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Bordeaux Fine Wine Market Report - March 2023

Wine Investment, News, Bordeaux

Key Points according to Liv-ex

  • The industry benchmark Liv-ex 100 index rose for the first time in four months. The Liv-ex 1000 index fell for the fourth month in a row.

  • Italy was the top performer in February (Italy 100 managed to rise (+1.1%)

  • Price performance of Jane Anson, Antonio Galloni and Neal Martin’s top-scoring Bordeaux 2020s.

Annual Southwold tasting

  • An overview of Neal Martin’s top-scoring Bordeaux 2019s following the annual Southwold tasting.

Each year, some of the UK’s largest Bordeaux merchants get together for the annual Southwold tasting of Bordeaux 2019 vintage.

According to Neal Martin, the tasting is now almost four decades old and ‘provides a unique opportunity to asses wines against their peers’ via a blind tasting.

The latest edition of Southwold took place between the 16th and 18th of January with ‘around 18 participants, mainly from the trade’.

With several merchants and critic publishing their scores and tasting notes from the tasting, we opted to look at Neal Martin’s top scoring wines (published in Vinous) and their price performance since release.

Haut-Brion was Martin’s top-scoring wine, which he awarded a score of 99+ points and said was ‘off the charts’. Three other wines also received 99-points from the critic, including Vieux Chateau Certan, Lafleur and Palmer.

The table below shows Martin’s top-scoring wines (any that received a score of 98 points or more). Of the wines, Lafleur and Petrus have seen the greatest price appreciation since release, of 165.7% and 179.5% respectively. They were followed by Figeac (57.4%), L’Eglise-Clinet (45.1%) and Vieux Chateau Certan (41.5%).

  • Final Thought – Has Latour’s decision to leave En Primeur paid off?

En primeur, Latour and the secondary market?

Back in 2012, Latour announced that its 2011 wine would be the last vintage offered via the En Primeur system. Since then, the château has been drip-feeding the market with releases from its cellar.

The estate offered its first back-vintage release – Latour 1995 – to the international trade back in 2013. The wine was priced at a premium above cases already in the market and was met with a lukewarm response. Although buyers have historically been willing to pay a premium for provenance, 20% seemed too much of a stretch.

With the Latour 2015 and Forts Latour 2017 due to hit the market later this month, today we take a look at Latour’s secondary market performance in recent years and question if the estate’s decision is finally starting to pay off.

Price performance compared to First Growths

Historically, Latour’s has lagged behind the other First Growths on the secondary market. In 2021, it was the least-traded First Growth. Its 2021 Power 100 ranking was also weighed down by poor price performance.

However, the First Growth has started to outperform some of its peers. On average, Latour prices are up 11.5% over the past five years, compared to 11.2% for Haut-Brion and 7.9% for Margaux.


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