Ten years on: Left Bank 2007

As part of a series on Bordeaux 2007 ten years on, Liv-ex has examined the price variations of wines from the Left Bank 200 index, which tracks the price movements of 20 major Left Bank Chateaux.

The chart below shows how the wines’ current Market Prices compare to their highs, lows and En Primeur release prices. The majority are either currently at their highest ever levels or within 8% of it. Four – Palmer, Leoville Las Cases, Cos d’Estournel and Grand Puy Lacoste – are at peak.

Duhart Milon 2007 holds a number of records. It rose the most from release to peak (389.4%), has fallen the most since (42.6%) and yet is currently second furthest (180.9%) above its release price. Part of the Lafite stable, it might look more at home with the Second Wines which have performed in a similar way.

Beychevelle – another wine with a strong brand following in China – has risen the most since release, up 239.8%.

Only Mission Haut Brion and Pape Clement are available at discounts to their release prices, having fallen 25.6% and 6.0% respectively.

Not only have the wines performed strongly in terms of price, but there are signs from critics that they are also showing (surprisingly) well ten years on. In Decanter today, Jane Anson wrote that “the Cabernet Sauvignons did well when they were able to fully ripen, and there are many classic, even luscious, drinking clarets on the Left Bank”.

Read more:

Five years from market peak: a divided picture

Five years ago, the industry benchmark – the Liv-ex 100 index – reached its highest ever level when it closed on 364.7 at the end of June 2011. The Bordeaux 500, which tracks the price performances of 50 leading Bordeaux wines, reached its highest point one month later. This marked the peak of the boom for fine wine that began in mid-2005 and was spurred on when the acclaimed Bordeaux 2009 vintage was released in Spring 2010. But how have prices performed since?

The major indices drifted from peak until the end of June 2014, the market’s recent low. The Liv-ex 100 was down 36%; the Bordeaux 500 dropped 23%. They have both shown signs of recovery since: each has bounced 10%.

However, price performance has not been uniform. The chart below shows disparity between the impact of the downturn on different sub-indices of the Bordeaux 500. While the Left Bank reds – the First Growths in particular – were hit the hardest, top Right Bank wines saw a shorter and less severe period of decline, or even continued to rise. The Sauternes 50 shows no correlation with other sub-indices: it has been gently sliding for the past five years.

Bordeaux 500

The price movements of wines within the index tell a similarly divided story. Of the 50 wines represented by the Bordeaux 500, 32 have dipped since June 2011. The remaining 18 – shown in the table below – have bucked the broader trend by increasing. The biggest climber, Angelus, is up 52.1%; Duhart Milon, which has fallen the furthest, is down 45.5%.

The Right Bank is well represented among those that are up: eight of the 15 Right Bank wines in the index appear in the table below. From the Left Bank, Calon Segur is the best-performer by a significant margin, up 38.8%. Next is Petit Mouton, the only second wine to appear despite a recent boost for the group.

Bordeaux top performers

Among the wines that have declined are those that gained the most during bull market. Five of the top ten fallers are First Growths and their second wines – and with Duhart Milon dropping the most, the Lafite stable is very present.

Bordeaux 500 fallers

So where next? The Right Bank 100 index is currently at its highest ever level. Other indices – notably the Fine Wine 50 – have still been recovering from the recent low. Whether a more uniform movement will be observed going forward will depend on where buyers find value next. What is clear is that the various groups begin the next five years from very different starting points – and this is just Bordeaux.

Value buyers putting Bordeaux back on top

Bordeaux 500 sub-indices

For the first time since May 2011 – before the peak of the market – the Bordeaux 500 Index is the best performing sub-index of the Liv-ex 1000 over one year. This has been driven by buyers returning to the market, but looking for value.

The best performing sub-index of the Bordeaux 500 is the Second Wines 50: since February 2015 it is up 8.8%, outperforming all other groups. This has been driven by Asian demand for strong brands – at lower price points.

The second best performing sub-index is the Left Bank 200. It has gained 3.8%, and 16 of the 20 wines within the index have appreciated over the year, as shown below.

Like the Second Wines, the wines within this sub-index have strong brands, good-sized productions and are available at relatively accessible prices – the traditional hunting ground for UK, US and European buyers.

The outright best performer, Beychevelle (+13%), appeals to all of these markets.

Left Bank 200 performers

Search for vintage prices of the above wines at www.cellar-watch.com – or use the price search widget on the blog sidebar. 

2006 vintage Left Bank: ten years on

Yesterday, Liv-ex examined the price variations – the highest and lowest Market Prices against the current and En Primeur release prices – for the Bordeaux First Growths from the 2006 vintage.

The chart below displays the same data for 2006 vintage wines of the Left Bank 200, a sub-index of the Bordeaux 500 which tracks the price movements of 20 major Left Bank Chateaux. Unlike the First Growths, the majority of these currently command prices higher than release. 17/20 have gained since release, with average increases of 11.6%. Calon Segur 2006 and Smith Haut Lafitte 2006 are both at their highest ever prices.

The three wines available at a discount on their release prices are Mission Haut Brion 2006, Leoville Las Cases 2006, and Pape Clement 2006. Mission Haut Brion offers the greatest discount, having fallen 49.2% since release.

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

For historic price information on the wines mentioned, use the price search tool on the right-hand sidebar.