When Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild purchased Pauillac’s Château Brane-Mouton in 1853, it’s doubtful he could have predicted just how influential it would become in the world of fine wine. Hailing from the British branch of the well-known financial dynasty, Nathaniel bought the property, later renamed Château Mouton Rothschild on a bit of a lark, and the far-off tract of land was hardly a priority. But in 1922, everything changed. Nathaniel’s great grandson, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, began his nearly 70-year love affair with the estate, permanently changing the course of fine wine production.
Philippe’s commitment, followed by that of his daughter, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, who took over the estate upon his death in 1988, nurtured Château Mouton Rothschild into the birthplace of some of the most highly regarded and critically praised fine wines on the global market. With exotic, powerful aromas of blackcurrant, minerals, tobacco leaf and graphite, they have rightfully earned a reputation for flamboyance, depth, luxury and style.
Philippe also brought wine and art together by commissioning contemporary artists such as Picasso, Warhol and Chagall to design his labels, making them collectibles in their own right. But most important, he oversaw the 1973 elevation of Mouton to First Growth status—the only change ever made to the top end of the definitive 1855 classification system.