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Lafite leads top traded fine wines on Liv-ex in 2021 so far

Four vintages of Château Lafite Rothschild have made the top 10 traded wines by value, underlining Bordeaux's fresh momentum on a fine wine market that merchants and analysts say is performing well in 2021.

Lafite Rothschild 2018 headed a list of the top 10 wines traded on Liv-ex in the six months to the end of June, ranked in terms of the value of trade.

The top 10, in order, is:

  • Lafite 2018
  • Sassicaia 2018
  • Screaming Eagle, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
  • Domaine Ponsot, Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes 2018
  • Lafite 2017
  • Sassicaia 2017
  • Scarecrow 2018
  • Lafite 2015
  • Dom Pérignon 2010
  • Lafite 2016.

Liv-ex, which describes itself as a global marketplace for the trade, also noted stronger trading on Bordeaux 2010 and 2009 wines more generally during June.

Haut-Bailly 2009 rose the most in price, up 3.9% versus May to £1,575 (12x 75cl in bond).

In a fine wine market that has continued to show relative stability, several merchants and observers believe Bordeaux has shown renewed momentum in the past year. ‘It’s a strong market,’ said Matthew O’Connell, head of investment at Bordeaux Index.

Initial reports suggest a mixed Bordeaux 2020 en primeur campaign, albeit with strong demand for some wines, such as Lafite, Cheval Blanc and Margaux.

Yet O’Connell said en primeur had also generated knock-on interest in Bordeaux 2018 wines, and he added that Bordeaux’s 2015 and 2016 vintages were attracting more attention this year in general.

Trading exchange Wine Owners said buyers were still eyeing Bordeaux 2019 wines, not yet released in-bottle. ‘Better priced 2019s that were down on 2018-vintage release prices and which hadn’t budged since last year’s release price got snapped up as this year’s [2020] campaign played out.’

Miles Davis, head of professional portfolio management at Wine Owners, described the wider fine wine market as relatively boring, but in a good way.

‘What I mean by boring is that the market continues to be slow and steady and gently rising, not booming and busting,’ he said in his latest investment report, published this week.

‘It is calm, well underpinned by global demand – and a good place to be.’

O’Connell said the fine wine market was ‘a positive story at the moment’. He said Bordeaux was a standout performer in the first half of 2021, but he noted interest in top-tier Burgundy. ‘We are seeing record [DRC] La Tâche prices.’

Demand for Champagne and Italian fine wines has also continued to be strong.

Liv-ex said Louis Roederer’s Cristal and Cristal Rosé from the highly regarded 2008 vintage showed the biggest price increases between January and June 2021.

Market prices, as quoted by Liv-ex, rose by 34% for Cristal 2008 and 35% for Cristal Rosé 2008, to £2,602 and £5,632 per 12-bottle case in bond respectively.

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