Château Mouton Rothschild

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Château Mouton Rothschild

Château Mouton Rothschild is a wine estate located in the village of Pauillac in the Médoc, 50 km (30 mi) north-west of the city of Bordeaux, France. Its red wine of the same name is regarded[by whom?] as one of the world's greatest clarets. Originally known as Château Brane-Mouton, it was renamed by Nathaniel de Rothschild in 1853 to Château Mouton Rothschild. In the 1920s it began the practice of bottling the harvest at the estate itself in 1924, rather than shipping the wine to merchants for bottling elsewhere.[1]

The branch of the Rothschild family owning Mouton Rothschild are members of the Primum Familiae Vini.


The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 was based entirely on recent market prices for a vineyard's wines, with one exception: Château Mouton Rothschild. Despite the market prices for their vineyard's wines equalling that of Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild was excluded from First Great Growth status, an act that Baron Philippe de Rothschild referred to as "the monstrous injustice".[citation needed] It is widely believed[weasel words] that the exception was made because the vineyard had recently been purchased by an Englishman and was no longer in French ownership.

In 1973, Mouton was elevated to "first growth" status after decades of intense lobbying by its powerful and influential owner,[1] the only change in the original 1855 classification (excepting the 1856 addition of Château Cantemerle). This prompted a change of motto: previously, the motto of the wine was Premier ne puis, second ne daigne, Mouton suis. ("First, I cannot be. Second, I do not deign to be. Mouton I am."), and it was changed to Premier je suis, Second je fus, Mouton ne change. ("First, I am. Second, I used to be. Mouton does not change.")


Château Mouton Rothschild has its vineyards on the slopes leading down to the Gironde Estuary, in the Bordeaux region, mainly producing grapes of the Cabernet Sauvignon variety. Today, Château Mouton Rothschild has 222 acres (90 ha) of grape vines made up of Cabernet Sauvignon (81%), Merlot (15%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (1%). Their wine is fermented in oak vats (they are one of the last châteaux in the Médoc to use them) and then matured in new oak casks. It is also frequently confused with the widely distributed generic Bordeaux Mouton Cadet.


Baron Philippe de Rothschild came up with the idea of having each year's label designed by a famous artist of the day.[1] In 1946, after the success of the 1945 label, this became a permanent and significant aspect of the Mouton image with labels created by some of the world's great painters and sculptors.

Artists such as Salvador Dalí, Francis Bacon, Picasso and Miró designed labels for bottles of Mouton Rothschild.[2]

Few exceptions are to point :

To celebrate the hundredth birthday of the acquisition of Château Mouton, the portrait of Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild appeared on the 1953 label.

The 1973 label were dedicated to Pablo Picasso who died April the 8th the same year.

In 1977, the Queen Mother Elizabeth visited the Château and a special label was designed to commemorate the visit.

In 1978 when Montreal artist Jean-Paul Riopelle submitted two designs. Baron Philippe de Rothschild liked them equally so he split the production run and used both designs.

1987; Baroness Philippine de Rothschild dedicated the label to her father Baron Philippe de Rothschild died on January the 20th 1988.

The 1993 Mouton label, a pencil drawing of a nude reclining nymphet by the French painter Balthus was rejected for use in the United States by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.[3] As such, for the U.S. market the label was made with a blank space where the image should have been and both versions are sought after by collectors.

An unusual gold enamel bottle was made for the 2000 vintage.

The 2003 label marks the 150th anniversary of Mouton's entry into the family. Baron Nathaniel is depicted on the label in a period photograph. The background shows part of the deed of sale.

The popularity of the label images results in auction prices for older and more collectible years being far out of sync with the other first growths, whose labels do not change year to year.

The most recent label, for Mouton's 2013 vintage, is the work of Korean artist Lee Ufan.

Business dealings[edit]

In 1978, the company Baron Philippe de Rothschild officially announced their joint venture with Robert Mondavi to create Opus One Winery in Oakville, California. The 1990s saw large-scale expansion in the Americas under the leadership of President Cor Dubois, with the region eventually contributing almost half of the company's turnover. In 1998, Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA teamed up with Concha y Toro of Chile to produce a quality premium red wine in a new winery/bodega built in Chile's Maipo Valley: Almaviva. The same year saw the launch of Escudo Rojo, a fine Chilean branded wine.

In June 2003, the vineyard hosted La Fête de la Fleur at the end of Vinexpo to coincide with their 150th anniversary.

2013 : new range of three Chilean varietal wines (Sauvignon blanc, Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon) was launched in 2013 under the name Anderra. In the same time, in order to secure grape supplies and ensure the development of its Chilean branded wines business, Baron Philippe de Rothschild acquired 960 hectares from Viña Villavicencio.

Judgment of Paris[edit]

The 1970 vintage took second place, and was the highest ranked French wine, at the historic 1976 Judgment of Paris wine competition.

In popular culture[edit]

In John Updike's 1954 short story, "Friends from Philadelphia," first published by the New Yorker,[4] the protagonist, John, attempts to buy a bottle of wine for his parents's dinner party, but he is denied, being too young to purchase alcohol. His parents are college educated, though not necessarily very wealthy. He seeks the help of his friend's parents at a nearby house as his home is about a mile up the road. His friend's parents are not college educated, though they have a good deal of money. They agree to accompany him to the store and to purchase the wine for him. He has $2.00, which his mother gave him, with which to purchase the wine, and, after a car ride in a brand new Buick during which he becomes embarrassed when questioned about what kind of car his father drives, John gives his friend's father the money. His friend's father, in what seems to be an active gesture of financial superiority signifying his internal struggle with the inferiority of his own education, purchases a bottle of Château Mouton-Rothschild 1937, and gives it to John along with $1.26 in change. John goes home to the dinner party somewhat dismayed, for the wrong reason, that he failed to follow his mother's instructions to buy a bottle that is "inexpensive but nice."

Château Mouton Rothschild wine plays an important part in the 1971 James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever. Bond (played by Sean Connery), after tasting a glass of Mouton Rothschild '55, casually remarks that he had expected a claret with such a grand dinner. When the evil Mr. Wint replies that the cellars are unfortunately poorly stocked with clarets, Bond exposes the henchman's ignorance, replying that Mouton Rothschild in fact is a claret.[5] Also, Roald Dahl cites it as one of the worlds greatest wines in his short story "The Butler", from "More Tales of the Unexpected".

Domaine de Baron'arques[edit]

Domaine de Baron'arques
Location Saint-Polycarpe, Aude department, Languedoc-Rousillon, France
Varietals Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Grenache, Malbec, Chardonnay
The chateau

Domaine de Baron’arques is a vineyard and winery located in Saint-Polycarpe, in the Aude department of the Languedoc-Rousillon region. It is part of the AOC Limoux. It was purchased by the Baroness Philippine de Rothschild and her two sons in December 1998, and has been extensively renovated, producing their first vintage in 2003; it is now closely associated with the Château Mouton Rothschild brand.


The vineyards

The Domaine de Baron’arques was originally the property of the Abbey of St. Polycarpe. After the French Revolution, it changed hands several times under the name of Domaine de Lambert, eventually belonging to Mr. Michel Tisseyre. At this point it was both a farm and a small vineyard. He began to grow more vines until he passed it on to his son, Guyonet. Guyonet Tisseyre was responsible for building the chateau on the property, from 1890 to 1900, engraving both his initials and a Bacchus head on the façade of the new chateau.

The Domaine de Baron’arques was purchased by the Baronness Philippine de Rothschild and her two sons in December 1998. The Rothschild team pulled up 31 hectares out of 36 of the vines, did a through soil analysis, and replanted the vines according to the soils that best suited them. They updated the production tools, as well as the first floor of the chateau [6]


There are six grape varietals planted at the Domaine; four Atlantic varieties (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc) and Malbec; and two Mediterranean varieties (Syrah and Grenache). Recently, the team at the Domaine has created a chardonnay as well.

There are four separate climates that influence the vineyards at the Domaine. There is the terroir d’Autan, providing a warm and humid climate, the terroir Méditerranean, providing a warm and dry climate, the oceanic climate coming from the Atlantic, and the terroir Haut-Vallée, a combination of the 3 previous terroirs.

The soil at the Domaine is mostly chalky clay, with portions of gravely, sandy soil on other parcels. The elevation if the Domaine is between 250 and 350 meters above sea level.

The Domaine hand-picks its grapes in 12 kilogram boxes to keep them whole throughout the process, just as they do at Mouton-Rothschild, Opus One and Almaviva. The Domaine has 23 stainless steel tanks in its cuvier, allowing for separate vinification of all of the varietals and the different parcels. [7]


Today, the Domaine de Baron’arques produces three different wines: Domaine de Baron’Arques, La Capitelle de Domaine de Baron’arques and Le Chardonnay Domaine de Baron’arques. The earliest vintage of the signature wine is 2003 and has been produced every year since then. La Capitelle was added in 2008, and Le Chardonnay in 2009. The AOC Limoux requires that the wine be composed of at least 45 percent Merlot, blended with two Mediterranean grape varieties, but the wines of the Domaine de Baron’arques usually have five or six varietals.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Robinson, Jancis, ed. (2006). "Mouton-Rothschild, Château". The Oxford Companion to Wine (Third ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 461. ISBN 0-19-860990-6. 
  2. ^ Châteaux of the Médoc: The Great Wines of Bordeaux, I.B.Tauris, 2000, page 134
  3. ^ Harding, Graham (2005). A wine miscellany: a jaunt through the whimsical world of wine. New York: Clarkson Potter. p. 59. ISBN 0307346358. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Château Mouton Rothschild in Diamonds Are Forever". Bond Lifestyle. Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  6. ^ "History". The Wines of BPDR. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  7. ^ Dupuy, Thierry. "Limoux. Domaine Baron'arques progresse de 30%". La Depeche. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 

External links[edit]

External links for Domaine de Baron'arques[edit]