It would appear that the old Wall Street adage of "sell in May and go away" is not the winning formula for fine wine investors. Our analysis of the Liv-ex Fine Wine Investables' monthly returns over the last 23 years shows that, on average, price growth peaks in June, at the height of the en primeur campaign. Returns then decline in the second half of the year and the market is at its weakest from September to December.
Of course, some might argue that fine wine market corrections in late 2008 and 2011 have swayed our analysis. It is certainly true that these downturns have contributed to the market's relatively poor performance in October and November. However, even if we exclude these years from our calculations, the results are largely the same. With the en primeur rally over, price growth typically decelerates in the third and fourth quarters, as can be seen from the chart below. Will this seasonal pattern hold true in 2012?