Chateau Mouton Rothschild

Wine Producers » Chateau Mouton Rothschild

Name: Chateau Mouton Rothschild

Region:  Medoc

Appellation: Pauillac

Classification: First Growth

Average annual production: 300,000 bottles

Grapes (vines planted): Cabernet Sauvignon (77%), Merlot (11%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Petit Verdot (2%)

Made by: Philippe Dalhuin

Owned by: Rothschild family

Second Wine:  Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild

A little history: Relative newcomer Chateau Mouton Rothschild has less of chequered history than it’s revolution-wading counterparts:  Nathanial Rothschild bought the property in 1853 & it was duly renamed from Brane-Mouton.  The claret was famously excluded from the 1855 1st Growth classification, despite being on a price par with the other Chateaux selected.  This ruffled Rothschild feathers as it was widely suspected the omission was a result of it not being in French ownership!  The chateau was finally elevated from second to first in 1973, after a LOT of campaigning from the hugely influential Rothschild family in whose hands the estate has always remained.  The man responsible for most of the action was a certain Baron Philippe de Rothschild, who took over the running of things in 1922.  His vision coupled with some very astute business moves make the estate what it is today.  In 1926 Mouton-Rothschild became the first estate in Bordeaux to bottle at the chateau, providing an obvious competitive advantage, not to mention quality control.  In 1933 Philippe saw the rise of negociants & set up a small trading house which is now, of course, the biggest in Bordeaux.  The Baron’s other great passion lay with the arts: it wasn’t until 1945 & the famous ‘V’ for Victory label that he finally managed to marry the two. From then on an artist was commissioned to create a bespoke label, year on year.  The idea had in fact been born many years earlier, in 1924, but was deemed a little ahead of its time.  This creative genius sets Mouton apart from any other Bordeaux, each bottle becoming a collectable item in its own right, vintage notwithstanding.  Artists from Picasso to Salvador Dali; Francis Bacon to Jeff Koons have all taken their place on the annual mantel.  In 1962 The Museum of Art in Wine was founded by the Baron & his equally as aesthetically motivated wife, Pauline, leaving a powerful legacy of creative innovation & vision.  The estate is still a closely run family affair, with Philippe’s daughter & grandchildren currently at the helm.

Top vintage: 1982, 2002

Surprising hero: 1986, 1998

Interesting fact: Prince Charles has even tried his hand at label creation in 2004, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ‘Entente Cordiale’ between France & England.