This famous chateau is located in the
village of Pauillac in the Médoc, 50 km north-west of the city of Bordeaux, , Mouton Rothschild is one of the First Great Growths of Bordeaux Grand Crus, alongside Château Latour, Château Haut Brion, Château Margaux and Château Lafite-Rothschild. France
The Bordeaux Classification of 1855 came about when wine brokers were tasked by Emperor Napoleon to create a classification of the wines of
. The rating was based (mostly) on the price that the wines were bringing in the market and it divided these top wineries into five classifications. These classifications are known as 'Growths'. Bordeaux
Mouton was the first of the grand wines who started to do all the bottling at the chateau to assure quality of the wine.
Historically, however, Château Mouton Rothschild was excluded from First Great Growth status. This, it was thought to be so because the vineyard had recently been purchased by an Englishman and was no longer in French ownership.
In 1973, after decades of intense lobbying by its powerful and influential owner, Mouton Rothschild was elevated to "first growth" status - this was one of the two changes in the original 1855 classification (in 1856 Château Cantemerle was added to the Grand Cru list). This prompted a change of the Château Mouton motto: previously, the motto of the wine was Premier ne puis, second ne daigne, Mouton suis. ("First, I cannot be. Second, I do not condescend to be. Mouton, I am."). Today the motto is Premier je suis, Second je fus, Mouton ne change. ("First, I am. Second, I used to be. Mouton, I do not change.")
Mouton Rothschild's 203 acres of vineyards produce Cabernet Sauvignon (77%), Merlot (11%), Cabernet Franc (10%) and Petit Verdot (2%) that is used in the blend. The wine is fermented in oak vats (one of the few châteaux in the Médoc that is loyal to this traditional method) and then matured in new oak casks.
Baron Philippe de Rothschild, father of the current owner, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, came up with the idea of having each year's label designed by a famous artist of the day. Since 1946, many of the world's great painters and sculptors have created works (displayed at the chateau) that are also reproduced on the labels of the wine.
On my first Mouton from the vintage of 1976 the label was painted by Pierre Soulages and was a gift from a friend on my 20:th birthday and that changed my direction in to wine and made me be more focused on wine and food pairing, I was an chef at that time and very nerdy in to food without knowledge of wine, what a great start it was, many thanks my dear friend Lars Bogren for introducing me to the world of wine.