Mouton ’06 Selling for $5,710 Trades Near Eight-Month Liv-Ex Low

Three cases of 2006 Chateau Mouton Rothschild sold for 3,560 pounds ($5,710) each on Liv-ex since the start of last week, near the eight-month low of 3,550 pounds touched Oct. 29 amid weakening demand for top Bordeaux vintages.

The deals, the most recent of which was yesterday, were 4.8 percent below its Sept. 26 price of 3,740 pounds and left the wine, classified as a Medoc first growth, close to the lowest level on Liv-ex since February, according to data on the London-based market’s Cellar Watch website.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index, a benchmark for top Bordeaux wines, fell 1.5 percent in October, its sixth month of declines in the past seven and extending a slide which has taken it down more than 5 percent since the end of March. Investors have been looking for wines from other regions to diversify.

“First growths remained under pressure,” Liv-ex said in its market blog on performance last month. “All Liv-ex indices declined in October.”

The 2006 vintage of Mouton is 16 percent below this year’s March peak of 4,240 pounds and is 40 percent down from its record 5,935 pounds reached in April 2011 when Chinese appetite for Bordeaux first growths was reaching a peak.

The vintage is up 1.7 percent for this year, and is 7.9 percent above the 3,300 pounds at which it traded in July 2007 soon after its release to the market.

Grape Selection

The 2006 Mouton still ranks as the Pauillac estate’s fourth most-expensive wine of the past 10 years, lagging only the 2010, 2009 and 2005, according to merchant prices collated by Liv-ex on its Cellar Watch website.

The 2006 Mouton was given a rating of 98+ points on a 100-point scale by U.S. wine critic Robert Parker, putting it among the estate’s top five wines of the past half century, according to data on the website.

Parker said in a February 2009 tasting note that only 44 percent of the Mouton harvest that year went into its main wine, the lowest percentage in more than 50 years, boosting quality.

Parker also said the wine would need “at least 20 years to reach a teenage status, and probably will not hit its plateau of maturity for three decades.”

Vine Age

Mouton Rothschild has 84 hectares (208 acres) planted with red-grape vines. The vines have an average age of 44 years and are planted at a density of 10,000 per hectare, according to Mouton’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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