Will China’s Xu Bing influence demand for Mouton Rothschild’s 2018 vintage?

Chateau Mouton Rothschild’s 2018 vintage will be adorned by the artwork of Xu Bing, one of China’s foremost pioneering artists. For those collectors and investors who seek to combine fine wine with collectible art, the annual reveal of the great Bordeaux First Growth’s vintage label is a notch on the calendar. Today’s announcement sees Xu Bing join a collection of some of the greatest artists over, nearly, the last century.

The 2018 label commission was signed off by current owners, Philippe Seyres de Rothschild, Camille Seyres de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, and Xu Bing has deployed his ‘square word calligraphy’ approach in its design. This technique creates art resembling traditional Chinese characters composed of words and letters actually from the Latin alphabet. His 2018 label design translates to ‘Mouton Rothschild’ accordingly.

The choice of artist may also reflect the approach to the 2008 vintage label which was also designed by  a Chinese artist, Xu Lei perhaps adding extra appeal to the Far East market for whom the number 8 is also deemed to be lucky. The take-up for the 2008 vintage was very significant from Chinese buyers when released in 2010 and this could be an important consideration for investors.

Chateau Mouton Rothschild is renowned for its long-established links to the world of art. The history of this spans back nearly 100 years to 1924 when the innovative Baron Philippe de Rothschild first commissioned a label for his Grand Vin by Jean Carlu, the famous French poster artist of the day. Baron Philippe went on to establish the tradition to appoint a great contemporary artist, or person of influence with artistic skills, to create the label for each vintage in 1945 and continues today. Visitors to the Chateau in Pauillac can see all of the label artwork on display in a special exhibition.

Why is Mouton Rothchild 2018 important to investors now?

  • Fine wine has performed with stable growth throughout the Covid-19 era to date with the Liv-ex 100 key benchmark seeing nearly 4% growth to 31st October in 2020
  • Individual wines are enjoying double digit growth
  • The Chinese economy is seeing positive performance and there is increasing demand from Far East buyers.
  • As a Bordeaux First Growth, Mouton Rothschild is of particular interest to Chinese fine wine collectors
  • Xu Bing’s 2018 label including ‘lucky number 8’ will add a premium to a first class investment wine to Chinese buyers
  • Chateau Mouton Rothcild 2018 was scored 100 points by James Suckling at en primeur tasting and 97 – 99+ by the Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perotti-Brown.

In recent decades other wine estates have mirrored Baron Philippe’s marriage of wine and art, with a view to enhancing collector appeal and adding value. Super Tuscan, Ornellaia, launched its Vendemmia d’Artista series in 2009 with the estate’s 2006 vintage. Ornellaia’s Marketing Director, Tim Banks states that “Contemporary art and fine wine are both forms of cultural expression and our artist labels help to raise the consumers’ experience above the 100-point scale.” Since commencement of its art initiative Ornellaia has donated more than £1million from charity auction proceeds to art foundations around the world, further raising the Super Tuscan’s profile in those communities.

Manfred Krankl, owner of California’s Sine Qua Non is famous for creating his own labels, producing a unique work of art each vintage, which are now highly anticipated by his loyal customers. The labels’ ‘collector appeal’, combined with great wine-making has meant that the estate’s wines often see significant growth in the secondary market.

The combination of the two luxury assets has proven to have investor appeal and perhaps one of the most extraordinary examples of the value that can be derived from an alliance between art and alcohol was the record-breaking auction sale by Christies in London of a single bottle of The Macallan 1926, 60-year old whisky featuring the work of the Irish artist, Michael Dillon for £1.2million in November 2018.


For more information on investing in luxury assets and fine wine with an artistic slant call us now on 0203 384 2262 or download our Guide to Collecting and Investing in Fine Wine