Liv-Ex Market Report
by Liv-ex.com, October 2007
September proved to be a big month. While financial markets continued their recovery, the fine wine market retained a note of caution. The sellers of August maintained their stance, while the bargain hunters held firm. The result was high volumes of trade at the bid price. Exchange turnover was up 112% year on year- quite a feat given the general uncertainty that prevailed. And for the second month in succession, the Liv-ex 100 (see www.liv-ex.com for details) fell. It was down 1.4% leaving the 12-month gain at 50.5% (to find Liv-ex 100 on Bloomberg: see index code LIVX100). It is up 41.2% year to date. The high volume of trade was concentrated in the top labels. Indeed, 61% of the total trade by value was accounted for by First Growths and Cheval Blanc, suggesting investment money soaked up the (relative) bargains that were to be found. Other areas of volume were to be seen in the remarkable Carruades de Lafite and young Bordeaux- 2004 proving very active. Burgundy activity was dominated by DRC 2004, while Champagne buyers continued to chase Cristal.
(more analysis in the full report)
The table below highlights some of the bigger price moves for the month of September. It is interesting to note that many of the worst performers for the month are some of the biggest stars of the past few years at the investment end of the market. Of the gainers, good labels, with some bottle age at around the £500 mark seem to dominate. These are drinkers, and as such, their supply is drying up.
Critical Corner: Jancis Robinson
(analysed in detail in full report)
Jancis Robinson, along with 250 lucky members of the Wine Society, attended a tasting of First Growths from two of the great vintages of recent years- 2000 and 1990. Given the plaudits that both of these vintages receive, it was guaranteed to be a fascinating day. And from her account which you can read in full on her purple pages at ww.jancisrobinson.com it lived up to its billing. As Jancis points out, the two vintages have many attributes in common- “large crop levels, high quality from the top to almost the bottom of the quality ladder, very hot summers followed by a bit of rain in September (the opposite of 2007 then) and usefully dry weather during the harvest. Back in 1990 however, crop thinning was still a novelty in Bordeaux, and selections for the primary bottling of grand vin were in general much less strict than in this century.”
The 1990 has always been considered an approachable vintage (and therefore in the eyes of some, not a great vintage). While Jancis agrees with the approachability argument – “consistently charming……rather ripe and velvety…”- she declares she has always loved the wines and indeed, based on a tasting of 1982s in Los Angeles in 2002, prefers 1990 to 1982 overall. This tasting of the Firsts changed nothing- “a great vintage that is drinking well now.” On the 2000s Jancis noted that several of the wines had gone into their “dumb phase” with tannins to the fore. She noted that Latour and Lafite in particular had shut down, while Margaux was the most approachable – “it may yet have a surly stage but is looking lovely and bright at the moment with perhaps the most resolved tannins of all”.
Below we list Jancis’s scores from the tasting with current market prices.
(more analysis in full report)
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Critical Corner: Jancis Robinson