Pauillac - Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA
Château Mouton Rothschild is a wine estate located in the village of Pauillac in the Médoc region, 50 km (30 mi) north-west of the city of Bordeaux, France. Originally known as Château Brane-Mouton, its red wine was renamed by Nathaniel de Rothschild in 1853 to Château Mouton Rothschild. In the 1920s it began the practice of bottling the harvest at the estate itself, rather than shipping the wine to merchants for bottling elsewhere.
The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 was based entirely on recent market prices for a vineyard's wines, with one exception: Château Mouton Rothschild. Despite the market prices for their vineyard's wines equalling that of Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild was excluded from First Great Growth status, an act that Baron Philippe de Rothschild referred to as "the monstrous injustice”. It is widely believed that the exception was made because the vineyard had recently been purchased by an Englishman and was no longer in French ownership.
In 1973, Mouton was elevated to "first growth" status after decades of intense lobbying by its powerful and influential owner. The only change in the original 1855 classification (excepting the 1856 addition of Château Cantemerle). This prompted a change of motto: previously, the motto of the wine was Premier ne puis, second ne daigne, Mouton suis. ("First, I cannot be. Second, I do not deign to be. Mouton I am."), and it was changed to Premier je suis, Second je fus, Mouton ne change. ("First, I am. Second, I used to be. Mouton does not change.")
Château Mouton Rothschild has its vineyards on the slopes leading down to the Gironde Estuary, in the Bordeaux region, mainly producing grapes of the Cabernet Sauvignon variety. Today, Château Mouton Rothschild has 222 acres (90 ha) of grape vines made up of Cabernet Sauvignon (81%), Merlot (15%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Petit Verdot (1%). Their wine is fermented in oak vats (they are one of the last châteaux in the Médoc to use them) and then matured in new oak casks. It is also frequently confused with the widely distributed generic Bordeaux Mouton Cadet.
Baron Philippe de Rothschild came up with the idea of having each year's label designed by a famous artist of the day. In 1946, after the success of the 1945 label, this became a permanent and significant aspect of the Mouton image with labels created by some of the world's great painters and sculptors.
Artists such as Salvador Dalí, Francis Bacon, Picasso and Miró designed labels for bottles of Mouton Rothschild.
Château Mouton Rothschild wine plays a brief, but important part in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. Bond (played by Sean Connery), after tasting a glass of Mouton Rothschild 1955, casually remarks that he had expected a claret with the grand dinner he has been served. When the villain Mr. Wint (played by Bruce Glover) replies that the cellars are poorly stocked with clarets, Bond exposes Wint's ignorance, replying that Mouton Rothschild, in fact, is a claret.