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Château Mouton Rothschild A Premier Cru Classé in 1973, Château Mouton Rothschild, owned by Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, consists of 205 acres of vines near Pauillac, in the Médoc, North West of the city of Bordeaux. This Premier Cru benefits from exceptionally good natural conditions, both in the quality of the soil, the position of its vines and their exposure to the sun. It is regarded today as one of the world's greatest wine.
The name Mouton is said to be derived from the word „Motte“ meaning mound or elevation of the ground. It was bought in 1853 by Philippe de Rothschilds great-grand father it was in a fairly bad shape and when the classification of 1855 was set up it was not deemed to be good enough to be qualified as a first growth but put in first place amongst the second growths. An injustice it took Philippe de Rothschild until 1973 to rectify. 1920s Philippe de Rothschild called together the owners of Haut Brion, Latour, Lafite, Margaux and Yquem to talk about the idea of bottling and marketing their wines on their own.
The first vintage to be bottled exclusivly at the château was the 1924 vintage. To commemorate this, the cubistic painter Carlu was asked to design the label, yet another revolutionary idea in this most conservative of surroundings. The idea of an artist designing the labels was dropped until 1945 when Philippe Jullian was asked to design a label commemorating the victory over nazi Germany. Since then works of such famous artists as Picasso, Miró, Dali, Chagall and personalities like John Huston and Prince Charles have been used for the labels.
In 1988, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, who had already been associated with her father's work for some time, succeeded her father. She has in turn become the guarantor of the quality of an illustrious wine whose motto proudly proclaims : "Premier je suis, second je fus, Mouton ne change". First I am, second I was, I Mouton do not change
Vineyard soil: very deep gravel on a limestone base Production area: 82.5 ha Grape varieties: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot Average age of vines: 48 years Harvest method: hand picked. The grapes from the younger vines are harvested first and vinified separately.
Winemaking: Before destemming, the grapes are hand-sorted then selected one by one. Vinification depends on each vintage and the characteristics of each vat. All the relevant parameters, such as temperature, pumping over, aeration, vatting time and running off, are monitored by the technical manager, the cellar-master and the laboratory.
Ageing: 19 to 22 months in oak barrels (almost all new, the percentage varying according to the vintage)
Born in Nice, the painter and sculptor Arman Fernandez, known as Arman (1928-2005), was the founder with Yves Klein and the art critic Pierre Restany of the artistic movement Nouveaux Réalistes. Their intention was to challenge the dogma of abstraction and to restore the importance of everyday objects, which Arman transfigured by massing them, by “freezing” them in transparent plastic cubes or by destroying them, creating work of great originality and power.
His famous Colères literally explode the objects he uses: musical instruments with their component parts scattered across the canvas or in space.
His coloured composition for the Mouton Rothschild 1981 label returns to a favourite theme, the exploded violin.
Bordeaux 1981 /The small but high quality vintage of 1981 was overshadowed by superb 1982. The warm and dry weather started from flowering and kept up until September when occasional rains took place until the harvesting was completed in good conditions beginning of October. Generally speaking the reds produced were elegant, moderately light–bodied and delicate wines in all appellations. The dry whites were moderate quality and Sauternes actually better that the next year 1982. Although this is often regarded as a modest year, a few good wines saw daylight. These include Margaux and Cheval Blanc.