The 1930 and 1931 vintages in Bordeaux were sub-standard to be bottled as Château Mouton Rothschild, so the Baron decided to bottle it under the name Mouton cadet; Cadet meaning the youngest of the family.
The wine sold well enough upon release that the Baron had to seek additional supplies in 1931 to meet demand, and the name was branded.
In the 1930’s all Mouton Cadet constituents originated in Pauillac, a famed sub-region of Bordeaux, where most of the classified chateaux are located.
The following decade was difficult for the brand suffered losses that could have precipitated to expand its demise, but in 1947 the Baron decided to expand the sources to the Medoc area to ensure consistency and to lower costs.
In the 1950’s the English were the first to take a liking to Mouton cadet, and 1960’s Americans decided to enjoy Mouton Cadet.
In 1972 Mouton Cadet blanc was introduced.
By 1986 17 million bottles of Mouton Cadet were sold annually and the brand is now exported to 150 countries.
Since 1930 the label was updated a few times to reflect societal and taste changes of the population in France and leading export markets. T the beginning of the 21st century the blend was changes to make the wine fruitier (merlot based) to appeal to a younger generation.
Mouton Cadet is a consistent blend of wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde Estuary (Cotes de Blaye, Bourg, Castillon and others), and based mostly on fragrant merlot, cabernet franc, and cabernet sauvignon, each of which contributes to the balance – merlot roundness and fruit, cabernet sauvignon structure and black berry fruit, and cabernet franc elegance and freshness.
The blend changes annually pending how the tree varieties ripen that vintage.
white I a blend of sauvignon blanc, semillon and muscadelle (the three white grapes of Bordeaux) and is always fresh, appealing, and with underlying acidity to accompany food. Graves is the sub region supplies all the grapes for Mouton Cadet white, emanating citrus aromas and complex flavours.
The continuous success of red Mouton Cadet led to the development of a reserve version.
red grapes come exclusively from the Medoc sub-region of Bordeaux, and the wine is aged longer than the regular version. This results in a smoother, and more elegant flavour and longer cellaring potential.
Mouton Cadet rose offers raspberry and redcurrant aromas, roundness and elegance. It can be enjoyed on its own or with food.
For the 80th anniversary of Mouton Cadet, a limited edition of the brand was produced exclusively, blended from grapes sourced in the village of Pauillac using more cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet franc in the blend then merlot. The wine was barrel aged for 12 months.
It is elegant, refined, wells structured, fruity and finishes well. Recommended with braised quail, pan-fried beef tenderloin, roast leg of lamb, or rack of lamb, game stews, and semi hard cheeses.
Try a bottle of Mouton Cadet and see how you like it, but make sure the bottle was handled properly during transportation, distribution, and storage. Serve at 16 – 17 C (red), 12 – 13 C for white, and 10 – 11 C rose. For reserve versions increase the temperature by one degree.