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Fine wine trading tips of the week

Rupert Millar, managing editor of Liv-ex, shares his top three fine wine trading tips of the week. 

  • The focus at Liv-ex and the wider trade at this time of year is on Bordeaux, and with the 2020 en primeur campaign kicking into gear, the prospect of releases is a daily possibility (Tuesday 18th being a case in point). Scores and reports continue to emerge and the consensus seems to be that this is a ‘Right Bank/Merlot vintage’. An underlying theme not to be overlooked, however, is that this is also a ‘clay vintage’, which brings Pessac-Leognan into play as an appellation of interest.
  • Pricing is a core discussion every en primeur. Cheval Blanc surprised everyone last week with a release that was considered extremely well judged, up 3.5% on the 2019 price and not holding back on stock either. The estate revealed afterwards it had used the Liv-ex Fair Value Tool as part of its release strategy. Increases of as much as 20% were being forecast just a month or so ago, yet in a striking coup-de-main, Cheval Blanc has set a highly astute bar against which other leading estates will be judged when their releases arrive. It has potentially paved the way for a highly kinetic campaign.
  • That said, it will be a game of tight margins for many wines. There are stocks of back vintages in the market that are well-scored and still offer considerable value. The 2016 vintage, for example, continues to crop up in our analysis as being an incredibly strong proposition where stock is available. The 2019s still look very attractively priced too. The 2020s have some stiff competition to overcome if they’re going to find the right pricing level at which they will strike home.

The Liv-ex Bordeaux 2020 en primeur report is now free for all to read and download.

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