- 1945, 1951 and 1961 are three of the most expensive Mouton vintages of the 20th century.
- The 2000 vintage is the best price performer, though 2019 takes the top spot when compound annual growth rate is factored in.
- The most traded vintage on the secondary market is an Asia-favourite.
Château Mouton Rothschild is the second-most traded fine wine brand (LWIN7) on the global marketplace. It tops the list of the most bid for wines so far in 2021. It appears consistently among the most searched for and most traded wines. Its index is the second-best performing Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 sub-index, up 10.8%, over the past year.
The First Growth’s influence is clearly widespread. Today we take a look at the vintages that lead the way: the most expensive, best-performing and most traded Mouton Rothschild labels.
Three of the most expensive labels
Perhaps the most famous Mouton vintage and label of all, the 1945, is the most expensive Mouton Rothschild vintage of the 20th century, with a Market Price of £157,541 per 12×75 case.
A famous vintage which happily coincided with Allied victory in the Second World War, to commemorate the Allied triumph, Baron Philippe de Rothschild asked Philippe Jullian (1921-1977) to embellish the 1945 bottle label with artwork.
Jullian’s artwork is based on the famous “V for Victory” hand gesture that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill used throughout the war to rally the forces of freedom. The 1945 commission established the tradition of Mouton Rothschild inviting an artist to create a work for the label each vintage.
This was only the second time a commemorative label had been commissioned. The poster artist Jean Carlu had created an artwork for the 1924 vintage, when Mouton began estate bottling its wines. Another design by Carlu was later chosen as the label for second wine, Le Petit Mouton.
Six years on, the 1951 vintage featured a drawing by the Hungarian-born artist Marcel Vertès (1896-1961). “The innocent sensuality of his work is well expressed in the shepherd and shepherdess he provided for the label of Mouton Rothschild 1951,” Mouton explains in its online gallery. Soon afterwards, Vertès worked on the 1952 film Moulin Rouge, for which he won two Academy Awards for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.
While the Mouton Rothschild label might not have gained quite such recognition, the 1951 vintage ranks amongst the most expensive First Growth bottles, with a Market Price of £38,992 per case.
Georges Mathieu’s vivid expression of colour and movement adorns the 1961 Mouton Rothschild’s label, which carries a price tag of £30,000 per case. The 1961 – a highly renowned vintage among keen collectors – also carries 98–points from Robert Parker.
In his first tasting note on the wine, published in The Wine Advocate in 1993, Parker wrote, “this bottle was just about everything one could desire in a great Mouton”.
Five years later, in 1998, Parker observed again that, “this was a profound bottle of 1961 Mouton that would have stood up against the compelling 1959”. In terms of price, it has; the 1959 carries a slightly lower Market Price of £28,160 per case.
But which are the labels from the 2000 vintage onwards that have seen the biggest price appreciation since their release?
The best price performers
The 2000 vintage is the best performing Mouton Rothschild label of the current millennium. It has risen 1,134% since release. The special bottle is engraved with a treasure from the Museum of Wine in Art at the Mouton Rothschild estate: the little “Augsburg Ram”, a chased silver-gilt drinking vessel created around 1590 by Jakob Schenauer, a German master goldsmith.
We recently examined its relentless success on the secondary market – global downturns and market upheavals have not slowed its price performance over the last two decades.
A recent vintage leads when compound annual growth rates (CAGR) are factored in, however. Up 31% since its release last year, the 2019 has been quick to rise and shows potential promise for great returns. It has the highest CAGR overall of 14.5%, compared with 12.7% for the 2000 and 9.9% for the 2002.
The 2019 vintage was released 31% below the release price of the 2018 and fell below the Fair Value line (indicating it offered good value). It was one of the successes of last year’s En Primeur campaign. Its label is yet to be unveiled.
Compound annual growth rate indicates the annual growth of an investment over a specific period of time. It provides a “smoothed” rate of return.
The three most traded vintages
Overall, Mouton Rothschild 2008 (£4,600/12×75) is the most traded vintage from the First Growth by value on the global marketplace. As recently examined, much of the demand has been driven by Asia. The 2008 label features a drawing by Chinese artist Xu Lei, which depicts the First Growth’s emblematic ram, perched on a rock.
The drawing is a symbol of “the role of a great wine as a link between people and cultures, from one hemisphere to the other of ‘planet wine’”, according to the estate.
Our analysis of Mouton Rothschild labels will continue next week. Stay tuned for the highest-scoring Mouton Rothschild vintages by various critics, and their performance on the global market. Or browse all Mouton Rothschild live opportunities below.