Chinese label art for 2008 sends Mouton prices soaring

First, Lafite announced that the mandarin character for “8,” considered a lucky number in China, would appear on bottles of their 2008s.

Now, Mouton has announced that art by the Chinese artist Xu Lie will adorn their 2008 labels. The signature Mouton ram is sandwiched between two halves of a moon adorned with grapes.

According to, prices of the wine were £1,800 a case last fall before the rumor of a Chinese label. Now, they say, prices are £6,000 per case (about $10,000; a search wine-searcher free version yielded only results for Mouton-Cadet).

Who’s pulling the wool over whose eyes?

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14 Responses to “Chinese label art for 2008 sends Mouton prices soaring”

  1. You have to admit that it is a brilliant buisness model! I wish that I could be so creative and so financially successful all at once.

  2. Wooly bully!!!

  3. So sad.

    Average wine goes up in price because of a “pretty” label.

  4. Why this is preposterous! It’s like if the French made a special champagne bottle and label for the Russian royalty back in the 1800s to boost the already huge demand in that region. They probably would have called it something like “Cristal”. 😉

    I’ve always been curious about the marketing of French wines to Ireland and Scotland, back during the five centuries or so when the wine trade with England was messed up over things like wool and other petty disputes. It seems so odd now to think of wealthy Scots getting first pick of the best Bordeaux, or of the “winegeese” of Ireland gong back and forth.

  5. Just in, Chateau Latour is changing its iconic label with its famous Tower to a view of the Great Wall of China

  6. …and Chateau Margaux will replace the portrait of the mansion with the Forbidden Palace?

    Considered in isolation, I think the choice of a non-Western artist for the label for once is a good thing and a long-overdue tribute. But sometimes I do feel that the recent trends in Bordeaux and Burgundy seem to make the rest of us second-rate consumers.

  7. The Bordeaux negociants tend to see the American buyers at en primeur as “here today, gone tomorrow”. American importers were falling all over Bordeaux classed growths in 2000, 2003, 2005 and then didn’t return to buy until 2009. (There are exceptions who buy year in-year out).

    One of the smaller negociants explained that in order to keep getting that stash of x cases of a first growth in great years, he has to stay in line for xx in mediocre years. But Americans tend to not buy that way so after ’02 he stopped working so hard to secure wine for American importers. He was already selling to Hong Kong. (As were many others. The French have been working that market at many price points for 20 yrs+).

    I’d suggest the UK speculators who bought ’08 Mouton and Lafite (when Americans didn’t) – prices were “low,” there was too much overpriced ’07, and the economic crisis was in full swing – could be in for a good payout. But UK buyers have fed the Hong Kong and Chinese markets for centuries.

    And ’08 is actually lovely.

  8. I was offered £8,395 GBP for 12x75cl 08 Mouton yesterday before the news officially ‘broke’ I can see it on W-S in the UK and HK for over £9,000 GBP already… I am sure it will go to 10k before the weekend.

    It is all a little bit cynical I think and unfortunately it is precluding more and more people by the day. As someone above rightly said, ’08 is lovely,’ and it was (almost) affordable…

    from Hong Kong

  9. I prefer the wine inside the bottle and not the label ooutside. Consumer, it’s up to you to support such marketing tricks or to punish.

  10. Napa is getting in on the action, too. During a dinner last week in Beijing, I tried a Napa wine called “88 Reserve” that is produced by CA 88 and was released a few weeks ago at a wine show in Hong Kong.

    First 8, then 88, I keep telling these guys that eight eights are the way to go.

    Cheers, Boyce

  11. This comment is to officially announce that I will be adding the mandarin character for “8” on my blog header and then entertaining the highest bids from any Chinese who wish to buy the blog…

  12. The French are no fools. Their marketing strategy is quite effective.

  13. Following up on Kathy’s statement, I’d suggest there are problems on both ends. Americans only like the hyped vintages as decided by Parker and Co. But at the same time the less exciting vintages aren’t priced all that much less than the hyped ones. Why would someone pay the premium for collectibility when the ‘classic’ vintages don’t offer much return? I see 2006 and 2007 prices not much lower than 2005, for example, so there isn’t much incentive to buy these vintages to drink.

    Once everyone compromises–we buy all vintages, and Bordelais price less collectible ones to drink–it will all be fine. Too much point chasing and leveraging going on.

  14. […] Beijing Boyce and Jean-Luc for the suggestions! Permalink | Comments (6) | SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Cuvee 88888888 – the […]


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