Mouton ’08 at $5,080 Finds Price Stability 15% Below 2013 Peak

Twelve bottles of 2008 Chateau Mouton Rothschild, a Medoc first-growth wine estate, sold for 3,140 pounds ($5,080) on Liv-ex, a similar level to four trades over the past two months and 15 percent below its 2013 peak.

The sale Oct. 18 followed seven months of weakening demand for top Bordeaux vintages, and compared with 3,710 pounds paid for each of 10 cases of the same vintage in March, according to data on the London-based market’s Cellar Watch website.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index, a benchmark for top claret, has fallen 6 percent since mid-March after gains of 8 percent in the first 10 weeks of this year, leaving it up 1 percent since the end of 2012. Collectors’ increasing appetite for wines from Burgundy, Italy and California has combined with a rally in British sterling since July to weaken demand for Bordeaux.

“The share of the First Growths’ trade on Liv-ex seems to act as a proxy for market sentiment,” Liv-ex said in a market blog last week. “When buyers and sellers are feeling optimistic, First Growths see an increased level of trade. Lately, the level has fallen to around 35 percent,” barely half the level of mid-2010 during the Bordeaux bull run, it said.

Mouton ’08 is 63 percent below its Liv-ex record reached in January 2011, although trading at almost double the 1,585 pounds for which it sold in April 2009 soon after its release to the market, according to Liv-ex data.

Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2008 Mouton ranks as the Pauillac estate’s third most-expensive wine of the past five years, behind the 2010 and 2009 vintages, according to merchant prices collated by Liv-ex on its Cellar Watch website.

The 2008 Mouton was given a rating of 94+ points on a 100-point scale by U.S. wine critic Robert Parker, lagging behind three of the subsequent four vintages from the estate, according to data on the website.

Chateau Mouton Rothschild has 84 hectares (208 acres) planted with red-grape vines. Cabernet Sauvignon accounts for 83 percent of the vineyard, Merlot 14 percent and Cabernet Franc the remaining 3 percent.

The average age of the vines is 44 years and they are planted at a density of 10,000 per hectare on gravel. The wine is fermented in oak vats for 15 to 25 days, and then matured for as long as 22 months in barrels, according to Mouton Rothschild’s website.

The vineyard, owned by Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA, was promoted in 1973 to the ranks of the top Bordeaux first-growth estates on the left bank of the Gironde estuary, joining the four other estates designated in the classification drawn up for Napoleon III’s 1855 Paris Exhibition.

Mouton has been under the control of the Rothschild family since being acquired by Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild in 1853. The property was developed extensively by Baron Philippe, who ran the estate from 1922 until his death in 1988, and since then has been managed by his daughter Philippine.

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