The Legendary Heroes (1881-1898)
The Russian painter Viktor Vasnetsov (1848-1926) put almost thirty years of his life to create this masterpiece. The three bogatyrs*, the great heroes of the folk poems, protectors and guardians of the Russian people – Ilya Mouromets, Alyosha Popovich and Dobrynya Nikitich – stopped in the middle of a field on the confines of the Russian lands.
It is Ilya Mouromets who is at the center. Powerful and vigorous, this bogatyr is so strong that he does not seem to feel the weight of the heavy club hanging from his hand lifted to his forehead. He miraculously combines this remarkable strength with greatness of soul and generosity of heart. Ilya Mouromets is a historical figure and the folk poems that sing his extraordinary exploits reflect a very real life. He later became a monk in the Kiev Monastery of the Caves and is today an Orthodox saint. Ivan Petrov, a simple peasant, a tall and strong man with an open and generous heart, served Vasnetsov as a model for Ilya Mouromets.
On the right hand of Ilya we see the valiant Dobrynya Nikitich. Always ready to protect his native land, he holds a sword half out of his scabbard. His chest exhibits a golden cross. Thus the painter reminds us that there is a connection between this hero and a legendary warlord of the army of Vladimir the Great, Prince of Kiev who had brought the Christian religion into the Russian lands. The image of Dobrynya is a composite representation of the Vasnetsov family: the painter himself, his uncle and his brother. It is not by chance that art experts have pointed out the resemblance between this bogatyr and the artist.
Alyosha Popovich is the younger of the bogatyrs. He is an elegant young man, brave and skillful, capable of defeating his enemies by force, intelligence, and sometimes even by cunning. Sergei Mamontov, the son of the industrialist and patron Savva Mamontov, who had done much to support Russian art and artists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, lent his image to Alyosha. The painter was able to reflect the serene and friendly character of Sergei on the canvas.
At any time every bogatyr is ready to defend his native land and the weak. The helmets on the heroes’ heads resemble the domes of Orthodox churches and symbolize the rightfulness of their cause and their exploits realized for the good of the people. The heroes epitomize the best qualities of which the Russians are proud: courage, spiritual power and love for the country.
* Heroes of ancient Slavic tales and songs performing feats of patriotic or religious character in ancient Russia.
90% Merlot – 10% Cabernet Franc
Soil type: Sand & Clay
Harvesting: 100% manual
Vinification methods: Soft, slow maceration and fermentation Pumping over Malolactic fermentation in barrels
Ageing: 100% new Radoux Blend barrels
Cultivation practices: Reasoned viticulture (Lutte raisonnée). Manual vineyard work. Mechanical weed control
This vintage is marked by woody aromas and bitter notes of dark chocolate. Bringing flavors of spice, vanilla, licorice, cinnamon and nutmeg, the new oak fits well into the rich cherry-blackberry-blueberry cocktail. Aromatic herbal notes complete the bouquet. The wine is juicy, expressive and dense.