Often in the spotlight for finance, banking and conspiracy theories, the Rothschild family own and run one of the most successful and well-renowned wine estates in France’s Médoc region. Often the subject to wine investments, here are five things you may not have known about Château Mouton Rothschild.
Art and Wine – A Collectors Dream
Each year’s label of Chateau Mouton Rothschild was designed by a famous artist of the time and this is a significant aspect of the brand’s image with labels painted by Motherwell, Warhol, Setsuko and Francis Bacon to name but a few.
It has been argued that the art of Mouton Rothschild lay on the label of the bottle rather than on the wine in the bottle.
In 2008, Chateau Mouton Rothschild chose Chinese artist Xu Lei to design the label of its 2008 vintage in order to capitalise on its popularity with Asian wine lovers since number eight is considered to be an extremely lucky number in Chinese culture.
The business currently ranks No. 2 in the Liv-Ex Power 100 (a list of the most powerful brands in the fine wine marketplace) behind only Chateau Lafite Rothschild.
The Rothschild family own two Grands Crus of Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Lafite Rothschild, the Cru bourgeois vineyard of Chateau Clarke and vineyards in the USA, South America, South Africa and China.
A Rothschild Revolution
Upon assuming ownership in 1922, Baron Philippe de Rothschild wasted no time in imprinting his passionate and exuberant personality upon production processes at the chateau.
Pioneering the then unheard of method of bottling all production at the Chateau, Baron Philippe strived for Mouton Rothschild to fulfil its potential and made it his mission to earn the desirable First Growth status.
All in the Name
The official birth of what we know as Chateau Mouton Rothschild took place in 1853 when Nathaniel de Rothschild purchased Brane Mouton from Isaac Thuret.
Because the estate had not been maintained, the vineyards required extensive replanting and a new chateau was required, Isaac Thuret sold the property less than he paid for it 23 years earlier.
Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild, an English member of the Rothschild family, followed the custom of the day, renaming the property using his name, along with a portion of the original name.
The 75-hectare vineyard of Chateau Mouton Rothschild is planted to 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.
This shows a slight change in the vineyard since the mid-1990s marked by a slight reduction in the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, along with an increase in the Merlot.
Interestingly, over the years, due to replanting, the vineyard makeup and blends have varied more than usual over a 10 year period starting in 2004.