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Top 10 most powerful fine wine brands

Taken from the 2014 Liv-ex Power 100 list, this top 10 tracks the value share of the most powerful brands traded on the exchange in the 12 months to August 31st 2014.

“The fact there is nothing on the list outside of Bordeaux is worth noting,” said Liv-ex director Anthony Maxwell. “It reflects the size of the properties in Bordeaux. That’s where there is volume, quality and price, and that’s what people can get behind. All the First Growths are there, and these are the wines that are most sought after reflected in value of total trade.”

Gary Boom MD of Bordeaux Index called it: “a fair reflection of the market and what people are buying,” but insisted they were not necessarily the most popular wines. “I suspect the first five will always be on that list, but the bottom five will always change. But you need to see which have been consistently there on the list for three year. Those that have – that’s the power of the brand.”

Joss Fowler, Fine & Rare’s fine wine director, felt the list raised more questions than it answered. “It’s hard to read into it without knowing more numbers.” In particular he wanted to know volumes and which vintages were trading. Taling of Château Mouton Rotheschild he said: “If it’s 2000, I’d say it was all going to Macau to be drunk. If it’s the 2005 that’s people buying speculatively.”

Describing the performance of the First Growths as: “a money-losing exercise for merchants and consumers”, Berry Bros. & Rudd’s buying director, Max Lalondrell, reckoned the list was: “more a reflection of dumping than the power of the brand. Yes, they’ve been traded but at a significant loss.” He also mentioned the growth of other regions over the period. “For us wines outside Bordeaux are up 54%.”

Click through to see the most traded wines by value on Liv-ex in the year to 31 August.

10. Château Lynch Bages – 2.5% share of trade (value)

Ranked 42nd in the 2014 Liv-ex Power 100


“Lynch Bages is one of the strongest brands in Bordeaux,” said Joss Fowler. “They haven’t made a bad wine in 30 – 40 years, and it’s also helped by the fact we can all pronounce it. It’s a benchmark quality claret.”

9. Château Pontet Canet – 2.6% share of trade (value)

Ranked 33rd in the 2014 Liv-ex Power 100


“It’s down to the investment in Pontet-Canet since 2003,” said Fowler. “The Tesseron’s [the family behind the Château] having putting in an awful lot of time and money into making this teh best non-First Growth in Pauillac.”

8. Château Pavie – 2.6% share of trade (value)

Ranked 1st in the 2014 Liv-ex Power 100


At Fine & Rare, Joss Fowler reckons there’s a good deal of snobbery around Château Pavie connected with its high Parker scores and accusations of being over-extracted. “But people like it, and if you liek teh style it’s very well-executed.”

7. Château Petrus – 3.1% share of trade (value)

Ranked 6th in the 2014 Liv-ex Power 100

If you are looking at value, you don’t need to trade much Château Petrus to make an impact. It’s average Liv-ex case price over the period was: £20,000, which in turn reflects its lack of volume.

6. Château Cheval Blanc – 3.2% share of trade (value)

Ranked 2nd in the 2014 Liv-ex Power 100


It may have come second in the overall Liv-ex Power 100 list, but Gary Boom did not expect to see it within teh top ten traded wines by value. “I’m surprised Cheval is in there, because there’s not a lot of volume traded to be honest. I’m also surprised La Mission, Leoville-Lascases and Montrose aren’t in there.”

5.Château Haut Brion – 4.3% share of trade (value)

Ranked 5th in the 2014 Liv-ex Power 100

The first of the First Growths to make the list – a reflection on its relative low average case price of £2,800 over the period, and not having the volume of some of its rivals.

4. Château Margaux – 4.8% share of trade (value)

Ranked 12th in the 2014 Liv-ex Power 100

If that other wine beginning with ‘M’ has stolen the limelight among First Growths, that is no reflection on the power of Château Margaux reckons Garry Boom. “Our biggest seller last year was Margaux ’96, and we sold £1.3 million of it.”

3. Château Latour – 6.8% share of trade (value)

Ranked 9th in the 2014 Liv-ex Power 100

Château Latour is there in the middle, slightly ahead of arch-rival Margaux, probably on account of its average case price of £3,950 over the period being a hefty 45% higher

2. Château Mouton Rothschild – 9% share of trade (value)

Ranked 7th in the 2014 Liv-ex Power 100

The mighty ram is in ascendance and not just because it’s the symbol of the Chinese new year. “Mouton has recently come from fourth to second, and it’s a strong second challenging Lafite,” said Gary Boom. “I would not be surprised to see it at number one next year, but don’t forget Lafite still trades at a premium of around 20% to the market.”

1. Château Lafite-Rothschild – 15.8% share of trade (value)

Ranked 18th in the 2014 Liv-ex Power 100

Number one … but for how much longer. “Lafite’s brand is not what it was,” said Joss Fowler of Fine & Rare. “And Mounton’s has been climbing for a long time with the quality of the wine getting better and better since 2004.”

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