Château Mouton-Rothschild has just unveiled its label for the 2018 vintage.
This year, the contemporary artist and Chinese calligrapher Xu Bing has been chosen to illustrate the label. His work looks at first glance like traditional Chinese characters, but is actually composed of the letters of the Latin alphabet and forms the words "Mouton Rothschild".
The 2018 label is thus intended to be a bridge between cultures, halfway between French gastronomy, ancestral Chinese calligraphy and contemporary art.
Even if the year 2020 has not been favourable for the transfers/acquisitions of prestigious vineyards, two large Gironde estates have just changed hands this autumn:
- Ch. Siaurac (46 ha in Lalande de Pomerol), Le Prieuré (6 ha in Saint-Émilion) and Vray Croix de Gay (4 ha in Pomerol) had been acquired in 2014 by Artemis Domaines from MM. Pinault (Ch. Latour, Domaine d'Eugénie...). These three vineyards have just been sold to the bank and insurance company Arkéa-Crédit Mutuel. As this is surely a much longer-term investment and they have been successful in Calon-Ségur since 2012, we intend to follow their progress closely and will not fail to speak to you about it again.
Ch. Beauséjour-Duffau-Lagarosse- , Saint-Émilion's 1er grand cru classé (vineyard unchanged since 1847), a 7 ha jewel at the top of the limestone hillside, wedged between Angelus and Canon, is being acquired by another neighbour: Clos Fourtet. Already much sought-after, we are confident that Beauséjour has every chance of quickly becoming one of the most attractive crus in the Gironde vineyard, given the quality of the work carried out by Mr Cuvelier and his team on all their properties (Clos Fourtet, Grandes Murailles, Côte de Baleau and Poujeaux). Moreover, their pricing policy has always been very reasonable.
The harvest declarations (source: Douanes on 1st November 2020) already give a quantitative picture of the new 2020 vintage in France. Here are the results by wine-growing region (for wines with an appellation of origin), compared with the average harvest for 2015-2019 :
- Loire: +19%, a large harvest catching up with the 2018 harvest, which was very unprofitable (drought).
- Languedoc+Roussillon: -1%, good overall harvest even if the Languedoc was strongly affected by mildew.
- Rhône+Provence: -4%, a slight crop deficit due to frost (Rhône) and mildew (Provence).
- Burgundy+Beaujolais: -6%, lower than average harvest but significantly higher (+14%) than the 2018 harvest affected by coulure and drought.
- Bordeaux: -9%, deficit harvest (dry summer).
- Champagne: -22%, very small harvest due to the drop in yields imposed by the major Champagne Houses as a result of a deteriorated economic market following the health crisis. Many plots were not harvested.
The only qualitative indication, the 2020 vintage is remarkable for its earliness, with harvesting having started in August in all regions. In Alsace, it is even the earliest ever.