Can the top 10 performing 2019 Bordeaux wines guide investors in 2020 en primeurs?

With Bordeaux 2020 en primeurs dominating market focus and the key First Growths still to release, we look at the performance of 2019 as a guide to investors in the latest vintage offering.

Top three 2019 en primeurs in 1 year since release:

  • Chateau Lafleur 2019 – 106.9%
  • Chateau Petrus 2019 –  100.7%
  • Chateau Figeac 2019 –  65.3%

This time last year the world was reeling under the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, financial markets had experienced the most tumultuous period since 2008 and suffered the largest losses on record. In the midst of all this, the “wheels of the wine world” kept turning and the 2019 vintage release, surprised and delighted the market with discounts on the 2018 release of up to 30% by some of the most significant estates and 20% on average.

It was not straight forward, Covid restrictions meant that samples had to be shipped to the key critics, scores were published later and the campaign delayed – but the result, a highly successful campaign with an engaged market.

The secondary market trade on Liv-ex in 2019 En Primeurs post releases last year has risen to the highest level since the 2012 vintage. The 2019 vintage was rated by most of the influential critics to be excellent and a number of the investment wines have seen an impressive price performance since release.

Bordeaux 2019 investment wines – Major Market Movers:

2019 Wine AOC UK Release price (2020) Liv-ex Market price (2021) Growth 1 year
Lafleur Pomerol £5,800 £12,000 106.9%
Petrus Pomerol £20,500 £41,148 100.7%
Figeac St Emilion £1,512 £2,500 65.3%
Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Pauillac £1,365 £2,140 56.8%
Pontet-Canet Pauillac £732 £1,137 55.3%
La Mission Haut Brion Pessac-Leognan £2,256 £3,466 53.6%
Carruades de Lafite Pauillac £1,895 £2,600 37.1%
Le Pin Pomerol £22,000 £30,000 36.4%
Mouton Rothschild Pauillac £3,588 £4,711 31.3%
Les Carmes Haut Brion Pessac Leognan £816 £1,050 28.7%
L’Eglise-Clinet Pomerol £2,590 £3,248 25.4%

Source: Liv-ex.com, 8th June 2021

The Chateaux pricing strategy for the 2019s provided a great opportunity for growth and re-engaged the market in the essential spirit of en primeurs – to buy a ‘future’ at the lowest market point and enjoy the best possible position for strong returns, whilst also guaranteeing supply of highly sought-after investment wine.

Pomerol’s Lafleur and Petrus 2019 have led the top performers over the first year of trading, both seeing over 100% rise on the UK market release price. Investors don’t have to commit five figures to see strong growth – even a ‘modest’ wine investment in Pontet-Canet 2019 en primeur under £1,000 last year delivered an impressive 55.3%.Petrus 1990 Wine Bottles

Trade in the second wines of the great First Growth estates has solidified over the last five to ten years. The quality is out-standing in these wines as they rub shoulders with the best in the world. Rothchild’s Carruades de Lafite has risen 37.1% on its UK release price in the last 12 months.

St Emilion and Pessac Leognan are seen to be the most successful appellations generally for the 2020 vintage. They were blessed with optimum rainfall in a very challenging year, and the top estates of both regions are consistently achieving some of the highest critics’ scores. St Emilion’s Figeac 2019 has already seen 65% uplift in price in its first year since release. Neal Martin has scored the Figeac 2020 96 – 98 points, describing it as “a magnificent and seductive Figeac”, it will be very interesting to see its release price this vintage and one to watch.

Pessac’s La Mission Haut Brion 2019 was rated as a potential perfect wine by Martin (98-100) last year with the expectation this could be “one of the wines of the vintage”. On one year’s price performance it certainly is with a rise of 53% at June 2021.

The 2020 en primeurs campaign’s initial early start with Cheval Blanc out of the blocks promptly, followed by the other key St Emilion Grand Cru Classe A estates, Angelus and Pavie, has stalled slightly since late May. It would appear that the First Growths and other key estates have waited for the last of the key critics to publish scores and see what pricing strategy others are adopting in a vintage noted for its lower supply.

The pricing strategy so far has been to see an increase on the 2019 prices. In the main the 2020s released so far have been priced between 3 – 10% up, however Chateau Pavie stands out as pricing at a similar level to the 2019 vintage. Rated by Antonio Galloni (97-99) as “one of the wines of the year” and potentially “one of the greatest wines Gerard Perse has ever made” this is a key 2020 wine for investors to consider.

Allocations are now being released, the 2020 vintage of 2019’s top performer to date, Lafleur, is on the market and we expect the First and Second Growths and other key wines, such as Petrus and Le Pin to release imminently. For the latest information and to secure allocations contact our team on 0203 384 2262 and register your details below.

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