In 2007, Cheval Blanc attempted to reposition itself by releasing its 2006 vintage at a 48 per cent premium to that of Latour. Subsequent releases reflected the same ambition, with the 2008 in particular coming to market at more than double the price of the First Growths.This rebranding exercise saw demand for the brand wane, and vintages from 2006 onwards posted sizeable losses following their release.
This year, however, Cheval Blanc has started to make headway. The brand as a whole has benefited from broadening market interest and recent vintages appear to be back in the saddle. The 2006, 2007 and 2008 have all posted yearly gains of more than 27 per cent, led by the 2008 at 41 per cent. As a result, the 2007 is now trading at around the same level as its London release price, while the 2008 has made a complete recovery (and more). At £3,560 per case, the 2006 still remains some way off its London release price. Nonetheless, the push that we've seen over the past few months is certainly closing the gap.
The chart below shows the average price of Cheval Blanc since December 2008. This is based on price data for wines that form part of the Liv-ex Fine Wine Investables Index (vintages 2000 onwards). As you can see, Cheval Blanc has not been immune to the general drift in prices that we've seen since the end of June, thus its average price has fallen four per cent. However, the brand has taken less of a knock than the First Growths and has outperformed the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index, which has dropped by seven per cent over this period.