Has the fine wine market really changed in 2013?

Traditionally the fine wine investment market has moved very slowly around only 5 wines, the First Growths, which have dominated the market almost since the dawn of  time or as long as wine has been shipped from Bordeaux. However in the last few years and particularly in the last 12 months it seems that the crown is slipping and Bordeaux no longer holds the dominant position that it once did.  At the peak of the market in 2011 Bordeaux’s share of trade on Liv-ex was 95%. That has now fallen to 80% as buyers migrate to pastures new like Burgundy, the Rhone, Champagne and the Super Tuscans but despite good performance their share is still not large enough to arrest the slide of the indices. In 2010 the First Growth’s share of trade was £750 million. This slumped to £210 million in 2012 and was a combination of a poor vintage and poor pricing following the stellar vintages of 2009/10 plus the realisation by buyers in Asia that they could find better value elsewhere. The 2013 Bordeaux vintage has not had rave reviews to date and there is talk that some chateaux may not make a grand vin this year and concentrate their efforts on their second wines which they know they can sell for a reasonable price without besmirching their reputation producing 2nd rate wine. Despite low yields there is one thing the Bordelais need to do and that is make their wines more attractive by pricing them at a level which is accessible to a wider customer base. The Asian market has become increasingly more sophisticated in recent years and are no longer prepared to pay over-inflated prices when they can find great quality wines from other regions at more competitive prices.

As with much else in the wine trade the fine wine investment market is gradually evolving. Whilst Bordeaux will no doubt continue to dominate simply because of the sheer volume of wine available in the secondary market the influence of other regions will expand as consumers realise that iconic fine wines can also be found in all corners of the globe and at more competitive prices.