Château Mouton Rothschild has commissioned a South Korean artist Lee Ufan to design the label on its 2013 flagship Bordeaux. Some of the world’s greatest artists have illustrated Mouton Rothschild vintages for decades and the Medoc First Growth has made this an annual tradition since 1945.
Lee Ufan was chosen to create the Mouton Rothschild 2013 label and he and has opted for simplicity with a purple and red mark above the estate’s logo.
Mouton Rothschild said of the design, “The initially indecisive purple of the drawing gradually attains its full richness, just as a great wine is patiently brought to fulfilment in the secret of the vat house.”
Lee Ufan was born in a South Korean mountain village in 1936. Twenty years later, he moved to Tokyo’s Nihon University and has since built a career as an artist. Mouton’s association with artists designing its labels began in 1924, when Jean Carlu produced artwork for Baron Philippe de Rothschild. Ufan has won the UNESCO Prize at the Shanghai Biennale in 2000 and Japan’s Praemium Imperiale in 2001, and has exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the Jeu de Paume museum in Paris. In addition to paintings, he also produces sculptures made from rock, steel and glass and has had his works exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the Jeu de Paume museum in Paris, the park at Versailles and the Guggenheim and MoMA in New York.
The 2013 vintage in Bordeaux is widely regarded as one of the worst on recent record, though Mouton is happy with the wine it produced due to “draconian” grape selection. A cold and damp winter followed by a cool and wet spring held back the vegetation cycle and affected flowering, leading yields to be among the lowest at the estate in the last 40 years. The harvest was completed in record time between 30 September and 9 October.
The final blend of 89% Cabernet, 7% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc is described as having aromas of “black cherry, raspberry, blackberry and delicately roasted notes”. Boasting a “clean, fresh and rich attack”, the palate offers “suggestions of vanilla and chocolate, underpinned by refined tannins and a long aromatic finish”.
Among the other artists to have created a label for Mouton Rothschild are Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Georges Braque, Juan Miró, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud and Jeff Koons.