Buyers target Cheval Blanc in Year of the Horse
26th February, 2014 by Rupert Millar
February has seen Cheval Blanc take its highest share of monthly trade on Liv-ex since December 2012 – in the appropriately named Year of the Horse.
Cheval Blanc’s share of trade on Liv-ex so far in February has been 11% which is four times its average and the highest level of trading since the 7% it reached in December 2012.
Liv-ex explained on its blog that the increasingly expensive release prices are putting buyers off to begin with – despite the château’s reputation.
On the other hand, Cheval Blanc is also one of the worst performers when it comes to sustaining its original prices and the subsequent drops suddenly makes buying vintages a little after their release a lot more tempting.
The 2009 and 2010 have apparently been the most sought after vintages this month. They are both highly rated (Robert Parker gave them 99 points and 100 points respectively) and although they are the two most expensive recent vintages (£6,950 and £7,500 respectively) they have also dropped 10% and 18% from their release prices.
Only two other Cheval vintages match the ’09 and ’10 for price and reputation, and those are the famous 1947 (a full, original wooden, case costing around £100,000) and the 2000 which is under £6,000 a case.
The surge in trading over the Chinese New Year that has been characteristic of recent years has been declining of late as the government cracks down on both corruption and ostentatious gift giving.
Nonetheless, labels that match propitious years in the Chinese zodiac do seem to see a bit of a boost round January and February.
The Year of the Dragon in 2012 did see Beychevelle receive a substantial hike in trading from an index level of 99 in January 2012 to around 105 the following month (see chart below).
That surge petered out by the summer although it hit a similar high in January last year.
Next year will be the Year of the Sheep. Time to bet on Mouton?