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CLOS FOURTET 2003 @ £770 PER 12 - RPJ : 94 PTS (2006)
(PRICE EXCLUSIVE OF MANAGEMENT FEE)

Short Term Upside in 2013: 15-30%     Long Term Price Target: £1,300 - £1,500 per 12
Only 25 Cases Available

OVERVIEW:

Wine due to be re-scored by Parker in his 10 year retrospective at the end of this year.

Expected to improve its current score of 94 pts.

Clos Fourtet: Top Performing Bordeaux wine in 2012 - Liv-ex Blog.

Part of Robert Parker's Magical 20.

Best Vintage of Clos Fourtet currently in Drinking Window.

Inferior 1990 (90 pts) trading @ £1,110 (44% increase).

 
 

DUE TO BE RE-SCORED THIS YEAR:

Every 10 years Parker conducts a retrospective and we believe that ahead of the 2003 Bordeaux vintage being revisited that Clos Fourtet is in line to receive an improved score.

Clos Fourtet 2003 was originally given an in-barrel score of 94-96 pts. In this 2004 tasting note, Parker made the comment that the 2003 was:

'Irrefutably the greatest wine I have ever tasted from Clos Fourtet'

In 2005, upon a further in-barrel tasting of the 2003 vintage RPJ re-confirmed his belief that it:

'continues to be the most compelling wine I have ever tasted from Clos Fourtet'

Despite the initial en primeur score of 94-96, Parker was more conservative with his final in-bottle score awarding the wine an official score at the bottom of his initial spread - 94 pts - despite the US critic again confirming that:

'Sampled three times from bottle, the 2003 Clos Fourtet is the finest wine I have ever tasted from this estate'

Interestingly in this 2006 tasting note Parker indicated that the wine still had some time to evolve and improve, which may have been his reasoning behind scoring it at the bottom of his spread.

'It will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age, and drink well for two decades or more.'

With these comments in mind by 2009 this wine should have improved and with a further 4 more years in bottle since then it is sitting comfortably within its optimum drinking window with another 15+ years to go. Therefore consumption of this wine will have accelerated in recent years, which would be increasingly reducing the available supply.

Despite never officially revisiting the wine in 2008, when giving a tasting note for the 2005 Clos Fourtet which is scored 98 pts, Parker said the following:

'Clos Fourtet is on a roll, having produced a stunning wine in 2003, and an even more brilliant effort in 2005.'

Therefore with Clos Fourtet currently scored 94 pts, at the bottom end of Parker's initial barrel score, and with 7 years further ageing we believe that the 2003 has significant potential to be re-scored up. With a score further towards 97 pts far more likely.

 

 

VALUE:

Over and above the potential of being re-scored, the Vintage Comparison Chart below shows that the 2003 is actually well valued when compared against other similar quality vintages of Clos Fourtet. The current trading price of the significantly inferior 1990 vintage at £1,110.00 is a clear indication of the potential of the 2003 in future years:
 


The 2003 is unlikely to surpass the score of 2010, 2009 or 2005, but it is has every chance of increasing to a score of 95-97 pts.

At £770 per 12, it sits comfortably on the average price for Clos Fourtet vintages despite it being the best vintage that is currently in its drinking window.

With the 2005, 2009 and 2010 still requiring a few more years cellaring we would expect that collectors will focus on the 2003 over the next 5 years for optimum drinking from this estate.

If it's re-scored over 95 pts in Parker's 10 year retrospective later this year, in the short term the wine will appreciate in value.

We have a target price for this wine of £1,200 per 12 over the next 3-5 years due to the above reasons and with older vintages such as the 1990 (91 pts) trading at £1,100 per case - we think this is a conservative estimation of the 2003's potential.
 

 

STRONG BRAND & MARKET SENTIMENT:

With both the 2009 and 2010 vintages of Clos Fourtet receiving high praise and scores from critics, there has been a noticeable increase of attention for this right bank estate. Added to this, the strong support the wine has been given by Parker in recent years is sure to have a positive effect. Having included it as part of his Magical 20 tasting in Hong Kong in 2011, there is certain to be uplift on prices for back vintages of this estate, especially those held in such high esteem as the 2003.
 

Liv-ex: 'surveying the performance of the Bordeaux 500 since the beginning of 2012, examining the percentage gains or losses they had made over that time period. Clos Fourtet was at the pinnacle of the list' - July 2012

 

Parker Tasting Note:

This estate has come back strongly under new ownership, and the quality of the wines now exhibits the tremendous potential of this extraordinary terroir on the limestone plateau just outside the walls of St.-Emilion. Sampled three times from bottle, the 2003 Clos Fourtet is the finest wine I have ever tasted from this estate. Made in a full-bodied, extravagantly rich style, it is just beginning to close down, but it is easy to see the layers of concentrated black cherry, plum, and licorice-infused fruit. There is also a subtle hint of charcoal as well as loads of mineral, flower, blackberry, and creme de cassis characteristics. This full-flavored, opulent, glycerin-filled 2003 offers impressive richness, silky tannin, and a long, 45+ second finish. It will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age, and drink well for two decades or more.

Wine Advocate #164  -  Apr 2006  -  Robert Parker 94 pts

 
 

CONCLUSION:

At £770 per 12, the 2003 vintage being the best available vintage of Clos Fourtet in its drinking window, represents significant value with extremely minimal downside risk.

With all things being equal, as the wine is consumed in greater quantities and supply diminishes over the next 5-10 years, there is no reason why this won't surpass the price of the 1990 @ £1,100 per 12 in the next few years.

However, with the wine due to be re-scored at the end of this year by Parker, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that this wine will receive an improved tasting note. This could have a substantial impact on price in the short term, with potential upside of 15-30% possible by the end of this calendar year.

Upon receiving an improved score we would set a realistic price target of £1,300 - £1,500 per 12 over the next 5 years, which would represent a doubling of its current value.
 

 

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