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103 Meridian East » Lifestyle »  Chateau Mouton Rothschild Artist Colection
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Revolutionising the Label!

Understanding the strong connection between wine and art, Baron Philippe
de Rothschild flouted tradition and created artist labels for the wine of Chateau Mouton Rothschild.
This act of defiance that revolutionised the Bordeaux wine world ensured that labels would never be the same again, and has today produced a serious collection of art.


Baron Philippe de Rothschild

For the prestigious 2000 vintage, Mouton Rothschild departed
from tradition – the entire bottle became a collector's item
featuring the Augsburg Ram enamelled in gold on the glass

Think Picasso, Dali, Chagall, Warhol and Arman whose original artworks feature
on the labels of top Bordeaux first-growth wine, the brainchild of Baron Philippe
de Rothschild, who came to own Chateau Mouton Rothschild in 1922 and turned
age-old tradition on its head. While the wine from every vineyard in the Medoc
had always been sold in casks to Bordeaux merchants in charge of maturing, bottling, labelling and marketing, leaving the owner with no rights over the end product,
he introduced the ground-breaking idea in 1924 of bottling the complete harvest before it left the estate, transferring responsibility back to the owner and transforming what were staid, functional wine labels into identifying, quality trademarks that bore his name and signature... and miniature works of art.

Just as the marriage between the English branch of a prominent family with the celebrated Medoc estate of Brane Mouton in 1853 linked two great names,
so the Chateau Mouton Rothschild Artist Collection connects the creativity
of 20th-century artists with the Rothschild family's dedication to Mouton. Not your standard vertical collection, with a bottle of the 1924 vintage and thereafter one bottle of every vintage from 1945 to 2000 (with two bottles each of vintages 1978 and 1993), the Artist Collection displays artworks on its labels, fashioned each year by the most important artists of their era, thus chronicling major shifts in the art world.

In a world first, Jean Carlu was chosen as the initial artist to place a commercial
art piece on a wine label. The revolutionary Cubist-inspired result depicted
a ram supposedly representing the word «mouton» (French for «ram») in the wine's name or the Baron's Aries horoscope sign. This innovative move was subsequently mimicked by Bordeaux's top producers, who incorporated photography and new typefaces, forever changing the way in which wine labels were designed worldwide.

Baroness Philippine de Rothschild

Today, Mouton estate manager Baroness Philippine de Rothschild carries on
the tradition her father pioneered, but ventures further afield by expanding the list
of artists beyond Europe and the US to Asia. The relationship between the artists
and the estate's owners has always been complicit, one built on friendship and mutual respect. Though the artists have complete freedom to express themselves on the labels, Mouton has the last word and may decline or alter artworks. Rather than monetary compensation, artists are given five cases of the vintage they have contributed a label for, and another five cases of any other wines.

Respected by the art world as a legitimate body of work that provides an intimate look into the lives of a well-regarded family and the changing times in which they lived,
the rarity of this collection lies in the fact that 16 of the bottles have been autographed
by the vintage's respective artist, and nine even showcase unique drawings rendered
by them on the back of the bottles. Stored in Geneva and available from Singapore-based Corndale Consultants at a price of 650,000 euros, this is a highly sought-after art collectable.

Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle


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