Why steal a bottle of Bordeaux?

Bordeaux wine was been in the news recently. A single bottle of the 1945 vintage of Chateau Mouton Rothschild (one of very few bottles available worldwide and estimated to be worth £12,000), along with three other less notable wines, was stolen from a wine store in Hopkinton, near Boston (Massachusetts) in a classic ‘distract and grab’ theft. Fortunately for the store owners, the vintage wine was restored unopened and undamaged.

Why would anyone want to pay £12,000 for a single bottle of wine?

For one thing the wine (produced in 1945 at the end of the Second World War) is, despite its age, drinking well; which is one reason why it is so expensive. Another is that the world’s pre-eminent wine critic Robert Parker rates the 1945 Mouton Rothschild as “truly one of the immortal wines of the century.” And as we all know – his opinion matters.

Another reason is that Mouton Rothschild is one of the top five wines recommended by most fine wine investment advisors who choose from among first growth from the Bordeaux region. This wine also has the Pauillac appellation, which is arguably the most attractive appellation within Bordeaux. Pauillac wines have a lot of body, tannin and acid when young and as they age they develop a rich bouquet with the aromas of blackcurrant and cedar.

Why are Bordeaux wines among the world’s most sought-after? This region is the second largest wine-growing region in the world with a little over 287,000 acres under vine cultivation. Two major reasons for the success of Bordeaux as a wine making region is its location (midway between the North Pole and the Equator) and its soil structure (mostly a limestone foundation, so the soil structure is rich in calcium). The region is also well irrigated by the Gironde. Bordeaux also has a rich wine-making history, with vineyards in existence as early as the 12th Century.

The combination of grape-growing and wine making know-how has developed over the centuries and, even today, some of the best wines in the world come from this part of the world. In fact, Bordeaux is synonymous with excellent wine.

Bordeaux wines have had competition from other regions in France as well as other wine-growing parts of the world including the U.S., South Africa, Chile, Australia and New Zealand. However, if you are looking for a top class wine, either for drinking or for investment (or for both), you generally can’t do better than top-rated Bordeaux.

This explains why those Massachusetts thieves targeted the 1945 Mouton Rothschild.


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