As we have previously examined, a single point can make a huge difference to the price of two vintages of the same wine. But in general, how broad is price variation within different Bordeaux chateaux? To explore this, we have compared the price difference between the cheapest and most expensive vintage of the wines in the Bordeaux 500 Index.
The table below shows those with relatively little price difference between the extremes. Notably, all five of the First Growths’ second wines are represented, while the majority of the remaining Chateaux have strong brand followings. This is a market dominated by China, where brand name as opposed to vintage quality influences purchasing decisions. Consequently, pricing is more consistent.
At the other end of the scale are the Chateaux with the greatest price differences between vintages. The plethora of 100-point wines is immediately apparent: seven of the ten below have seen prices for their top wines boosted by a perfect score from Robert Parker. He is not the only critic that buyers are listening to: James Suckling has twice awarded 100 points to Lafleur 2005, which is second in the table. Significant difference between high and low scores – such as with Troplong Mondot – increases the disparity of prices. This suggests that buyers of these wines are less concerned about brands and more concerned about perceived quality.
Brand and quality thus hold different importance for different wines. But with such variation of prices in the second table, what is fair value? In subsequent blog posts, we will explore this theme further with POP (price over points) analysis to determine where value lies within the extremes.
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