Mouton 2000 Drops to Five-Month Low as Bordeaux Demand Wanes

A case of 2000 Chateau Mouton Rothschild, a Medoc first-growth wine estate, sold for 9,810 pounds ($16,040) on Liv-ex yesterday, its lowest level for five months amid weakening demand for top Bordeaux vintages.

The sale was 4.8 percent below its 2013 high touched last month of 10,300 pounds and took the wine back to its lowest level since June 18, according to data on the London-based market’s Cellar Watch website.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index tracking top Bordeaux wines has declined for seven of the past eight months, having erased all of the gains it made in the first 10 weeks of the year. The index has fallen about 9 percent since mid-March as collectors and investors, deterred by prices of recent vintages, have diversified outside the region.

“First growths are under pressure,” Liv-ex said in a market commentary blog, describing Bordeaux wines as “out of focus” as seasonal demand switched more toward Champagne.

The 2000 vintage of Mouton is 5.7 percent below the peak of 10,400 pounds at which it traded in June 2011 as Chinese demand for Bordeaux first growths was still driving prices.

The 2000 Mouton still ranks as the Pauillac estate’s most-expensive wine of the past 30 years, according to merchant prices collated by Liv-ex on its Cellar Watch website. It is trading at more than quadruple the level of 2,300 pounds for which it sold on Liv-ex in August 2003.

Vine Density

The 2000 Mouton was given a rating of 96+ points on a 100-point scale by U.S. wine critic Robert Parker in an online tasting note in June 2010, putting it among the estate’s five top-scoring wines of the past 15 years, according to data on the website.

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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