Koons Creates Rothschild Label

The commission to illustrate the latest Chateau Mouton Rothschild vintage label has been given by the Baroness Philippine de Rothschild to the American sculptor Jeff Koons.

The image, shown here, has just been released for a public viewing. Art collectors of Art Kabinett social network are among the first to see it.

Koons has created it in the vein of a Pop/kitsch neo classical drawing, where he takes familiar objects and uses a wide variety of techniques to illuminate them with colors, distort and recreate them.

He also revisits antiquity, as with the Birth of Venus, a fresco from Pompeii, whereby his silver drawing turns into a Venus with Vessel – both the cup which holds and the ship which, under a bright sun, bears off into the distance an exquisite wine.

Historic Labels

Every year since 1945, a great artist has created an original artwork for the Château Mouton Rothschild label.

Back in 1924, to salute his first vintage bottled entirely at the château, Baron Philippe de Rothschild (1902-1988), Baroness Philippine's father, asked the famous poster designer Jean Carlu to create the Mouton label. Ahead of its time, it remained an isolated initiative.

Then in 1945, this time to celebrate the return of peace, he decided to crown the label for the vintage with the "V" for Victory, drawn by the young painter Philippe Jullian.

From this exceptional circumstance, a tradition was born. Every year since then, a different artist was invited to create an original artwork for the label.

Initially, Baron Philippe chose painters from amongst his friends, such as Jean Hugo, Léonor 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, César, Miró, Chagall, Picasso, Warhol, Soulages, Bacon, Balthus, Tàpies, etc., forming a fascinating collection to which a new work is added each year.

Responsible for choosing the artists since the 1980s, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, the owner of Mouton, always respects their artistic freedom, 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.

Since 1981, on Baroness Philippine's initiative, the collection has given rise to a traveling exhibition, "Mouton Rothschild, Paintings for the Labels", based at Mouton and shown in many museums throughout the world.

Valuable Vintage

2010 was a dry and relatively cool year, with an ideal amount of sunshine and a few showers at just the right time, in mid-June and early September.

A dry and cool spring was followed by a generally dry summer with some very hot spells. The harvest took place in excellent conditions between 28 September and 13 October. Naturally concentrated, the grapes were small and their juice, rich and highly color, displayed good acidity.

The wine is a dark and intense red with a blueish tint. With Cabernet Sauvignon predominant, it displays a complex range of aromas.

According to wine critics, this special vintage offers:

"Lightly toasted vanilla notes, the nose opens with airing to reveal fruit aromas, especially blackcurrant and black cherry. Powerful and well-integrated tannins reveal exceptional depth and roundness on the palate, ending on a fresh and mineral finish."