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Bordeaux Buyers Flock to Mature Vintages

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Château Latour has led a recent surge of trade in older vintages as buyers look to mature Bordeaux for value over more recent releases.

A new report from The Wine Investment Fund has confirmed strong sales of Latour’s 2003 re-release, together with rising prices for its 1990, 1995, 1996 and 2000 vintages as “another sign of the strong latent demand for Bordeaux.”

However, as reported previously by the drinks business, this interest was balanced by a decline in trade for more recent highly acclaimed vintages from the same château as prices for 2005, 2009 and 2010 Latour all fell.

Looking more broadly across the Bordeaux secondary market, TWIF reported: “This was a favourable month for the best mature years,” as it noted: “every top vintage up to 2000 showed gains on average across a range of châteaux.”

This observation was backed up by a number of major recent auction results, which TWIF described as “more positive than in previous months with sales in London and Hong Kong achieving good sell through rates and a number of sale prices in excess of the wider market.”

In particular, the fund highlighted a March sale by Christie’s in New York, “where signs of a resurgence in North American demand were clear with many strong prices”. These included the £5,350 sale of a case of Lafite 2001, a step above its wider market value of £4,700, as was the £1,400 raised for a case of Lynch Bages 1996, which generally trades at around £1,150.

This buoyant interest in mature vintages comes amid yet another year of negativity surrounding Bordeaux’s en primeur campaign. With the big name châteaux expected to announce their release prices for the 2014 vintage imminently, merchants’ calls for modesty look set to go largely unheeded.

April 15th

Gabriel Stone

The Drinks Business

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