By Kori ~ March 3rd, 2010.
This year marks the 11th anniversary of Open That Bottle Night. Open That Bottle Night, created by former Wall Street Journal wine columnists Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher in 2000, is the one night a year that we are all encouraged to get out that bottle of wine that is so special that no special occasion seems special enough to actually open it. It doesnâ€™t have to be the most expensive or the oldest bottle that you own; it just has to mean something to you. Just open it alreadyâ€¦and enjoy!
For this yearâ€™s Open That Bottle Night, Dad (John) graciously went deep into his cellar and pulled out a wine on his bucket list that he has been holding onto for years. We enjoyed a bottle of 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild with Momâ€™s fabulous, Julie & Julia-inspired meal of Beef Bourguignon, roasted garlic mashed sweet potatoes, and green beans with tomatoes. Wow! The wine, the food, the pairing, and the evening spent with family were truly amazingâ€¦just what OTBN is all about.
Chateau Mouton Rothschild is one of the famous First Growths of Bordeaux, the only one elevated to that status after the original 1855 classification. After years and years of lobbying by owner Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild was promoted to First Growth (or Premier Cru) status in 1973.
Located in the village of Pauillac in the MÃ©doc region of Bordeaux, France, Chateau Mouton Rothschild was originally known as Chateau Brane-Mouton until Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild bought and renamed it in 1853. No one else in the family took a real interest in the Chateau until 1922 when Baron Philippe decided to devote his lifeâ€™s work to it. Today, Chateau Mouton Rothschild is owned by his daughter Baroness Philippine and her children and continues to be regarded as one of the worldâ€™s finest wines.
1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild (Pauillac, MÃ©doc, Bordeaux, France): Very dark, garnet brick in color. Lovely nose of prunes, licorice, smoke, and bell peppers. Gorgeous black fruits come through at first, amazingly vibrant fruit considering its age. Lots of layers to this wine. Licorice, prunes, spice, cinnamon, and smoked game also on the palate. Full-bodied with good acidity and medium to high, drying tannins. Well-balanced and smooth with stunning complexity and a lengthy finish. Decanted 2 hours prior to serving, and remarkably, got even better during the hour it was open with dinner.
Quality: 5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Hart Davis Hart (Chicago, Illinois), $475; Available elsewhere, $740 to $2550
You might be wondering how a $475 wine can have a QPR rating of 4 bangs for your buck. Please keep in mind that a high â€œbang for your buckâ€ does not always mean a low price. It means that the wine has a good price compared to wines of similar quality within the same varietal or category (i.e. this wineâ€™s QPR is calculated in comparison to other Bordeaux wines). For a more complete explanation of our ratings system, visit Wine Ratings.
If you missed this yearâ€™s OTBN, go ahead and open your special bottle anyway. Or you can join us for next yearâ€™s OTBN on Saturday, February 26, 2011 (always the last Saturday in February).
What did you open for Open That Bottle Night this year?
Filed under: Five-Star Quality Wines, French Wine, Red Wine, Wines Over $25