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Latour trade plummets while Solaia’s rises

Solaia is starting to pull well ahead of its fellow Super Tuscans while Latour is slipping behind the other Bordeaux first growths, its share of trade crumbling since 2012.

The opposite trajectories of both labels was picked up on recently by Liv-ex in two separate posts.

Over in Pauillac one has to wonder if Latour’s decision to withdraw from the en primeur system is really having the desired effect.

It’s already well known that it’s bi-annual ex-cellar releases tend to meet with patchy buyer enthusiasm.

The opprobrium towards the prices being asked for has decreased as the premiums have been scaled back but this spring’s release of the 2005 for example was not ill-met but nor was it a storming success either.

To make matters worse, on the secondary market Liv-ex reports that there has been a sharp decline in the percentage value of trade in the first growth label on the Liv-ex Exchange; down from 8.9% in 2012 to just 2.8% this year “so far”.

Five years ago the ratio of Lafite to Latour trades was 2:1, now it’s 4:1. Since 2012 the Latour index has only increased by 2% while its fellow firsts are up by 10% to 25%.

So far, Latour has only offered vintages already on the market and usually with a hefty premium to current market rates. Is that, coupled with it not taking part in the annual Bordeaux rodeo, making buyers uninterested with Latour?

If it is and trade in Latour continues to stagnate, as Liv-ex continues, “the château might need to reconsider the price the market will tolerate [on future releases].”

Meanwhile, on the Solaia index no such issue exists, as Liv-ex pointed out. The index, which tracks the 10 most recent physical vintages from the estate, is up 27.8% year-on-year, outperforming the Italy 100 index (which includes Ornellaia, Masseto, Tignanello and Sassicaia) which is up 15.7%.

The best-performing vintages include the 2005, 2006, 2004 and 2003 wines which are up 45.8%, 44.2%, 29% and 23.6% respectively between June 2016 and June of this year.

Only the 2012 vintage has failed to appreciate by double figures (up 8%) and the 2013 is the only wine to have fallen in value, dropping 1.4% since its market release in September last year.

In Liv-ex’s recent classification of global fine wines by price, Solaia was classed as a ‘second growth’ with an average price of £1,343 per case; which was the second highest Super Tuscan price behind ‘first growth’ Masseto (with an average price of £5,120 p/cs).

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