First Growths_price variation

This is the first in a series of blogs where we will be exploring relative value for the wines in the Bordeaux 500 index. To do this we have focused on exceptional vintages (2000s, 2005s, 2009s and 2010s), and compared London release prices with current, highest and lowest market prices. We will be looking at wines by sub-index: today, the First Growths. 

As shown above, at an average £9,000 per 12×75 the 2000 First Growths have risen the furthest in price since release. By contrast, the 2009s and 2010s – released at record prices – have fallen; the 2009s are at all-time lows. Meanwhile the 2005s are the cheapest, having declined some way since peak. While the vintage averages the lowest Parker score, other critics were more favourable: Lafite 2005, scored 96 by Parker, received 100 from James Suckling. In Liv-ex’s interview with Parker, he acknowledged that he may have underrated the 2005 vintage – that he was “originally worried about the tannin levels in 2005, but the wines are so concentrated I think they will be just fine.”

With this in mind, we have further broken down the 2005s to see where the value lies. The price history of the 2005s is interesting: many wines saw prices peak twice, three years apart. They first climbed in anticipation of Parker’s in-bottle scores in 2008 – prices dropped when he awarded only two wines 100 points, and fell further when Lehmann Brothers collapsed that September. They then rose again in the 2009-2011 market bull run.

First Growths 2005_price variation

Lafite peaked in 2011: as shown above, Chinese demand catapulted prices to £12,500 per 12×75. Although Mouton was also scored 96 by Parker (and 98 by Neal Martin, who considers it above Lafite in quality) it struggled to rise in price, and at peak was less than £6,000. Currently it is just £450 above release. Meanwhile Parker’s favourite 2005s, Haut Brion and Margaux, both look interesting: each are 98 points and nearing release price.