Liv-ex recreates a ‘modern day 1855 classification’

Geoffrey DeanInvestors ought to know about a new ‘recreation’ by Liv-ex of the 1855 classification in Bordeaux. That was, of course, restricted to Medoc wines only but Lix-ex have enterprisingly added leading wines from other parts of Bordeaux and France, as well as five other countries. How have they done it? By price – just as the French did 162 years ago.

Exposition 1855

The extended list of ‘first growth’ wines jumps accordingly from five to 31. Six of these are from DRC in Burgundy, and while the majority are French (Rhone as well as Burgundy), three countries get one selection each – Italy (Masseto), Spain (Pingus) and the USA (Screaming Eagle). Australia do even better with two (Penfold’s Grange and Henschke’s Hill of Grace).

DRCAverage price bands for each ‘growth’ are worked out by totting up actual trades of 12x75cl cases on Liv-ex between 30 April 2016 and 1 May 2017. To gain a classification, a minimum of five vintages of a wine must have been traded in that year-long timespan. The bands are as follows:

1er Cru – £2,500 or more

2eme – £688 – 2,499

3eme – £438 – 687

4eme – £313 – 437

5eme – £250 – 312

Top average price for the so-called first growths went, you’ve guessed it, to DRC, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti (£98,732). DRC, La Tache came in second some way behind (on £23,340) with Screaming Eagle in hot pursuit (£20,610). Petrus lay fourth (18,961) with Le Pin fifth (16,415). Hill of Grace fetched a mean of £3,455 while La Mission Haut-Brion in Graves just made it into the top tier, averaging exactly £2500.

Chateau Petrus BottlesChasing hard for promotion at the top of the ‘second growth’ league table was Burgundy’s Mommessin, Clos Tart (£2,432). Opus One (£2,259) was also pressing, as was Gaja’s Sori San Lorenzo (£2,005). Vega Sicilia’s Unico was flying the flag for Spain on £1,772, while Rothschild & Concha y Toro’s Almaviva was doing the same for Chile (£743).

The Super Tuscan, Tignanello, sat atop the third growth classification on £582, while another Chilean, Lapostelle’s Clos Apalta (£430) was pushing hard for promotion from the fourth growth listings. The one non-Medoc estate to make it into the fifth growth was Henri Gouges, NSG Clos Porrets (£287).

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