Looking back

Last week, the release of Vieux Chateau Certan 2016 closed the curtain on this year’s En Primeur campaign. With a price increase of 28% on last year, the Chateau is among those that increased their release prices the most.

Like last year, increases increased as the campaign went on, as the chart above shows. However, they were more modest this time around. Last year, increases of 40-50% by the middle of June were normal. A rise of 28% would have put VCC comfortably below trend.

Merchants were still a little too optimistic, however. Release prices were around 4.5% higher than they predicted.

Still, this only tells a small part of the story.

There was also the ambiguity around volumes on the market with several Chateaux reducing allocations compared to last year. As one commenter on Twitter put it, Bordeaux 2016 increasingly became a campaign “about the few, not the many”. In the background, we’ve had frost in Bordeaux, two elections and one hung parliament.

Against all of this, the Liv-ex Indices have remained firm. The Liv-ex 100 gained 0.4% in May; the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 was up 1%. It has moved another 0.3% since.

Moving on

Next week, Liv-ex will publish a concluding report on Bordeaux 2016. It will analyse the campaign in more depth, with particular attention to how release prices compared to their ‘fair value’. While direct comparisons with last year are interesting, it is important to take the quality of each wine into account when assessing value. This will follow on from the report that we published ahead of the campaign, “Bordeaux 2016 – A new dawn for En Primeur?“, which is now free to read.

Moving forward, Liv-ex Insights will continue to provide timely and relevant analysis on movements in the fine wine market: on Bordeaux, Burgundy, Italy, Champagne, the Rhone, the USA and beyond. If you don’t already receive our weekly round-up of new posts, you can subscribe below.

We hope that you have found – and will continue to find – the analysis posted on Liv-ex Insights helpful.