Château Mouton Rothschild unveils 2016 Wine Label Design by South African Artist William Kentridge
It’s a tradition since 1945, Château Mouton Rothschild asks a contemporary artist to design a new label for every vintage of the estate’s Grand Vin.
For the 2016 vintage, the now three owners of Mouton Rothschild, brothers and sister, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, Camille Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, children of Baronne Philippine, commissioned the painter, sculptor, video artist and stage director William Kentridge to create the new label.
2016 Mouton Rothschild Label Design
William Kentridge’s design for Mouton’s wine label is titled The Triumphs of Bacchus (Les Triomphes de Bacchus), illustrating Bacchus, the Greek God of wine, marching and celebrating his reign.
The silhouettes of Bacchic characters are assembled in a joyful procession inspired by the paintings of great masters like Titian to Matisse, “underlining the truth that a great wine, although first and foremost a pleasure, is also inseparable from a cultural tradition which demands respect and moderation.”
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About William Kentridge – First Artist from Africa to Design a Label of Mouton
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1955, William Kentridge is the first internationally renowned artist from the African continent to illustrate a label of Château Mouton Rothschild.
Kentridge studied art (beaux-arts), politics, mime and theatre, but it’s as an actor and scenarist that he makes his debuts in Johannesburg before moving on to creating animations and videos.
Along William Kentridge’s career, his paintings, drawings, collages, sculture and animated movies were displayed in such prestigious locations as the Venice Biennale, Sao Paulo, Le Louvre in Paris or at the Gropius Bau de Berlin or the MoMA in New-York.
In parallel, Kentridge has been invited to create stage design and act as a theatre director in operas around the world, including the staging of Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Monteverdi), Die Zauberflöte (Mozart) and The Nose (Shostakovich).
William Kentridge in Video
Witness William Kentridge’s studio in Johannesburg, a ‘vital physical and psychic space’ where he conceives and develops his ambitious projects and artworks.
The 2016 vintage in Bordeaux at Château Mouton Rothschild
Here is how Mouton describes the climatic conditions along the 2016 growing season in Pauillac, Médoc:
“In 2016, there were two main trends in the weather as we experienced it in Pauillac:
– a very wet winter and spring: more than half of the annual rainfall came in the first four months of the year, including a record 240 mm in January ;
– an extremely dry summer and autumn without any significant rainfall, resulting in a water deficit at the end of the year.
As a consequence of the summer drought, the grapes were numerous but remained rather small, making for density and concentration.
High temperatures in August and September allowed for slow ripening and excellent maturity, so that the harvest started with the Merlot on 26 September and continued in perfect conditions until 14 October.
In the vat house, each grape variety and each plot were, as usual, vinified separately in order to let their intrinsic character shine through.
The wines, which have now been blended, offer remarkable colour, intense fruit and spice aromas and a dense texture of very rich and well-rounded tannins.
Its density and substance make the 2016 vintage comparable with the finest so far this century.”