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Liv-ex lists 10 top price risers in a slow wine market

A quiet year for the market hasn’t stopped some individual wines from increasing strongly in price, according to new figures from Liv-ex, a global marketplace for the trade.

Liv-ex indices for key wine regions on the secondary market have fallen in value this year, but the group said some wines still rose sharply in price in the first half of 2023 (H1).

Château Climens 2009 saw the biggest price gains in the six months to the end of June, rising 84% to £1,213 (12x75cl in bond), Liv-ex data showed.

Three other Barsac wines made the top 10, including two Climens vintages plus Château Coutet 2014, marking a relatively rare appearance for Bordeaux’s sweet wines on such a list.

Bucking the trend: top 10 price performers in the Liv-ex 1000 index

Liv-ex wine prices 2023

Chart credit: Liv-ex.

Price growth of more than 35% for Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage 2014 and Clos des Papes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2013 in H1 2023 contrasted with a 16.4% drop in the value of Liv-ex’s Rhône 100 index year-to-date (to 31 July).

The overall Liv-ex 1000 index, albeit just one barometer of market sentiment, was also down by 8.7% year-to-date, although still up by nearly 26% in five years.

A buyer’s market?

Liv-ex said in its August market report, ‘There is little doubt that after a seven-year (almost uninterrupted) bull market favouring sellers, the ball is now firmly in the buyer’s court. The question is, are they ready to play and at what level?’

In one example of Champagne trading on Liv-ex earlier this month, it said: ‘One bidder recently secured 30 cases of Louis Roederer, Cristal 2015 [at] 6.7% below the wine’s market price, demonstrating the benefit of placing ambitious bids.’

Mixed views

Matthew O’Connell, CEO of LiveTrade online trading platform at Bordeaux Index, told Decanter recently that trading activity has been unusually quiet in 2023, but he believed there was potential for momentum to pick up in the last quarter of the year.

A Knight Frank Wealth Report on luxury ‘passion’ investments recently stated that its fine wine icons index – compiled by Wine Owners – rose by 5% in the 12 months to the end of June, but was running flat in 2023 so far.

The Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index, which tracks 10 collectibles from wine to watches and art, rose by 7% the 12 months to 30 June – its slowest annual growth rate since the second quarter of 2021.

‘A slowdown in the wine and classic car markets, where double-digit rises have often underpinned the index’s performance, helped temper growth,’ it said.

Some new wine releases have still seen strong buyer demand this year, however, and US-based auction house Zachys was also relatively upbeat on the secondary market in its mid-year review for 2023.

‘As we’ve said in the past, our market has proven resilient in the face of uncertain economics, and that’s still the case,’ Zachys said.

‘Wines at the top end of the market have held their value with consistently high prices achieved across auctions and auction sites.’

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