In the three years previous to 2014, optimism in the build-up to En Primeur during the first quarter of the year lifted the fine wine market. The Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 saw increases of up to 3.3% (February 2011). Each year, however, this early optimism was dashed by a subsequently overpriced and disappointing En Primeur campaign and the index ultimately ended the year on a loss.
By the beginning of 2014, following three failed En Primeur campaigns, expectations for the release of the 2013 vintage were low. Coupled with the knowledge that this was a particularly poor vintage (the worst in 20 years for some Bordelais), En Primeur 2014 failed to provide a first quarter bounce. Instead, the Liv-ex 100 saw declines throughout the first three quarters of this year, as the chart above shows.
However, sentiment appears to have changed in the final quarter of 2014. In contrast to the previous years, it is the fourth quarter that has seen increases rather than the first. It is too late to close the year on a high – but sentiment certainly seems more positive going into 2015. Does breaking the pattern of the previous three down years point to a longer term change of direction?