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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)
2006 was a year of surprises, marked by unusual conditions that will remain in the memory.
Generally speaking the weather was hot and dry, with much higher temperatures than the seasonal average in June, July and September. Such untypical conditions at key times during the vine growth cycle had a far-reaching and beneficial effect on the future quality of the crop.
Heavy rain at the end of the winter was followed by a long spell of warm and dry weather in April, May and June, enabling the vegetation cycle to catch up after a relatively late start. Flowering took place early and evenly, starting in late May. Veraison likewise began very early, mid-veraison occurring four days ahead of the average, though very hot weather in the second half of July slowed the process.
A total of 459 mm of rain fell between 1 January and 31 August 2006, compared with an average of 517 mm.
The grapes started to ripen slowly in the cooler temperatures of August but subsequently accelerated in the exceptional conditions of the first half of September, with heatwave temperatures in the early part of the month.
A period of high temperatures and humidity soon brought the Merlots to maturity and picking began on 20 September. The harvest lasted until 5 October in variable weather conditions, producing a crop of fully mature grapes in excellent condition.
Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, the owner of Mouton, announced that she has given the commission for the 2006 vintage to the British painter Lucian Freud, born in 1922, a universally acknowledged master of contemporary portraiture. Last year, one of his works was sold for the highest price ever attained by a living artist. Far from the tormented portraits and nudes for which he is renowned, for Mouton 2006 Lucian Freud has chosen a joyously exotic transposition of the pleasure of drinking, in which the vinestock is transformed into a springing palm tree and the wine lover into a happily anticipatory zebra.
Bringing together art and wine at the pinnacle of perfection has always been one of the most original and inspired ambitions of the owners of Chateau Mouton Rothschild, first Baron Philippe de Rothschild, and then his daughter Baroness Philippine. In turn, the bottle also was to become the symbol of this marriage of wine and art.
In 1924, to salute his first chateau-bottled vintage, Baron Philippe had the revolutionary idea of commissioning the poster artist Jean Carlu to design the Mouton label. Ahead of its time, however, his initiative was not repeated.
In 1945, this time to celebrate the return to peace, he decided to crown the label for the vintage with a drawing representing the "V" for Victory, drawn by the young painter Philippe Jullian. From an exceptional circumstance a great tradition was born, and from 1946, every year 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, Leonor Fini and Jean Cocteau.
In 1955, Georges Braque agreed to illustrate the vintage, and he was succeeded by the greatest artists of our time, including
Dali, Cesar, Miro, Chagall, Picasso, Warhol, Soulages, Bacon, Balthus, Tapies, etc. Responsible for choosing the artists since the 1980s, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild respects the artists' creative instincts, though most of them are attracted by certain themes, such as the vine, the pleasure of drinking, or the ram - the emblem of Mouton. The artists receive no fee for their work
but are given cases of Mouton Rothschild, including of course "their" vintage.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price