Fine wine market responds to festive demand and critic’s view on Bordeaux 2016

Liv-ex’s industry update last week commented on the uplift on Champagne sales taking the region’s share of trade on the exchange to 18.5% in the week the 19 – 25th October. Demand for Champagne as hospitality companies and consumers start to stock up ahead of the Festive season has driven trade and price movement. Cristal and Dom Perignon were headliners with Dom Perignon 2002 the most traded wine on Liv-ex in the week.

Bordeaux’s regional share, meanwhile, rose to 61%with Mouton Rothschild 2001 one of the top five traded wines achieving a record high on Liv-ex of £4,500 (12 x 75cl).

Jane Anson, Decanter Magazine’s Bordeaux expert, has just published her In-Bottle scores for Bordeaux 2016 Left Bank wines and has awarded both Lafite Rothschild and Leoville Las Cases 2016 the perfect 100 points, choosing the latter as her “wine of the vintage. The table summarises her top wines of 2016 (source, Liv-ex.com).

At the en primeurs tastings in Spring 2017 Anson had stated that it was undoubtedly an exceptional year and “without question a red wine year, and the best of them are up with the greatest ever produced in the region.” She compares 2016 closest to 2009 and 2015 and that in her view “several top Medoc estates have outperformed 2015” – high praise indeed!

That said, price performance of these wines since release has been mixed and this firmly rests with the pricing strategy adopted by the chateaux and negociants in May and June 2017. Those chateaux that priced well benefited the early market participants and themselves as they will have bought future loyalty in the process. Notably, Chateau Cos d’Estournel has seen over 14% growth in its first wine and Margaux’s special white offering, Pavillon Blanc, has enjoyed an extraordinary 38.9% uplift since release.

We will comment further on the 2016 vintage as more information becomes available.