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Bordeaux takes early lead in January

The first week of the new year has seen mounting demand for Bordeaux, particularly for the Lafite and Mouton and the upgraded 2005s.

Although the month is far from over, Liv-ex has noted that so far Bordeaux’s share of trade by value in the first week of January was up to 87.6% compared to the 82.3% low it recorded in November.

Likewise, all of the top five wines traded by value in the first week were Bordeaux – 2013 Lafite, 1982 and 2005 Pétrus, 2005 Mouton Rothschild and 2006 Lafite.

Bordeaux also accounted for nearly all of the wines traded by volume too, which were: 2005 Fiefs Lagrange, non-vintage Charles Heidsieck, 2010 Pontet-Canet, 2013 Lafite and 2010 Duhart Milon.

The Bordeaux 500 sub-index was also one of only two on the Fine Wine 1000 which recorded a positive end to the year, up 1.4%.

“It would seem sentiment towards the region is changing,” Liv-ex commented on its blog.

It added that the coming Chinese New Year (on 19 February) was one likely explanation for the mounting interest in Bordeaux and the boost that event normally gives the fine wine trade may augur well for an improved 2015 after four years of decline.

Having pointed out the lack of interest in the 2005s back in September despite their many attractive attributes (low prices, wine quality etc), it appears the market may be taking notice at last.

Robert Parker has been revising his scores upwards of late, the Montrose, Haut-Bailly and Mouton examples all getting revised scores which drove Mouton upwards immediately.

One of the best performers in December following a day of trading that pushed it to £3,790 a case. It is now trading at £4,250.

Mouton also accounted for 13% of the overall trade by value, behind Lafite with 22%.

With this year being the Year of the Ram in the Chinese zodiac and with Sotheby’s hosting an ex-cellar sale of Mouton in Hong Kong at the end of this month, it would be unsurprising to hear that that share had increased.

It’s too early to start claiming 2015 will be Bordeaux’s year, it has certainly improved its position over the course of 2014. A year ago, 2009 Ausone and Pontet-Canet, 1998 Lafite, 2003 Cos d’Estournel and 2008 Haut-Brion swept the best performers charts.

Back then though Bordeaux’s trade was under 80% on an historically low two month slump yet, despite a poor Chinese New Year boost and an abysmal en primeur campaign, falling prices did begin to tempt buyers again and it has clawed its way back.

Only time and a successful campaign will cement the Bordeaux rehabilitation narrative.

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