Decanter article

The price slide on Bordeaux first growths has stabilised, as wine buyers continue to take advantage of good deals on top names like Lafite and Haut Brion, analysts say.
Analysts at trading platform Liv-ex believe that a 12-month period of wine ‘market correction’, including price drops of up to 35% on some top chateaux, may be levelling out.

‘Prices have been flat for Bordeaux first growths in the last three or four months,’ said Jack Hibberd, head of data and research at Liv-ex told

Given the price drops, demand for some top Bordeaux wines is buoyant, even if no region is showing explosive growth. ‘With Lafite, we’re still seeing very good demand for the 2009 vintage,’ said Hibberd.

Drinkers and investors alike appear to be taking advantage of the come-down from a price spike in 2010 and the first half of 2011. Lafite 2009 in particular is on the market for £8,000, down from more than £13,000 at its peak.

‘You can get some excellent wines at the moment for not particularly big prices,’ said Hibberd, adding that Haut Brion 2003 is selling for less than £3,000 per case. ‘That’s still quite a big ask, but it’s within reach if you want a first growth on the dinner table as a treat,’ he said.

Kate Janecek of London wine merchant Justerini & Brooks, writing in the London Loves Business publication, said this week that she has sold more Lafite, Latour and Haut Brion in the last two months than in the last two years.

Others were more cautious. A spokesperson for Berry Bros & Rudd told that it is ‘seeing a continued interest in Lafite, but not the volume sales of 18 months to two years ago’.

Looking ahead, Hibberd said that the health of the fine wine market should be easier to read in early 2013. ‘Everyone’s waiting for Chinese New Year [to see],’ he said.

More generally, 2012 has seen a continued broadening of the wine investment market. Alongside higher demand for top Burgundy and Italian wines, Hibberd said that ‘second level’ Bordeaux is also showing promise.

  • Monday 26 November 2012
  • by Chris Mercer