Message on a bottle: Château Siran marks the return to artist labels for 2020 vintage
With the unveiling of the new label for its 2020 vintage in Paris last week, Château Siran marked the return to artist labels for the first time since 2005, re-inaugurating a tradition at the Château established first in 1980.
Édouard Miailhe took over the running of the property from his parents in 2007 and has arguably taken Siran to new heights in the last decade. To celebrate the 160th harvest of his family’s presence at Siran, the longest continuous family history of any estate in Margaux, Edouard and his wife Sevrine chose to present the 2019 vintage in a majestic engraved anniversary bottle.
They now seek to renew the family tradition by offering each vintage in a label that will recall a highlight of the year of its production. As Édouard Miailhe explained to me, “I grew up alongside art-loving parents who always wanted to combine their pleasure and build bridges between art and wine. This passion has also been transmitted to me!”
The theme for the 2020 vintage is ‘an antidote to Covid’ and the artist asked to represent it on the label is Federica Matta. For Sevrine and Édouard Miailhe, it was impossible not to evoke the pandemic which paralysed the world in 2020. For the label of this very specific vintage, they wanted to celebrate the joy of living and the happiness of sharing. Their chance encounter with the artist Federica Matta was decisive.
As they explain, “We came across the work of the Franco-Chilean artist Federica Matta while reading her confinement diary. A grand and luminous notebook, full of hope and bright colours, which draws what we wanted for the world afterwards. We were touched by her sensitivity to the natural elements and by her delicate poetry. From thereon, it was decided, we were going to continue, thanks to Federica Matta, and for the 2020 vintage, with the illustration of the labels of our wines. Château Siran was thus her source of inspiration: the earth and the vines being her colour palette.”
As Édouard Miailhe continues, “Throughout our the conversations, Federica was touched by the peace and the serenity that reign over the estate. She has composed a joyful and Dionysian allegory of wine, and created a powerful and telluric label”.
Federica Matta, painter, poet and sculptor, was born in Paris in 1955 into a family of artists. Her work is prolific and colourful. She creates jewellery, shaman talismans and monumental sculptures. Whether in Chile, Portugal, Japan, or Bordeaux, her approach is the same: to revive and transform public spaces to allow residents to develop another way of meeting and living together.
With her depiction of the 2020 vintage, Federica Matta, reconnects Siran with its rich history of artistic collaborations. From now on, and in each and every vintage, Sevrine and Édouard Miailhe will seek an artist, capable of capturing the link between the wine and the vintage, redrawing the connection between art and wine in the process.
Château Siran 2020
(Margaux; 47% Merlot; 43% Cabernet Sauvignon; 9% Petit Verdot; 1% Cabernet Franc; bottled in April 2022; aged in oak barrels, 35% of which are new; 14% alcohol). Tasted at the unveiling of the new artist label designed by Federica Matta in Paris, September 2022. Elegant and subtle but extremely expressive aromatically, this is archetypally Margellais: floral, cool, calm and refined. On the nose we find a bright, fresh and crunchy blackcurrant, bramble and blackberry fruit, a hint of red cherry and a subtle hint of almond oil. There are beautiful floral notes too – lilacs and rose petals, a hint of violet and of heather too – and a subtle suggestion of the cedar that will come through with greater bottle age. I love the touch of cracked black and Szechuan pepper. This is full and soft on the entry with silky tannins and a nice juicy fresh presence through the mid-palate and on the long tender finish. There is a good sense of evolution in the mouth and now rather much delineation and detail in the mid-palate than I found en primeur. Really excellent and as bright, energetic and dynamic as the artist’s label. 93+.