2009 wines rising as Year of the Ox approaches

The Chinese New Year on 12 February this year will usher in the year of the Ox. A previous ‘Ox vintage’ was 2009, and wines from that vintage have been the second most-traded on the Liv-ex platform so far this year.

The year of the Ox has fallen on some much heralded vintages in the past, including 2009, 1985 and 1961.

Liv-ex has noted that buying demand from Asia is driving activity in 2009 vintage wines, especially from Bordeaux which currently accounts for 71% of trade by value in 2009 wines sold.

As it said on its blog: “The critical acclaim of the Bordeaux 2009 vintage, one of Robert Parker’s all-time favourites, has long held a deep allure for Asian buyers. It comes as no surprise then that so far in 2021 the 2009 vintage has lead Bordeaux trade by value (13%) in Asia.”

Parker was effusive in his praise of the 2009 clarets upon release saying that some of the wines from the Médoc and Graves, “may turn out to be the finest vintage I have tasted in 32 years of covering Bordeaux” and he followed that up when they were released physically by calling it “the greatest vintage I have tasted since 1982, of which it is a modern-day version, but greatly improved”.

Released at the height of the China-driven bull market (ironically), the 2009s were some of the most expensive Bordeaux wines ever released – before being over-shadowed by the 2010s the following year as the market began to turn.

Such was the jump in price from the 2008 to 2009/2010 en primeur campaigns that the primeur system has never quite been the same since.

Even though there have been some whispers about the ageing capacity of some 2009s of late, it’s clearly still a vintage with huge appeal among collectors.

Bordeaux may be leading the way but 23% of 2009 vintage trade is for Burgundian wine, 3% for Champagne, 2.4% for Australian wine and a sliver of 0.4% for Italian wines.

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