Cristal tops December rises as index falls

Cristal was the best performing fine wine on the Liv-ex 100 in December, as the Fine Wine 100 index fell for the third consecutive year.

Cristal on racksThe 2004 vintage of Louis Roederer’s grande marquee rose 12.6% between mid-November and mid-December from £1,314 a case to £1,480.

The next biggest mover was La Mission Haut-Brion’s 2009 offering which went up by just over 10% to £4,675 a case.

Returning to the best performers having been replaced by Armand Rousseau in November’s chart was DRC but for its La Tâche rather than the more usual Romanée-Conti.

The 2005 rose 8.2% to £26,773 a case. Haut-Brion was finally included, the first growth having been picked back in October as the cru classé perhaps offering the most value, its 2006 rose 4.4% and the 2003 Léoville Poyferré (3.6%) was the next biggest riser.

Fallers included some surprise entries. Latour’s 2008 fell the furthest, down 6.5% to £3,812 a case.

Surprisingly, considered the praise lavished on it for its quality and value, Pontet Canet’s 2009 suffered the next biggest loss, down 6.1% to £1,450.

Another label with good press as the year ended was Montrose but its 2010 has likewise seen a slump of 4.7%.

Then again, at the end of last year it was noted that many of the 2009s and 2010s were falling in price as they found a more stable level.

Palmer 2005 (-5.5%) and Margaux 2003 (-5.4%) were the other big fallers in December.

Last month’s results largely conform to Liv-ex’s end of year report which said  that Champagne, Right Bank Bordeaux, Burgundy and Super Tuscans had been the year’s best performers.

Champagne has certainly proved its success as Krug topped the November chart, Burgundy too has had a consistent record in the best performers but it is interesting that no Right Bank names made the December chart, the emphasis being on Left Bank estates.

In the wider world, as predicted, the Fine Wine 100 index fell for the third year running an unprecedented occurrence.

Liv-ex did however point out that, “the declines are themselves declining”, with a 14.9% drop noted in 2011 falling to just 8.9% in 2012 and then 1.4% last year.

As Liv-ex director Justin Gibbs told the drinks business at the end of last year: “If I were a betting man, after three down years, I’d be looking for a bounce.”

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