Growing numbers of collectors and investors have come back to Bordeaux in early 2015, according to merchant Bordeaux Index and the Liv-ex trading exchange.
Fresh consumer interest in Bordeaux’s 2005 vintage and stronger demand for Bordeaux in general in Asia have added more evidence that the region is seeing a turnaround in fortunes on the fine wine market.
Bordeaux Index said that its prices index was up by nearly 2% in January and that Bordeaux was ‘returning to favour’ following several years of consumers seeking deals in other regions, such as Burgundy and Champagne.
It said that, with inventory in the market also looking stretched, ‘it increasingly looks like we have seen the bottom of this market’.
Several fine wine market analysts have reported greater stability in the sector in the past few months, following around three years of price declines for many top Bordeaux wines – which still constitute the bulk of the market.
Bordeaux Index (BI) said it had seen particularly strong demand in Asia, where sales on its LiveTrade platform increased by 28% last year.
Guy Ruston, MD of BI in Hong Kong, picked out Sotheby’s’ recent auction of ex-cellar Mouton Rothschild wines as a sign that momentum has continued to grow in 2015.
‘We saw new ground broken with some astonishing prices achieved at Sotheby’s Ex-Chateau auction of wines from First Growth Mouton Rothschild,’ he said.
Trading platform Liv-ex also said last week that it has seen more trades of the five Bordeaux first growths, in particular, on its own exchange in the past month.
It highlighted demand for the 2005 vintage, which several analysts have said looks under-priced for its quality. ‘[January] saw the 2005s taking almost 20% of Bordeaux trade, a change from the more recent dominance of the 2009s and 2010s,’ Liv-ex said in its monthly Cellar Watch report.
‘We have seen a significant increase in demand for the 2005s and we expect this to continue,’ said BI’s MD, Gary Boom.
However, some experts point out that it is early days and that talk of a full-scale market recovery for Bordeaux is premature.
There is also no sign that buyers have deserted other regions. Burgundy’s Domaine de la Romanee-Conti continued to spearhead fine wine auctions last year. Its wines made more in sales than those from any other estate at both Sotheby’s and Zachys, which sold $8.9m and $6m of DRC wines respectively.
Written by Chris Mercer