Table Topography: Wood Furniture Embedded with Glass Rivers and Lakes by Greg Klassen
CHÂTEAU MOUTON-ROTHSCHILD: The Art of the Label
In the summer of 1945 there was much to celebrate in the Languedoc. An armistice had ended the Second World War in May and long run of hot, dry weather produced one of the top three red wine vintages of the century. To commemorate the annus mirabilis, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, owner of the prémier cru Château Mouton-Rothschild redesigned the bottle label and included a drawing by artist Philippe Julian featuring a Roman victory wreath and the letter V, as in année de la victoire.
Subsequent years saw mostly French artists, including Jean Hugo. Jean Cocteau, Marie Laurencin, Georges Braque, and André Masson. The artists chosen in the 1960s—Roberto Marta, Joan Mirò, Salvador Dalì, and Henry Moore—reflect the fact that France was no longer the center of the art world. Inexplicably Matisse was never chosen. Baron Philippe secured true talents of Braque (1955), but Picasso only made the label as a posthumously. homage to himself. Kandinsky, who died in 1944, somehow contributed an unpublished watercolor in 1971. If you were the Baron’s friend,you could do a label even if you weren’t an artist: the ridiculous label for 1982, one of the top three vintages of the 20th century is by director John Huston and HRH Charles, Prince of Wales painted the modest scrubby landscape watercolor of 2004.
According to Baronne Philippine, owner and current director of Mouton- Rothschild,
Les artistes disposent d’une liberté de création totale. Toutefois certains grands thèmes les ont davantage inspirés : la vigne, le plaisir de boire, le bélier emblème de Mouton Rothschild, etc.
This liberty has occasionally resulted in labels that either displeased the patron (Keith Haring’s “variation malicieuse” on the chateau’s golden fleece emblem didn’t go over well and when Balthus submitted a drawing of a naked 13-year old girl, shipments of the 1993 vintage were stopped at several borders because the image infringed on child pornography laws. A blank label had to be created at the last minute to get the bottles to market.
All said, the artist labels have proved to be a shrewd business move, adding a secondary level of collectability to their flagship wine. The desirability of labels and vintages rarely syncs which means a label by a top-drawer artist helps sell weak or mediocre vintages (there are no atrocious vintages —in very bad years, the five prémiers crus classés and Chateau d’Yquem will usually skip the year rather than release sub-standard wines that will harm their reputation).
Besides the labels, the château also houses the the Musée du Vin dans l’Art, a collection of objects ranging from Archaic Greek kraters to medieval tapestries to 18th porcelain figurines all representing some aspect the cultivation, vilification and consumption of wine.
@ekşisözlük:napolyon’un süvari birliği’nin (hussar) fransız devrimi’nden sonra dul kalan ve taşradaki konaklarına çekilen aristokrat leydileri etkilemek için icat ettiği bir yöntem olarak biliniyor. askerlerin misafir edildiği bu evlerde napolyon’un zaferleri kutlanır, eğlenceler düzenlenir ve süvariler şampanyaları sabre türü kılıçlarıyla tek vuruşta açarlar. hatta napolyon’un ünlü deyişi de ordan gelir: “şampanya! kazandıysan zaferine içersin, yenildiysen teselli için
yakın zamanda daha ayrıntılı bilgileri paylaşacağım…
Motorsporlarıyla biraz ilgiliyseniz ya da televizyondan bir araba yarışının sonuna denk gelmişseniz, podyumdayken pilotların ellerinde tuttukları kocaman şampanya şişeleri gözünüze çarpmıştır. Her yarış sonunda podyuma çıkan pilotların önce yanındakileri sonra da seyircileri şampanyayla ıslatması artık bir gelenek haline geldi. Peki bu gelenek nereden geliyor?