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2005 claret – a year on from Parker retrospective

A year after Robert Parker’s much anticipated retrospective of the Bordeaux 2005 vintage, which estates have profited the most?

The leaping hare at Château Smith Haut Lafitte

It would appear that while some wines have continued to roll on since last summer’s report, not all of the 2005s have experienced even a small boost in price.

Parker’s 10-years-on review of the much-admired vintage created a flurry of interest in the 2005s. Both in the run-up to the report’s release and in its immediate aftermath last June and July, wines from the vintage took prominent trading spots on the Liv-ex platform as buyers manoeuvered to acquire labels they thought might receive an upgrade – and which would then rise in price.

When the report came out at the end of June there were a number of upgrades, with 12 wines given ‘perfect’ 100-point scores but there were also murmurs that some (predominantly UK) favourites from the Left Bank had been overlooked once again.

The scores created a brief but intense period of trading for the ‘05s before quickly subsiding again but that doesn’t mean interest has dropped away entirely.

The effect of all this anticipation and trading is clear. Liv-ex reports that between June 2014 and June 2015 the 2005 vintage sub-index rose 10.3% and the wines are still up on average almost 5% over the past year.

Two thirds of the 2005 clarets on the index are in positive territory over the last year, the most successful being Smith Haut Lafitte which is up 41% following its upgrade from 95 to 98-points.

Angelus, Gruaud Larose, Beychevelle, Cheval Blanc, Haut-Brion, Clinet, Clos Fourtet and Troplong Mondot are all wines that have seen double digit increases in the past year.

Yet there have also been casualties, not least Margaux which was one of the wines in particular that merchants felt should have been upgraded to 100-points.

Ahead of the report that expectation saw its stock rise 7.8% in value but it has since declined 5.1% having only managed to maintain a 98+ score – potentially creating a buying opportunity for less score-sensitive collectors however.

Elsewhere, Parker’s influence apparently has less to do with the wine’s progress.

The second wines of the first growths (except for Forts de Latour) have all seen double digit rises over the past year.

Petit Mouton is up 29% over the past year, Pavillon Rouge 18%, Carruades de Lafite 13.8% and Bahans Haut-Brion 28% and this is despite Pavillon dropping from 91 to 88-points and Carruades holding steady on 89 – the other two both saw their scores go up.

As Liv-ex points out, however, the second wines are on a roll at the moment and since July 2015 in fact their sub-index has consistently outperformed that of its parent wines.

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