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Bordeaux: more than just premier crus

Take the first growths out of the equation and Bordeaux hasn’t actually suffered too badly in recent years.

Recent news surrounding Bordeaux (aside from 2015 vintage hype) has centred on the strength of non-first growth Left Bank labels and a firming up of the bid:offer ratio on Liv-ex.

Liv-ex has taken another look at the Bordeaux 500 index – comprised as it is of sub-indices looking at: the first growths, their second wines, various Right Bank labels, second to fifth growth Left Bank estates and Sauternes – and found that cutting out three sub-indices leaves Bordeaux in much better shape than might be supposed.

Reiterating the Bordeaux narrative of recent years, Liv-ex explained: “The headline numbers for Bordeaux have been negative now for several years. The Liv-ex 50 (first growths) is down 40% since the market’s peak; the Bordeaux 500 is down 20%; the region’s market share has fallen from 95% to 74%.”

But, it continues, price falls have not been consistent across the region. The Left Bank has garnered some attention recently but don’t forget either that from 2012 to early 2014 the Right Bank could seemingly do no wrong and was apparently impervious to wider market woes.

The main drag on the Bordeaux market has been the first growths, the second wines and Sauternes indices.

With them included then the Bordeaux 500 is down 20% at the moment since 2011 as mentioned above.

Craft a new Bordeaux index out of the Right Bank 50, Right Bank 100 and Left Bank 200 (so the Bordeaux 350) and it would have drifted just 8.4% since the market’s peak.

As Liv-ex concluded: “While it may not cheer those who have seen wine prices fall in the last four years, it is a reminder that the Bordeaux story is not simply about the premier crus.”

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