Located in the village of Pauillac in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, Château Mouton Rothschild is the maker of one of the region's five first growth red wines. The estate's consistent quality and well-structured wines that can age for decades make the clarets from Château Mouton Rothschild among the most collected and well-known in the world. But despite being so well known, here are a few facts that may have slipped under your radar.
1. The official birth of what we know today as Chateau Moton 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 for 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, and Chateau Mouton Rothschild was born.
2. The 5 point crest on the labels of the Rothschild family wines is to remember the 5 sons of the first generation of the Rothschild family. Although James Rothschild never visited Mouton Rothschild in his lifetime. The estate was simply an investment. It took the next generation until a member of the family visited and lived at Chateau Mouton Rothschild.
3. The methods and techniques of wine growing that the Baron Philippe Rothschild began implementing back in 1922, which were described as radical at the time, are widely used by the top producers today. He was only 20 years old when he gained control of the famous Bordeaux wine property Mouton Rothschild, yet he completely changed the way Bordeaux wine was produced and sold.
4. In the original 1855 classification, Chateau Mouton Rothschild was awarded second growth status. After that Baron Philippe Rothschild made it his mission to earn the coveted First Growth status for Mouton Rothschild. While that will always be a feather in the cap of Mouton Rothschild, perhaps even more important is that Chateau Mouton Rothschild is the only First Growth still in the same families hands since the historic 1855 classification.
5. The baron was the first Bordeaux wine maker to insist on bottling all of his wine at the estate. This allowed total control over the Bordeaux wine he sold from Mouton Rothschild.Prior to that point, chateaux either bottled their wine, or sold it in barrel to negotiants, who bottled and sold the wine.
6. To mark the revolutionary change in the way the wine was bottled, the Baron commissioned the cubist artist Jean Carlu to create a special design for them. This was the 1924 Mouton Rothschild label.This was the precursor to now famous artist designed labels for the bottles which began in 1945.
7. The now famous series of labels portrayed on the labels for Mouton Rothschild started in 1945. The debut label was perfect for the times and the wine. The image The Baron chose was a symbol celebrating the Liberation of France. With the famous “V” for Victory label, a tradition was born! From that point on, each label vintage was based on an original work of art created specifically for this purpose by famous artists: Salvador Dali, Miro, Chagall, Braque, Picasso, Warhol, Bacon, Balthus , Tàpies, David Hockney and a myriad of famous artists have contributed to this tradition.
8. In 2013 Mouton Rothschild completed a total renovation of the winery. The new cellars were designed by the team of the noted Architect, Bernard Mazieres and theatrical designer Richard Peduzzi. The renovations were extensive and included an entirely new, state of the art, gravity fed, vinification cellar. One of the unique creations was the invention of windows on the large, oak, fermentation vats. These thick glass windows allow the wine maker to peer into the vat from the top to the bottom.
9. Chateau Mouton Rothschild is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Young vintages can be decanted for 2-4 hours. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.
10. Part of the reason for the success of Mouton Rothschild is to do with their non stop marketing all over the world. In fact, Chateau Mouton Rothschild was one of the first 1855 Classified chateau to begin marketing in China . To further their connection to the country of China, for the 2008 vintage, Chateau Mouton Rothschild chose Xu Le, the Chinese born artist to design their label.