Bordeaux slow, Italy up

Once again it was a slow week for Bordeaux; trade share by value has continued to stay stubbornly below 70% throughout 2017. Italy took an unusually high 9.6% of trade by value thanks to activity across vintages of Sassicaia and a large trade of Argiano, Brunello Montalcino 2012, which was the highest traded wine by volume this week.

The 100-point Robert Parker Lafite Rothschild 1986 traded this week at £10,750, 39.7% off the all-time high of £17,900 that it reached in 2011. Cheval Blanc continues to have a strong year; it is the most viewed wine this year aside from the First Growths. Across all vintages Cheval Blanc comprised of 10% trade by value this week, while Haut Brion led the trade of First Growths.

Petits Chateaux and Sauternes releases

Several Bordeaux 2016 releases from Petits Chateaux have been announced. The table above shows that on average merchant release prices have increased 13.1%, although without Tour St Christophe this number falls to 8.8%. Last year the average price increase for a comparable group of wines was 19.1%.

Tour St Christophe has seen the largest increase in price. It received a score of 96-97 from James Suckling, who described the wine as ‘better than the 2015’ which he had awarded 95-96 and called ‘the best ever’ at the time.

Earlier in the week the 2016 releases of Climens and Coutet took place. As with Guiraud, which was released in March, the ex-negociant prices of the 2015 and 2016 releases were identical. The ex-London release prices for the 2016s are up 10% on average, reflecting Sterling’s weakness relative to this time last year. However, if Sterling sustains the gains it has started to make this week, perhaps price rises for this campaign might not be as dramatic as initially anticipated.