A Legacy of Art in Label Design
To celebrate the first vintage bottled at the chateau in 1924, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, father of Baroness Philippine, asked the famous poster artist Jean Carlu to create the very first label for Mouton Rothschild.
This idea, however, would not be repeated until 1945, when the label of the new vintage was designed by a great contemporary painter. In that year, the Baron Philippe decided to integrate a “V” as a symbol for the “victory of peace,” and the label was drawn by the young painter Philippe Jullian. And so, the famous tradition was born. Each year the prestigious chateau has invited a famous artist to grace the label of its great wine with a unique design. In the beginning, Baron Philippe chose artists from among his personal friends: Jean Hugo, Léonor Fini, Jean Cocteau… In 1955, Georges Braque agreed to dress the estate’s newest vintage. Soon after, he was joined by some of the greatest artists of the time: Dali, Caesar, Miro, Chagall, Picasso, Warhol, Soulages, Bacon, Balthus... Through the masterpieces of these great artistic minds, Mouton Rothschild has gradually expanded, year by year, its exciting and unique collection. In 1981 the late Baroness Philippine sent the collection on a worldwide tour, as a traveling exhibition named “Mouton Rothschild, L’Art and L’Etiquette.” Having spent time on display at many great museums around the world, the exhibition is now housed at the chateau itself, in the beautiful rooms commissioned by Baroness Philippine in 2013, located between the vat and the Museum of Wine and Art.
Gerhard Richter, Inventor of Pictorial Forms and Techniques
This year, the illustration gracing the label of the new vintage was entrusted to German artists Gerhard Richter. Richter has earned a title as a great innovator of pictorial forms and techniques. Recognised throughout the world, he bases his work on the dialectical relationship between painting and photography, between representation and abstraction. This very special work, commissioned by the chateau, is the result of a process at once random and carefully prepared, which the artist has named “Flux.” The idea is to fix moving colours in a photograph at just the right moment of their composition, echoing the way in which a harmonious blend is created from wines at the perfect moment of expression. The image, like the wine it illustrates, is meant to depict a living creation, its balance and complexity.
Born in 1932, Richter graduated from Dresden Art Academy in 1951, and began working as a painter of murals in the German Democratic Republic. On a trip to the West, he discovered the freedom enjoyed by artists, which prompted him in 1961 to take refuge in Düsseldorf. Since 1983, he has resided and worked in the city of Cologne. His work, which is simultaneously unique, complex and accessible to all, earned him international recognition quite early in his career. Richter is a frequent guest at major institutions, including the Pompidou Centre, the MoMA in New York City, the Fondation Beyeler in Basel and the Albertinum of Dresden, where three rooms are dedicated to his work. The artist has received several honours of great prestige, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale and the Praemium Imperiale in Japan.
The work of Gerhard Richter revolves around the discussion between painting and photography. Famous for his “photo-paintings” of portraits, still-lifes and landscapes graced with his signature blur, he is also a great master of abstract art, playing with the wide range of possibilities offered by photography. Richter is perhaps best known for having developed in 2011 a technique for painting under glass in a way that is both random and controlled. He has termed this signature technique “Flux.” His masterpieces are created by spreading enamel paint over a Plexiglass plate, and then pressing on a glass plate to produce remarkable compositions of shape and colour. After photographing the fluctuating colours, he fixes the two plates upon one another. This is the same technique he used to create the 2015 Chateau Mouton Rothschild label.
2015: An Exceptional Vintage from Chateau Mouton Rothschild
A Premier Cru Classe of the Bordeaux region, Chateau Mouton Rothschild expands over 84 hectares of vineyards in the Pauillac appellation. Planted with the noble grape varieties of the region, the property grows 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The estate enjoys exceptional conditions, both in terms of soil quality and exposure to sunshine.
Featuring a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc, the 2015 vintage of Chateau Mouton Rothschild is rather juicy and opulent, with strong similarities to the 2005 vintage. Displaying a dark and stable colour with purple hues, the wine reveals on the nose a finesse and elegance in the fruity aromas of wild blackberry and blueberry. These continue into notes of toast, liquorice and blond tobacco. The wine offers a very rich and complete aromatic palette, worthy of the estate’s greatest vintages. The attack in the mouth is fresh, meaty and saline, with a very high intensity. It opens to smooth and creamy tannins that are wrapped in a silky texture with a touch of minerality. The palate is very complete indeed, rich in aromas of ripe fruits and pepper spices. This wine provides an exceptional finish, concluding the tasting with remarkable balance.