Art has always been central to the history of Baron Philippe de Rothschild’s family, and Château Mouton Rothschild has a long-standing and close link with leading contemporary artists. Each year since 1945 a leading artist has illustrated the Château Mouton Rothschild label, forming a collection that features the most famous names in modern and contemporary art. The prestigious list includes some of the most celebrated figures of their day, such as Dalí, César, Miró, Chagall, Picasso and Warhol. Many of these distinguished artists spent time at Château Mouton Rothschild, where their original artworks are displayed in the Paintings for the Labels room.
On the occasion of this year’s label reveal, Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA has teamed up with Sotheby’s for an exceptional online auction of a Single Superlot of Château Mouton Rothschild 2020 vintage.
The lot includes a wide range of formats, with an exclusive double magnum, the label of which is signed by the artist and the family, six bottles, three magnums, an Imperial and the only Nebuchadnezzar released on the market to date.
All proceeds from the auction will raise funds for the firefighters of the Bordeaux region (SDIS 33, Service Départemental d'Incendie et de Secours from Gironde) to help them prevent fires with the best and fastest detection methods available.
The auction will close on 2 December at 7:00pm CET.
Château Mouton Rothschild 2020
Serena Sutcliffe, MW. Honorary Chairman, Sotheby’s Wine
In 2022, and after bottling, a gorgeous, deep, intense cassis nose – signature stuff. This is almost voluptuous and it is certainly piercingly indicative of glorious, healthy fruit from superb terroir. Rich and mouth-coating on the palate, glycerol-textured and lusciously ripe. The balance of freshness and power is perfect and the structure is pure, classic vinous architecture. Strength and succulence combined to maximum effect. Magnificent Mouton.
2020 Varietal mix:
84% Cabernet Sauvignon
2% Cabernet Franc
1% Petit Verdot
Living for the Vine
A Bordeaux First Growth, Château Mouton Rothschild spans 84 hectares (207 acres) of vines at Pauillac in the Médoc, planted with the classic varieties of the region: Cabernet Sauvignon (80%), Merlot (16%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (1%), managed by the family owned business Baron Philippe de Rothschild, chaired by Philippe Sereys de Rothschild.
The estate benefits from exceptionally favourable natural conditions, in the quality of the soil, the position of its vines and their exposure to the sun. From grape to bottle, combining respect for tradition with the latest technology, the wine receives meticulous attention from highly skilled winemakers and vinegrowers responsible for each parcel of the estate. The grapes are harvested by hand in small open crates, sorted on vibrating tables and vinified in oak vats with some transparent staves, after which the wine is matured for 18 months in new French oak casks.
Brought to the pinnacle by two exceptional people, Baron Philippe de Rothschild (1902-1988) then his daughter Baroness Philippine (1933-2014), Mouton Rothschild is also a place of art and beauty, famous for the spectacular vista of its great barrel hall, its magnificent vat house and the Museum of Wine in Art with its collection of precious objects associated with the vine and wine from two millennia.
Mouton Rothschild now belongs to baroness Philippine’s three children, Camille Sereys de Rothschild, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild. True to their grandfather’s and mother’s work, all three are committed, with the same enthusiasm and determination, to perpetuating Baron Philippe’s dictum: “Vivre la vigne”. Almost a command, it means being there for the vineyard in good times and in hardship, working it with dedication, skill and craft, and honouring it with art.
Painting for the Labels
Every year since 1945, the Château Mouton Rothschild label has been illustrated with an original artwork by a great contemporary artist.
In 1924, to salute his first vintage bottled entirely at the Château, Baron Philippe de Rothschild (1902-1988), father of Baroness Philippine (1933-2014), asked the famous poster designer Jean Carlu to create the Château Mouton Rothschild label. Ahead of its time, it remained an isolated initiative.
In 1945, this time to celebrate the return of peace, Baron Philippe decided to crown the label for the vintage with the "V" for Victory, drawn by the young painter Philippe Jullian. This exceptional circumstance marked the start of a tradition and, every year since 1946, a different artist has been invited to create an original artwork for the label. Initially, Baron Philippe chose painters from amongst his friends, such as Jean Hugo, Léonor Fini and Jean Cocteau. Then, in 1955, Georges Braque himself agreed to illustrate the vintage. He was followed by the greatest artists of our time, including Dalí, César, Miró, Chagall, Picasso, Warhol, Soulages, Bacon, Balthus, Tàpies and Jeff Koons, forming a fascinating collection to which a new work is added each year.
Mouton Rothschild’s owners, Camille Sereys de Rothschild, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, the latter now responsible for Château Mouton Rothschild’s artistic and cultural activity, have always respected the freedom of the chosen artists, though many of them have been attracted by themes such as the vine, the pleasure of drinking or the ram, the Mouton emblem. The artists receive no fee for their work but are given cases of Château Mouton Rothschild, including of course "their" vintage.
In 1981, on Baroness Philippine's initiative, the collection gave rise to a travelling exhibition, "Mouton Rothschild, Paintings for the Labels", shown in many museums around the world. It is now on permanent display at Mouton in the superb space created for it by Baroness Philippine in 2013, between the vat house and the famous Museum of Wine in Art. Enhanced by a new artwork each year, the exhibition reopened this year, finer than ever, following a refurbishment.
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