Bordeaux 2007: performance of the First Growths

In his Bordeaux 2007 En Primeur report, Robert Parker predicted that “most consumers will probably love the style of the vintage’s top wines because they are so flattering, seductive, and fruit-forward”, adding that they “should age surprisingly well for 10-15 years”.

As we enter the tenth year since the vintage, there is some interest in how the wines have progressed. In a series of short blog posts, Liv-ex will examine how the prices of the wines have moved since release.

These posts will examine price variations – the highest and lowest Market Prices against the current and release prices – for wines within the Bordeaux 500 Index, starting with the First Growths.

At a glance

On average, the wines of Bordeaux 2007 are up 69% since release. Their performance has outpaced the broader market: since Spring 2008, the Bordeaux 500 index has increased by 41.9%.

The wines are 15.6% off their peak levels on average. Seven of the 50 examined are currently at their highest ever Market Price. These are Angelus, Cos d’Estournel, Grand Puy Lacoste, Le Pin, Palmer, Pavie and Vieux Chateau Certan.

Just one wine, Climens, is at a record low.

First Growths

Bordeaux 2007

The chart above shows how prices for the 2007 First Growths have varied since release. Lafite’s Market Price has varied the most over time. In April 2009 it hit a low of £1,900 per 12×75, but by July 2011 it had climbed to £8,200. Its current Market Price of £6,100 – still the highest of these wines – represents a 25.6% drop from peak.

Both Mouton Rothschild and Margaux are within 6% of their record Market Prices.

Bordeaux 2007 First Growths

For analysis on the remaining wines of the Bordeaux 500 index, check back over the next week.

Haut Brion: 100-point price gaps

Haut Brion 100-point vintages

Last week, Haut Brion 1989 traded on the Exchange at £14,846 per 12×75, an all-time high. The wine – described by Robert Parker as one of the “greatest First Growths” he has ever tasted – is now above the level it traded at during the peak of the market in June 2011. It is one of six Haut Brion vintages awarded 100-points by Parker. In addition, the 2015 release has been awarded 98-100 points by Neal Martin.

The chart above compares the 1989 vintage with three younger ‘perfect’ Haut Brion vintages at various points since the market peak. As the chart shows, the 2005, 2009 and 2010 are all below their June 2011 levels but have increased over the past year.

The market has recently seen good activity for 100-point wines, with the current bout of Sterling weakness making higher-value wines more attractive to Euro and Dollar-based buyers. Haut Brion has traditionally offered First Growth value to buyers, making its 2005, 2009 and 2010 interesting prospects. They are perhaps even more compelling when one considers the level at which the 1989 is now trading.

Haut Brion 2009

A version of this article originally appeared in an email update for Liv-ex members earlier this week.

“Perfect” Haut Brion performance

According to Robert Parker, there are three recent Haut Brion vintages worthy of a ‘perfect’ 100-point score: the “exquisite” 2005, the “extraordinarily complex” 2009 and the “ethereal” 2010.

Both the 2009 and 2010 were awarded 100 points in Parker’s first in-bottle reviews, while 2005 was initially scored 98 points in bottle before receiving an upgrade in June last year.

As the chart below shows, Haut Brion 2005 made gains following its upgrade to 100 points: its market price moved up 13.9% in the month after Parker’s review was released. Since then, despite some fluctuations, it has broadly run flat.

Haut Brion 2005

As a result of these gains, it is no longer the cheapest ‘perfect’ Haut Brion: the 2009, which has been drifting, is available at a £300 discount to the 2005. This does not make it ‘cheap’: it still costs 82% more than the 2008, which is the next most expensive of the last ten releases.

Still, for buyers looking to add 100-point wines to their cellar, the 2009 might be next in line.

100 point Haut Brion prices

You can view historical price data for these wines on Cellar Watch: Haut Brion 2005, Haut Brion 2009, Haut Brion 2010

Bordeaux 2006: performance of the First Growths

As we enter the tenth year since the 2006 vintage, Liv-ex will be examining the performance of the wines in a series of short blog posts. These posts will examine price variations – the highest and lowest Market Prices against the current and release prices – for wines within the Bordeaux 500 Index, starting with the First Growths.

Overall, 34 of the 50 wines from 2006 within the index have gained or held value since release. The average price change since release is +5.5%. The wines of the Second Wines 50 index have increased the most on average, and the three top performing wines come from this sub-index. The wines of the Sauternes 50 have lagged the most. Carruades Lafite is the biggest climber; Yquem has fallen the most.

Four of the 50 wines are currently at their highest ever price; two are at their lowest. The wines are 34.3% below peak on average in Sterling terms.

The First Growths

The chart below shows price variations for the five Bordeaux First Growths from the 2006 vintage since En Primeur release. Lafite’s Market Price has varied the most over time: it climbed from £3,000 in December 2008 to £8,550 in March 2011, just ahead of the market’s peak. Its current market price – still the highest of these wines – has fallen to £4,600 since, but remains 43.8% above release.

At the other end of the scale, buyers seeking relative value might look towards Haut Brion 2006. It is currently available at 13.6% below its En Primeur release price. Despite being among the higher scorers, its current market price is the lowest of the five – and is just 4.8% above its all-time low.


For analysis on the remaining wines of the Bordeaux 500, check back over the next week.

You can see historic price information for the wines mentioned on Cellar Watch, by clicking below:

Lafite Rothschild, 2006; Latour, 2006; Mouton Rothschild, 2006; Margaux, 2006; Haut Brion 2006.

Cellar Watch subscribers can track the value of these wines by adding them to a cellar. To subscribe to Cellar Watch, please click here.

Second wines – back in focus?

First Growths and second wines over five years

During the bull market that drove the fine wine market to its peak in June 2011, the second wines of the Bordeaux First Growths saw exponential price rises. This was largely due to brand-driven Asian buying: “Little Lafite” and its peers were seen as extensions of the Premier Crus by Chinese buyers. By offering access to the brands at lower price points, they were first in line to benefit from rising prices, as Liv-ex observed in October 2010.

Eight months later as the market rolled over, they were first in line to fall. As the chart above shows, the price movements of the First Growths and their second wines have been following a similar path since: dropping until June 2014 and running roughly flat over the year that followed.

First growths and second wines over two years

Since July last year, however, the two groups appear to have parted course. While the First Growths have dipped – down 1.3% – their second wines have climbed 4.5% since July. When ranked by performance over 2015, three of the top ten wines within the Bordeaux 500 Index are second wines – and Petit Mouton takes the top spot by a comfortable margin. The Chateaux’s first wine, Mouton Rothschild, was the best-performing First Growth but achieved only 16th place in the table.

Performance of the First Growths and second wines in 2015

It is likely that the recent success of the second wines can still be linked to the strengths of their brands in Asia. With the current climate for buyers in China – where a weakened Yuan makes fine wine more expensive – not favouring high-priced First Growths, the more accessibly priced seconds look particularly interesting.