New high for Mouton 2000 and the appeal of black and gold bottles

A case of Mouton Rothschild 2000 has traded at a new record high on the Liv-ex Exchange of £17,050, do commemorative bottles of Bordeaux have extra appeal in the market?

The vintage from the Pauillac first growth has seen a number of notable trades of late, an imperial (six litres) trading for £14,300 in June, while a Jeroboam traded for £5,718 in October last year.

This new price is the highest ever recorded trade for the famous vintage with its black and gold bottles and ‘Augsburg Ram’ decoration and the wine now costs more than the average price a case of the 1982 commands which is £11,400.

Since release the wine has appreciated 672.7% and it has been one of the more consistent clarets on the secondary market for a while now.

Back in November 2013, when the market was still in the doldrums, the wine was reported to be close to reaching its record 2011 level of £10,000 per dozen.

In February 2015 it was up to £11,500 a case and has been going up and up ever since.

Clearly, the quality of the vintage, the fact that it is a first growth and the current popularity of Mouton are strong reasons for the 2000’s performance but there is, perhaps, something to be said for its unique packaging as well which adds considerably to its collectability.

With the news that Château Margaux is to release its 2015 in a special commemorative bottle dedicated to its late winemaker Paul Pontallier, Liv-ex also recently examined the other ‘special edition’ bottles that have been released by other estates – notably Lafite, Angélus, Pavie and Smith Haut-Lafitte.

All have appreciated strongly since release though none quite as well as Mouton 2000.

The 2008 Lafite which was marked with the Chinese symbol for ‘8’ currently trades at around £7,000 per dozen which is 119% more than it cost on release but still severely off its fabulous (an numerically pleasing) peak of £13,888 in the bull market of 2010 when the little addition to the bottle was announced.

Angélus and Pavie meanwhile both issued commemorative bottles for their 2012 vintages to mark their elevation to Grand Cru Classé ‘A’ status (black and gold for Angélus, black and silver for Pavie).

During en primeur they also released the wines with hefty mark-ups on the 2011 prices which caused a good deal of scoffing in many corners but those who bought in then will have subsequently enjoyed a 71.5% appreciation for Angélus and a rather more mild 31.7% rise for Pavie, where the performance has been somewhat more erratic.

As well as Margaux, Smith Haut-Lafitte also chose to package its 2015 in a back and gold label to mark its 650th anniversary (and 25 years of ownership by the Cathiard family).

As Liv-ex pointed out, it’s too early to say quite what impact this will have on the wine in the long run but the market price has increased by 19.4% since release which is slightly above average for the vintage.

It’s been argued before that estates cashing in on various ‘Year of the X’ in the Chinese zodiac can have an immediate if ultimately fleeting impact on a wine’s performance, but limited edition bottles might be another kettle of fish altogether.

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