First growths’ top vintages down 35%13th March, 2014 by Rupert Millar
Prices of first growths from “on” vintages have fallen by 35% or more since the market peak in February 2011 – though the 2000 vintage is bucking the trend.
Liv-ex has examined the situation for the first growths three years on from when the market peaked and found that prices for recent vintages have fallen and the gap between the most and least expensive vintages has become smaller.
Breaking it down further into exceptional years such as 2000, 2005 and 2009 and “off” vintages – which were still good but not as celebrated (such as 1998, 2004 and 2008) – it was found that the 2000 is still one of the best performers and 2008 one of the worst.
On average the “on” vintages have suffered steeper price drops in the last three years but in relation to one another prices have stayed much the same.
The 2000s have been particularly buoyed by the performance of Mouton Rothschild, which, it was reported last November, is actually on its way back up to its 2011 level.
The “off” vintages have generally fallen 28% to the “on’s” 35% but the 2008s have crashed 56% since their 2011 peak when they seemed to be the wines that could do no wrong – being a solid vintage and so much cheaper than the 2009s and 2010s.
With prices for “off” vintages now hovering around £3,500 a case – compared to the £5,000-odd for “on” vintages – some merchants are hoping they might help revitalise Bordeaux sales again.
Strangely though, Liv-ex concluded, with prices flattening across vintages from 1994-2009, “it would seem that time in bottle adds nothing to a wine’s value.”
If this situation persists it is not good news for Latour now that it has quit en primeur and wants to release older vintages – the premium it has added from recent cellar-releases has already been criticised from various quarters.
Liv-ex added though: As fundamentals re-assert themselves, older vintages seem likely to outperform as supply is depleted.”