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Mouton Rothschild reveals 2021 vintage label by Chiharu Shiota

Château Mouton Rothschild has released the label artwork for its 2021 vintage – the next to be released in-bottle – and auction house Christie’s is offering a one-off charity lot of the wine in different formats, including a 15-litre ‘nebuchadnezzar’.  

Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota has created a work named ‘Universe of Mouton’ to illustrate the Château Mouton Rothschild 2021 label, the Bordeaux first growth estate said today (1 December).

Mouton Rothschild 2021 is the latest vintage of the estate’s grand vin to be bottled, around 18 months on from an initial release during the Bordeaux en primeur campaign.

Pauillac-based Mouton has commissioned artwork for every vintage label since 1945.

Alongside the Mouton Rothschild 2021 label release, the estate has partnered with Christie’s to offer a one-off lot of the wine in various bottle formats, including a 15-litre ‘nebuchadnezzar’ bottle.

The online auction runs until 8 December and proceeds from the sale will benefit the Association Antoine Alléno, a charity that supports grieving families. 

Concept of the Mouton Rothschild 2021 label

Chiharu Shiota

Chiharu Shiota. Photo credit: Sunhi Mang / courtesy of Château Mouton Rothschild.

Mouton described how the label design depicts a ‘fragile silhouette of a human figure [facing] gorgeous, generous nature’, at the same time as reflecting a delicate interconnectedness between the two. 

Berlin-based Chiharu Shiota said, ‘When I visited Château Mouton Rothschild, I was very inspired by their relationship with nature. They depend on the weather and do not interfere with mother nature. They accept the conditions in which the grapes grow. I think Mouton is holding on to the balance of human and nature.’ 

The award-winning artist added, ‘The four lines connecting the human to the environment represent the four seasons (winter, spring, summer, autumn) and all the emotions linked to them (solitude, hope, achievement).

‘It is like preserving the memory of the year in the wine. I find this very fascinating because I also believe that the objects that surround us accumulate our memories and existence.’

Julien de Beaumarchais and Chiharu Shiota

Mouton Rothschild co-owner Julien de Beaumarchais with Chiharu Shiota. Photo credit: Atelier Chiharu Shiota.

Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, co-owner of Château Mouton Rothschild and responsible for artistic and cultural matters at the estate – including relations with the chosen label artist – said, ‘I was fascinated by Chiharu Shiota’s vision, so close to the world of wine, especially in the relationship between humankind and nature, fragile and fertile, generous but unpredictable. 

‘And then there is that bright red colour, one of her trademarks, so reminiscent of new wine running out of the vats. For me the label embodies what I would call metaphorical realism: I see in it a vinegrower firmly grasping a fabulous cluster of grapes.’

Chiharu Shiota was born in Osaka in 1972 and has seen her work displayed at art institutions and galleries worldwide. In 2008 in Japan, she was awarded the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s ‘Art Encouragement Prize for New Artists’.

Mouton Rothschild 2021 charity lot at Christie’s

Mouton Rothschild 2021

Château Mouton Rothschild 2021 (specimen bottle). Credit: Courtesy of Mouton Rothschild.

Bordeaux’s 2021 vintage was particularly challenging from a weather perspective, although excellent wines were still made at many châteaux.

Decanter’s Bordeaux correspondent, Georgie Hindle, rated Mouton Rothschild 2021 at 96 points after tasting it en primeur.  

Christie’s said it was offering the one-off charity lot of Mouton Rothschild 2021 online until Friday 8 December at 17:00 (GMT+1). It said the lot includes:

  • Six 75cl bottles
  • Three magnums
  • One double magnum
  • One imperial (six litres)
  • One nebuchadnezzar (15 litres) – the only one so far bottled in this vintage

The buyer and three guests will also be invited to tour Château Mouton Rothschild, and attend the unveiling of the 2022 vintage label at the estate next year. 

On top of that, chef Yannick Alléno, who holds 15 Michelin stars, will offer the buyer and three guests an immersive dining experience at Le Pavillon Ledoyen, his three-Michelin-star restaurant in Paris. 

The guests will be able to help prepare a service with the chef and his team, before dining with Alléno and a member of the family that owns Mouton Rothschild – during which dishes will be paired with vintages from the estate.

Alléno founded the charity Association Antoine Alléno following the tragic death of his son, Antoine, to help support families of young people who have suffered violence at the hands of a third party. 

Mouton Rothschild artist label series

The estate first commissioned artwork around its 1924 vintage, but it wasn’t until after the Second World War that this became an annual event – beginning with the now-legendary Mouton Rothschild 1945 vintage.

Artists who have previously designed vintage labels for Mouton Rothschild include Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Annette Messager and David Hockney.

Peter Doig created the artwork for the Mouton Rothschild 2020 label, revealed last year.

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