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Liv-ex is an electronic exchange for fine wine used by professional merchants and collectors. Market Report is part of a package of services offered to subscribers of Liv-ex, with subscriptions starting at £49.95 per year. Below is just a brief extract from the latest Market Report. For the full report and to access Liv-Ex's services, sign-up with them at

Liv-Ex Market Report
by, September 2009

September was a month when all signs pointed north. The FTSE finished the month showing its largest ever quarterly gain (21%), while the US economy started to follow France and Germany out of recession. The fine wine market saw fit to join in. Trading was extremely heavy, up more than 35% month on month and set a new high for the year. Meanwhile, the Liv-ex 100 Fine Wine Index continued to claw back last autumn’s losses, finishing up 2.0% to 229.9. The index is now up 12.2% year to date, and down 9.1% year on year.

Despite these encouraging numbers, it is worth noting that the market remains narrow, with Lafite Rothschild continuing to be the main driver. Indeed, Lafite was responsible for approximately 75% of the index’s upwards movement. (See for details or find the Liv-ex 100 on Bloomberg: see index code LIVX100.)

(more analysis in the full report)

Major Movers
September saw an eclectic group of wines rise to the top of the major movers board. Lafite heads the table once again (the 1998 Lafite is perhaps the only great vintage still available at under £5,000 per case) but we also have welcome appearances from Champagne and the New World. Grange 1998 appears spurred on by the success of the 2004, while the appearance of Dom Perignon 1996 is perhaps the first sign of a Champagne revival ahead of this winter’s festivities. In contrast, the top Right Banks are showing some softness.

(analysed in detail in full report)

Critical Corner
The latest edition (Sept/October) of the International Wine Cellar saw Stephen Tanzer tackle the 2007 white Burgundy vintage. Allen Meadows, the ‘Burghound’, also used his most recent edition (#35) to take a look at the best whites from the Cote d’Or in 2007. The vintage was characterised by a very hot April, which kicked off the growing season early. This proved crucial, as the grapes were able to achieve full ripeness despite a wet and miserable July and August. A warm and sunny September provided good conditions for the harvest. Both critics describe the 2007 vintage as being generally good with a number of excellent wines. Tanzer writes that it is a “classic” vintage, producing wines that are “focused, minerally and racy”, with “creaminess without heaviness” and “great early appeal”. Meadows describes it as “classically styled… pure, transparent and ripe… it’s also relatively forward and accessible.”

(more analysis in full report)

Final Thought
Hong Kong rising.
It no longer seems outlandish to state that Hong Kong has become the third major trading hub for fine wine, joining London and New York. At the risk of hyperbole, the boom in demand for fine wine from Asia – in which Hong Kong is the main protagonist, with Singapore, Macau, Japan and mainland China the supporting acts – has transformed the global fine wine market. Few would have predicted last September that we would see wines, most notably Lafite, hitting all time highs less than a year later. Auction results have been the most visible signposts to Hong Kong’s rapid emergence as a trading hub. In April 2008 Bonham’s held the first fine wine auction since wine import duties were scrapped. Fast forward to 2009 and Hong Kong’s total auction sales are likely to hit US$65 million, putting it second behind the US in the global auction rankings. For Sotheby’s, Hong Kong is now its most important centre, with sales in 2009 realising US$14.3 million. Ahead of both New York (US$10.5 million) and London (US$ 8 million).

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