Arden Fine Wines presents the BANNED 1993 Mouton label – UNEXPURGATED!
For its 1978 vintage – one of the better years of a bumpy decade for Bordeaux wine producers – Château Mouton Rothschild commissioned Montreal-born Jean-Paul Riopelle (1923-2002) to design its label.
Riopelle submitted two designs. Mouton’s owner Baron Philippe de Rothschild could not choose between them, so each design was used for half the vintage – about 135,000 bottles for each label design.
This was only the third time that Mouton had two different labels for one vintage. The 1925 and 1926 vintages also came in two versions: one with the Art Deco ram artwork by Carlu used for the 1924 vintage; the other just a “standard” Mouton label for the time.
There were two versions of the Mouton label in 1993 too…
A petition circulated by a group of Napa Valley residents complained that the drawing of a young nude girl by Balthus on the label for the 1993 Mouton vintage was inappropriate.
“We got 300 signatures in less than three days,” said Rebecca Lee of the Child Assault Prevention Program in Napa.
Lee was one of half a dozen people who started a group called “Concerned Adults” that distributed a petition calling on Mouton to abandon use of the label worldwide.
The label had been approved by the notoriously conservative Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
But rather than pick a fight with the Concerned Adults, Mouton chose to put a blank label on bottles – about 48,000 of them – that travelled over the Atlantic.