|Tom Cannavan's wine-pages.com|
Liv-Ex Market Report
by Liv-ex.com, January 2009
With the seasonal break somewhat longer than usual, the New Year took some time to spark into life. By mid-January, however, a record amount of live offers could be seen on the Liv-ex trading screens and the market started 2009 in relatively strong fashion, with turnover 27% up on 2008. As with last month, non-UK buyers continued to take advantage of sterling’s weakness, buying top Bordeaux and Burgundy from a wide variety of vintages. January also saw some confidence returning to the First Growth market – with a number of wines seeing a modest uplift in demand, particularly those from less heralded vintages. As a result prices saw a small bounce, with the Liv-ex 100 Fine Wine Index closing 1.2% up at 209.42 — the first monthly rise in the index since August 2008. Year on year, the index has fallen 13.7%. (See www.liv-ex.com for details or find the Liv-ex 100 on Bloomberg: see index code LIVX100.) January saw Bordeaux’s share of trade hit its lowest level since early 2006, at 82% of the total. The reason was exceptional availability (and demand) for Burgundy; DRC, Leroy, Comte de Vogue and Domaine Leflaive all traded well. The Rhone also had an extremely good month, with Clos des Papes and Guigal leading the trading. Action in Bordeaux was spread relatively evenly, with nine vintages accounting for at least 5% of the total. The outlier was 2005, which with 17% of trade was someway in front of the pack.
(more analysis in the full report)
For the second month in a row the major movers table makes somewhat confusing reading. Although the lack of a distinct pattern would suggest a market in flux, it is notable that the ‘prestige’ Bordeaux wines from 2005 and 2003 that have dominated proceedings for the past two years (first on the way up, then on the way down) are absent from the table. The market may still be hesitant, but the major wines appear to have found some price stability. The surprise appearance of Clos Papes 2005 in the bottom half of the table should be viewed against a background of considerable price increase for the property over the last year.
Critical Corner - 2007 Burgundy
(analysed in detail in full report)
As the New Year passes, and the hangover fades, the fine wine trade’s focus always switches to arguably the most restorative of wines – Burgundy. January is the month when the new vintage is tasted, discussed and sold and when the critics pronounce. Allen Meadows of Burghound and Jancis Robinson MW (arguably the most important critics for the region in the US and UK, respectively) both released large reports in January. Robinson made 1,360 tasting notes available, while Meadows released more than 2,000 (and has only covered the Cote de Nuits reds and Chablis so far). Interestingly, both critics appear to agree on one thing – don’t forget the reds. As Robinson says: “The view of the common burgundy-buying man with a loud voice is that 2007 is a white burgundy vintage. My view of this fascinating vintage is considerably less red and white.” And Meadows concurs: “Most of the early buzz for the 2007 vintage was based on ample praise for the whites, while the reds were almost universally dismissed or damned with faint praise…what I found was the exact opposite. This is to say that while the whites are certainly excellent, the reds are decidedly worth your attention, especially from the Cote de Nuits.”
(more analysis in full report)
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Critical Corner - 2007 Burgundy