“Man was created by Nature in order to explore it. As he approaches Truth he is fated to Knowledge. All the rest is bullshit.” says Dr.Sartorius.
Andrei Tarkovsky (Solaris 1972)
Château Mouton Rothschild has revealed the label for the estate’s 2019 vintage by Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson.
Château Mouton Rothchild’s artist-label series has featured contributions from numerous art-world luminaries over the years, with Braque, Dalí, Picasso, Henry Moore, Jean Cocteau, Warhol, Jeff Koons, and Gerhard Richter among the artists commissioned since the tradition began with the 1945 vintage (Carlu).
This week, the first week of December 2021, the château unveiled the latest work to grace the Pauillac first growth’s bottles: a design by the Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson for Château Mouton Rothschild 2019.
An alliance of sun and wine…
According to a statement issued by the château, the artwork, Solar Iris of Mouton, celebrates the alliance of sun and wine.
“Solar Iris of Mouton is divided into two horizontal strips,” the statement continues. “The upper part represents daytime with its golden hues, the lower part the night in midnight blue. They frame the oculus which represents Château Mouton Rothschild. Around it, a series of ellipses form a ring that charts the path of the sun in relation to the earth at the château’s location in Pauillac. The lowest arc designates the shortest day of the year, the top arc the longest day.
“In the upper part, elongated figure 8 shapes known as analemmas represent the position of the sun recorded from Château Mouton Rothschild at the same time on each day of the year. The variations in the sun’s position in the sky arise from the movements of the earth around the sun and along its axis. The motion of the earth and the passing of time thus become visible in the shape of the analemma. The figure 8 shape also evokes the symbol of infinity—a promise of eternity for Mouton Rothschild 2019?”
“Solar Iris of Mouton is a map of all the sunsets and sunrises that take place over a year at Château Mouton Rothschild,” added Eliasson. “Depicting each hour of daylight and night-time that go into the growing of the grapes, it is a kind of signature for the vineyard, telling us something about the conditions in which the wine grew and the intimate relationship between the wine and its location. Tasting the wine connects us to the local environment, to the soil, and to the particular weather, seasons, and lighting of the place. Visible through the eye-like oculus at the center of the label, the wine contains the golden sun, the earth, and the sky; it is local and it simultaneously bears a trace of the celestial.”
Focusing on the essential…
A multi-disciplinary artist working in sculpture, painting, photography, film, and digital media, Eliasson, who was born in 1967 and studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, and is today based in Berlin.
“I have been fascinated by Olafur Eliasson’s work for many years. His wonderful exhibition at Versailles in 2016 was a defining moment for me and I said to myself ‘One day, if he is willing, Olafur Eliasson will be one of Château Mouton Rothschild’s artists,’” said Château Mouton Rothschild co-owner Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, who was responsible for commissioning this label.
“His art focuses on the essential and that is what he has managed to capture for Mouton Rothschild: time, the round of the seasons and the sun at the centre of everything, treated here in the form of a diagram.”
Alongside the new label, Château Mouton Rothschild released a small video that illustrates the building-up of Solar Iris de Mouton, from a simple bi-colour design to the complete artwork.
Two of our top intrepid Vinous reporters have also recently tasted the 2019 Mouton and this is what they had to say:
2019 Mouton Rothschild comes off the back of a succession of superlative wines that you would have to go back to the late Forties to see again. Deep in colour, it has a very composed and refined bouquet: very pure blackberry intermingling with bilberry and graphite, touches of Earl Grey and crushed stone emerging after several minutes in the glass. The palate is beautifully balanced with finely-chiseled tannins, a little spicier than the previous vintage from barrel last year, gently building and fanning out towards the poised finish. This is a sophisticated, classic Mouton-Rothschild that will require a little more cellaring than some recent vintages, but will surely be worth the wait. N.M.
… and his chum A.G. also tasted the wine last month and found that the 2019 Mouton Rothschild is dark, sensual and enveloping. Readers will find a Mouton of notable finesse and class. In this tasting, the Grand Vin comes across as quite restrained, with lifted aromatics and tons of elegance, but also quite a bit in reserve. Time in the glass brings out the wine’s aromatic presence and overall depth. 99-100/100pts
There are six (75cl) bottles coming to us around springtime 2022, when Mouton release the stock that we ordered from them. When the wine arrives at the LCB VT, we can offer them to you @ GBP666 per bottle exclusive of the usual suspects (Duty/IVA/Shipping/Delivery etc) and subject to remaining unsold, that is.
“When man is happy, the meaning of life and other eternal themes rarely interest him. These questions should be asked at the end of one’s life.” says Dr.Snaut
“But we don’t know when life will end. That’s why we’re in such a hurry.” replies Kris Kelvin
“Don’t rush. The happiest people are those who are not interested in these cursed questions.” retorted Dr.Snaut