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Mouton Unveils Its 2011 Artist Label

Plus, a Canadian luxury goods company presents an $85,000 wine cradle, and Bolivian authorities seize a shipment of liquid cocaine-filled wine bottles

Posted: November 21, 2013

• One of the most anticipated annual wine and art collaborations is once again upon us, the unveiling of the newest Mouton-Rothschild label, which almost always features the work of a world-renowned artist. The Bordeaux first-growth's 2011 label was revealed this week, and Mouton's Baroness Philippine de Rothschild tapped French painter and sculptor Guy de Rougemont with the task. De Rougemont's "patterned surface" frescoes and brightly colored columns have been displayed prominently at France's Musée d'Orsay, Musée d'Art Moderne and in Saint-Louis hospital, and he was elected to the Institut de France Academy of Fine Arts in 1997. According to the winery's press release, de Rougemont's illustration for the 2011 Mouton label "is a drawing which, from gold to dark red, from the clarity of vines in sunshine to the darkness of the cellars, takes us in color through all the stages of the birth of a great wine." For Mouton art fans looking to collect 'em all, the 2011 is priced at about $500 a bottle.

• Once you've procured that pricey bottle of Mouton with the fancy artist label, you're not going to want to decant it from just some run-of-the-mill basket cradle on a reproduction Versailles guéridon. No, a bottle like that deserves to be decanted in style. Luckily, artist Thierry Forbois and the luxury purveyors at Luxe Invivo Arte will be unveiling the Purity Impérial next week in Montreal at Le Pois Penché, just in time for the holidays. It's a crankable bottle cradle, so you won't have to use your own strength to pour wine from a bottle into a decanter, and it's only $85,800. It's worth every penny if Luxe Invivo Arte's purple prose is to be trusted. "Four months and 450 hours of unique savoir-faire are required to sculpt, carve, assemble, polish and apply on its noble woods all nine layers of lacquer required to reach the heavenly purity of its luster, bursting with the golden and fiery reflections of Cuban mahogany flames," the description reads. "The beauty of the object is further revealed in … the curved mirror inside its body, which surrounds the mechanical workings and bathes them in a three-dimensional play of light and crystals. A perfect inlay of diamond powder between layers of pearled lacquer forms the word 'purity' in letters of nobility, a savoir-faire unique in the world." If that sounds good to you, act quickly: They're only making 50 of these bottle cradles, and they're priced to move.

• Back in the '80s, cocaine was a very popular drug, and a tonic wine called Vin Tonique Mariani—claret with a dash of coke—became all the rage among the era's most notorious bad-boy celebrities like Thomas Edison and Pope Leo XIII. But then the 20th century came along and Nancy Reagan effectively stigmatized the drug with hip slogans like "Thomas Edison is wack" and "Just say no to Pope Leo." Yet there are still some lame-os who lie around ingesting cocaine all day, and so it came to pass last week that a man in Bolivia was caught trying to pair wine and cocaine once again. Police seized 184 gallons of diluted cocaine and 433 pounds of solid stuff—valued at $2 million—in a bust on a home in Santa Cruz. The liquid cocaine was stashed in hundreds of wine bottles, yet to be labeled, according to the Bolivian state news agency ABI. When caught, the suspected smuggler tried to kill himself with a knife, and he is thought to be part of a ring sending shipments to Italy. Detective Unfiltered believes authorities became suspicious at the thought that Italians would actually import and drink Bolivian wine.

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