Talking Trade – Fine Wine indices on the up

The leading fine wine indices hit new milestones in May. The Liv-ex Fine Wine 1000 reached an all-time high for the third straight month and the Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 marked its twelfth consecutive month of gains.

The Fine Wine 100 has risen 13.2% over the past year, despite the headwinds the market has faced; Covid-19, US tariffs, Brexit, inflation, currency swings and stock market palpitations, to name a few.

The fine wine market continued to broaden in May with an average of 630 different wines being traded on weekly basis, a 40% increase on the same period last year.

The Bordeaux 500, Champagne 50, Rhone 100, and Rest of the World 60 all reached all-time highs in May.

Major releases

  • A number of “value” options were released on 1st June, all priced under £500 per 12×75.
  • First was Lagrange 2020 at a 18% premium to the 2019’s Market Price.
  • Armailhac 2020 released up 6.5% on the 2019’s Market Price and was awarded a 93 by Neal Martin, tying its highest-ever Benchmark Critic score.
  • Sociando-Mallet 2020 was also awarded a 93 by Martin, and released 5.4% below the 2019’s Market Price but slightly above the similarly scored 2018.
  • On Tuesday, Beychevelle 2020 released, up 5.6% from the 2019’s Market Price.
  • Lafleur 2020 was offered on the 2nd June by the international trade at £6,320 per 12×75. The wine has received near perfect marks from multiple critics but awaits a score from Martin.
  • Malartic Lagraviere 2020 Blanc and Rouge were released this morning. According to Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, “commencing with the 2020 vintage, the estate has chosen a new bottle for the grand cru and second vin, highlighted by an engraved ship, the symbol of the estate”.

Full coverage of the 2020 En Primeur releases can be found here.

Critic Scores

Antonio Galloni was the latest critic to release his views on the Bordeaux 2020 vintage. So far, no wines have received a potential perfect score from him, although Haut-Brion, Margaux, and Pavie all topped his list with a score range of (97-99).

Full coverage of his report can be found here.

Weekly trade

Bordeaux’s market share shot up in last few days of May and first days of June after having drifted in May to a monthly share of 36.2%, down from 44.2% in April.

The 2016, 2017, and 2018 vintages from Bordeaux combined for 42% of the region’s trade share by value.

Pauillac made up 62.5% of Bordeaux’s trade share by value this week. Saint-Emilion Grand Cru had the second largest share at 12.3%, followed by Margaux at 5%.

Italy surpassed both Burgundy and Champagne trade as the latter two drifted from the previous week. Italy also notched up its fourth highest month of trade share by value in May.

Château Lafite Rothschild was a firm favourite this week with its 2016, 2017, and 2013 vintages being the most-traded wines by value.

Lafite Rothschild 2016 was awarded 100 points by a number of critics and has seen a rise in Market Price of 35% over the past 15 months.

Lafite Rothschild 2017 has seen a similar price performance, although its highest score is a 98 awarded by James Suckling.

Lafite Rothschild 2013’s highest score was 95, also awarded by James Suckling. The wine’s price performance has been flat over the past three years thus it remains one of the cheapest vintages available in the market.

Although still in its early stages, En Primeur has fixed attention back on Bordeaux; as can be seen by the region’s share of weekly trade and the leading labels traded by value.

Nonetheless, the continued rise of the leading indices and on-going broadening of the market suggests a healthy appetite for all fine wines.

Our Bordeaux En Primeur 2020 page contains everything you need to know about this year’s campaign. You can also sign up for our daily En Primeur email alerts using the form below.