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The Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 Index – the industry benchmark – closed April at 308.55, down 0.16% on the previous month. The index has failed to rise in any month so far this year.

The top movers in April were mixed. Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape 2015 took the top spot with a monthly increase of 18.8%, from £425 to £505 per 12×75. Lynch Bages 2009 followed – the wine’s Mid Price rose 6.1% in April. Sassicaia 2015 (ML 97) also moved up 4.6% in value.

The biggest faller in April was Opus One 2014, which dipped 8.2%. It was not the only Californian label to have fallen in value last month – Screaming Eagle 2015 also saw a 6.2% decrease.

Clos Pape, Chateauneuf du Pape 2015 – the biggest riser in March – also fell, returning to its February levels.

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People have long had a fascination with the unknown, a kind of curiosity that drives them to speculate on what might lie ahead. In the wine world, a look into the future is not only possible; in Bordeaux, the future arrives early.

En Primeur, or ‘wine futures’, is a longstanding tradition. Originating in France, the system has been in place for over 60 years, intertwining wine romanticism and market rationale.

After the Second World War, France’s wine business was badly shaken; its producers underfinanced and recovering from several years of conflicts. In Bordeaux, the most influential wine merchants of the day – the negociants – initiated buying en primeur. They agreed to buy wine from top chateaux while it was still in barrel, and sometimes even before the harvest, hoping for quality and quantity.

The system allowed the négociants to exercise control over pricing and also to obtain their desired volume of wine at reduced rates. At the same time, it provided upfront cashflow to the chateaux helping to alleviate their financial difficulties.

The picture has changed since. The growing demand – and market – for fine wine, and Bordeaux in particular, from the 80s and 90s meant that the power balance shifted back to the chateaux. Since then, the producers have been able to take on increasingly large profit share from the supply chain.

In the En Primeur system, ownership of top Bordeaux wine moves from the chateaux to negociants, on to merchants, and finally to the end-collector, over a period of 18 months to two years. It is hoped that the price will rise over this time giving the collector a reason to buy.

Between 1994 and 2005, the price charged by the chateaux represented 50% the wine’s value by the time it was physically released. This left plenty on the table for negociants, merchants and collectors to profit.

Since 2006, however, the chateaux’s share has increased to 70% on average. The result has been to increase the risk for the rest of the chain, reducing the incentive to buy. If stock remains in the supply chain, collectors can often find wines with considerable bottle age at the original release prices or lower. The 2006 and 2011 vintages are clear examples of this.

Many believe that sentiment around En Primeur has started to wane, yet the trade and critics meet each vintage with visible excitement. While the enthusiasm surrounding tasting at the primeurs differs from the actual buying appetite, keenly priced “exceptional” vintages tend to be in high demand, as the numbers suggest.

Top producers from other regions have followed in the footsteps of the Bordelaise, adopting the early release model. This includes Burgundy, the Rhone, Port, Italian, Spanish and New World producers. Region-specific factors, however, often inform the success of the campaigns. The scarcity and exclusivity of the top Burgundy wines, for instance, makes allocations (the opportunity to buy them on release) keenly sought-after.

Still, Bordeaux En Primeur remains relatively unique by setting the scene and showing the system in its purest and most celebrated form. The region commands the attention of the industry news-wise for over two months every spring. The volume and value of wine (up to a billion dollars) released at Bordeaux En Primeur is incomparable to anywhere else in the world. The five First Growths alone generate between 400-600million dollars of sales.

When purchasing En Primeur, the wine will be released and shipped at a later date. Upon arrival, merchants in the UK will typically store the wine in a bonded warehouse; duty is payable upon delivery. Many of the wines will often have a recommended drinking window of 5-50 years or more, dependent on quality.

The En Primeur system offers a sneak peek into the future of the vintage. There is a charm in approaching something early, seeing it develop, coexisting with it. En Primeur is a collector’s departure on what could be a long wine journey.

For market analysis on this year’s En Primeur campaign, see our special report Bordeaux 2018 – Keenly poised.

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Bordeaux grower and winemaker, Gavin Quinney has just released his Bordeaux 2018 report, following a number of vintage updates published prior to the start of the campaign. In Quinney’s July harvest report, he refered to the vintage as “a game of two halves” – a phrase that has since been adopted by merchants and critics alike.

According to Quinney, “2018 is an excellent vintage for red Bordeaux, with powerful, rich and opulent wines across most appellations”. However, he notes that “it was far from plain sailing […] and there’s a fine line in 2018 between getting the balance just right in such a ripe vintage, with its naturally high alcohol and forceful tannins, and stepping a little too far towards the dark side”.

Like a number of other critics, Quinney believes that “2018 is not as consistently excellent a year as 2016”. He nonetheless positions it “alongside 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2016 for quality – and, for Margaux and Saint Emilion, 2015”.

Quinney also returns to the problem of mildew, which he discussed in more detail in his report Bordeaux 2018 yields – a devilish year. In his opinion, “2018 is unique among the top vintages this century for having such a huge variation of yields among the top châteaux”, which is mostly down to the impact of mildew.

He adds that many biodynamic growers were forced to question whether “to bio or not to bio” as a result of the “humid climate” during the 2018 growing season.

The table below shows his top-scoring wines from the vintage. Lafleur is in the top spot as the only potential 100-point wine at this stage.

All of Quinney’s Bordeaux 2018 scores can be found on our critic scores page. You can read his full report at gavinquinney.com, here.

Bordeaux 2018 – What other critics say:

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Batailley 2018 has been released at £408 per 12×75, up 3.8% on the 2017 release of £393 per case.

Lisa Perotti-Brown MW (Wine Advocate) awarded the wine a barrel range of 92-94 points. In her tasting note she said it was “full-bodied with a good core of juicy fruit” adding that “it has approachable, ripe tannins and a lively lift to the finish”.

James Suckling also enjoyed the wine. He scored it 94-95 points and said it was “very structured and dense with lots of fruit and tannin”.

Other commentators include Chris Kissack (The Wine Doctor) who awarded it 93-95 points and said it was a “hugely impressive Pauillac”. James Molesworth (Wine Spectator) noted that the wine was “gently expressive, in a vintage where concentration and energy are the norm” and scored it 89-92 points.

Buyers looking for value may wish to consider the 2016 vintage. Neal Martin awarded it 94 points back in January and described it as “a superb wine” that “should give many years of pleasure after several years in the cellar”.

The 2012 vintage also looks attractive. Robert Parker scored the wine 92 points and it is currently available at £300 per 12×75.

Looking for more?

Our Bordeaux 2018 pages contain everything you need to know about this year’s En Primeur campaign, including:

 

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Haut Bages Liberal 2018 has been released at €29.70 per bottle ex-negociant, up 7.6% on the 2017 release (€27.6). It is being offered by the international trade at £366 per 12×75, up 8.9% on the 2017 release of £336 per case.

Critical reception for this year’s Haut Bages Liberal has been mixed. James Suckling, the only critic in our ‘Benchmark Critic’ series to score the wine, awarded it 96-97 points. In his tasting note he said it was “a fantastic wine with lovely depth of ripe fruit and transparency and beauty”.

Julia Harding MW (JancisRobinson.com), on the other hand, said the wine had “thick tannins and a pretty tough wood finish” and awarded it 15 points.

Today’s release is coming to the market above most other vintages currently available. Still, with such an impressive score from James Suckling, followers of the critic could find excitement in today’s release.

Buyers looking for value, however, may be tempted by the 2010 vintage. The wine boasts several years in bottle, 92 points from Robert Parker and is available at an 9.8% discount.

The 2016 (92 NM) also looks attractive.

Looking for more?

Our Bordeaux 2018 pages contain everything you need to know about this year’s En Primeur campaign, including:

 

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Sociando Mallet 2018 was released this morning at €24 per bottle ex-negociant, up 11.1% on the 2017’s opening price of €21.6.

The wine has come with a recommended retail price of £300 per 12×75. This represents a 12.4% increase on last year’s merchant offer price of £267 per 12×75, and 5% decrease on the 2016’s merchant release (£315).

Critical reception of today’s release has been somewhat mixed. James Suckling scored the wine 94-95 points and called it “really fantastic”. Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW gave it the lower 85-87 range and described it as “full-bodied, firm, hard and chewy with a herbal, hot finish.”

James Molesworth, who awarded the wine 90-93 points, further commented that it “shows more guts than polish, but solid nonetheless”, while Julia Harding MW (16.5) said it was “dense and introvert”.

With this price tag, the 2018 stands at the same level as the 2010 (RP 91+) and 2008 (RP 90) which offer some bottle age. The “outstanding” 2016 (NM 92-94) is also available at the same price.

Looking for more?

Our Bordeaux 2018 pages contain everything you need to know about this year’s En Primeur campaign, including:

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Suduiraut 2018 has been released at €40 per bottle ex-negociant, down 12.2% on the 2017’s opening price of €45.60. It is being offered by the international trade for £480 per 12×75, down 15% on the 2017’s release (£565).

James Suckling is the only critic used in our ‘Benchmark Critic’ series to have scored the wine so far. He awarded the wine 97-98 points and described it as being a “big wine for the vintage” with “lots of concentration” and “plenty of botrytis”.

James Molesworth (Wine Spectator), on the other hand, scored the 2018 a lower 91-94 points, adding that its “ample marzipan detail coats the long finish”.

Prices for Suduiraut are 62% correlated to critics’ scores. Based on today’s release of £480, the wine is coming to market slightly above the line implied by our ‘Fair Value’ methodology.

Buyers looking for value may wish to consider the 2016 and 2015 vintages which are available at discounts of 61% and 31% respectively.

The 2009, which was scored 98 points by Neal Martin (Vinous) in January, may also look attractive. It is currently available at a small premium to today’s release.

Looking for more?

Our Bordeaux 2018 pages contain everything you need to know about this year’s En Primeur campaign, including:

 

The post Suduiraut 2018 released appeared first on Liv-ex.

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Branaire Ducru 2018 has been released at €38.40 per bottle ex-negociant, up 14.3% on the 2017’s opening price of €33.6. It is being offered by the international trade for £462 per 12×75, up 12.4% on the 2017 release of £411 per case.

The wine was rated Liv-ex members’ top value wine of 2018 in our annual En Primeur survey.

Critical reception for this year’s Branaire Ducru has also been positive. Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (Wine Advocate) scored the wine a barrel range of 92-94 points and described it as “firm and rugged in the mouth with brawny, muscular fruit and a sturdy frame of grainy tannins”.

James Suckling was also full of praise and awarded 95-96 points. In his tasting note he said that “this is a fantastic Branaire with deep and dark fruit” and added “we’ll see if it’s better than 2016, but on its way”.

Chris Kissack (The Wine Doctor) agreed that the wine was “exceptionally good” (95-97), while Jeff Leve (The Wine Cellar Insider) added that “this will be among the best vintages of Branaire ever produced” (93-95).

Prices for Branaire Ducru are 56% correlated to critic scores. Based on today’s release price of £462, the wine is coming to the market below the line implied by Liv-ex’s fair value methodology. Followers of both James Suckling and Lisa Perotti-Brown will find value in this release.

That being said, buyers looking for value may be tempted by the 2016 which was awarded 93 points by Neal Martin back in January and is available at a discount to today’s release.

Looking for more?

Our Bordeaux 2018 pages contain everything you need to know about this year’s En Primeur campaign, including:

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Langoa Barton 2018 has been released at €36.00 per bottle ex-negociant, up 16% on the 2017’s opening price of €31.00. The wine is being offered by the international trade at £438 per 12×75, up 12.3% in sterling terms on the 2017 release (£390 per case).

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (The Wine Advocate) scored today’s release a barrel range of 92-94 points and described it as “full-bodied, rich and sporting a lot of vibrant, juicy fruit in the mouth”.  She noted, however, that “2018 Langoa Barton is slightly shy at this nascent stage”.

James Suckling has also reviewed the wine, awarding 93-94 points. In his tasting note, Suckling commented: “There’s real freshness to the crushed-raspberry and blueberry character of this young red”.

With this price tag, the 2018 stands above most other recent vintages in the market. The 2016, which Suckling recently re-tasted in bottle, boasts 96 points from the critic and is currently available at 12% discount. Last year’s release (JS 93-94) is also 14.6% cheaper.

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每年,Liv-ex会邀请刚从波尔多最新年份品尝会回来的业内人士进行调查。调查的目是要跟踪优质葡萄酒业内的专业人士对这一最新年份的普遍看法。现时Liv-ex会员数目达430位,他们均为全球最大的优质葡萄酒买家和卖家。

以下是Liv-ex 2018 年份波尔多期酒调查的结果摘要:

  • 拉菲Lafite Rothschild是最佳的2018年份葡萄酒
  • 班尼杜克Branaire Ducru是最实惠的2018年份葡萄酒
  • 2018年份的平均得分为95.5分,略低于2016年(95.9分)
  • 69%的酒商预期市场对2018年份的需求将比2017年份高,尽管价格仍是决定因素
  • 预期(而非期望)前酒商价格将比2017年份高出15.6%,但平均比2016年份低4.8%。

调查的全部结果如下: 

Liv-ex会员评为十大最佳2018年份葡萄酒

Liv-ex会员评为十大最实惠2018年份葡萄酒

 

Liv-ex会员对2018年份的平均评分 2018年份与之前哪个年份最相近?
Liv-ex会员认为最佳年份的一级酒庄葡萄酒
Liv-ex会员预期预期市场对2018年份的需求(以数量计)

Liv-ex会员对以下2018年份葡萄酒在波尔多前酒商发布价格的预测(每瓶欧元

Liv-ex会员如何形容2018年份的波尔多葡萄

对于今年调查结果的完整分析,请浏览 Liv-ex英文博客全文。

Liv-ex是面向全球的精品葡萄酒市场,为专业的优质葡萄酒买家和卖家提供交易、数据和结算服务。 私人收藏家可以使用酒窖监察 Cellar Watch来查看Liv-ex价格和为葡萄酒进行估價,并可在 Liv-ex 博客上阅读定期的市场分析

要即时接收最新的2018年份期酒发布信息, 马上关注Liv-ex 全新的微信公众号!

 

The post Liv-ex 2018 年份期酒调查结果: 拉菲最佳, 班尼杜克最实惠 appeared first on Liv-ex.

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