History of a label Château Siran
On February 13 and 14, the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux will organize a grand tasting of the 2020 vintage at Vinexpo Paris - Wine Paris. A special occasion to discover this vintage and some features...
Those who enjoy Château Siran will know its tradition of illustrated labels well. Every year for 25 years, the Miailhe family gave carte blanche to an artist who illustrated the label for the latest vintage. After a break, they decided to revive this lovely tradition. For the 2020 vintage, the bottle was adorned with an illustration by Franco-Chilean artist Federica Matta.
At Siran, art is in their blood. Not surprising when you discover that the Toulouse-Lautrec family once owned the estate. Nor when you know how much the Miailhe family, who has run the Château for over 160 years, loves things of beauty. For more than a century and a half, the owners of Siran have cultivated a love of the terroir and artistic creation. In the early 1980s, Alain and Brigitte Miailhe introduced a unique tradition that went on to truly delight Siran enthusiasts. They invited renowned artists to illustrate their vintages by choosing a theme referring to an event that occurred in the year of the vintage. Albert Decaris, France’s master engraver of the 20th century, designed the label of Château Siran’s first illustrated bottle. For the 1980 vintage, he paid tribute to Poland and the creation of Solidarnosc, the iconic trade union led by Lech Wałęsa. Next came Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon who offered his interpretation of the space shuttle Columbia in 1981. The following year, Juan Miró’s depiction of the Football Word Cup embellished the 1982 vintage’s label, as a posthumous tribute to the artist who died in 1983.
The tradition held strong for more than 25 years. Many themes featured on the bottles over this period, representing 26 vintages in total. Arts, science, sport, history and politics took turns to adorn the Château Siran label and helped make each bottle a celebration, inscribing the wine in history. A vertical tasting of Château Siran is therefore not only the chance to taste a very great wine, but also an opportunity to reflect on personal memories and connect with world events year after year. Glasnost, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the advent of the Internet and the World Cup in France are just a few of the milestones that Château Siran enthusiasts can look back on over the years.
After a break of several years, the idea of offering each vintage a label that resonates with its year of production started taking form in the mind of Edouard Miailhe, Alain and Brigitte’s son. “I grew up with parents who were passionate about art and always wanted to build bridges between art and wine. They passed on this passion to me too!”, asserts the Château’s current owner. With his wife Sévrine, he came across the lockdown diary of Franco-Chilean artist Federica Matta in the spring of 2020. “A big, bright, colourful notebook filled with hope and drawings of what we wanted the post-COVID world to look like.” We were instantly taken with her artistic vision! The couple decided to revive the family tradition and the theme for that year was self-evident: resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We were touched by her sensitivity to nature’s elements and her delicate poetry. It was decided… we would start illustrating our wine’s labels again and Federica Matta would illustrate our 2020 vintage,” recounts Edouard Miailhe.
Sévrine and Edouard Miailhe then decided to invite the artist to Margaux so she could immerse herself in the place, the land and the Siran vineyards. During her visit, Federica Matta was touched by the beauty and serenity of the place. “In the undulating vines of Château Siran, we are at the very heart of the Moon’s encounter with the Sun, in the poetry of wine, here and now,” she enthused. The artist decided to celebrate wine as an antidote to COVID. She composed a joyful and Dionysian allegory of wine, celebrating the joy of being together through a powerful and symbolic illustration. With its bright colours, the 2020 vintage label also reminds us of the olfactory qualities of Siran’s red wines as well as the joy of sharing. Clearly won over, Edouard Miailhe promises, “We shall continue this tradition every year.” For all Bordeaux Great Growth enthusiasts, just one question remains… Which artist and theme will be chosen for the 2021 vintage?