Second wines climbing ever higher

The on-going success of the first growths’ second labels in the secondary market means that prices for Carruades & co are starting to exceed the en primeur prices of their parent wines.

The rise and rise of the five second wine labels has been a recurring theme in the story of the fine wine market for some time now – one the drinks business visited in-depth two years ago.

Since December 2003 the index tracking the second wines has risen a “staggering” 670% says Liv-ex while the index for first growths has gone up

As now noted by Liv-ex, the prices for some second wines have risen so high they have exceeded, sometimes, hugely, the original en primeur price of their parent ‘grand vin’.

The biggest gap noted by Liv-ex was that of Lafite and Carruades 2002. On release Lafite’s grand vin cost £680 a case, the last recorded trade price of the 2002 Carruades was £2,200, a difference of £1,520 and 1,150% more expensive than that vintage of Carruades was when released en primeur.

Of course, the prices of the first wines have risen exponentially as well but it is a testament to how far the second wines have come as brands in their own right that today their prices can exceed what a first wine did 15 years ago.

Other examples include the cost of Lafite 2000 en primeur which was £1,850 and the cost of Carruades 2000 now which is £2,832 – a difference of £982.

The smallest gap registered was between Margaux and Pavillon Rouge 2008, with the second wine today being just £10 per case more expensive than Margaux ‘08 was on release.

However, its current price of £1,600 which it recently hit is an all-time high for the label.

Interestingly there are no vintages of Mouton Rothshild’s Petit Mouton that have risen beyond the en primeur price set by the first wine – yet.

Apparently though its 2014 vintage is trading at a price 21% lower than its first wine was on release.

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