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Baron Philippe, as he was often called in the Médoc, was one of those men who contributed to the rebirth of the Pauillac vineyard. When he inherited the Mouton and d’Armailhacq estates, great wines had gone out of fashion. The 1930s had ended their heyday. As an example, the 1930 harvest of Mouton Rothschild was sold in bulk to the Paris trader Achille Hauser for only three times the price of the Médoc and was sent to Bercy in rail tank wagons. The glory of years gone by remained at Mouton, however, and young Baron Philippe was still full of ambition for his great Pauillac wines. Although the years after the Second World War allowed him to express himself fully, in particular by making Mouton Cadet the most reputed wine brand in the world, the 1939-1945 conflict was a terrible trial.
As early as September 1, 1939, Baron Philippe prepared for the worst and officially entrusted Jacques Lévy and Aurélien Agert with full powers for the management of his Mouton and d’Armailhacq estates. On September 28, he confirmed his choice, which turned out to be a good idea, given that Aurélien Agert saved the two classified growths from the covetousness of the occupant and the greed of the Collaboration period. Seized as “Jewish property” and placed under supervision at the end of 1940, Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Mouton d’Armailhacq did not suffer the same looting as many other French companies held by Jewish owners. Walled cellars, concealments, false statements and various other methods allowed Aurélien Agert to save stocks and to continue the winemaking activity. This is shown by the fact that Mouton stocks at the end of 1939 were 75,010 bottles and 879 barrels and had increased to 115,419 bottles and 1004 barrels by the end of 1945. Similarly, at Mouton d’Armailhacq, from 12,665 bottles and 965 barrels, the stock increased to 71,291 bottles and 1,175 barrels. Of course, there was still the difficulty of selling this huge stock. Fortunately, the magnificent 1945 vintage attracted new customers, and the magic name of Rothschild did the rest.