Liv-Ex Market Report
by Liv-ex.com, January 2008
December is, perhaps counter-intuitively, the quietest month of the year for the fine wine trade. Christmas related trade is all but done- stock delivery and client entertainment is all that remains. The funds are generally the exception to this rule, forever seeking out opportunities. And so it was this year. In fact volumes were up 76% on 2006 in December, reflecting the continued evolution of the market from pure merchanting to a blend of the traditional with the financial. The Liv-ex 100 broke its four month losing streak putting in a small year end rally with a rise of 0.8%, taking the FY2007 performance to 40.1% (see www.liv-ex.com for details or find the Liv-ex 100 on Bloomberg: see index code LIVX100).
There was a reasonable spread of trade across all Bordeaux vintages as year-end book balancing dominated. However where volumes in investment vintages did become available, the buyers were there to meet them. In this regard 1996 First Growths featured heavily as did 2005 (a vintage soon to be reviewed in bottle by Mr Parker). Champagne put in another strong month, suggesting seasonality is not the entire story. The brand leaders (Krug, Dom Perignon and Cristal) featured strongly.
(more analysis in the full report)
The table below highlights some of the bigger price moves for the month of December. It is interesting to note the performance of Pichon Lalande 1998 and Talbot 1995- two indifferent vintages in terms of scores, but two very strong brands (more on this in Final Thought). Angelus too is a brand in focus, while Carruades needs no introduction. The fallers tell no particular story, although some may be surprised at the heights reached by Climens 2001- clearly establishing itself as a close second to Yquem.
(analysed in detail in full report)
As is the case every January, just when one is making noble plans for a month off the drink, out pops the new Burgundy vintage. It is only in the last 5 or 6 years that merchants have introduced “En Primeur” tastings. These have proved hugely successful with both customers and the press. Jancis Robinson is first off the mark this year amongst the influential critics (aided by Julia Harding). Her review of the vintage and tasting notes can be found on her website at www.jancisrobinson.com.
The Ban des Vendages for the whites was September 18th and for the reds was the 20th. Volumes in 2006 were slightly down on the 2005’s – mainly due to the extreme dryness in July. Early thoughts were that it was more of a white vintage than red, with comparisons being made to 1992. However, Jancis believes that “many white 2006’s are atypically ripe and friendly – perfect for newcomers to the style of white burgundy and for relatively early drinking, not so good for long-serving white burgundy buyers and cellarers” – so possibly less like 1992 after all.
As for the reds, they are “are all over the place, even sometimes within one grower’s range”. Indeed, “for once (they) seem much more varied with no shortage of rather scrawny and unfriendly wines, especially at lower levels, but some lovely quite delicate if not often concentrated wines – again for relatively early drinking in most cases.”
(more analysis in full report)
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