Mouton '14 in Line With 2012 Sets Tone for Bordeaux Price

Chateau Mouton Rothschild
The vineyards and chateau of Mouton-Rothschild stand in the Bordeaux region of France. Source: Rothschild S.A. via Bloomberg

Chateau Mouton Rothschild’s release of its 2014 wine to the Bordeaux futures market this week at 240 euros ($269) a bottle, in line with its 2012 vintage, set the tone for others including Chateau Lynch Bages and Chateau Palmer.

All three priced their new wine at the same level as their 2012s, although above the 2013s, which were widely discounted because of the cold, wet vintage, according to data from the London-based Liv-ex market. Lynch Bages was priced at 60 euros a bottle from Bordeaux traders and Palmer at 160 euros.

Winegrowers in Bordeaux are under pressure from merchants, particularly in the U.K. and U.S., to give collectors a reason to buy new wines still in barrel after three years in which top claret prices have dropped as much as 40 percent and demand has switched to older vintages and wines from other regions.

“Mouton is what we needed,” Joss Fowler at London merchant Fine+Rare, said by phone, describing it as “a good wine at the right price.” The chateau was the first left-bank first-growth producer to release en primeur, or futures, wines.

Mouton priced its 2014 wine about 30 percent cheaper than its 2006, which has now benefited from eight years of aging and was comparable in quality, according to Liv-ex data published on its blog. The new Lynch Bages is also being offered at about a 30 percent discount to comparable older vintages, such as 2004, 2006 and 2008, according to Liv-ex, while Palmer 2014 in contrast is more expensive than its similar back vintages.

Green Shoots

“After an unprecedented period of history in the fine-wine market there are some green shoots of recovery,” London-based Wine Asset Managers LLP wrote in its blog on the broader state of the global market. “En primeur prices are returning to sensible levels.”

Chateau Angelus, classified among the top four growers in Saint Emilion, priced its new wine at 180 euros a bottle, in line with its 2012 and up 9 percent from 2013, according to Liv-ex. However older vintages such as 2004 and 2006 are currently trading just 8 percent to 14 percent above the 2014s while already having bottle age, Liv-ex data shows.

Other wines already released include Chateau Duhart-Milon, priced at 42 euros a bottle and below both its 2013 and 2012 vintages, and Chateau Beychevelle, which at 43.20 euros was priced above the previous two vintages, according to Liv-ex.

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