What can we expect from the fine wine market in 2015? Will the unprecedented four years of decline continue, or are things set to change? If the first eight days of trade in 2015 are anything to go by – plus the six-month performance of the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 – it’s going to be an interesting year.
The Liv-ex 50 rose 1.2% this week, closing on 269.90: its highest level since 10th June 2014. The Bordeaux 500 was the second best performing sub-index of the Liv-ex Fine Wine 1000 in the second half of 2014, rising 1.4% from June to December. Combine this with the fact that Bordeaux accounted for 87.6% of trade this week and it would seem that sentiment towards the region is changing.
With Chinese New Year just a month away, it is clear that a large proportion of trade is heading east. This week 22% of all trade by value was for Lafite Rothschild, and a further 13% for Mouton Rothschild – significant, perhaps, as we approach the year of the ram.
On 30th December, Wine Advocate released scores from a Mouton Rothschild mini-vertical tasting by Robert Parker. The big story here was the 2005, upgraded from 96 to 99+ points – which puts it above the 2000, 2009 and 2010. Prices were instantly pushed up, and having traded at £3,550 per 12×75 on 22nd December, the wine traded yesterday for £4,250.
In September last year we looked at the potential value of Bordeaux 2005 in a Cellar Watch Market Report. It was talked about as one of the greatest vintages ever until Parker’s in bottle scores were released lower than expected. There has long been a view that he underrated it – something he addressed in a 2012 Liv-ex interview – and his upgrades for Montrose 2005, Haut Bailly 2005 and now Mouton Rothschild 2005 suggest this is the case. It would certainly seem to be a vintage to watch in the next twelve months.