Will the 2005 Mouton Rothschild Outshine the Renowned 2000 Vintage? (and Should You Invest?)

From www.justluxe.com by Alexander Westgarth
Will the 2005 Mouton Rothschild Outshine the Renowned 2000 Vintage? (and Should You Invest?)

When Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild purchased the Château Brane-Mouton in 1853, it’s doubtful he could have predicted just how influential this jewel in the village of Pauillac, France—later renamed Château Mouton Rothschild—would become in the world of fine wine. True, his Gallic acquisition was somewhat unexpected; after all, the Baron hailed from the British branch of the well-known financial dynasty. Its distance from the UK was an obstacle, especially since cultivating the land was far from a top priority for the new owner. But everything changed in 1922 when Nathaniel’s great grandson Baron Philippe de Rothschild began his nearly 70-year love affair with the estate, permanently and indelibly changing the course of fine wine production.

Philippe instituted the practice of bottling and storing wine on-site to control quality and branding; brought wine and art together by commissioning contemporary artists such as Picasso and Chagall to design his labels; and most importantly, oversaw the 1973 elevation of Mouton to First Growth (or Grand Cru) status—the only change ever made to the top end of the definitive 1855 classification system.  

2005 Mouton Rothschild, 2000 Mouton Rothschild, wine Photo Credit: Château Mouton Rothschild

Philippe’s care of and commitment to the land, followed by that of his daughter Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, who took over the estate upon his death in 1988, nurtured Château Mouton Rothschild into the birthplace of some of the most highly regarded and critically praised investment-grade wines on the global market. One of the most impressive has been the 2000 Mouton Rothschild, a shining star in the fine wine galaxy. Called “immortal” as well as “the greatest Mouton since the 1986 and 1982” by premier wine critic Robert Parker, it has consistently commanded top prices and has earned a reputation for excellence and beauty.

Even its iconic packaging is extraordinary—the bottle is adorned and embossed with gold and enamel, inspired by the 1590 Augsburg Ram by German master goldsmith Jakob Schenauer. And, with a rating of 96+, the 2000 Mouton Rothschild has remained one of the smartest investments for a diversified portfolio. That is, until the 2005 Mouton Rothschild decided to steal the spotlight in December of 2014.

2005 Mouton Rothschild, 2000 Mouton Rothschild, wine Photo Credit: Westgarth Wines/Scr: Liv-ex

At the end of last year, Robert Parker upgraded the 2005 Mouton Rothschild from its former 96 points to a remarkable 99+. Initially concerned by the tannin levels in multiple 2005 offerings, Parker shifted gears upon revisiting the vintage, signaling that the year held potential for current and future investors when it came to 2005 Mouton Rothschild along with other Bordeaux 2005—provided that they’re allowed ample time to mature. In fact, since Parker’s point upgrades on 2005 wines, the demand for 2005 vintages has skyrocketed. But true to the château’s reputation, the 2005 Mouton Rothschild is far outperforming its competitors. 

Enjoying a jump of over 20 percent in value since January 2015 (the price of a case has increased from approximately $5,600 to $7,000, and climbing), the 2005 Mouton Rothschild shows no sign of slowing down when it comes to charming the serious oenophile/investor. This 2005 upstart has all the makings of a sound and possibly superior long-term portfolio addition when compared to the 2000, which continues to carry a lesser score of 96+ and costs three times more.  

2005 Mouton Rothschild, 2000 Mouton Rothschild, wine Photo Credit: Château Mouton Rothschild

What the 2000 does have over the 2005, however, is its stunning design. Its bottle showcases an enchanting gold ram, which, in 2015—the Chinese Year of the Sheep—has a unique attraction for collectors. Additionally, with its gold embossed “2000,” the bottle holds its own antiquity value that extends far beyond the life of the wine.

Investing in Bordeaux is rarely a bad idea, but the opportunities recently presented by the significant 2014 upgrade of 2005 Mouton Rothschild are especially exciting and shouldn't be overlooked. Showing double digit increases in price in a matter of months, this vintage certainly promises to be worth an investor’s time and attention. Odds are that somewhere, Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild is smiling. 

2005 Mouton Rothschild, 2000 Mouton Rothschild, wine Photo Credit: Château Mouton Rothschild

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