Following Neal Martin’s re-appraisal of Bordeaux 1996 in The Wine Advocate last month the market has seen a boost in activity for the vintage. It stands alongside 1982 and 1990 in terms of quality and is the most active pre-2000 Bordeaux vintage traded this year.
The 1996 First Growths are mostly high-scoring and were some of the early wines purchased in volume by fine wine investment funds that emerged in the early 2000s. All fell hard from the peak of the Bordeaux market in June 2011. Lafite Rothschild 1996 fell the most, sliding 53% from its peak of £14,800 per 12×75 in February 2011 to a low of £6,950 in November 2014.
Since the Bordeaux market’s recovery at the end of 2015, First Growth price performance of the 1996s has varied. Haut Brion has risen the most year-to-date, followed closely by Margaux. Haut Brion is now 7.4% from its peak of £4,300 in April 2011.
In his re-appraisal, Martin upgraded Margaux from his previous score of 98 to a perfect 100. He said the wine “may well turn out to be the Left Bank pinnacle of the 1990s.”