Last month we published the 2011 edition of the Liv-ex Classification. The listing recreated the 1855 Classification by ranking top Left Banks according to price (the same criterion that was used in 1855). The Liv-ex Classification was limited to red wines, but UK-based Sauternes specialist Bordeaux Gold has added an interesting postscript to our study by applying the same methodology to the wines of Sauternes and Barsac. According to their assessment of current market pricing, only Yquem would be considered a First Growth today, whilst Climens, Extravagant de Doisy Daene and Fargues would be classified as Second Growths. 1855 First Growths Rieussec, Suduiruat and Tour Blanche would be demoted to Fourth-Growth status. (You can view the full article here.)
Though red wine prices have flourished in recent years on the back of Asian demand, Sauternes prices have remained relatively static. But (as we suggested last year on the blog) the current lack of enthusiasm for the region presents a host of buying opportunities. One of the sweetest is no doubt Rieussec – a First Growth at Fourth-Growth prices. Wines such as the 2004 and 2007 are trading at £300-£350 per case, despite bearing strong scores from the major critics. Even Yquem boasts good value for money – particularly the 1996 and 1997, both of which are available at under £2,000 per case. (Liv-ex trading members and Cellar Watch Platinum subscribers can view live markets here.)
With Yquem owners LVMH planning a marketing campaign in China, a Sauternes resurgence may well be on the horizon.
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