Ask Sid: Why is Picasso on a wine bottle?

February 17th, 2016
Ask your question here The International Wine & Food Society

Why is Pablo Picass on a wine bottle label?
By Gilbert LE MOIGNE (Collection personnelle) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Question: How did my 1973 Chateau Mouton Rothschild come to have a Picasso on the label?   Thanks!

Answer: The Mouton label has been an important truly unique one since the initial 1924 Jean Carlu marking the very first chateau bottling of the entire harvest. Mouton was classified as a Second Cru in the 1855 classification but in 1973 was officially proclaimed as a Premier Cru. Before the coat of arms stated “Premier ne puis, Second ne daigne, Mouton suis” (First I cannot be, Second I disdain, Mouton I am) but was changed to “Premier je suis, Second je fus, Mouton ne change” (First I am, Second I was, I Mouton do not change). To celebrate this promotion and “en hommage a Picasso (1881-1973)” they used one of his paintings “Bacchanale” they already had in the Mouton Museum to illustrate this special label.

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February 17th, 2016

2 Responses

  1. I began collecting Chateau Mouton Rothschild starting with the 1982 vintage, but not every vintage. I quit in 2005 due to my advancing age. Fortunately, I did collect the 1983 vintage, although all my bottles of that vintage have now been consumed. You can bet I cleaned out and saved a bottle of the 1983 vintage for display in my wine cellar tasting room.

    Wimberly Miree

    • Sidney Cross says:

      I like the 1983 Mouton label by Saul Steinberg representing his recurring theme of human solitude on empty beaches Wimberly.
      However it is that special 1973 empty bottle of Mouton in your cellar that has the prized Picasso!

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