Following the release of the new Mouton-Rothschild label, drinkers are already heralding the 2019 as a ‘great vintage – for art at least’ with some even saying it could be the ‘most hyped bit of paper glued on some glass since last year’.
According to Mouton the 2019 label season in Bordeaux started cold – largely because the artist, Arja Avinalafsson lives in Berlin. A frosty reception to one of his shows saw some early ideas nipped in the bud as a result.
However, early summer saw the arrival of a bountiful cheque and with it the flowing of the artist’s creative juices right through to the final harvesting of the artwork in the early autumn.
Labelling conditions at the bottling line were described as ‘perfect’.
Fruity or austere?
Mouton labels can veer from dry and austere to extremely fruity – particularly the Banksy featuring two naked teenagers in an animal embrace.
The bottle was taken off the shelves in the American market, with regulators describing it as ‘more offensive than allowing our citizens to shoot each other at will.’
This year’s label, dubbed ‘Mutton Dressed as Lamb’ is described as ‘a nice balance of pretty colours and attractive shapes, with an underlying degree of kitsch.’
It has immediately become a collector’s item, especially in biodynamic circles, where 2019 is the Year of Piles of Dung.
Etiquette de garde
The longevity of the Mouton label is well-established, although it can vary. Badly drawn ones by the likes of Picasso are recommended for earlier consumption, but others can remain thoroughly impenetrable for decades.
‘It is about the changing seasons, the life force of the sun, the eternal search for perfection and the intimate relationship between wine and the investor,’ said Mouton’s Chef de Pomposité, Ari Stocrate. ‘But most of all it’s about PR.
‘And as usual we’ve pretty much raked it in again this year.’
We love labels
‘We never normally run stories about wine labels,’ said every magazine editor everywhere. ‘So it might seem odd that we make an exception for Mouton-Rothschild year after year.
‘But you have to remember that they’re a stupendously rich family and we hope they might spend some money with us. Or let us stay in their chateau on holiday. Or even send us a bottle.
‘After all, Christmas is just round the corner.’
Top brush twiddlers
Mouton is renowned for commissioning some of the world’s most celebrated artists of their day, including Dali, Picasso, Miro, Prince Charles and Boris Johnson.
Johnson‘s ‘52% Of You Are Sheep‘ watercolour label remains one of the most sought-after – largely from serious art lovers who are keen to get their hands in it so that they can destroy it.
Note to editors: as well as talking balls about art, Mouton-Rothschild also make wine.
Click here to discover why the 2020 en primeur campaign was rated the ‘best ever’