With the 2009 En Primeur campaign now over, memories of those hectic days in late June are already fading. Trade in the vintage, however, has continued on the Liv-ex Fine Wine Exchange at a decent pace and we now have a two-month trading history for a number of wines.
To take a better look at what has been happening to prices, we drew up an index to track the performance of the most heavily traded wines. We only included wines that have multiple trades on the Liv-ex exchange (around 50), with each component priced using the last trade of the day. The index is price weighted, was based at 100 on Monday 7th July (the start of the major part of the campaign) and has been rebased each time a new wine was traded on Liv-ex.
As you can see in the above graph, the best secondary market performers (such as Pontet Canet and Duhart Milon) were generally released in the first half of June. Those released right at the end of the campaign – and with the biggest prices – have largely not seen any secondary market price appreciation at all, with the majority actually showing small declines. Overall, prices have fallen by around 5% since the beginning of July and look to be slowly drifting lower.
This is not totally unexpected – it would make sense that prices would peak when demand is highest (i.e in the midst of the campaign). It should also be highlighted that this index only tracks secondary market activity and so it doesn't account for the returns made by the lucky few who purchased the most in-demand wines (Lafite, Latour, Carruades and Pontet) at first tranche prices.
Nevertheless, it does suggest that there has been no harm in adopting a 'wait-and-see' approach to the 2009s. Many of the major wines are still available on the market at close to (and sometimes below) London release prices and, for the moment, they do not look like they are going anywhere fast.