Liv-Ex Market Report
by Liv-ex.com, February 2008
February was a return to form for the fine wine market. Fears over the the credit crunch and a potential recession continue to linger in the background, but wine prices have remained remarkably resilient. Trade was heavy, up 95% compared to last year, with strong representation from both traditional merchants and institutional investors. The Liv-ex 100 put in its third (and largest) consecutive month of growth, up 2.6% to 246.8 — its second highest level ever and just 1 point below the record set last July. This, however, reflected a tightening of spreads as much as an increase in general prices (see www.liv-ex.com for details or find the Liv-ex 100 on Bloomberg: see index code LIVX100).
Much of the action among Bordeaux vintages was centred on wines from 1996 and 2000, with the pair constituting around 40% of total volumes traded. Strong availability of first-growths in these years drove the action. It’s clear that investors, in particular, are willing to bid heavily when firsts from strong vintages shows their faces on the exchange.
(more analysis in the full report)
In terms of price movement, the month was owned by the 2005s. The big winners were the eight wines given the magic three-figure score by the Wine Spectator, with news of James Suckling’s scores hitting the market mid-month. The Left Bank’s Leoville Las Cases, Haut Brion, Haut Brion Blanc and Margaux all made gains on the back of perfect scores, as did Petrus, L’Evangile, Lafleur and Ausone from across the river. Latour, which stands as the vintage’s solitary ‘99er’ also made progress, as did the increasingly popular Pauillac estate Pontet-Canet following a strong 96- point showing. The rest of the 2005 pack appears to be jostling for position ahead of the release of Parker’s final scores later this year. As for those on the downward slope, we are continuing to see a degree of price softening on a number of the wines that made big gains in the last two years as profit taking comes into play.
(analysed in detail in full report)
Robert Parker’s British contributor, Neal Martin, took another look at the Bordeaux 2006 vintage last month ahead of his master’s bumper edition later this year (word has it that we’ll have an update on the 2006s bundled in with the new 2007s and the aforementioned 2005s in either April or June). Martin was more favourable than most of his peers when he first tasted the wines last April — ‘there is abundant ripe fruit, vibrant acidity, complex intellectual wines, many of which have caught out the odd reporter who had the headline written before tasting the wine’ — and sees no reason to change his views on second taste.
(more analysis in full report)
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