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Collectors’ news

Mouton 2008 price rockets

The 2008 vintage of Château Mouton Rothschild has almost doubled in value after Chinese artist Xu Lei was confirmed for its label.

At the end of November the wine was trading on global online trading platform Liv-ex for around £7,898 a case – an increase of 85.7% on its October price of £4,254. This has shot Mouton 2008 into second place, behind Lafite, in the table of top movers of 2010. Over the year the wine has increased in value a massive 192.5% compared with November 2009.

This is not the first time thatMouton has featured a Chinese artist on the label, and investors might also want to look at the 1996,whose label was created by renowned Chinese calligrapher Gu Gan.

Gan has several works on display in the British Museum. During a long period spent in Europe, he visited Mouton in 1996 and created, in Baroness Philippine de Rothschild’s words, ‘a beautiful, rather sombre calligraphic label. I felt, 15 years ago, that it was the right time to ask a Chinese artist. And this year felt like the right time to revisit. But I would never put an artist on the label unless I very much like their work, that is first and foremost my reasoning.’

Mouton 2009, however, is not faring so well. While Lafite has increased more than 25% in value in the six months since it was released in June this year, Mouton has lost 10% of its value, making it the poorest performer of the five Bordeaux first growths.

One reason for the lacklustre performance in an acknowledged great vintage could be Robert Parker. The American critic gave it a relatively low 96–98+, while Lafite got a potentially perfect 98–100.

Written by John Stimpfig

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