Mouton Rothschild, Château

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Mouton Rothschild, Château, important wine estate in pauillac in the bordeaux wine region and the only one ever to have been promoted within the 1855 classification, to first growth.

Originally part of the lafite estate with which it is intermingled, it became in the middle of the 18th century a separate entity, owned by the de Brane family. In the first half of the following century, Baron Hector de Brane (or Branne) became known as ‘the Napoleon of the vines’ for his work in developing the Médoc vineyards, and, in company with his neighbour Armand d’Armailhacq, in supposedly introducing the cabernet sauvignon vine. In 1830, he sold Mouton to a M. Thuret and retired to his Ch Brane-Cantenac in the commune of margaux. At this time, Mouton had little international repute, and the first entry in a Christie’s auction catalogue was in 1834. In 1853, Thuret sold it to Baron Nathaniel de rothschild, of the English branch of the family, two years before the 1855 classification which placed Mouton Rothschild at the top of the second growths, a position unsatisfactory to the family, but not seriously contested until Baron Philippe de Rothschild took over the running of it from his father in 1922. He startled Bordeaux by employing a poster artist, Carlu, to design an art deco label, including the Rothschild arrows, for the 1924 vintage, and then proposing château bottling of all the first growths (and Mouton Rothschild). He also instigated what was initially a second wine, called mouton cadet.