In recent months, a broader group of Bordeaux chateaux has emerged from the shadow of the First Growths. Lower-ranking Crus Classes have been first in line to benefit from flagging demand for the Firsts, which accounted for just under half of Liv-ex trade (by value) in the third quarter - a 14 per cent decrease year on year.
If we track the First Growths' 12-week moving average share of trade, this broadening trend becomes even more apparent. As you can see, demand for the wines intensified in the run-up to the En Primeur campaign, before losing momentum in the third quarter.
Of course, traders renewed affection for lower-value Bordeaux – and the top names from Burgundy and Italy – is arguably good news for the fine wine market, which has, until recently, been overwhelmingly dominated by the First Growths.
As we mentioned in the November Market Report, Lafite and its peers are unlikely to lead the next bull run in fine wine. But with the market searching for a new direction, Robert Parker's Magical 20 tasting – which featured "undervalued" wines of "First Growth quality" – could not have come at a more opportune time.