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First growths see trade boost

Last week saw an uptick in trade for Bordeaux’s first growths on Liv-ex, as “off” vintages yet again boosted the region amid more growth for fine wine.

The five Bordeaux first growthsAccording to Liv-ex, the Fine Wine 50 (which charts the first growths), went up 0.3% last week and is now back at its June level, while Bordeaux as a whole was back commanding 76% of regional trade share by value.

Burgundy and Champagne had the next highest share by value, then the Rhône and finally Italy – which has been riding high of late driven largely by the recently released 2011 Super Tuscans.

Last week’s trade was thus in stark contrast to the week before last but it does back up the fundamental truth that Bordeaux continues to rule the roost in the fine wine world.

The most surprising and interesting rise though has been the revival of first growth trade. Liv-ex reported that since September, the five first growths have accounted for around 25% of weekly trade by value.

They have also been the wines most hard hit by the bear market which is only just starting to lift.

Last week that share of trade rose to 35% with activity largely focused on “off” vintages and Mouton Rothschild – two trends that have been the topic of discussion since 2012 at least.

For quite some time now Mouton Rothschild and its second wine have been the more attractive first growth choices due to solid scores but comparatively low prices – averaging just £2,895 per case.

Meanwhile, Liv-ex reported back in July that “under the radar” Lafite vintages were trading well. Sure enough, it was Lafite’s 1998 that was picked up by buyers last week, alongside Mouton’s 2002 and 2008 vintages and 2010 Margaux.

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s La Tache 2010 vintage saw the highest share of trade but that wine has been an inconsistent performer over the last six months, with market prices pin-balling between rises and falls for some time now.

As recently as 12 October it was trading at £24,600 a case yet was already down to £21,900 by 14 October and last traded on Liv-ex at £22,584.

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