Mouton Rothschild’s 2015 vintage is to be the first bottle carrying the name of the next generation on its label, with Philippe Sereys de Rothschild’s lengthy signature taking over from his mother.
Baroness Philippine de Rothschild signed the labels for 27 years, from 1987 to 2013, but passed away in August 2014, barely a month before vintage. That vintage’s David Hockney artwork carried the words ‘in tribute to Philippine’ as a mark of respect.
This year, as well as the new signature, there is also a handwritten assurance that ‘Mouton ne change pas’ – I, Mouton, do not change. The estate offered the same reassurance for the 1987 vintage when the Baroness took over from her father.
The Mouton tradition of having famous artists design its labels began in 1945 when Baron Philippe commissioned a V for Victory label to celebrate the end of the Second World war.
New labels are as eagerly awaited by the wine trade as the John Lewis ad is by middle England, and past artists have included great names such as Lucien Freud, Anish Kapoor, Andy Warhol, Xu Lei, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and, er, the Prince of Wales.
This year’s artwork is called Flux, by the German artist Gerhard Richter, whose style merges painting and photography.
After writing this, we thought it was high time we picked out some of our favourite labels (and a few that we weren’t so keen on).