The Bordeaux First Growths took the limelight this week with 44% of trade by value: an enormous leap from last week’s low 20%. Once again it was Mouton Rothschild leading the charge. Nine different vintages traded, with the most activity around the 2004. With such high activity amongst the First Growths you might expect a positive impact on the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50. This was not the case: the index dipped 0.5% on last week.
The First Growth story for some time now has been about the “off vintages”. This week was no different, with these vintages accounting for 70% of activity for the Firsts. It would seem that although there are willing and able First Growth buyers, they are risk averse, choosing to focus on those labels and vintages that present the best value to drinkers or the least downside to investors. This would seem to be wines at £200-250 per bottle, generally Margaux, Mouton Rothschild and Haut Brion, from 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008. While it is encouraging to see First Growths' trading activity on the rise, it has yet to translate into a meaningful push forward in prices.
Of the wines most traded by volume, drinking wines continue to be the flavour of the month, with all but Mouton Rothschild 2004 trading for less than £65 a bottle.