Mouton 2014: “a true opening price”

28th April, 2015 by Patrick Schmitt

Bordeaux first growth Château Mouton Rothschild has released its 2014 this morning at a lower price than any physical vintage on the market.

Mouton Rothschild's barrel hall

Mouton Rothschild’s barrel hall

Launching in the UK earlier today at £2340 per dozen in bond, the 2014 offer undercuts every physical vintage on the market, and is only a few pounds more expensive than the lesser 2013 vintage (see Liv-ex figures below).

Speaking to the drinks business this morning, Joss Fowler, head of fine wine at Fine + Rare, described the release as “attractive” and “cheaper than any other vintage of Mouton”.

Furthermore, he said that the Mouton release “represents what en primeur should be: a true opening price,” while admitting that he would be offering the wine enthusiastically to his customers because it is “a good wine, a first growth, and it is well priced.”

Similarly, Bordeaux Index noted this morning that Mouton’s release fulfilled “the first rule of en primeur” – it is lower in price than any physical vintage on the market – before describing it as “a truly exceptional wine”.

Elsewhere, Justerini & Brooks suggested that the release “could trigger movement from the rest of Bordeaux” and “could be just the catalyst we have been waiting for” in a “campaign that certainly needed a shot in the arm”.

During a tasting of the wine in Bordeaux earlier this month, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild told db that 2014’s conditions favoured the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, although the 2014 Mouton had an unusually high percentage of Merlot in the blend (16%), which he said, “makes the wine very open”.

Meanwhile, Mouton-Rothschild winemaker Philippe Dhalluin said that the hallmark of this year’s release was the high quantity of tannins.

“We measure the quantity of the tannins and we have more tannins in Mouton than even 2010,” he said, comparing the claret to a famously tannic vintage.

Explaining this aspect to the wine, he said that 2014’s long Indian summer combined with the reasonably dry nature of the Pauillac soils produced concentrated berries with thick skins, and ultimately, “a rich vintage”.

Looking back to similar harvests, Dhalluin said that Mouton 2014 had some of the freshness of 1986, the crisp fruit of 1996 and the sweetness of 2005.

The 2014 Mouton comprises 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc, and Dhalluin said that the last recent vintage with a relatively high proportion of Merlot was the 2005, which contained 14% of the grape.

Mouton’s prices back to 2004 can be seen below, courtesy of Liv-ex.

The current market prices for the previous ten vintages of Mouton Rothschild are below:

2013

£2,326

2012

£2,650

2011

£2,760

2010

£4,850

2009

£4,750

2008

£3,072

2007

£2,900

2006

£3,360

2005

£4,259

2004

£3,024

Prices in GBP per 12×75.
Source: Liv-ex

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