Château Mouton Rothschild 2011
2011 was one of the hottest, sunniest and, above all, driest of the last forty years. Very warm weather in April and May gave the vegetation cycle a head start : flowering was recorded on 15 May, the earliest date in living memory, and veraison started two-and-half weeks earlier than normal.
Conditions in July and August were very different, bringing less sunshine and significantly more precipitation. By the end of August, however, only 326 mm of rainfall had been recorded since 1 January, compared with an average of 519 mm.
Fine weather returned to the Médoc in early September and bright sunshine prevailed throughout the two weeks of the harvest, which began on 12 September. These auspicious conditions were extremely beneficial, allowing the grapes to ripen fully. Picking ended on 28 September.
Low yields, especially at Mouton, have produced structured, deep and very fresh wines. 2011 is thus a classic Bordeaux vintage, to be ranked among the finer, or perhaps even the finest.
The commission to illustrate the 2011 vintage was given by Baroness Philippine de Rothschild to the French painter and sculptor Guy de Rougemont, born in 1935 and a member of the Academy of Fine Arts of the Institut de France.
Fond of bright, warm colours, which he initially used in regular geometrical forms, he subsequently turned to the serpentine line, whose undulations emphasise or temper contrasts of light and shade.
His drawing for Mouton Rothschild 2011 belongs to this second manner: from gold to dark red, from the clarity of vines in sunshine to the darkness of the cellars, Rougemont takes us in colour through all the stages of the birth of a great wine.