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How Château Mouton Rothschild gave royal etiquette a new meaning

By Vitisphere September 19, 2022
How Château Mouton Rothschild gave royal etiquette a new meaning
The new British King’s cellars may well contain a few cases of the Premier Grand Cru Classé whose label he designed for the centenary of Entente Cordiale - crédit photo : Château Mouton Rothschild

he desired motif may not have been Prince of Wales check, but Château Mouton Rothschild did ask the-then Prince of Wales to design the label for its 2004 vintage. As a landscape artist, he painted pine trees against a blue sky for the Pauillac Premier Grand Cru Classé. The label marked the 100th anniversary of Entente Cordiale, an alliance signed by King Edward VII and President Emile Loubet, using a term coined by Queen Victoria during the July Monarchy.  

The commemoration of such an historic occasion for Franco-British relations led to many remembrance events in 2004, crowned by the official visits of the two heads of State” – Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Jacques Chirac – stresses Château Mouton Rothschild. It goes on to point out that “the same spirit led Baroness Philippine de Rothschild to ask HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, a talented artist and direct descendant of Edward VII” to design the label for the vintage. Depicting one of Prince Charles’ watercolours, the label also features a dedication: “To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Entente Cordiale – Charles, 2004”.

The relationship between Bordeaux’s Great Growths and Great Britain is not so much an ‘entente cordiale’ as an idyll, spanning multiple generations. “There are numerous links, from the Pontack’s Head tavern at Haut-Brion in 1666 to the present day”, explains Sylvain Boivert, director of the 1855 Médoc and Sauternes Crus Classés Council. As early as 1660, purchases by King Charles II included Bordeaux wines, which have a long-standing history on the tables of England. It now falls upon his distant successor to keep up the tradition.

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