Mouton ’08 Extends Slide to Lowest Level for 15 Months

Twelve bottles of 2008 Chateau Mouton Rothschild, a Medoc first-growth estate, sold for 2,822 pounds ($4,690) on Liv-ex in the past week, extending the vintage’s slide amid weakening demand for recent Bordeaux wines.

The sale, on March 14, was 24 percent below the 2013 high of 3,710 pounds of last March and took the vintage to its lowest level for 15 months, according to data on the London-based market’s Cellar Watch website.

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index tracking top Bordeaux wines has fallen for six straight months, having dropped 3 percent last year and 10 percent in 2012. Collectors and investors, deterred by prices of recent vintages, have sought older Bordeaux wines or diversified outside the region.

Over the past month “the bulk of the price falls came amongst the youngest vintages, which are very susceptible to shifts in the direction of investment supply and demand,” Chris Smith, investment manager at The Wine Investment Fund in London, said in an e-mailed market report.

The 2008 vintage of Mouton is 66 percent below the peak at which it traded in January 2011 as Chinese demand for Bordeaux first growths was still driving prices. It is still 78 percent up from the level of 1,585 pounds at which it started trading on Liv-ex in April 2009.

Recent Vintages

The 2008 Mouton ranks as the Pauillac estate’s second-cheapest wine of the past five years, ahead only of the 2012, 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 in a tasting note in May 2011, putting it below at least three other vintages in the past five 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, 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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