The dream is a reality—first-growths for just under $200 a bottle. This is a new world for wine lovers. I still remember years back when a first-growth owner told me that they made a "luxury product" and that real wine lovers didn’t matter to them anymore. Well, it’s wine drinkers and not luxury-product buyers that have won with 2008 Bordeaux!
Philippine de Rothschild, the dynamic iconoclast owner of first-growth Mouton-Rothschild, released her 2008 wine as futures to the Bordeaux wine trade yesterday at 100 euros (10 euros less than Latour) and the wine is selling briskly. She said in so many words that wine lovers are those who count, and that her late father Philippe always supported them and she’s the same. "He did the same thing with the 1970 vintage," she said from Paris over the telephone. "It was a bad time economically and he cut prices."
She said that she wanted "to show that I did not ignore the crisis in the world. I know that people have less money. It was my honor and duty to say that this is what I think. I am not dreaming and I am in reality."
Granted, just under $200 is not cheap for a bottle of wine, especially one that will not be delivered for a couple of years. But you can’t buy a bottle of Mouton for that price in just about any other quality vintage. In Bordeaux, there are no vintages of Mouton selling for the current price of the 2008 futures, or en primeur.
Moreover, think about all the baby California cult wines, super Tuscans, mega-buck Burgundies and just about any other blue-chip wine selling for prices two, three or more times the price. Will they be more reasonably priced in the future?
She said that about 40 percent of the production of Mouton 2008 was put on the market as futures. Total production was about 160,000 bottles, compared to 170,000 last year. "The wine is getting shorter and shorter," she joked. "Soon we will have none. We may only have a few cases. It may all be Petit Mouton."
Obviously, she was only joking, but I think that she and her team at Mouton are really making an effort to make top-notch wines. They were inconsistent in the 1990s and the 2000 was less outstanding than it could have been. But the wines are getting better and better now. The 2008 Mouton could be better than the 91-94 rating I gave it from barrel a few weeks ago in Bordeaux.
Dropping prices in half compared to 2007 is a serious move in the right direction for Bordeaux’s top wines. And I think an outstanding wine such as Mouton 2008 will definitely have a market, regardless if it is bought as futures or not.
Rumors from Bordeaux say that other 2008 futures being sold at the moment are not selling as well as Latour or Mouton, but these wines simply do not have the star value of the first-growths and a few others.
I am tempted myself to buy some 2008 Mouton or Latour, but I do have a few worries about tying up my money for two years for the wines, and there are so many other excellent wines out there in bottle right now to buy. Plus, there are still a lot of variables such as exchange rates, old vintages of wine already available in market, future of the global economy, the stability of the wine trade and more to contemplate at the moment. But I am still excited about the price of Mouton. What about you?
Glenn S Lucash — April 16, 2009 12:42pm ET
William Delaney — Arlington VA — April 16, 2009 12:50pm ET
James Suckling — — April 16, 2009 1:03pm ET
Merlin — Zurich, Switzerland — April 16, 2009 1:30pm ET
Jeffrey Ghi — New York — April 16, 2009 1:59pm ET
David A Zajac — April 16, 2009 2:38pm ET
Marc Robillard — Montreal,Canada — April 16, 2009 3:56pm ET
Matthew Weiler — Los Angeles, CA — April 16, 2009 4:51pm ET
Gene Keenan — san francisco — April 17, 2009 9:25pm ET
Dennis D Bishop — Shelby Twp., MI, USA — April 18, 2009 3:21am ET
Kirk R Grant — Bangor, Maine — April 19, 2009 4:45pm ET
Pauline Decloedt — canada — April 22, 2009 11:13am ET
James Suckling — — April 22, 2009 11:27am ET
Horacio Campana / Butler Me — Monterrey, Mexico — April 22, 2009 10:50pm ET
Pauline Decloedt — canada — April 26, 2009 1:20am ET
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