Rothschild is keen to bring the richness of the prestigious Bordeaux region to a wider audience and launches the Mouton Cadet brand and wine.
1988 – Baroness Phlippine de Rothschild
In 1988, following the death of her father, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild pursued the work and philosophy of Baron Philippe : to make a great Mouton Cadet Bordeaux wine accessible to all. She promotes the brand on every continent and makes of Mouton Cadet the biggest selling branded Bordeaux wine in the world. In 2004 she gave Mouton Cadet a new, more fruit-forward style. The bottle, designed by Baroness Philippine herself, also got a makeover.
Philippine de Rothschild died in Paris on 22 August, 2014. Her three children, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Camille Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, both members of the Supervisory Board, have succeeded their mother at the head of the family company.
2014 Mouton Cadet Label Images
All images except for header image and the bottom wine label images are curtesy and exclusive copyright Mouton Cadet.